Another seismic change in our lives has been the introduction of social media. This industry has progressed fast, and the early days of the likes of MySpace and the original iteration of Facebook seem like a bygone age already. Services such as Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, and others now give us an insight into the waking lives of others in real time, whether they’re friends with a few followers, or celebrities with millions.
Businesses have got in on the act too, and a savvy social media manager is considered essential in most companies, with their ability to make or break a brand’s reputation.
Social media’s course over the last few years has been somewhat bumpy, but as a society, or many societies, we’ve never seen global communication on such a scale. It has enabled the rise of social commentary and movements, such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, as well as leaving us vulnerable, with the likes of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal serving to manipulate voters and skew democracy.
America has also seen its first President to relay information primarily via Twitter – we’ll leave that up to you as to whether or not that’s a positive.
Social media can be fun, but studies have also shown that it can have a detrimental effect on our mental health. It’s so bad, in fact, that some governments are calling for social media companies to be more responsible – especially when it comes to younger users. A study in the UK found that 46% of young girls reported that social media had a negative impact on their self esteem, so there’s clearly a lot to fix.
Ultimately, social media is only as positive as the hands of the people it’s in – but it looks like it’s here to stay, whether you like it or not.
As a consumer, you can choose to opt out, but businesses yet to get in on the action will soon fall behind the competition. Digital marketing is a hugely important aspect of any company with an online presence, and an essential one to get right.