The New Tech on the Block – Blockchain
When any new technology comes to the fore, it is human nature to examine it closely and search for new applications.
Blockchain technology originated with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, and it has proven itself to be so robust that many people are searching for ways to use it that no one else has thought of yet. A lot of that attention is concentrated in the areas of social media and marketing.
Although blockchain technology is probably not the game changer for social media that it is currently being advertised as, it will certainly improve social media marketing any number of small ways, and those ways will all be advantageous to social media marketers. Here is how to tell the truth from the hype and to take the best advantage of what blockchain technology has to offer marketing.
How It Works
Like many fundamental innovations, there is nothing terribly complicated about the blockchain. The technology has been compared to “digital DNA,” and that is certainly an apt comparison in many ways. Like DNA, a blockchain is simply a systemic record of a certain amount of information that is designed to be downloaded and stored in many sources.
The blockchain is a long record of information that is hosted by as many computers as possible, ideally in the thousands, so that any suspect blockchain interaction can be compared with existing copies in other computers. This allows people to easily see if any sort of fraud has occurred and to track it back to its source. Since existing copies of the blockchain cannot be edited, it is impossible to remove information from it.
By distributing the blockchain so many computers, the system is shielded from most hacking attacks and security is very much stronger. However, the storage issues involved in the blockchain are immense. A standard blockchain would suffice for the storage of simple text-based data such as bank records.
How Will It Work With Social Media?
However, because of its enormous storage requirements and the number of people who have to download it in order for it to function, it really cannot be used for anything more than that with current technology. Storing extensive customer records, photographs, or audio files in the blockchain remains, at this time, more fancy than fact. Therefore, from the marketers point of view, a blockchain-enabled social media platform offers very little more in the way of security than what already exists.
Marketing would not be noticeable more targetable, since people would share no more information about themselves than they already do. Cryptocurrency monetization will be built in, but that process is already occurring. New technologies like cryptocollectibles are essentially platform-independent. So it will not “replace money” and it is unlikely to make social media platforms notably more valuable than they already are.
The data stored on the blockchain is not going to be notably more valuable to marketers than the consumer data already gathered and disseminated. Although it will be helpful for individuals and governments to have a long-term unalterable personal record stored on the blockchain, the real benefits of that will not appear until the identity program has been instituted for decades.
…there remains the fascinating possibility that one of these social media network monetization schemes could catch fire in the cryptocurrency market, creating value for all users and inflating the pool of money available for advertisement.
All of the putative blockchain-based social media organizations feature, at some level, a cryptocurrency reward concept for their service. Most of them have some sort of scheme by which the cryptocurrency, currently worthless, is distributed to users and influencers.
A possible game changer could come in the form of Interledger, a way to make micropayments across different platforms/ledgers. Google is working on its own payments disruption with its Payment Handler API destined for Chrome 68. This will allow any payment system or provider to easily hook into Chrome’s payment mechanism for a smooth payment experience. It would also create a payment environment where cryptocurrencies could compete on a level playing field with traditional payment methods.
This will naturally result in the concentration of these tokens in a certain group of influential users, giving them more economic purchasing power and placing them in a more favorable position for social media marketing. Perceptive social media marketers will be able to monitor the blockchain transaction record, identify these influencers, and shape their efforts towards them.
As the transitive properties of marketing and influence travel back and forth, value will be created. The social media platform, symbolized by its attached cryptocurrency token, can accrue tremendous value. After all, many of the most valuable cryptocurrencies in the world were originally based in games.
Litecoin currently has a market capitalization of nearly $7 billion, and few remember that it began as an in-game money system for the old video game Second Life. There is every reason to believe that something similar to that could happen with blockchain-enabled social media networks, and an active social media company would find themselves in perfect position to take advantage.
Blockchain Industry Trends that Could Help the Social Media Industry
- Advancement of Blockchain Technology Against Bots
Blockchain technology, due to its use of verified online identities, will protect its users from bots and fake media that now rapidly spreads across the internet. Only trackable and verified information will be sent, which will help in ensuring that viruses and spam advertisements are reduced by their numbers.
With marketplaces growing and meeting the needs of the public, there will no longer be a need for business owners who aren’t verified. This will become the norm since a more reliable marketplace is most likely the best marketplace, putting previous companies out of business as their former customers are attracted to new and improved platforms. The markets in the near future will consist of like-minded individuals who will increase your return on investment based on time. These future social platforms replace standard and current mainstream companies who need to improve their technology to even compete.
- Decentralized Data Removes Middle Men
With blockchain marketing and advertising already spreading across the web, companies using this method for their data are able to directly target the needs of their users. Rather than using the media that manages the middle ground between the company and the consumer, the company itself is able to be the source of the consumer’s content. Decentralized data transfers the control from the central to local government, so it is better managed without the tampering of data from the federal law.
- Revisions to Delivery and Reporting Systems
Video content delivery has already been affected by blockchain by extending more video content from its producers, which is expected to continue into this year. Companies who utilize modern video delivery and reporting systems will take up this new method of controlling how their content is delivered, verified, and reported by advertisers since it is required to do so under blockchain technology. This will, in turn, make advertising more transparent because companies’ intentions are publicly reported to build trust between them and their customers. With blockchain on the rise, the entire delivery and report system is going to undergo revisions as it allows consumers to access their content in a whole new way.
- Better Quality of Influencers
While there will be changes to the reporting systems, there will also be changes to the influencer marketing campaigns that currently take place. Marketers will be able to easily differentiate the difference between true followers or bots. This will allow them to reduce the amount of influencers available, but maintain the quality and improving it based on those who are already considered the top influencers.
- Fraud Prevention
Finally, as one of the most obvious effects of blockchain technology in the future, fraud prevention will become more prevalent. There will be less bots, middlemen, influencers, and hidden data from the public and social media market as aforementioned. This will enhance the service that followers receive from their companies and reduce the amount of scams or spam that usually targets a company and/or its audiences.