Social Media: Deep Changes in our Society

Billions of people use social media daily and the numbers keep growing. It is estimated that by 2018, about 2.44 billion people will be using social media platforms in comparison with the 970,000 in 2010. This shows social networks have entered and changed our societies permanently. In fact, almost everyone uses them for every aspect of their lives: personal relationships,  work/business, studies, entertainment, etc.

Besides, social media not only changed the way we communicate in our society, it also produced major changes in the way we do business and in the way we live. All these changes have been made at the speed of light.

Perhaps we should point out that not everything is positive. Addiction to social media is something we should not ignore. Social Networks are terribly addictive and good things are only beneficial as long as we don’t abuse them.

Nowadays most people can’t walk (or even sometimes drive) without devoting most of their attention to a social media feed displayed on a smartphone. This is partly because social networks exploit human nature and its need of communicating and sharing thoughts and opinions with others.

So let’s check some social media facts and trends that reveal the impact it’s had in our world.

Social media brings direct interaction

Social media platforms have created channels where people are allowed to share thoughts, opinions, impressions, feelings, images, documents and videos with family, friends and colleagues wherever they are.

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This social environment allows a person to engage his/her individual interests on a more global level. For instance, when a group of people plays a certain online game, they can interact and share ideas, strategies and tips to reach a common goal.

Besides, thanks to social media there is no need to drive or fly to meet a determined group to join a meeting/conversation. Thanks to certain applications (such as Skype, Blab or Periscope) people can connect from home with anyone wherever he/she is.

In a nutshell, hyper-connectivity is changing the world, going beyond borders. However, this environment is changing constantly so nobody knows where it is going and what kind of changes it will eventually produce.

Social media has become an essential element for business

Nowadays social networks are not considered “something optional.” In fact, if any company or brand wants to survive and make its own space in this highly competitive and demanding market, it needs  to have a presence on the different social platforms.

Also, companies/brands have to interact with their communities directly, so customers can ask questions and give suggestions and opinions about their products. But even more importantly, businesses should answer promptly to those inquiries, because failure to do so will result in customers losing interest or even ignoring them altogether.

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Social media platforms definitely have a bearing in the performance of a whole organization. So it is time for the industries that still resist accepting and including social media in their marketing strategies, to start thinking widely and implement them as soon as possible.

At the end, the companies that manage to adapt better to these major changes, will be one or two steps ahead of the rest.

Unstoppable innovation

What was effective just 5 years ago, may simply not work today.

Today’s social media environment and digital world have forced businesses to think differently about its marketing strategies and focus on the creation of relevant content and innovation.

The most recent trend, indicates that most companies will adopt a mobile environment, as the main way of doing business. In fact, there are more mobile-connected devices, than people living on earth.

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Due to allowing people to connect easily and get updated about the latest news, gossip, and trends, the actual tendency of a typical mobile user is to check his/her phone at least 150 times per day.

Another innovative aspect is the dominance of video content and precisely through actual mobile devices, it is possible to shoot video at any time, without needing special equipment or skills.

Some experts believe that 90% of Internet traffic will be video. This will mean that the amount of data to be stored will be four times what it is now.

As I mentioned before, if a company wants to survive all these changes and the upcoming ones, it is critical to adapt to them and to take advantage of whatever they have to offer. Innovation implies changes and those changes demand adaptation in order to be successful.

Social media is serving health care

The impact of social media has been so deep, that even the health industry is starting to use social platforms for activities such as health campaigns, organizing virtual doctor’s visits or just to stay in touch with patients that are suffering from the same condition.

Actually, social media is responsible for important changes in the whole health sector, because it makes the process of instantly sharing  important information easier, for large numbers of people.

Social media helps to respond effectively during disasters

There are many examples of how social media and digital platforms have expanded, to the point that they can also be helpful to respond in the case of disasters. Applications like Facebook’s Safety Check and CrisisMappers are clear examples of this new tendency.

