Currently, the primary communication channel for consumers is still email. That should come as no surprise. It was one of the first digital channels and is simple in nature.
However, social media is moving in on email quickly. It not only integrates with email, but allows brands to nurture massive audiences. Social media is an exceptional channel for engagement. Furthermore, younger generations are more apt to use it as a primary communication channel.
Our prediction: Social media will be the primary communication channel by 2024.
Centralized Communication On Social Media
Traditional media, like TV and Radio, is falling by the wayside. While they are great broadcast channels, there’s very little (if any) engagement with your audiences.
A whopping 71% of consumers say they’ve increased their use of social media over the past year.
And when it comes to customer care? It’s unlikely viewers will call a number or go to a website they see on TV or hear on the radio with questions about a product or service. Conversely, they absolutely will do this on social media.
Social media allows the entire customer journey to take place on one medium. From discovery to decision, and then as a loyalty customer, consumers can do ALL THE THINGS through social media with a brand they like and trust.
Furthermore, a recent report by Sprout Social, it shows that business executives are tracking with this prediction.
- 58% of business leaders anticipate social will be their primary communications channel by 2024
- 91% of executives anticipate their company’s social media marketing budget will increase over the next three years, and the majority expect it will increase by more than 50%.
- 85% of executives report that social data will be a primary source of business intelligence for their company moving forward.
It seems inevitable that social media will be the primary communication channel for consumers in just a few short years.
Why Social Outshines & Outperforms Email
Social media, when used correctly, serves as a brand’s largest opportunity for social intelligence. Using social data and social listening, we’ve uncovered critical insights that even inform departments outside of marketing.
We’ve helped Product Teams, Sales Teams, Research & Development with data from social media. And it doesn’t end there.
To add, consider the below …
- Social media is currently used by 60% of companies for customer service
- 72% of brands use social for customer engagement
- 6 out of 10 executives anticipate the use of social media to increase across all aspects of their business
Finally, I think the biggest factor in social media overtaking email as the primary communication channel is the fact that it gives marketers access to information that email can’t. Customer feedback; industry trends; competitive intelligence. Each of those areas provides deep knowledge for all departments, not just marketing.
Email Isn’t Dead
However, it’s still important to understand that email isn’t dead. It’s a traditional channel that will likely stand the test of time. Heck, some consumers will always want to pick up a phone to problem solve.
The point is, social media insights strengthen traditional media channels. And using social intelligence will only help marketers better clarify their messaging and audience targets.
Moreover, brands need to realize that social media is now consumers’ number one preferred way of finding new brands. So while email is here to stay, an emphasis needs to be put into social channels for continued success.
Social Media Will Be The Primary Communication Channel
Social Media Will Be The Primary Communication Channel By 2024. Maybe even sooner.
Certainly, as Generation Z and Millennials come into buyer power, I expect to see social become the primary channel to reach these groups. It’s imperative that brands move beyond social 101 and start setting their strategy and team up for social now.
The most actionable way to prepare for this progression of social media is to better allocate resources (time and talent) to this rapidly growing mecca of marketing data.
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