Beyond the Screen: Exploring the Real-World Advantages of Social Media
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Social media dominates the internet. You have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, and a wealth of other smaller platforms. Despite their issues, social media networks have a ton of advantages.
Social media has benefited businesses, individuals, and even society. In this post, we want to discuss social media advantages. We want to tell you how social media platforms have completely changed the world and, despite their negatives, are doing more good than bad.
Why Social Media Matters?
In 2004, nobody was using social media. However, by 2018, 2.5 billion people were using Facebook alone. In just 14 years, social media platforms had sprung up from nothing and dominated the internet, and they still do. It is likely that you barely know a person or business that isn’t taking advantage of social media in some way.
Individuals need social media to stay in touch with their friends and family. Most social media platforms are important for businesses to boost their brand, and these sites can even be a treasure trove of knowledge.
We have also seen a couple of bad news stories about social media over the years. Barely a day goes by when there isn’t at least one negative story about social media platforms. However, even with the negatives, social media has some major advantages; enough advantages that we don’t think social media will ever disappear.
Beyond Borders: 5 Ways Individuals Benefit in the Digital Age
The vast majority of people who use social media platforms are individuals. These are the people who are using social media platforms to talk to their friends and family or even track down businesses.
Let’s start by talking about the advantages of social media for individuals. After all, individuals are the lifeblood of any social media platform. If they don’t use social media, then businesses and society as a whole don’t benefit.
Access to Information
The internet is referred to as the “information superhighway.” When the internet was originally conceived, the idea was that information could be quickly shared and read. A person could ask a question in Spain, and get an almost instant response from someone in Korea. This would have been classified as science fiction just 50–60 years ago.
While social media is mostly about people staying in touch with friends and family, there is a great deal of information on every social media platform. People can access news, ask businesses questions, and get advice on all sorts of things. They can even seek out reviews for products or services they are considering using.
Social media has made it simple to access human knowledge. Carry out a search through Google, and chances are social media platforms will dominate the search results. Sure, not all the information is accurate (one of the disadvantages of social media is the prevalence of fake news), but do your due diligence, and the information you find on social media is better than most sources.
Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. provide ways for people to quickly find those that share similar interests. In some cases, this may be for information-sharing processes; in others, they may want that direct connection to find friends and, in the case of LinkedIn, to find jobs or find potential employees for jobs.
With social media, it is easier than ever to interact with like-minded people. All of us love to talk about our interests, hobbies, etc. Some of us even have information that we want to share about our interests. You don’t even have to talk about your hobbies. Some people will use social media platforms to build a professional network.
Connecting with Friends and Family
For many, connecting with friends and family is the main advantage of social media. In fact, 67% of people claim they use social media purely to keep in touch with those close to them.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, many people found it difficult to meet up with their family members. In fact, in some countries, it was impossible to do. Back then, social media allowed people to have quality family time without meeting up.
Even when we are not in the midst of a pandemic, people are using social media to chat with friends and family instantly. No need to give them a call or drop them a text message. If you want to reach out, you can send them an instant message, video call them, etc.
Sharing status updates on social media platforms is a fantastic way to keep people informed about what is going on in your day-to-day life, and to stay up-to-date with what your friends and family are doing. It was difficult to do this in the past unless you sent a letter. However, it’s fair to say that using a social media account is probably a bit easier.
Personal and Professional Growth
Social media is ripe with information that can help with personal and professional growth. Social media puts access to self-help books, podcasts, and like-minded people at your fingertips.
Social media is great for a conversation every so often, but we have found plenty of people have developed themselves due to social media. For example, some have sought out business ideas for students and became successful in the business world. Meanwhile, others have reached out to others to get advice or to get their hands on resources that can help them find better jobs.
We have even seen people get support for health conditions they may have. Social media could be fantastic for mental health. Sometimes, it is nice to talk to other people who are going through the same things that you are. It helps you grow as a person. You may even find everyday health routines that can benefit you.
Inspiration and Motivation
Social media can be a source of inspiration for people. When you join communities related to your interests, hobbies, health conditions, etc., there is plenty of inspirational and motivational content there.
It is fair to say that all of us go through lulls in our lives. It is full of ups and downs. Unfortunately, for some, there are more downs than ups. Inspirational posts and stories on social media can work wonders for your mental health. You will know that even when you are going through one of those lulls, there is a way out.
You may even have successes that you want to share. Social media allows you to reach a broader audience than your friends and family. You are much more likely to find people who are interested in your success, too. Again, this is fantastic for motivation. You can even use it to develop your personal brand if you are planning on going into business in the future. In fact, many social media “influencers” started by sharing information on social media platforms, and now they are big names.
