Whether you love it or loathe it, no doubt you know what social media is. On Instagram alone, there are an estimated 1 billion active users, every month – in terms of size, that’s around about the same as the population of China! But it doesn’t stop there, according to recent studies, the average social media user spends around 136 minutes (that’s nearly 3 hours!) hooked on their devices.
So, what is it about social media that keeps us thirsty for more? Is it FOMO – Fear of Missing Out – or are we just obsessed with other people’s lives and getting the latest news? Whatever it is, we just can’t help ourselves.
But it’s not just people, social media now forms a vital part of any brand’s marketing strategy. With teams of people (like me) whose job it is to produce quality content which engages users and ultimately helps to improve brand awareness and drive sales. It’s practically unheard of for a brand to not have social media now, and if you don’t you’re missing out on a BIG marketing opportunity!
And trust me, there is a lot more to it than banging out a couple of social posts every now and then. You need to know your audience, where they are and what content engages them – and that’s just the start. Once up and running, you need to continue producing engaging content, taking into consideration the latest trends, features and social climate – it’s a demanding job – but someone’s got to do it, and I’m glad I get to be one of them. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your content perform well, trust me.
For some individuals, social media is far than just a bit of fun. Yep, social media influencers and bloggers make a living from their online content. Take Zoe Sugg aka Zoella she’s has a combined social following of a whopping 37 million, and she is worth a pretty penny too – estimated around £2.5 million! Or Mrs Hinch, who became an overnight Instagram sensation, thanks to her cleaning hacks – she has now released a book, appeared on This Morning and created the term ‘hinching’; which will no doubt be added to the Oxford dictionary soon.
This new-found career has come as a blessing to brands, who can partner with social media influencers and get their products seen by thousands of people, who perfectly fit into their target audience. Yes, this comes at an extra cost, with the likes of Zoella asking for around £12,000 a post (we know), but can deliver a huge influx in sales. If their following is extremely loyal it can also generate a huge amount of trust between your brand and their followers.
But is it just a craze? Well, seen as Facebook launched over 15 years and to this day continues to be one of the biggest social media platforms, we think not. We can only see the power of social media getting stronger, but as always, the social sphere is continuously evolving, so we can definitely see some new features presenting marketers with new opportunities (and potentially headaches!).
So, are we slaves to social media? Absolutely.
By Sophie Madgewick, Senior Marketing Executive