The Present and Future State of Social Media & Digital Marketing

As we’ve seen with Twitter in the past 12 months, technology—and more specifically, social media—is forced to continuously evolve to meet the demands of consumer behavior. Sometimes these changes are beneficial, and many times it takes multiple attempts to get it right. If we’re talking about one of the social giants like Facebook or Twitter, huge risk is a necessary evil to outperform the competition.

On this episode of “On Foodable Weekly,” we are joined by startup entrepreneur Nick Kellet, co-founder of list.ly, to discuss what’s been working (and what hasn’t) in the social media and apps space in relation to restaurants. 

There are tons of new technologies and consumer shifts in the marketplace now and also on the horizon, but that doesn’t mean much unless it becomes widely adopted. “We have our mobile phones that are an insanely powerful device but we use two percent of the power of that thing,” Kellet says. “The average person uses five apps, so why am I gonna use your app?”

Twitter

In regards to Twitter contemplating a shift to 10,000 characters, completely going against its original ethos of limited, short-form content, Kellet is not a fan. “I like my technology simple and that does one thing that people understand,” he says. “I think with 140 [characters], everyone knew what Twitter was for. I think when Facebook was just for your friends, you knew that was what that was for…”

Facebook

Unlike Twitter, which has had trouble finding ways to make money, Facebook’s ever-changing model has actually benefitted the company in regards to profit. Impressively, Facebook’s ad vehicle now holds its own next to Google, even rivaling the search and discovery giant. But will these developments shift just as seamlessly from generation to generation, or will Facebook eventually implode?

The Future of Advertising

The percentage of digital ad spend is still lower than one would expect, Kellet points out. “In the last five, six years, we’ve seen people shift to using more digital content,” he says. “I think people have become way more used to the paid element in the last few years, and that’s why you’re seeing Google and Facebook doing so well.”

Now that more companies have become mini-networks, providing content on their own blogs and on sites like YouTube, business owners are starting to have to juggle their own media and earned media. With that being said, is paid media becoming somewhat of a double-edge sword?

Kellet says that, in some ways, Facebook is actually doing us a favor. “By making stuff paid and making everyone realize that to get exposure costs money, they drew a line under the end of social media — the free era — and we now have these tools to buy media digitally…but we still have the ‘real world,’ which we forget.” By that, Kellet means traditional, non-digital media.

But there are certainly ways — like digital signage, for example — that digital can influence and touch people in the ‘real world.’

On-Demand

From UberEATS to GrubHub and from Seamless to DoorDash, on-demand delivery has been heating up like crazy around the food space. But, in many cases, delivery fees are so expensive in relation to an order that this format doesn’t work unless the user is in a bind of urgent convenience. In other words, on-demand companies must figure out a viable business model. Look at Uber or Amazon, for example. “Uber is not getting stuck in being one thing; they’re building out the infrastructure,” says Kellet. “They’re doing exactly what Amazon’s doing.” That’s to say, everything.