Socialising Success: 5 Advantages of Social Media for Business Growth
92% of medium to large businesses in the United States use social media as part of their marketing efforts. Social media has allowed businesses to reach a large audience with far less effort than it would have taken just twenty years ago.
While it is impossible to know how many small businesses are using social media, it is estimated that around 250 million small businesses worldwide are connected to social media and using it to regularly engage in building their businesses.
If you run your own business, then you may find social media an important component of your marketing strategy.
Brand Awareness and Visibility
Marketing strategies always focus on developing a brand. Build up a recognisable brand, and marketing becomes so much easier. A good brand is memorable, and it will quickly convey a message. The problem is that developing brand loyalty, particularly for a small business, is expensive and tough, unless you use social media platforms.
Social media is great for increasing brand awareness. With a combination of paid advertising and followers on your social media accounts, you can quickly reach thousands of people in your target market, far more than a blog post on your website would.
Businesses regularly share quality information on social media because it shows the company understands the market they are in. When people buy products or services, they want to work with a visible company that has shown they have knowledge about what they sell.
Quality posts on social media get shared, increasing brand visibility even further. If you are a start-up, we recommend you read our guide on branding for start-ups to know just how important social media is.
The cost to advertise on TV is lower than ever, and while serious businesses should be taking advantage of TV advertising, social media advertising offers the best bang for your buck. Unlike traditional advertising methods, paid advertising services on social media give you the ability to show your ads only to your target audience. In some cases, you may only pay when viewers click the ad in your advertising campaign.
Social media is an amazing way to drive traffic to your business. A well-crafted advertising campaign can lead to social media marketing being one of the best paid advertising options. A well-planned campaign will only target internet users that are likely to buy your products or services, which leads to a low cost per conversion.
If you want to drive traffic from social media in the most effective way, then you need to produce eye-catching adverts. This is why many people use digital marketing agencies to produce adverts for them. In fact, using copywriting services for social media copywriting is more cost-effective than producing ads yourself. This is because digital marketers know how to target interested leads.
Customer Engagement and Support
This is one of the leading benefits of social media. Almost every social media marketing strategy will involve businesses directly engaging with their customers.
Many businesses, both large and small, will use their social media platforms as customer support platforms. Customers love how easy it is to gain access to a customer support team. It is much more personal, too. Customers are huge fans of being able to interact with businesses in the same way they would talk to their friends and family members.
Many businesses will even use social media to develop a community around their brand. If you head to sites like Twitter and Facebook, you will often see businesses sharing information that stimulates discussion with like-minded individuals. It isn’t just the big businesses that do it, either. Smaller businesses are encouraging customer interaction. They believe that by encouraging more interaction, a person’s life becomes more intertwined with that brand.
Social media marketing can give companies a competitive edge. If a business operates in a competitive market, it needs to do everything possible to give its company a better brand reputation than its competitors.
On social media, larger businesses will create their own, unique social media voice. It allows them to stand out from the crowd. Not only are they looking to build relationships with customers using this voice, but they are also looking to create information that can be shared. The more information is shared, the more eyes end up on a business. This is good for beating out the competition.
Companies that work hard on building up their social media platforms, particularly when it comes to customer support and sharing deals, will often have a competitive advantage. They get shared more, people talk about them more, and people trust them more.
Improved Search Engine Rankings
It doesn’t matter what type of business you run; the bulk of your customers will come through search engines. Search engines, including Google, have repeatedly said that a company with a good presence on social media is much more likely to be ranked above those sites without one. Remember, search engines are all about sharing trustworthy sites, and having a major presence on social media is trustworthy.
It isn’t just a case of having a presence on social media, though. A business needs to be constantly sharing valuable content on social media. When a company works to create organic content, it gets shared. When content is shared, a business is much more likely to gain organic visitors through search engines and social media platforms.
Creating something isn’t enough, the challenge is making your content shareable. For example, on Instagram, there are billions of quality images out there. Not all of them get shared, and thus they will have little impact on a business in the search engines. On Instagram, it is all about the captions, which is why many people will look into how to write good Instagram captions.
A Force for Good: 5 Ways Social Media Helps Society Create Positive Change
The news is always loaded with the negative aspects of social media. Surely you have constantly heard about fake news, false social media accounts sharing bad information, or the link between bad mental health and social media. However, we can assure you that while social media can have a negative impact on society, there are a lot more advantages.
Fostering Collaboration and Innovation
Social media’s global connectivity has made it easier to collaborate and innovate. Social media means that you do not have to be physically present to collaborate with people. It can all be done online. No other medium offers this sort of connectivity in this diverse world.
Social media can provide a direct connection between people with similar interests or complementary skill sets. We wouldn’t be surprised if many of the major businesses in the future were founded by people who originally started talking through social media.
