The Internet of Things really is a new industrial revolution, and affects almost every single business in one way or another. Literally businesses are changing the way they do business, how things are automated, and they ways they interact with customers and gather data
However, we seldom think of the way it will impact things we do every day, like social media. The data social media users share allows business to interact with them in a completely different way.
Loosely defined, the IoT is made up of the devices and machines that share data of some sort that can either influence an action or cause it to happen. This means everything from fitness trackers to the sensors on a connected car that alert the owner about low tire pressure and maintenance intervals.
All of this data means we will be entering an era of new social media. What does this mean in relationship to the Internet of Things?
A New Privacy
As we share our data online and use digital devices and services that gather our data, the idea of privacy may seem like something that is vanishing. As more and more devices connect and become a part of the Internet of Things, privacy as we know it will disappear. However, taking its place will be a conscious privacy.
This means that people will find nuanced ways to choose who to share their data with and when, and a new form of privacy will evolve. We will become more conscious of when and how we want to be connected, and will find ways to tailor that connection to suit our needs.
Much of this nuance will have to do with how we are connected on social media, and when and where we share our data. It will almost be like a selective privacy. We will be connected in ways that are convenient to us.
The internet of Things will bring social media firmly into the area of healthcare. Not only will users be able to connect with the best doctors and hospitals to treat their particular conditions socially, but they will also be able to share key data via social media.
This ranges from caloric intake shared via apps to heart rate, workouts, blood pressure, blood sugar readings for diabetics, and more. The better the picture a health professional gets of a person’s actual lifestyle, the more they can help them alter and change it.
This type of real time monitoring also can help professionals with early diagnosis and better treatment options. This connection will help us lead healthier lives overall.
Imagine a micro-community of those who share an interest with you, even if they do not live anywhere near where you do. Your interactions with them can be short, meaningful, and about the interest you share and nothing more.
We already have such groups through social media, but the Internet of Things will promote such communities even more, detecting your interests and making recommendations. These micro-communities will add richness to our lives without taking away from close friendships or adding extra time commitments.
Even when people are traveling, connected devices can suggest ways to connect with others in a safe manner around common interests. A micro-community can be mobile and expanded nearly anywhere in the world.
The internet of things already creates a ton of data about customers that companies can use to meet them where they are. However, the more data they share, the more marketers know about their attitudes and how they interact with the world around them.
This allows companies to design unique experiences around their customer’s lifestyle rather than just trying to sell them something. This creates a unique opportunity to develop relationship, which makes customer retention the central part of a company culture.
Adding genuine value to a customer’s life will make products and services more valuable, and companies will not only profit, but thrive.
Competition Between Companies
Products that were once designed to serve a single purpose, and were inert, generating no data on their own are now a vital part of an individual’s ecosystem. A simple example is the watch, once designed as an expression of individualism by design, but one that also served a simple purpose: a portable way to tell the time.
Now these watches have evolved into things from the Fitbit and Garmin watches that track fitness and exercise to the Apple Watch which can now act as your communication device without the need to carry a phone. Apple has taken a device that was evolving and taken it a step further to make it an integrated part of an individual’s life that it is hard for them to do without.
This is simply one example. Companies will be competing against each other with devices that will add a social connection to their devices with the goal of creating a community around them. This raises not only the level of competition, but the type as well.
The Internet of Things is increasingly a vital part of every business, but it will also continue to change the face of social media as well. The sooner we adapt to this concept and take advantage of it, the better off we will be. How do you think the IoT will affect the face of social media in the near future? leave us a comment in the section below.