This is a well observed article and highlights important changes taking place within Social Media.

For some time now in my presentations, speeches and training, I've shown the example of how my teenage children use Social Media. As this article suggests, Facebook has its place, but falls way behind compared to the use of Snapchat et al by younger teenagers.

When I observe my daughter interacting with her friends, she is using multiple communication tools, often simultaneously.  But what is noticeable is how she chooses the app/tool which is most appropriate for the conversation that she is having with someone right now.  If the communication is quick and functional e.g. "Laura, have you done your Chemistry homework?", it will often take place on WhatsApp or SMS and occasionally Facebook Messenger.  If it's a longer 'functional' conversation she will usually use Facetime.

If it's a longer conversation with a lot of laughs along the way, then Snapchat will be favoured. Interestingly if a small group want to chat, and perhaps one or more of the group doesn't use the favoured app, then Instagram DM will come into play because almost all of her friends (network) are on the photo sharing app.

I also have an older son in his mid twenties who I remember cutting his teeth on MSN Messenger. Granted, back then, it was pretty well all that was available to teens, but the principle was the same - MSN was used primarily to interact and engage directly with friends in a more or less private environment.

In many ways, we've all got a bit hung up on the power of Facebook and its perceived potential for marketers to achieve massive reach, when in fact Social Media at its best is when it's used in a private or semi-private environment.  That's not say that Facebook and LinkedIn don't have their place - of course they do; they just have a different focus.

So as Mark's article suggests, the challenge for Sales and Marketing professionals now is to figure out how to make their communications incredibly personalised.  My guess is that we will see brands working even harder on their customer service initiatives through Social, which will give them opportunity to engage with people by name at a one to one level.  Create great advocates for your business through amazing service and you instantly increase the size of your sales and marketing team.

In this regard, brands could do well to study how the big YouTubers manage to get such large numbers of subscribers - one way they do it is to treat their subscribers as a Community, and another is to often mention people by name in their posts.  So although they are talking to potentially millions of people at a time, many people are spoken to directly - again creating great advocates for the content originator.

Social Media is all about people; marketers who get personal will have exciting times ahead.

Please get in touch if you'd like me to present to your team or at your conference, seminar or event: