SOCIAL MEDIA: KING OF THE JUNGLE
Social media really started gathering steam just a few years after we hit the last millennium. LinkedIn showed up in 2003, YouTube became a household name soon after its launch in 2005, and both Facebook and Twitter began to seriously emerge as platforms in 2006.
At first, platforms such as these were just another way to share your thoughts on James Blunt and Hannah Montana (as was appropriate for the time), but today? It’s one of the most powerful channels for marketing in the entire world.
Here’s why social media is literally the king of the marketing jungle - with no signs of stepping down soon.
One of the most enticing things about social media is it’s rapid evolution. It’s constantly adapting and changing, with social networks frequently adding new features and functionality to satisfy the masses. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are consistently trying to encourage the use of live video and visual content, whilst Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook are branching out into ‘temporary’ visual content in the form of ‘stories’.
Instagram is now such an ingrained part of our daily routine that it’s incredibly hard to believe it’s only been around since 2010.
So that’s the past and the present. But what about the future? Visual content has swamped our social channels this decade, but what’s to come in the next ten years? VR? AR? Something else entirely? Only time will tell.
We’ve reached a point where the vast majority of business have (rightly) realised just how valuable a social media presence is for their marketing strategy. As a result, the world of social media has quickly become heavily saturated by brands and businesses seeking to connect with their audience and get the leg-up on their competition. And let’s be honest; it can be tough to get the attention you want on social media.
The silver-lining here is creativity. When you’ve got fierce competition breathing down your neck, you’re inevitably forced to push the boundaries and reach new levels of ingenuity. After all, “pressure makes diamonds” - no?
So you’ve spotted a pretty great poster on the tube. There’s a picture of a loveable animal, they’ve used a pun, and you allow yourself to release a half-hearted chuckle. Can you ask the poster for more information? Can you make the poster appear on your friend’s tube journey? Can you press the poster and go directly to the right website? No, no you can’t.
Even if you intend to pursue whatever useful product or service the poster was advertising, by the time you’ve stepped off the tube, and elbowed your way out of the underground, you’ve completely forgotten what you were looking at, or why you were interested.
This right here, is why social media is such a valuable marketing channel. Your audience can chat directly to your brand and get the information they want - right when they want it. And this enablement can be the difference between a purchase and a non-purchase.
Every brand dreams of releasing some great content, and having it ‘go viral’. To go viral is to be appreciated, successful, and overwhelmingly popular. But what’s the key ingredient in the recipe for virality? You got it; social media.
Social media is the only place where a marketing campaign can go from 0 - 100 mph in a matter of minutes. Sharing a video online is so easy, and quick - and people will do it if you create something good enough (and you get a little bit lucky).
Never before have brands had the opportunity to get their content catapulted across the entire internet in a matter of hours, and without the existence of social media, it just wouldn’t be possible.
All bow down to the king
Social media is an undeniably exciting and innovative marketing channel, and it’s exciting to consider where it might take us in the future.
Whilst more traditional methods of marketing are not without their own merits, successfully utilising social media can open up so many opportunities when it comes to innovative ways of connecting with your customer base, promoting products and services, and establishing a strong brand.
What’s your opinion? Let me know in the comments below...