According to Statista, in 2021, 91.9 percent of U.S. marketers in companies largest than 100 employees were expected to use social media for marketing purposes.
Thinking of social media as anything less than the all encompassing, powerhouse that it is today is hard for most of us. In today’s world, social media is everywhere. It’s how we get our news. It’s how we find new recipes to cook. It’s how some of us make a living. Essentially, it’s how we stay connected. This, however, wasn’t always the case.
When thinking about the advertising world as a whole, social media has helped to transform it into a completely different space than it was 20 years ago. Before the emergence of social media, advertising was primarily done on television, radio, billboards, and in print. Fast forward to 2022, and the same can’t be said.
In 2005, only 5% of the US population was active on social media. Five percent. It’s hard to wrap your mind around a figure that is so alarming low considering we all know the power social media holds today. Since 2005, that figure has jumped up quite a bit. According to Pew Research Center, 72% of Americans were actively using a social media site as of 2021.
With 72% of the country’s population aimlessly scrolling, it made the decision to switch from more traditional advertising avenues to digital advertising that much easier. In the beginning, the use of social media for marketing purposes was simple: connect with your customers. Connection is the core of social media, and businesses wanted to take advantage of that. As the platforms evolved, so did the advertising strategies.
After making the shift from primarily traditional advertising to social media advertising, businesses were finding out a lot more about their customers and what they had to say. With traditional advertisements, it was rare for a business to get feedback, especially in real time. With social media, the consumer is never more than a click away. This fast-paced, instant gratification system changed the entire way that businesses were choosing to advertise to their customers.
Not only were brands getting used to having access to real-time feedback, but social media also gave them access to data…like a lot of data. Any social media manager knows just how many statistics are lying on the backend of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter…okay you get it. But seriously! There is a lot of data that social media platforms gather that other forms of advertising couldn’t provide in the past.
Social media was originally created as a way to connect with one another; however, the effects of it have been far more powerful than connection. Social media has completely shaped the future of marketing as a whole. Because of social media customers now have the rare opportunity to get to know the people behind the brand, which instills an unparalleled amount of trust amongst consumers. It has opened up two-way communication between brands and their audiences, rather than the direct business to consumer marketing of the past.
When you start something, whether it be big or small, you never truly know what impact it may have. In the beginning, social media didn’t look like it was going to be what it is today, but it has grown into one of the most powerful advertising tools on the planet. How will you use it?