In the past couple of years, social media has really impacted our lives as individuals and businesses. Social media has taken over and has shifted the way we communicate with individuals, customers, employees, and competitors.
Let’s not forget how social media has changed the way we sell and promote ourselves as well as how we promote products, services, and businesses. Thanks to tech – advancements things like the internet and social media platforms have come to be.
Social media platforms have become part of how we live our lives and how we operate our businesses.
In this blog we will cover:
- How do people connect (Past & Present)
- What is social media?
- Why is social media important for your business?
- Popular social media platforms with statistics
1. How do people connect (Past/Present)
Let’s start with the past.
Before the internet was a thing, how did individuals connect with one another?
They used to call one another with a landline telephone, write letters, and send postcards. These methods could take days or weeks to get from the sender to receiver depending on where they stayed.
How did individuals and businesses get the word out to the masses in the quickest way possible?
Through the use of radio, newspapers, and information posts. Once again this too took some time and had limited reach. Only those with access to these types of communication points would benefit from it.
Fast forward to the beginning of the digital age. We then start working with the internet. Completely new, interesting, and complex to the world. Early stages of web communication include:
• Email (1970s)
• Chat Rooms (1980s)
• Instant Messaging (mid-1990s)
• Forums (mid-1990s)
• Guestbooks (late 1990s)
• Groups (1990s)
• b2 (also Blogger, Movable Type, Greymatter and other blogging clients – early 2000s)
• Tagboards (early 2000s)
• Interactive Whiteboards (mid-2000s)
• Q & A (developed versions from mid-2000s)
These were the early stages of communication on the web and paved the way for how social media users communicate today.
With the internet being a global tool and social media being facilitated by it. This allows you to connect with millions of users around the world, almost instantly!
2.What is social media
Social media is the term used for apps and internet platforms that connect people all around the world.
- Active social media users have now passed the 3.8 billion mark which is 9 percent (321 million new users) more than this time last year. (March 2021)
- An average person has an account on more than 9 different social media networks and spends a daily average of 2 hours and 16 minutes on social media.
- In terms of actual social media usage,91% of social media users are accessing social channels via mobile devices.
- Instagram stories are the rising star of social media. In just two years, Instagram stories increased from 150 million to 500 million daily active viewers.
- Facebook and Instagram have long dominated social media as the most popular platforms. However, in the past few years, several other niche social platforms have not only emerged but have rapidly risen to fame.
- TikTok is one such platform that started just 3 years back and has more than 680 million active monthly users.
3.Why is social media important for business?
With all the different technology that is available today. The majority of the world has access to the internet. More and more people spending so much time online and it’s still growing.
There are estimated to be 3.8 billion social media users around the world. With this being the case and so many users online with almost instant access to your business.
It is vital to use social media platforms to your advantage when growing and marketing your business and communicating with your customers.
Five reasons why social media marketing is important in business:
Cost-Effective – Social media is free and anyone can use it.
Engaging Customers – Your target audience is already spending time on these platforms. All you need to do is narrow them down, connect and engage with them.
Improves Brand Loyalty – If your business has a good and consistent social media presence, this will lead to more engagement and more sales. In time you will build and improve customer relations and build brand loyalty
Increases Traffic – Building your social media presence leads to more engagement and promotes brand loyalty. This means they will go to your website to buy your products or services. In a nutshell, more eyes and ears see and hear about your brand on social media and sparks interest, which leads to more traffic to your website.
Enhances SEO Rankings – It also enhances your SEO rankings. As if keywords and a well-updated blog aren’t already a plus for your SEO. When a business is good and consistent on social media, the algorithm notices that your business is meaningful, creditable, and valuable to online users.
In today’s world, it will be extremely difficult for a business to thrive without social media. So the sooner you start this low-cost method that connects you to your customers. The sooner you will see more customer engagement, traffic, improved SEO, better brand awareness, and loyalty.
Still, think your business can succeed without social media?
Digital Marketing Analyst at International Institute of Digital Marketing™. I am from South Africa. I am currently on a digital marketing journey. Looking forward to seeing where the digital space is going.
LinkedIn: Casey Jefferies