Five reasons to be enthusiastic about the future of social media marketing

social media marketing

By Mark Schaefer

It has been fun and useful to debate many of the problems going on in the social media world. But I thought it would be a great time to start a discussion about the good things going on … and why I am so energized and optimistic about social media marketing.

In fact, here are five reasons to be juiced!

1. Social media marketing brings power to the people

A lot of people roll their eyes when you mention influencer marketing. An image of some skateboarder in baggy pants selling energy drinks may pop into your head.

But the fact is, it works, and it always has. The difference is, because of social media, you don’t have to be a Hollywood star any longer to get in on the fun.

social media marketing mimi thorissenLet’s look at “influencers” in a different light.

Mimi Thorisson is a mother to seven children and caretaker of 14 dogs in Médoc, a small town north of Bordeax, France. In 2012, she turned her love of cooking into a blog called Manger (French for “to eat”). Together with her husband, photographer Oddur, her diligent work helped her become a globally-recognized chef and the author of two popular cookbooks.

Her success also led to an opportunity to host a television cooking show and create workshops that attract fans from around the world. Mimi has been featured in dozens of publications including The New York Times, Vogue and The Wall Street Journal.

In the world of food, Mimi has become a respected global influencer, attracting paid sponsorships from Armani, L’Occitane and other brands. She has created a rewarding, profitable life for herself from her home in the French countryside.

Remember, this all started with a social media and her blog … by establishing her own power in this noisy world through social media. That is so inspiring to me. And what is more amazing is that through creativity and persistence, social media success is within the reach of any one with a keyboard and an internet connection.

2. Social media makes us better marketers

We are in the middle of a cataclysmic business shift. And it is wonderful!

For years, consumers passively sat back and consumed commercials. Buy our products, blah, blah, blah.

Through social media, we have the power to talk back, to complain, to express ourselves, to create our own media experience.

One executive told me, “I really love advertising. You pay an ad agency money and then wait for something to happen. With social media, people are talking back to us and it makes me uncomfortable. It’s like the deer have guns!”

Social media has been an incredible catalyst for social change, forcing us to not just “market” but to connect with people in a more real, authentic, and helpful way. We have to take notice and learn about what customers actually want, or face the consequences.

Many companies still don’t get that. They see social media as a threat, or just another place to dump their ads.

But here is a secret to marketing success in the future: The most human company will win. And nothing will help us get there better than social media marketing.

3. Personal empowerment through content

I started in business in the days before the internet. In fact, it’s hard to imagine, but in my first job, I still didn’t have email!

Back then, how would I ever have the opportunity to become “known?” I would have to be on TV or in the newspaper … a lot. And that is somebody else’s decision. Somebody would have to “pick me.”

Today, I have the power to establish my own power in this world. We all do. You and I don’t have to jump through somebody else’s hoops. Nobody has to pick you to start a blog, create a YouTube channel, or begin a podcast. This is a historically important opportunity. You can pick yourself.

I’ve worked diligently to create content that connects with people. I can go to almost any city in the world and find a fan of my content to meet. I consider this opportunity for global communion and creating positive impact as the greatest gift of the digital age.

4. A great career option

If you’re in this business, you’ve got to be energized by the vast opportunities before us.

Social media has become an important part of an overall marketing strategy. In fact, business spending on social media marketing has increased 10 years in a row.

Whether you’re helping small businesses, providing out-sourced social media administration or helping create new strategies at the enterprise level, the momentum is still building for our work.

Sure, there is an enormous amount of change going on in our social media world. I call that “job security.”

5. Social media marketing is just beginning.

I have a pattern of re-inventing my career every 4-5 years. Over the years I’ve had jobs in journalism, PR, sales, training, marketing, eCommerce, and then launching entrepreneurial efforts.

I began to immerse myself in this glorious world of social media marketing about 10 years ago … so I am long overdue for a change!

I recently worked on an all-new edition of my popular book Social Media Explained and had to do some serious introspection. Is social media marketing still relevant? Is it time to pivot? Many of the early leaders in the field like Chris Brogan have moved on. Was it time for me to transition to something new?

In the course of my research for the book I came across this quote from the Marketing VP for Mercedes Benz: “Social media is the epicenter of digital marketing.”

And I believe he is right. This is not just a matter of opinion. Social media marketing continues to be the most popular marketing-related search term and still growing:

social media marketing


I have worked in marketing roles for more than three decades. I’ve never had more fun, been more interested, and felt more enthusiastic about my career than this day. We all have a chance to fight for better, more caring, more connected, more human businesses and it can all start with our work in social media marketing.

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world.  Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

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