Social media is integral to the Internet of Things

The next social marketing revolution

One of the greatest impacts that the internet has had since it began is the massive change in behaviour brought about by social media.

‘Trendz: 2030, Here We Come’ by Richard van Hooijdonk

Pew Internet has reported that 73% of online adults now use social media, and the figure is rising by the minute – indeed that statistic dates from the end of 2013. Social media has become an ingrained part of our lives, more time is spent on social media sites and people rely on it for a key part of their social interaction. But this impact is small compared to what is projected for the Internet of Things.

The impact is projected to be massive – governments and industry leaders across the world are investing millions, think tanks are giving out protocols by the handful and plans abound. According to research by Gartner, there will be nearly 26 billion objects on the Internet of Things by 2020, a huge tidal wave of interest from only 0.9 billion in 2009.

For a wide-ranging visual portrayal of the Internet of Things please take a look at this public information film produced by the European Union.

‘Trendz: 2030, Here We Come’ by Richard van Hooijdonk

How will all this data be used?

A vast array of sometimes ingenious uses is being developed to take advantage of these unimagined possibilities. As the impact will affect all areas of our lives, the range of products created will be enormous; it extends from products geared towards the individual, their home and to the community at large.

We’ve already seen the beginning of people wearing connected sensors that give them feedback on their health and fitness. There will also be devices aimed at monitoring other people (such as their children or employees) or giving biofeedback to health professionals.

In the home all manner of products will be connected, from the renowned Nest Learning Thermostat on Amazon to garden sprinklers. It will be possible to control almost everything remotely.

Global social media

Image credit:Caveman Chuck Coker

How does this new world impact social media?

The door is open for an extraordinary level of interaction; billions of consumers are already connected to each other with smartphones and social networks. The third piece of the puzzle is the data, and that avalanche is on it’s way.

  • From the most practical point of view, an online network of household objects will enable information to be given to owners in the event of product recalls and service updates. They will also benefit from usage tips and promotions.
  • With such clear advantages for ongoing communication, many social media groups will be created by manufacturers themselves.
  • Advertisers will be able to target specific user groups and indeed individual users. Promotions could be tailored to minority use cases and employ personal preferences. This means the eradication of a whole area of ineffective scatter-gun communication; see it in terms of a 100% click-through-rate right at the moment of need, e.g. an SMS for a service package can be delivered to a user’s smartphone at the moment a potential fault is diagnosed in their washing machine.
  • With full knowledge of a user’s preferences a message can be delivered with a genuinely personal touch.
  • Owners, whether it be everyday users or fans, will create special interest groups themselves to congregate around the data that their objects upload. There will be little effort required: individuals will already have their own instantly refreshed statistics online to fuel the discussions.

  • Wearables will enable automatic check-ins for social media as soon as you step through the door of your favourite restaurant. Your family will see your heart beating on the other side of the world. Human beings will be much more connected than they have ever been before.
  • And with continuing advances there will be an endless stream of new devices, each accompanied by opportunities for people eager to join the club and ride the wave.

The consumer will experience a converging of the physical and digital worlds with a more all-encompassing view of a product and brand. The possibilities for new connections will race through social media making it an integral part of this new world. So despite its name, the Internet of Things will be a very social place.

Social media is integral to the Internet of Things
Social media is integral to the Internet of Things
Social media will be a key part of how consumers interact with the IoT, making it an essential channel for marketers and consumers alike.