What is Social Media?
- Monday, 15 August 2016
- Jeanette du Toit
Social media are computer-mediated technologies that allow individuals, companies, NGOs, governments, and other organizations
- to view,
- create and
- share information, ideas, career interests,
- and other forms of expression.
“Social Media” is a red-hot buzz phrase in case you haven’t heard. Everyone is using it including women, men, and children of all ages. Most importantly, your customers are using Social media as well and they expect that your business is in the social loop too.
Social media can be described as information content that is created using new technologies with an aim to facilitate influence, communication, and interaction with the world; including friends, family, peers and customers.
In other words, social media is an advanced way that people can interact using the latest digital technology. Social media networking usually happens through mobile communications networks and the internet, which allow instant access to these platforms.
Social media does not stop at simply publishing information; the real goal is to get people involved. As a local business owner, you want to get reactions and comments from your audience on the information you publish – this is powerful for many reasons. You can look at it as “starting a conversation” on the internet as opposed to “delivering a speech” on the internet.
Social media is perceived as the glue that holds people together in an online community; not only with text, but also images, videos, and other types of online media.
Most people hear “Social Media” and immediately think of Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks of this caliber. These social platforms are the most popular, but this is not the final list by far.
There are a lot of different social media platforms online. Depending on your type of business, you should do some research to see which ones fits your type of business best.
However, using the top four social media sites would be a good start. Chances are, most of your target audience is already logging into these sites every single day.
Social Media Statistics
There are incredible opportunities for small businesses who utilize the power of social media. We will look at actual numbers just to show you how powerful it has become.
As you’ve probably noticed, social media constantly changes year after year. The good news is that people are embracing it and moving right along with it every time it changes. Even people who are 50+ in age are jumping into social media at staggering rates.
Social is important today, but even more so tomorrow. 90% of young adults—ages 18 to 29—use social media (compared to just 35% of those over age 65). Fully a third of millennials say social media is one of their preferred channels for communicating with businesses.
And those media consumption habits are unlikely to change over time, meaning that when the millennials start turning 40, their media usage will look much more like that of today’s millennials than of today’s 40-year-olds.
Therefore, as a small business owner, most of your customers and prospects are using it, so it’s time to reach them through this amazing marketing channel that is already made for you.
The following statistics will assist you in understanding why social media is important and how you can use it to the advantage of your business’ performance.
10 Statistics About Social Media
- 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites. (Pew Research)
- 70% of the U.S. population has at least one social networking profile. (Statistica)
- Of the 7.2 billion people on earth, 3 billion have Internet access; 2.1 billion are active on social media; and 1.7 billion use social networks from a mobile device. (Link Humans)
- The number of worldwide social media users is expected to reach 2.5 billion by 2018. (Statistica)
- The average social media user maintains five accounts. (Link Humans)
- Mothers with children under the age of five are the most active on social media. (Link Humans)
- 90% of young adults (ages 18 to 29) use social media. 35% of those over age 65 do. (Pew Research Center)
- Every minute, Reddit users cast more than 18,000 votes; Vine users play more than one million videos; and and Snapchat users share nearly 285,000 snaps. (DR4WARD)
- The “most important” social networks to teens and young adults (aged 12-24) are now Instagram (32%), Twitter (24%), Facebook (14%), Snapchat (13%) and Tumblr (4%). (Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends)
- But Snapchat isn’t the best place for marketers (at least not yet). “Philosophically, it is important that Snapchat is a platform built for people and not for brands,” Snapchat’s CEO, Evan Spiegel, has stated. (V3B Blog)