Why did social media take over the world?

Author: Matt | Created: 10-01-2021


Before we knew it, even our grandparents have taken to social media to stay in touch with loved ones. The answer is clear, technology has provided a frictionless way to share experiences with your circle of friends. This is really just an extension of traditional marketing, a big extension, marketing supercharged! Social media has the ability to directly target your audience, whether they are young people with an interest in the outdoors or over 60s looking to their retirement.

Facebook was the most successful and one of the earliest social media platforms, so what was it that made them so successful? In the 00s it wasn't unusual for anyone over 40 to not know how to use online banking or have an email account. For most the internet was for the new generation, they had missed their chance, it was already moving too fast for them to catch up.

Any time we are confronted by an event that is inconsistent with our core beliefs, we will likely feel some level of stress. In fact, a long-used psychometric for measuring stress is the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. Most of the items on this scale represent a change in a person's life that is known to lead to some amount of stress. The interesting thing is that many of the items also represent "good" things like dating, marriage, or vacations. In other words, even good change is stressful. - Roger S. Gil

Of course it was not true but a common misconception when faced with the unknown. So Facebook had a hurdle they probably weren't even aware of, which was to convert the people that actively avoided the internet, computers and technology into users.

Starting in Universities Facebook connected students, these users readily adopted the new and were often the beta testers of new technology. Younger friends and family were quick to jump on board and become early adopters of facebook, which is where facebook shone, by advertising itself passively through its users existing social channels Facebook grew organically. A bi-product of this was as any parent will attest, there was a chance for relatives to glimpse into a loved-ones life in a non-intrusive way. By creating a product that changed the way people communicate, providing a new way for people to connect, facebook revolutionised communication.

Despite peoples antipathy towards tracking and data collection Social media's has continued to probe its users beyond the bounds of social media's domains. And though many actively opt out of being tracked, most are happy to give this data in return for the free service and often accept that targeted adverts are better than random ones. This data they hold now better regulated and protected through the threat of GDPR still offers great opportunity to marketers and business without the controversy. Today social media provides a direct line into peoples day, presenting products and services to people before they even knew they wanted them.

woman choosing a book

Universal adoption

The universal adoption of social media across all age ranges and its integration with always to hand mobile technology has developed an incomparably powerful platform for communicating, not just with people you already know but people you'd like to know.

Funnels are a term used to describe users movement through a purchasing process, from having a need or want to seeing a product, researching it, talking about it to purchasing it. All of these steps can be monitored and compared not just on the social media platform but within the products website up to when it is purchased and beyond. Through analytics marketers can narrow down a target audience and determine what products work, they can visualise a businesses market and audience and use this data to refine the service.

Once you've got your message to your target audience social media has the ability to analyse exactly who has seen it (impressions), interacted with it (clicks) and become a customer (conversion). With this information audiences can be refined, content can be tailored and costs can be cut.

Social media is the new way to advertise, cheaper, more direct and offering better insights, it’s hard for any business to argue against using it.