It is difficult to imagine the world without Facebook or Twitter; most people don’t even start their day without checking one or the other. Yet, social media has only been around a relatively short length of time. The full use of the medium, therefore, is still being discovered on a daily basis. This is true both for personal use and from a marketing point of view.
How did the social media revolution take place? Why has this medium become such an integral part of everyday life? Where will it take us next?
The Dawn of Time Social Media
The time before social media feels like a dark time or at least a much less well-connected one. As a society we survived well enough without a constant stream of our friend’s lunches, so what started the need for it in our lives? Social media can be traced back to one particular website – and no, surprisingly it’s not Facebook.
The consensus seems to be that the first social media site was called Six Degrees. It was so named, unsurprisingly, after the six degrees of separation theory. Users could create a profile and ‘friend’ other users, much like a certain and more familiar popular website! This platform moved the internet into the era of instant messaging and the dawn of blogging. From there, the world of social media as we know it started to develop.
The growth of social media is correlated to the growth of the internet. By the year 2000, more than one hundred million people had access to the internet and it became more and more common for people to contact with one another online. The stigma of chat rooms at the time was quite high. Making friends, dating and enjoying online discussions were seen as an odd hobby at best, and the sign of someone destined to dwell in their parent’s basement forever at worst. But the explosion of social media changed this forever.
MySpace became the first popular internet location to set up a profile and chat with friends. It was even the inspiration for websites such as Facebook, which is surprising considering the minuscule user base that it has today in comparison to the other social media giants. LinkedIn was also one of the first social media platforms to be created. It is in use much more today compared to MySpace; geared towards professionals it acts as a networking platform and this use has seen it stand the test of time.
Facebook and Twitter
In 2004, a university student by the name of Mark Zuckerberg launched a website that would set the bar for social media. Even twelve years later it is the giant of the social media world, currently catering to over a billion users. Shortly following this was the creation of Twitter in 2006. Twitter consists of short messages that are restricted to 140 characters meaning you have to consider your words carefully; this was done in order to emulate the popularity of texting. Today, Twitter has 310 million active users every month.
The popularity of these mediums has made it an extremely valuable marketing tool. Social media is, by nature, a fast moving enterprise and new information is required on a daily basis to keep up with this. The corporate objectives of the company must be translated into exciting social media content, things that will make their customers want to engage with their brand across social media platforms and therefore in real life. Social media is one of the easiest ways to reach a large audience at once, increasing brand awareness. Companies that fail to take advantage of a more interactive market inevitably fall behind in this modern social media world and as such it is an integral tool.
What does the future hold for the world of social media? How much further will it become integrated into the strategy of marketing? The future is never set in stone, so it is impossible to say anything definite. People may, after all, collectively decide social media is terrible and delete their accounts tomorrow. However, it is much more likely that it will continue to grow and expand. The technological advances that will accompany this expansion make social media and the marketing you can apply to it, an exciting and must-watch prospect.
If you would like help with putting the power of social media to good use in your marketing campaigns, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today on 0208 900 1191. Here at Liquid Bubble we are happy to help you in any way we can! You can also follow us on our own social media pages, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn to keep up to date with all of our latest news and updates!