What is Social Media?
Social media has evolved into a network of endless branches. For example, social media has become a means of connecting with 7 billion people from all across the world, displaying your lifestyle for friends and family to see or keeping up to date with your favourite celebrity. With the popularity of social media, it’s hard not to wonder about the impact and effect it has on the world around us.
- Discover new ideas and trends.
- Connect with existing and new audiences in deeper ways
- Bring attention and traffic to your work.
- Build, craft and enhance your brand.”
Social Media as a Marketing Tool
Social media has quite clearly had a huge effect on the way advertising works. With such a fast and accessible way to reach the masses, marketing teams are working around the clock to find out where their public is clicking their cursors.
Twitter and Facebook have provided marketing teams with a very personal approach to selling a product. By using hashtags on the many forms of social networking, businesses can see exactly what customers are saying and what seems to be the popular opinion on a product or advertising campaign. Facebook pages not only inform a company of how many people ‘like’ them, but they also track how many people are talking about that particular page, which is market research ‘gold’.
Instagram is a completely visual platform where users post aesthetically pleasing content. In comparison to Facebook, which relies on both visuals and text to inform its audience, Instagram heavily relies on pictures to convey its message.
Tiktok has recently become popular amongst businesses as a marketing tool due to its rapid popularity during the pandemic. Tiktok is a short-form video platform, which relies on mainly video content to convey its message. It’s a successful form of marketing because of the personal touch it can bring to your business.
Social media has had a positive impact on marketing for celebrities/Influencers as it allows them to directly connect and engage with their fans.
Social networks such as Twitter are allowing celebrities to communicate with their fans; making the fans feel closer to the celebrities they admire. Replying to tweets, re-tweeting and even following fans makes them feel appreciated and, in turn, is more likely to help sales of a new album or film.
Whereas, Tiktok is allowing celebrities/influencers to show small snippets of their lives. This makes promotions and sponsorships easier to succeed due to a personal convey of message through words rather than text.
Social media is even helping to develop the way we watch TV. Just as businesses are using social networks to track just who is discussing their product or brand, TV channels and programmes are doing just the same. By monitoring what programmes are being discussed, marketing teams can figure out which shows need to pick up on ratings and which are already successful.
According to Sky’s research on how social media is changing the way we watch, 24% of people use social media for TV recommendations and it doesn’t stop there. Around 75% of people watching TV are simultaneously using their smartphone or tablet device, which most likely means they are also social networking, which in turn could influence what they watch.
However, social media has done much more which goes beyond advertising and television; social media has changed the way we connect and has become a part of our personal history.
Every Facebook account provides a collection of photos, conversations etc, which can tell you a lot about a person’s life. We no longer physically collect memories in old shoeboxes but wait for a recent upload. A programme aired on MTV called ‘Catfish’ showed how people are borrowing someone else’s identity for whatever purpose and exposing another person’s most personal feelings.
As each social network adds itself to the long list, we are losing that essence of intimacy within friendships. A younger generation is growing up only knowing how to text, Tweet, WhatsApp and so on; gone are the days when you had your best friend’s home phone number memorised by heart.
Social media has misguided a generation and will continue to do so. If Facebook were to suddenly crash, would you lose every photographic memory? Yes. Maybe just take an afternoon to print or even order a collection of your favourite pictures. Take time to ring that friend you only ever catch up with by text or e-mail. On average we are spending 13 hours a week on the Internet. Maybe take some of that time to go outside and enjoy the real world that’s out there; maybe take a picture that you could later Instagram.
Ironic isn’t it? At the end of the day, social media will continue to have an impact on our lives. ‘Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them’; it just so happens that that kind of greatness exists in the power we have gained as social media consumers.
By Content Manager – Astrid Hall – @AstridGiraffeSM
Editor’s Note: edited by Alishah June 28th 2022