Privacy. That’s the main reason you won’t see social media in ten years. So how serious are the issues with social media companies mining your personal data? If you have any experience with Facebook’s backend and it’s capabilities for audience building, then you know how much data is available for companies to use to market to you. Facebook gathers and then passes your interests over to marketing companies. They have information like your income, what you like to spend your free time doing and even what type of car you drive.
I believe it’s too late for the millennial generation. They grew up with the internet, so sharing photos, data, their lives through social media is completely normal. Anyone from Generation X will tell you, ‘God, am I glad social media wasn’t around when I was growing up.’ The children of Generation X are starting to get old enough to use social media and I believe that they will be the first to start moving away from sharing details about their lives.
So do you need social media to survive as a small business? The short answer is…no. Sure there are social signals that Google looks at that may help some small businesses succeed, but do you need to be posting constantly to four or more platforms, probably not. I’ve gotten plenty of small businesses to rank on page one of Google who don’t have any social media presence. Your Google business listing is a huge source of information for Google. In fact, with all the updates and constant changes, the one thing that’s stayed consistent was the Google business listing.
Optimizing your business listing as well as the listings on the other search engines like Bing, Apple Maps and Yahoo will increase your chances of showing up when someone searches for a service you provide. If you’re a service area business, which means a business that does it’s work outside of where the office is located, you can tell Google which areas you service.
Here’s an example of what the service areas look like on the backend of your Google business listing. My advice would be to focus on the cities closest to you that you service. A lot of search results are based on the proximity of where the search originates.
Social media companies should start to look for other forms of revenue. Once the pool of people who are unaware or don’t care about privacy dries up, they will have nothing left to market to.