Social Media Shifts at SXSW

As always, the South by South by Southwest Conference is on the ground floor for new trends and changes to the marketing industry. After all, it’s were Twitter first chirped its way into our social conscious way back in 2007. This year is no different. Out of the many revelations at SXSW 2016, we find the evolution of social media to be most interesting. 

The presentation, “The Next Multibillion Opp: Marketing in Messaging,” discussed the shift from social media to social messaging. In terms of active users, social messaging has eclipsed social media. Users are spending more time on more private channels like WhatsApp and Snapchat than Facebook and Twitter. Marketers must figure out new ways to connect with consumers on these more discreet channels.

The consequence of this move is “dark social,” or communication and referrals via private channels like email or text messaging. Content sharing is three times greater through dark social than it is on Facebook, according to the presentation “Deep Web and Dark Social.” With the rise of activity on these dark channels, brands face the challenge of reaching customers and monitoring conversions or face going dark themselves.