Social Media Marketing In The Age Of IoT And Wearable Tech

Social Media Marketing In The Age Of IoT And Wearable Tech

Social Media Marketing – In The Age Of Emerging Tech.

IoT. Digitisation. Smart Sensors. Wearable Tech. Times of technological disruption, on a global scale, when technology affects everything, even your marketing strategy.

Let’s start with understanding what the Internet of Things (IoT) is, where it comes from and what makes it so valuable, in a marketing context.

There would be no social media or IoT, without a hidden, yet quintessential part. The “element” that changed the world in the last decade, more than the world has changed itself in the last century: the power of connectivity, the Internet.

Social Media Marketing - world internet connectivity map 2015

India is the home to 190 million internet users. Still, it has a long way to getting all its citizens online.

We savour times of ubiquitous networking, with the Internet as the driving force behind almost everything we do. From manufacturing to advertising, the Internet has become the inseparable fabric that holds together the physical world, as we see it.

Social Media Marketing – New Business Models

If you still can’t get your head around the whole IoT idea, just put your hand in your pocket; that device is a piece of IoT as well. The first IoT device with global adoption, the smartphone gave birth to the digital networks and connection points, behind the business of the modern era.

The world changes all the time. It is changing as you read this, faster than the second before. New business models have replaced the older, slower ones. Integrated platforms, previously unimaginable without the notion of Internet and smartphone, have taken over the traditional, linear business models.

IoT And Social Media - schematic representing best platform business models

The “platform business” creates value by facilitating exchanges between related organisation. E.G. Produces and consumers.

Uber, a platform business, is the largest taxi company in the world without owning a single taxi. Facebook, the world’s biggest media owner, does not create content. Amazon, Alibaba, both platform businesses, are the most profitable retailers in the world without a single item in their stock. And, Airbnb, the largest accommodation provider in the world without a single real estate.

Social Media Marketing – In Your Pocket

Not only that the smartphone has changed the world, but its usage is on the rise. From 2.5 exabytes of generated data per month in 2014 to 5 exabytes mid-2015. Most importantly, almost 80 percent of the total “mobile phone time” was spent on social media platforms and related activities.

IoT And Social Media - Social media is on 24/7. Millions of social media "pieces of data" are created every second.

Social media is on, 24/7, generating millions of Gb per second.

Jan Rezab, the CEO of Socialbakers, says: “There is growing influence from the connected devices to the way we interact with the world. Consumers are spending their “smartphone time” interacting with social networks like Snapchat and WhatsApp, connecting and sharing data with people and objects around and the new businesses must be conscious of this new wave of connected devices, and their capabilities.”

The smartphone has become an advanced social media centre, a modern style remote controller with social media buttons.

Social Media Marketing – The More Data The Better

The smartphone, the world’s very first IoT device, is now the largest source of big data in the world, allows us to interact with websites, social media, wearables, and people.

Instantly, across the world, by generating tremendous amounts of data in the process, data we could use to augment marketing strategies, predict trends, understand where, when and why people buy or reject certain products.

IoT And Social Media - integration-platforms-active-in-the-IoT

Diagram source: Crisp Research AG. The central logo is a modified version of Mixcloud logo.

Social Media Marketing – Granular Consumer Data

Let’s fast forward in time, to the year of 2020 when embedded sensors all around us. Smart cars, washing machines, coffee makers, garage doors, fridges, light switches, coffee makers, in your clothes and the accessories you wear.

Everything is connected, communicating and exchanging data without you, the human, having to interact at all.

IoT And Social Media - services using smart sensors by 2020

The next generation of services relies on the contextual understanding of what you are doing. In the pic, smart sensors deployment by 2020.

Just how Uber and AirBnB depend on connectivity and user data, the future business models depend on big data and here is how we get back to social media and future marketing strategies. Social media is, by nature, user data.

Similar Read: Top 10 Emerging Technologies That Will Transform Our Future

Mixing social media data, with the data collected by the smart sensors powering the IoT networks we generate the “fuel” so much needed by the integrated platforms of tomorrow. For any future business, be it in fashion, insurance, finance, healthcare, or entertainment, big data is the new oil.

Social Media Marketing – Already Happening

It is not just a hope or an idea, but something that is already happening. At the Facebook’s F8 developers conference in March this year, the social media giant has launched its first IoT initiative with Parse.

“In a couple of years from now, all devices connected to us and amongst them, will become one seamless flow of information,” said Roost CEO, Roel Peeters.

IoT And Social Media - parse-expansion-for-IoT-support

End of 2015 and Parse just expanded its IoT line of SDKs to include Intel, Broadcom, TI and Atmel. Expect more apps for a wider range of IoT devices.