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Additionally, more and more social network users have the tendency of using social platforms to contribute to disaster relief, no matter where they are.

Digital followers can login at once and receive updated news about a natural event or human-made disaster and then begin to spread information, helping the formal humanitarian aid in the area of the events.

Social media is changing the way to govern

Due to the arrival and expansion of social media, the engagement of the people has changed, allowing the expression of opinions, ideas, plans, suggestions and initiatives in a direct and easy way.

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Through this way of interaction, politicians and government officials are changing their previous habit of traveling to interact with citizens and they’re relying on social media to communicate with them.

The traditional way of communicating through gatekeepers of information has been altered permanently by the rise of digital technologies and the expansion of social media environments, changing into a direct  dialog between citizens and government.

Facebook facts

Today Facebook represents a perfect environment with a full set of opportunities and potential for your market strategies on social media. However, one of the biggest problems is the increasing difficulty to gain some space and recognition from the growing and demanding crowd.

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The following data shows some relevant facts about this major social network which can help you improve your return on investment (ROI) and achieve marketing success:

  • Facebook has over 1.65 million monthly active users (MAU) worldwide. So this market is just too big to ignore it.
  • Over 1.51 billion people are daily active users (DAU). With a vast number of active and regular users, representing a very promising audience for your marketing strategies.
  • Facebook’s “Like” and “Share” buttons are viewed in almost 10 million websites daily.
  • People between the age of 25 and 34 are Facebook’s most common users. This demographic shows the potential main target for your marketing strategies.
  • Facebook users are 76% female and 66% male. Despite the fact that this is not a big statistical difference, your marketing efforts should reach both genders.
  • Facebook’s highest traffic is on mid-week between 1 to 3 pm, and posting at 7 pm will receive more clicks. Consider these aspects to plan a schedule for social media to reach more consumers and generate more traffic.
  • Around 300 million photos are uploaded daily. This indicates your marketing strategies should focus on posting images to generate more engagement.
  • Every minute on Facebook, over 510 comments are posted and around 293,000 statuses are updated. This is another clear sign of the huge number of active users but there’s also a considerable volume of content trying to catch their attention. So posting relevant content should be a key element of your marketing strategy.
  • Facebook visits last an average of 20 minutes. This means that you have a short time period to attract attention and build a good impression. It is important to use time wisely by posting relevant and high-quality posts.
  • Over 50 million local business pages have been created on Facebook.

Twitter facts

The second major social network has a unique ability to attract new users due to its vertiginous nature. However, this aspect is also a double edged weapon, because if you don’t have the capacity to respond quickly, you’re done.

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Here are some interesting facts about Twitter:

  • Twitter registers over 320 million of MAUs. Maybe it’s not as amazing as Facebook, but that still represents a good quantity of potential customers to create a solid community around your brand.
  • It has around 1 billion unique monthly visits to websites with built-in tweets. This shows the importance of having a landing page or blog that publishes relevant, interesting and attractive content, featuring share buttons of course.
  • 80% of Twitter active users are using mobile. In fact, the general trend is that everyone will use mobile devices to access the Internet, so don’t stay behind and start developing your website and content for those mobile platforms.
  • 6000 tweets are sent every second, representing a total of 5 million tweets per day. As I mentioned above, Twitter has a vertiginous nature, so as tweets literally fly and die fast, you have to develop a marketing strategy that allows your brand to stay consistently on the top.
  • Clients will punish brands or companies that fail to answer their demands quickly. According to a specialized study around 53% of customers expect a brand to respond to their tweets in less than an hour. This clearly signals the importance of not ignoring your follower’s demands or opinions and always being diligent responding to them.
  • When companies do not answer quickly, 38% of users will feel more negative towards the brand while a 60% will be willing to take unfriendly  actions to express their discontent.
  • The upshot is that brands that seize the opportunity to respond to customer demands can receive great benefits with serious results. Let’s check them out:

o 34% of customers will be willing to buy more from that brand

o 43% will be likely to influence friends and family to acquire a            certain product

o 38% will become more receptive to the advertisements

o 42% will be inclined to recommend the company to their contacts    on social networks.

