Are you reading this after scrolling through your feed? Maybe you still need a few more minutes to see what your relatives or friends are up to, but no need to feel guilty about screen time. June 30th is World Social Media Day, a day to reflect on what a huge impact social media has had on us on a micro and macro level.
Social Media has defined our past decade and a half, giving us access to communication on a global scale and helping connect those near or far. Regardless of personal opinions on the impact of social media, it continues to be a staple in most people’s lives. Today we can think about how far it has come and how it continues to influence the digital landscape in ways that surprise us.
A Brief History of Social Media
While it certainly feels like it, social media hasn’t always been around. In fact, it wasn’t until the mid-2000’s we started to see a big boom in popularity. Let’s look into the development of social media as we know it today.
Early Social Media
Though not widely known, the first social media platform was created in 1997, known as Sixdegrees. In a landscape filled with forums that often pushed anonymity, this company gave users a way to list their family and friends along with personal information about themselves. The company was eventually shut down in 2001, but its legacy lives on even today!
Growing In Popularity
Then came Friendster, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Myspace, all of which grew successful. Myspace’s impact in the mid-2000s cannot be overstated, especially amongst teenagers. The success of Myspace shifted the online space for teenagers, creating what we might consider today some of the first social media “influencers”. Eventually, Facebook took Myspace’s coveted position of the most popular social media platform, where it remains to this day.
The Current State
Social media is everywhere and with it’s rise we see a completely different world. There’s a level of personal and impersonal, with the mix of people, opinions, companies, and digital marketing. To navigate online takes a lot of knowledge, but it’s necessary for most businesses and people in order to get the visibility they need. Social media can be extremely beneficial and also a great risk if done improperly or without careful consideration. Companies will often use social media management services in order to use the platforms with the help of experts.
The Importance of Social Media Management for a Company
As a business owner, it’s incredibly important to understand the role that social media plays in your industry. Social media can be a powerful tool to generate leads and grow your business, but it’s also very dependent on what industry you’re in.
Who is your prime demographic? What’s the general tone of your company? There are a lot of questions to be asked to make sure you’re portraying your company in a way that’s true to its values and also in a way that is marketable. If not managed correctly, it can also do more harm than good. That’s why it’s so important to have a solid social media management strategy in place. Let’s look at ways social media can improve a company’s online presence:
Increase Conversions & Generate Leads
There are a number of ways to use social media to generate leads and increase your conversions. For example, you can run ads targeting specific demographics or create engaging content that encourages people to opt-in to your email list. You can also use social media to build relationships with potential customers and partners. By developing a strong social media presence, you’ll be better positioned to generate leads and close deals.
Engagement is another important aspect of social media management. By engaging with your audience, you build relationships and create loyalty. When done right, it can lead to word-of-mouth marketing and organic growth.
There are a number of ways to increase engagement on social media. For example, you can run contests or giveaways, ask questions, or post user-generated content. You can also use social media to create valuable content that educates and informs your audience.
While sometimes companies can give their online presence a bit too much creative freedom and personal touch, it’s far easier to feel comfortable with a company if they seem like real people. Social media can give a company the opportunity to show its humanity and connect with its audience in a way that may be hard to do outside of that sphere.
Learn from Competitors
Having competition pushes innovation and improvement. One of the best ways to learn about social media management is to study your competition. Maybe they’re getting a lot of engagement on posts and you aren’t, why not take a look at how they’re using social media and see what’s working well for them? Then, take those lessons and perhaps apply them to your own business if it fits.
Increase Brand Awareness
Social media is also a great way to increase brand awareness. By creating valuable content and engaging with your audience, you can reach new people and introduce them to your business. You can also use social media to build relationships with influencers in your industry, who can reach a larger audience outside of your own and increase brand awareness!
How You Can Celebrate
Let’s celebrate! Using this day to stay aware of social media and also give credit to how it has allowed us as people to grow communities that may have been difficult otherwise.
Why not post a little? Try out platforms you haven’t used before, even if just to see what it’s like. Connect with your friends and family, or customers if you are a business owner, to show gratitude for the ability we have to connect so easily!
Research the Impact
Social media isn’t without its problems, as well as very obvious impacts it’s had in our society. Take a break from your scrolling on an app to make sure you’re staying informed. It’s important to stay aware of how it influences us and those around us, especially so that we can avoid some of the more negative aspects.
Honestly, sometimes we just need to go take a walk. Maybe use this day as a reminder that not everything is online. Connect with those you care about in person or go and interact with the world that’s around us. Not everything has to be for social media, and that’s an important point to keep in mind. Social media is so powerful because of our desire to connect and its reach, so use that same idea offline by connecting without the screen as a barrier.
So on this World Social Media Day, take a moment to think about how social media has impacted your business and yourself on a personal level. If you haven’t already, now is the time to develop a social media management strategy that will help you grow your business for years to come. Netgain can help with that, so connect with us today to learn more!