Facebook’s intention to prepare for the upcoming wave of smart devices is evident. China’s TenCent, the maker of WeChat, is also interested in the big data generated by the IoT networks, and its integration with social media.

Social Media Marketing – 35 Billion Devices By 2020

Gartner predicts that the total number of active IoT devices at the end of 2016 is going to reach 6.5 billion, in a 30 percent rise compared to this year. Gartner also expects 26 billion active IoT devices by the end of 2020, or 37 billion conform to Cisco if we add the Industrial IoT (IIoT) devices as well.

IoT And Social Media - 37 Billion IoT devices to be connected by 2002

IoT, IIoT and IoPeople, for IoE. Adding people into the mix creates trillions of connections and unprecedented opportunities.

Imagine running late to a meeting. With the help of IoT, your smartcar could anticipate and solve the problem before it even occurs. It syncs with your diary, checks with the smart city sensors, roads, other cars, and it announces you are running out of time.

As the time goes by your car knows, based on the sync data, if you are, or not going to be on time and if needed, it contacts the person you are meeting, via social media, letting them know you are running late.

Let’s recap for a second. There’s an “ocean” of user-generated data on social media, and more personal data, coming from, wearables, IoT devices, health orientated and the plan of unifying them, if you like. What is the outcome?

Social Media Marketing – Business Gains

Better businesses through better consumer understanding, personalised interactions, taking place before, during and after purchase and higher profits.

“Brands benefit from valuable insights that come from the collected data, understanding what kind of language, messaging and values resonate with their target audiences.” Holly Pavlika, SVP Brand Strategy at Collective Bias.

IoT And Social Media - Starbucks IoT

Starbucks loyalty app is one of the most popular apps in the world. Starbucks wants to implement beacons and wearable chargers, in their stores, by 2017.

Social Media Marketing – Consumer Benefits

However, not only the businesses can take advantage of the IoT and social media concoction, but the consumers as well.

Imagine a modern shopping scenario, where the store’s IoT interacts with your wearables. Your mobile communicates with the in-store beacons, syncs your well-being data with your social media accounts, “looks” at your browsing habits, previous shopping sessions and finally informs the store or the sales assistant.

IoT And Social Media - IoT shopping devices

IoT, Wearables and social media mix change the way we shop forever.

The result? You will know if what you want to purchase is available, if there are discounts and even the item’s exact location on the shelve, before entering the shop.

If you do enter the shop, based on your data, the sales assistant expects and welcomes you by your first name, with a chair, a glass of water and your garments, ready to try them on.

Social Media Marketing – Better Advertising

Through instant and accurate analysis of customer data, the brand can improve the overall shopping experience and generate actionable data. In this way, the company targets only the right customers, with the best price and the right message.

Through smarter, more relevant ads, the brands can dramatically reduce their advertising expenses and also improve the customer response.

IoT And Social Media - IoT-smart-advertising-smart-home-

This smart IoT fridge checks the stock for you and places the order when the supermarket has a special offer or a discount.

Imagine a light bulb going faulty in your house. The IoT recognises the fault, checks on your social media platforms for any loyalty programs or special offers, and when found it places the order on your behalf. All you know is that 30 minutes later, a new light bulb has arrived.

Similar Read: The History Of Wearable Technology

And if right now, having to filter through such vasts amounts of data, might seem like a burden, just know that we are not that far from the days of another technological marvel, ready to work for us; the almighty A.I.

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  1. Erin Mercer

    16th August 2015 at

    Retaining today’s multigenerational workforce also typically involves establishing a cohesive strategy but this can backfire if would-be “fans” view a company’s efforts as manipulation.

  2. Jonas

    6th September 2015 at

    I like the digital persona concept and you’re no alone in that, there’s another guy I found online the other day, check him out, Carl Miller, the Research Director at the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos (CASM).

    • cameo

      1st October 2015 at

      this is like wow! #digitalpersona

  3. bAZa

    18th September 2015 at

    Another great article. I too believe that there is no IoE without social media.

  4. Shaqil

    19th September 2015 at

    Smart Cities, IoT, WearableTech, Digital Health, FashionTech, IoE, Big Data – will become the new sources of your “Digital Persona Profile”.

    digital my a.s.s! I’ll get off the grid, problem solved. what are f..k are they gonna do then?

  5. Bellevue Coumen

    12th February 2016 at


  6. Adam Bohr

    9th May 2016 at

    Great article Laurenti! You mentioned different industries the internet of things would have a positive impact on. Which industries do you feel have potential in the internet of things that have been slow to invest? How will B2Bs differ in their digital strategy for B2Cs?

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