Pinterest facts

This visual oriented social network continues to gain some space in the competitive market of social media to engage more users. This platform has demonstrated how the power of visual elements can influence people in a powerful and attractive way.

Although at the beginning it was considered a female-centric platform, in time, more and more companies and entrepreneurs from different areas decided to venture into this visually oriented environment, producing positive results with a very low cost.

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Let’s check some of its interesting facts:

  • Pinterest has over 100 million active users. Even though that is a small fraction of the number of users  Twitter or Facebook have, you can use this as an advantage to start gaining some ground in an environment that doesn’t have the same level of competition.
  • Over 85% of Pinterest users are female. Start creating content oriented to attract their attention.
  • About 75% of its traffic comes from mobile platforms. Remember, mobile devices are the actual trend to access and navigate on the net, so it is time to include them in your marketing plans.
  • The lifetime of a pin is about 3 months. In plain words; it takes 3 months to receive 50% of its engagement. You need to be patient and consistent to start receiving some benefits.
  • The most pinned categories are food & drinks, manual crafts, home decorations and fashion trends. If your brand belongs to any these areas then have no doubts about creating a profile for your company because you can really take advantage of this platform.

Instagram facts

Instagram cannot be considered as a simple photo sharing app to just show served food and landscapes. In fact, Instagram has passed Twitter in number of user accounts, becoming the new second major social network.

Now making a team with Facebook, Instagram has become a very attractive environment for businesses which have marketing strategies focused on using visual elements with relevant content to catch potential customers.

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Let’s highlight some relevant facts about Instagram:

  • Instagram has around 420 million users. It’s an excellent environment to start building your brand name in the market. Even nowadays, the major presence of companies is located on Facebook and Twitter. That is a precious opportunity to begin building your  community on Instagram.
  • Its users share over 70 million photos daily. Thus, share attractive and high-quality images with relevant content to generate engagement from users.
  • It is recognized as the most important social network among American teenagers, 32% use Instagram; in comparison 24% use Twitter and 18% Facebook. This aspect is important to consider when developing your content marketing strategy.
  • Instagram has an engagement rate of 4.21%. This in business terms means that Instagram generates 58 times more engagement per customer than Facebook and 120 times more engagement than Twitter. The numbers speak for themselves; create an Instagram account for your brand as soon as possible.

YouTube facts

Even nowadays, some people still don’t consider YouTube a social network, but if you look closely it’s one of the biggest social networks in existence.

Learning how to use its features properly in order to obtain the desired results is crucial. Remember that each social network has its own features, characteristics and downsides too.

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The success or failure of a company depends directly on how its strategies can adapt to the environment where it wants to thrive.

Here are some YouTube facts worth to be mentioned:

  • YouTube has around one billion users.
  • Its users watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube everyday, generating billions of views.
  • Over 80% of YouTube’s views are from countries different than the U.S.
  • More than half of its users are viewing videos through mobile devices.
  • An average viewing session (on mobile) is more than 40 minutes.

To conclude

There is no doubt that social media is changing constantly, and now it seems that its expansion will produce the complete adoption of mobile platforms.

It is very important to establish what kind of social media is more convenient for your company to use. To help you decide, here are some final aspects to consider:

  1. ) Measure in-depth how important a certain social platform will be in reaching your objectives and providing a positive return on investment (ROI).
  2. ) Expand your horizons: there are several social networks that can be a good place to begin instead of major platforms where the competition is tougher.

No matter what kind of social platform you are going to use, focus on creating relevant content that is shareable, to generate engagement in social media.

Founder of Systrix, and the mastermind the development of PerfQ time tracker software, Blogger expert SEO, SEM, digital marketing, growth hacking and leadership with a psychedelic twist.

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Karim Dahmani
Karim Dahmani
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