The Internet of Things (IoT) offers a lot of promise for marketers within social media. With 34 to 50 billion devices online by 2020. IoT gives lots of new possibilities for social media managers to lick their chops into.
Dubbed “social media for machines” by analysts because of its machine to machine (m2m) learning capabilities, IoT will change the conversation on how we look at social media. It’s no longer just snapping selfies, liking, or sharing. Here is where social media advocates can capitalize on IoT.
Improving Customer Experiences: One way where social media can leverage IOT is through maximizing customer experiences. Uber and Spotify have teamed up where Uber users can use their Spotify premium account to personalize their rides. Uber CEO Travis Kalernick said Uber is delivering a unique experience by teaming up with Spotify by allowing passengers to customize their rides more.
The marriage of social media and IoT will also provide a better client experience with showing how much money customers can save on their utility bills. SolarCity’s MySolarCity mobile app allows customers to see how much they are saving by going solar while using their social media accounts to show off to their friends on how much they are saving by going solar while building a community.
Improving Data Management: Better management of data is without a doubt the most valuable lesson which social media managers need to understand and capitalize on IoT’s potential. Marketing Journal suggests IoT will provide multiple ways of communicating between machines, brands, and customers. This includes real-time observation on customer behavior, with customer resource management (CRM) tools, while social media marketers can use these tools to improve their products. For example, Google’s Nest smart thermostat, which allows for consumers to adjust their home temperature using wireless Internet, is the epitome of IoT devices. Nest analysts can then compare the data, which can help provide their customers on how to improve their energy, while at the same time enhance their products for future development.
Besides Nest, another scenario could be a Samsung smart fridge tells when a customer is running out of apples; the fridge would tell its customer to buy new ones. The data could provide both supermarkets and apple producers on what apples consumers stock their fridge with, and help assist grocery stores in catering to certain demographics.
The Melding of Industries: If there is one wild card, social media marketers need to take heart on the rise of IoT will shrink time, space among industries. In his 2014 book The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, The Collaborative Commons, & The Eclipse of Capitalism, author Jeremy Rifkin said the merging of three Internets: Communications, Energy Internet, and Logistics Internet laid the foundation for IoT. Rifkin also argued in The Third Industrial Revolution, communications helped spearhead past industrial revolutions in human history. It’s important for social media managers to grasp this moment currently being played in front of us, and understand how communications, logistics, and energy, now more than ever are weaved through technologies fantastic bow. We have seen this through the World Wide Web, and social media’s infant stages, as consumers were becoming producers (re prosumers). We saw this initially with the media industry. We are now seeing this with both energy and finance. Mosiac was a great early example of utilizing social media renewable energy and crowdsource finance to produce affordable solar ownership for investors. Now with blockchain technologies on the way, this will make financial options more secure for crowd funding options, as consumers look to become both investors and users of their products.
If done correctly, IoT can open a bevy of opportunity for social media managers who are willing to find a bonanza of opportunities for forward thinking marketers within the insights of finance, communications, and technology nexus.