Automation, mixed-reality and artificial intelligence— could these be the driving forces for customer engagement and motivation of the future? If I was an experienced veteran predictor, I would say that video, from everything I’ve seen and heard at conventions/seminars I’ve been to this year, is the big engagement common denominator to bring the B to C (business to consumer) equation to life.

But let’s put me aside and see what other Social Media “thought leaders” are thinking. Not too hard to find their thoughts, courtesy of an article in Inc.Magazine by Peter Kozodoy. And as you might expect, everybody has a different area to highlight. Which is great as it gives us more insights to the future of social media,such as automation, mixed-reality and artificial intelligence.

I have met Mari Smith, the so-called Queen of Facebook at several events (full disclosure that is her on my Facebook page, as well as on the left side of this picture with me) and was curious as to what she had to say.

“Facebook is going all-in on mobile and all-in on video. Brands need to be focusing more than ever on highly engaging storytelling through live and recorded video content that draws their audience in emotionally.”

What did I say? TY Mari for agreeing with me! She goes on to say:

“Spotlight customer success stories, showcase real people using your product or service, introduce staff, conduct interviews, go behind-the-scenes, involve your audience on a personal level as much as possible. And, couple your video storytelling with exceptional social customer care–ideally that even includes personalized video content–and you’ll have a serious leg up on the competition.”

Getting that leg up on the competition. That is the key. But can you do it on your own? Do you understand all this tech? Especially when you consider this predictions from Neal Schaffer, President of Maximize Your Social

“…brands need to become more visual in their marketing, as if each brand was not only the media, but also the creator of their own TV programming.”

Just having a website won’t be enough. Just having a Facebook page won’t be enough. You will need to create content for wherever your customers are and will instead of making them find you, you will need to reach out to them.

And that’s not just my opinion. That apparently was the one constant reoccurring message in all the thought leader forecasts. So you heard it here from them and me!