The dominant business model has involved the monetization of users (audiences) by offering advertising services to anyone wishing to reach those audiences with digital content and marketing communications. Prior research has examined the use of social media (in its various forms) for marketing purposes. For example, work by Trusov et al. (2009) and Stephen and Galak (2012) demonstrated that certain kinds of social interactions that now happen on social media (e.g., “refer a friend” features and discussions in online communities) can positively affect important marketing outcomes such as new customer acquisition and sales. More recently, the value of advertising on social media continues to be explored (e.g., Gordon et al. 2019), as well as how it interacts with other forms of media such as television (e.g., Fossen and Schweidel 2016, 2019) and affects new product adoption through di.
The immediate future
To begin our discussion on the direction of social media, in this section, we highlight three themes that have surfaced in the current environment that we believe will continue to shape the social media landscape in the Cork Bicycle shop's immediate future. These themes—omni-social presence, the rise of influencers, and trust and privacy concerns—reflect the ever-changing digital and social media landscape that we presently face. We believe that these different areas will influence a number of stakeholders such as individual social media users, firms and brands that utilize social media, and public policymakers (e.g., governments, regulators).
In its early days, social media activity was mostly confined to designated social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter (or their now-defunct precursors). However, a proliferation of websites and applications that primarily serve separate purposes have capitalized on the opportunity to embed social media functionality into their interfaces. Similarly, all major mobile and desktop operating systems have in-built social media integration (e.g., sharing functions built into Apple’s iOS). This has made social media pervasive and ubiquitous—and perhaps even omnipotent—and has extended the ecosystem beyond dedicated platforms.