Social media has been the source of people publicly admitting that they have got the wrong side of the stick lately. It has even been the very reason why others have been taken to court. The famous writer J.K. Rowling hasn’t been what you would call quiet about how she feels about the latest American president Donald Trump and the means she used to voice this opinion is usually her Twitter account. She isn’t the only one using social media to jump at any chance to show her dislike of the man in power, but she went a little too far lately when she tweeted misinformation about Trump’s interaction with a disabled boy – she only saw half the video and got finger happy with her Twitter account as she is very sensitive to the issue of people with disabilities.

While Rowling’s choice of platform was Twitter, the singer Sinead O’Connor chose Facebook to accuse American TV star Arsenio Hall of giving the singer Prince drugs. This triggered a $5 million lawsuit against O’Connor.

So, you see, if not used correctly, social media can get out of hand and you could end up biting the hand that feeds you. But that is not the only downfall to people mistreating these platforms. Friends have been lost, teenagers are not using these platforms as much as their parents are also there, we are wiser to how our data on social media can easily be taken and used for other purposes, and industries have used it so much that users feel more like products and less like human beings.

Is it too late to save our social media marketing plan? Have people become so cynical that they have lost all faith and trust in using social media to retrieve trust-worthy information? No one knows for sure but here are a few things businesses can start concentrating on in order to hold onto those followers they have and attract new ones.

  1. Put relationships first – the most important thing is right there in the words used to label the product – social media. The target is being sociable and the way the target is met is by using outlets to connect to society. Facebook began as a way of keeping in contact with friends and then businesses came into the picture with their promotions and selling objectives. So, it’s time to get back to basics, it’s time to get personal again by posting personal posts, photos, more personal comments and sharing opinions – just make sure they are backed up.
  2. Get creative with posts – we usually post pictures, videos and text to tell our stories, get our message across and just be part of the loop, but looking forward these posts will take on a new form. Audio will become more in and the visual may become more unique and interactive with users becoming bored of the way things have been done so far.
  3. Social grouping – when we put things out there on our personal accounts everyone we choose to be friends with – or friends of friends if the settings are left untouched – will see it. Because most of us don’t want everyone to know our opinions on certain issues and because there is a way to target like-minded people, there will be a return to social grouping on social media.
  4. More privacy – most of us are fed up of getting random messages about products we have never heard of simply because we are bombarded with so much information that we can’t concentrate on it all. Looking forward, businesses should ensure users that if they like their pages, their privacy will be respected – but this will take more advanced networks.
  5. Take us with you, wherever you go – it is no surprise to hear that we all own a smart phone now and we do most of our searching on there. This is why companies must make sure that their websites work seamlessly on mobile devices, and their social media accounts give the mobile user exactly what they want, when they want it.