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The Integration of Iot with Social Media

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Social Media has been in practice for over ten years now, but the integration of IoT with Social Media has created a brand new dimension for Social Media, by expanding its scope to a larger extent. Interconnectivity of digital devices provides endless opportunities for brands by enabling them to listen and respond accurately to the need of their customers – with the right message, on the right device, at the right time. According to a report by Marketo, 51% of the world’s top global marketers expect IoT to revolutionize the marketing landscape by 2020. IoT enables Social Media marketers to get access to previously unobtainable data regarding the ways consumers interact with their devices and products and get a better insight into their buying journey. It also facilitates real-time interactions, POS notifications and enables more targeted and fully contextual ads.

With the power of IoT, marketers can not only provide solutions to a particular demographic and psychographic targets, but can also predict solution for the individual user of a product. For example, when the brakes of a car wear out, the nearest repair shop can send out a targeted campaign to the consumer and direct the car to its store. Another instance is when a coffee maker breaks down, and the consumer angrily tweets about the experience, being IoT enabled, instant reply to the consumer’s tweet can be sent out by the company explaining the issue and the company can also activate automated replacement for the coffee maker to address the consumer’s dissatisfaction. A soft drink vending machine, running low on inventory can communicate with an off-site inventory supplier, via the internet, to order more soft drinks. Another example is when a consumer walks in the vicinity of a retail store, the store can send out personalized campaign based on not only the consumer’s distance from the store, the weather condition, past purchase behavior from the store, but also based on purchases from competitors” stores, other purchases made by the consumer that day, upcoming events on that person’s Google calendar and the consumer’s fitness report from wearables.

Another field in which IoT and Social Media is converging is Social Access Management. Such technologies allow consumers to interact with physical IoT enabled devices using their social identity. Recently, one company introduced an IoT powered vending machine which could be accessed by tweets. Consumers used their Twitter account to get a product from this vending machine.

The age of the interruptive commercial can finally come to an end if marketers completely rely on IoT related data. In this new world, advertising can be beneficial and completely relevant to both the consumer and the brand. Customers will no longer be served advertisements that does not align 100 percent with their interests, behaviors, and past purchases. For example, when a light bulb’s timespan ends, the bulb company could not only entail the need for a replacement, but could also send out discount coupon to the homeowner on his smartphone for a new bulb. This super targeted advertising not only save time of consumers by enabling them to see only relevant ads, but also profits marketers as they no longer will waste thousands of dollars on irrelevant advertising.

Social Media companies are already looking at ways to connect people to IoT enabled devices. Some examples of how Social Media is working hand-in-hand with IoT devices are listed below

  • SaaS providers such as Visible and Radian6 are turning to Social Media monitoring to collect consumer data and deliver it to customers in real-time with the help of IoT-connected devices
  • Disney use IoT to power their RFID-based MagicBands, which is used to grant guests the access to their parks, pay for purchases without carrying wallets, reserve rides, etc. By collecting guest trends with the help of Social Media tools, Disney plans to streamline how future guests would interact with their immediate surroundings inside the theme park
  • TenCent, the makers of the mobile messaging app WeChat, is working with IoT cloud provider Ayla Networks to develop an operating system for smart interconnected devices, to enable consumers to control their surroundings only with the help of the WeChat app
  • Life360, the creator of a social messaging app, has forayed into IoT-enabled Social Media monitoring, by partnering with Nest to integrate its app with their security devices


Today, the IoT enabled Social Media advertising solution is in the initial stages of adoption. It brings forth many implementation hurdles chief among them is security of the connected devices and privacy of consumers. Privacy and security are paramount concern to consumers who would use these type of embedded device because of the large amount of personal data that will be available through these devices. It is essential for Policy Makers to work with IoT and Social Media solution providers to come up with proper guidelines and business ethics when dealing with consumer data in this new technology field.

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