When we look back to when social media websites started to gain steam in 2005 and 2006, and compare it to social media now, it has clearly taken on an entirely new identity. As a user, social media was a way for you to connect with old classmates, friends, and family. Now your personal or business’ social media page is the center of engagement with your consumers, prospects, clients, employers and partners. It has become your information hub and communication tool. Social media platforms are not just about the fun and silliness anymore as they move farther and farther away from playful adolescence. They are about the efficiency to target audiences of all sizes and all geographic locations, in real time with content. Social media sites get ideas to spread through its powerful viral and branding capabilities.
Facebook has evolved form being a college-based party website to a social network with over 1.1 billion users that is used to market to consumers and promote all sorts of brands products, and people. It acts as a marketing tool that allows businesses to target audiences using advertising, promotions, videos, and direct communication for virtually no price at all. Facebook’s network no longer solely consists of college students; it now consists of business professions, companies, and potential consumers of all ages.
Twitter originally acted as an outlet where you would post a brief update on the new boots that you just bought, or how you just dropped your toothbrush in the toilet. Now, Twitter is used to spread brand messages, attain free customer feedback on products and service, improve customer service in real time, and offer promotions. Users can share content, network, and stay up-to-date on current trends and events.
Twitter Business Success Stories (video)
YouTube was previously notorious for being a place to share videos of college parties, music videos, or adolescent girls singing in their rooms, however, it has transformed into a tool for marketing campaigns and an educational resource. Of course even Fortune 500 CEOs enjoy watching a dancing cat video from time to time, but YouTube has become so much more.
An infographic from Balihoo shows social media’s impact on marketing and strategic communications.
University of Minnesota