Social media connects people from various industries
Projected to reach 2.5 billion users in 2018, social media has dramatically changed people’s social behavior and means of communication. The thirst for information goes beyond just reading books and newspapers—engaging through various social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter is now part of it. Business2Community revealed that nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population admitted having at least one social networking profile.
Social media has become a platform for targeting specific audiences because of the varying levels of usage and demographics it captures. Statistics from We Are Social demonstrate how in a global population of 7.9 billion, almost a quarter or around 2.307 billion are active social media users. Usage includes purchasing, news consumption, public health communication and understanding political issues.
Portal for news and political discussion
Since the inception of social media, news consumption has shifted from traditional long-form reporting to curated news content which is shorter but more succinct. A Journalism article says that social media has become a key source for sharing short-form content where more people are turning to Facebook and Twitter to get the latest news and information on current events. The Knight Foundation, in collaboration with global information and measurement company Nielsen, commissioned a survey and found out that mobile news users who are active on social media, also engage in social actions offline.
This shows that social media has not only been a key source of information but also drove some of the world’s major protests. In 2011, Mashable Asia recounted how social media catalyzed some of the biggest movements—Occupy Wall Street and Arab Spring. As more people become connected, more online mobilization empowers people and drive them to act on what they deem is right.
Platform for healthcare awareness
Political mobilization is not the only area where social media engagement is beneficial. Public health organizations and medical practitioners use these platforms for effective information dissemination and awareness campaigns. A journal published in the Public Health Reviews discussed that social media help facilitate engagement and collaboration among various health practitioners. About three years ago, almost half of US adults used the internet to search for health information. Thirty-five percent of these adults admittedly went online to understand a specific health condition.
According to a separate journal published in the University of Scranton, the health sector’s main attraction to social media is its capacity to an effective tool for interaction and participation on various health issues that otherwise are only accessible by personally consulting healthcare professionals. Organizations and communities use Facebook, Twitter and the like to facilitate interaction by responding to comments, reacting on various health topics and even creating opportunities for further information to be disseminated.
Improving business and producing new trends
In the business side of things, social media clearly posed a strong influence among consumers. In fact, according to Proskauer Rose LLP’s Social Media in the Workplace: Around the World 3.0, about 90 percent of companies use social media for business purposes. Eighty-four percent of marketers believe that engaging existing customers on social media is more common than having to look for new potential consumers.
With social media intricately weaved into our everyday lives, conducting business has been easier. For instance, social media platforms have improved communication which made it easier to conduct businesses. In fact, Social Media Examiner reports that 92 percent of marketers believe that social media is important to their business as it increased their exposure, delivered valuable marketing insights and developed loyal customers.
Indeed, the onset of social media and internet access has become more of a lifestyle rather than a trend.
“Well, let’s face it: the two mega trends of our era are mobile communications and the internet, and those two things are feeding each other and causing additional growth as a consequence of that,” said Gil Amelio in a Fox Business interview. Amelio is the current chairman of tech leader 5BARz International and the former CEO of Apple.
New form of media and entertainment
The entertainment industry, which is considered a multi-billion dollar one, traditionally consists of motion pictures, music, television, and gaming. However, in this modern age, social media has rapidly evolved in content and feature that it has become a form of entertainment itself while encompassing the other kinds as well.
A survey commissioned by The Hollywood Reporter and conducted by market research firm, Penn Schoen Berland, aimed at discovering the impact of social media in the entertainment industry. The study revealed that in 750 social network users, nine out 10 people regarded social media as a form of entertainment. In fact, 88 percent of these people treated Facebook and Twitter as a means of entertainment where they searched posts about their favorite TV shows, watched live programs, even posted to social media about an interview on a recent TV episode or movie they have watched.
“Social media is the connective tissue that enables consumers to multitask during their entertainment experiences by connecting with others and sharing their opinions,” said pollster Jon Penn regarding the research findings.
However, times continue to change people’s behavior like social media use and entertainment. In 2015, the Guardian reported on a study conducted by the Internet Advertising Bureau which revealed that social media has overtaken entertainment UK’s favorite online activity. Figures from the study showed that social media use accounted for 17 percent of users’ time online, while time spent on online entertainment such as YouTube, decreased by almost half, from 22 percent to 12 percent.