Social Media

Social media is a collective term which is used to describe all online communication channels. The communication channels encompass both the communication platforms and the tools which facilitate the communication. Through social media, it is possible to share photos, videos, audios, text and information. It has gained popularity among internet users. Generally, social media can be classified as forums, social networking sites, wikis, microblogging and social bookmarking.

Ideally, interacting with family, friends and business partners has been a major concern to human for decades.  The history of the modern social networking platforms can be traced back from the invention of computers and the subsequent development of the internet.

Social media can be analyzed in three different categories which include:

Social media before 1900      

People mostly depended on written correspondence with the most primitive postal service dating back to the 550 B.C. This was followed by another significant invention; telegraph was invented in 1792. This invention increased the distance over which people could share information. Other inventions included the invention of pneumatic posts in 1865; the invention of the telephone in 1890 and the invention of radio in 1891. These inventions improved how people could share information. They did increase interaction among people.

Social media in the 20th century

The invention of supercomputers in the 1940s enabled engineers to create even more sophisticated networks, which later led to the development of the internet. In 1960s, CompuServe was developed. It is one of the earliest form of internet. A primitive form of email was also developed. In 1979’s people begun communicating through virtual newsletter.

Home computers became more common in the 1980s and the social media became even more sophisticated. The very first recognizable social media site was developed in 1997. It was called the Six Degrees which enabled users to upload their profile and make friends with other users within the internet.

Social media in the 21st century

A number of social media platforms emerged during this period. Sites like MySpace, LinkedIn were among the most popular sites in the early 2000s. Others, such as Flicker, Photobucket, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Pinterest, Foursquare, Tumblr, etc. In fact, after the year 2000, social media sites begun to specialize in various networking niches.

Presently, a number of these sites can be interlinked together, which has accelerated how information spread from one site to the other. For example, LinkedIn can be linked to Twitter; and Twitter to Facebook. This implies that, when you posts an information on LinkedIn, it will be shared on Twitter and on Facebook. This has enabled people to reach a wider audience. It has really revolutionized how people interact and go about the online marketing business.

Benefits of social media

Social media has become an integral part of online marketing. Basically, social media is used to foster new business, promote brands and market products. A good social media marketer should be able to use social media analytics effectively to make realistic business decisions. Ideally, social media marketing (SMM) depends on social networking to reach out to a larger customer base. Its main goal is to create a worthwhile information which users will find valuable to share across all social media networks. An important aspect of SMM is the social media optimization (SMO).

SMO is not different from social media optimization; it is the process of drawing new and unique visitors to a website every day. SMO experts go about this process by adding various social media links to the content on their websites or by promoting their content on various social media sites.

Social media customer relationship marketing (CRM) is yet another important aspect of social media marketing. Most social media sites provide business owners with an option of creating a business page for their business. For instance, on Facebook, you can have assuming the business page is “xyz”. On Twitter, you can also create a page for your business say; assuming the business page is “postinglive”. This allows people to like your brand and engage effectively with the company. It creates an avenue for marketing, communication and networking. This also goes hand in hand with the enterprise social networking where companies can connect with other people who share a common business interest.

From the information which was released by Hubspot; it is evident that about 92% of online marketers indicated that social media plays an important role in marketing. On the other hand, the Social Media Examiner also indicated that over 97% of online markets have been focusing on social media to market the products. This is a clear indication of how online marketers value the social media networks.

It is evident that social media can guarantee business more revenue by:

Improving brand recognition and loyalty; social media acts as a brand’s voice. Through social media, you can easily access and reach out to a new audience. According to a report which was published by Texas Tech University, it highlighted that those brands which engage frequently on social media have a higher customer loyalty. The same sentiments were also echoed by a study which was conducted by the Convince & Convert which indicated that about 53% of Americans who follow a specific brand on social networks are loyal to those brands.

Unlimited business opportunities; essentially, every new content or information you put on social media is a new business opportunity. Building a good following will eventually help your business to access a new customer base. This will in the long run lead to more revenue. However, this does not imply the when customers interact with your brand then they will eventually go for it. It is only a positive interaction which guarantee more revenue. Social media has a higher conversion rate. Companies like Craigslist Posting Service utilize different methods of social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and more to stay in tune with their clients

Higher brand authority; in most cases, people complement or brag about a product on social media. When they post the brand name, new audience would wish to follow the updates about the product. Brands become more authoritative and valuable when people talk about the good side of the product on social media.

Other benefits of social media include an increased inbound traffic, decreased marketing costs, better SEO rankings, improved customer insight and richer customer experience amongst others