We especially love the fact that social media has allowed people to collaborate, even when they are part of completely different cultures. It allows people to look at things from a different perspective, get a better understanding of the world, and identify new markets they may be interested in.
Enabling Civil Engagement
Nowadays, people are more interested in politics than ever and have started to become aware of the impact they can have on the world. We have seen major political movements born on social media. Greta Thunberg, for instance, wouldn’t have anywhere near the popularity she has if she didn’t use social media to spread her message.
When people feel like their views matter and can engage in debate in a sensible way, the world starts to change. A lot of this change will be positive for society. Social media has meant that politics is no longer dominated by old people who have made politics their life.
Encouraging Diversity and Inclusivity
In our expansive and multifaceted world, diversity is an intrinsic element that makes each corner truly unique. Only a few decades ago, the sheer extent of this diversity was relatively unknown to most, save for the most seasoned travellers. Today, however, the landscape of human understanding and cultural appreciation has shifted dramatically, with social media playing an instrumental role in connecting us to the rich tapestry of global cultures.
Countless studies have shown that exposure to diverse cultures enhances our capacity for acceptance and understanding. As social media continues to bridge the gap between communities, we can anticipate a more harmonious and interconnected world. No longer confined to cultural bubbles, individuals now have the opportunity to expand their horizons and develop a deeper understanding of the global landscape.
We are witnessing the early stages of this transformative process. Although there is still considerable progress to be made, it is inspiring to see social media’s role in fostering a more inclusive global community. By granting access to cultural narratives and perspectives that were once inaccessible, these platforms are enabling people to break down barriers and embrace the rich tapestry of human experiences.
Health and Wellness
Social media has been at the forefront of many health and wellness initiatives. Social media has allowed healthcare practitioners and more to reach people with important health information and advice. In fact, many major health initiatives, such as the children’s lunch campaign in the UK, have been successful because of social media.
Social media has given people access to information that can help improve their health. It has provided them with access to people who may be going through the same things they are. This is great for support and can help keep certain mental health conditions at bay.
There is always an indication that social media will help people become healthier, or provide tools and resources for dealing with any issues that they may have.
Promoting Social Causes
As we mentioned before, social media has been a great tool for bringing awareness to social causes. Some of these have turned into major political movements that are having a real impact on politics around the world, and this, hopefully, should have an impact on society as a whole.
Social media has allowed people who may otherwise feel they do not have a voice to share their ideas. Many of these ideas have gained traction and have been a real force for positive change in this world. Even as we type this, many small ideas are being shared on social media, and these will eventually have a big impact on your life.
Tips For Maximising the Benefits of Social Media
While there are plenty of advantages to social media, there are also a few disadvantages. While some of those disadvantages can be unavoidable, if you know how to use social media properly, you can really get the most out of it.
Here, we want to share a few tips for maximising the benefits of social media. Whether you are an individual, a business, or the leader of a campaign that could change society, these tips will help.
When you use social media, you should always have a clear goal for why you are using it. Businesses should know how their brand can be impacted through social media. They should have a clear reason to use it, e.g., they want to offer customer support, share quality information, or use paid advertising.
By setting clear goals, your time on social media can be much more productive. Individuals, for instance, may want to focus on interacting with their friends and family or building up a professional network. Other people may want to share photos of the adventures they have had. Businesses may wish to focus on interacting with customers, sharing special offers, etc.
When you go into social media with a clear intention in mind, it becomes much more useful. Individuals can have fun, and businesses can make more money or strengthen their brand.
Choose the Right Platform
There are lots of social media platforms out there, and more are appearing every single day. It is important that you choose the right platform for you. This applies to both businesses and individuals. For both groups, Facebook is essential. This is where most of the world’s social media users are, and this is where people expect you to be.
Beyond this, it is a case of weighing your interests. Instagram is a great place for sharing photos, Twitter is tremendous for being at the heart of major social media campaigns, and LinkedIn is reserved for business professionals. Niche-specific forums are best for those seeking and sharing knowledge.
While individuals probably won’t need to keep tabs on their social media performance, businesses will. They need to check whether their social media marketing campaign is working for them.
Any business that is using social media needs to check whether its campaign is giving them a return on investment. This is easy to measure if you are running ads, but things become a bit more difficult if you are sharing content or interacting with customers. Thankfully, there are tools that can measure engagement. In fact, most social media platforms will have engagement stats built into them.
The real-world advantages of social media extend far beyond simple communication and entertainment. These platforms have the power to connect individuals from diverse backgrounds, foster global understanding, and promote cultural inclusivity. By facilitating the exchange of ideas, experiences, and perspectives, social media is playing an essential role in the evolution of a more unified and empathetic world. As we continue to engage with these platforms, we must recognise and harness their potential to promote positive change, enrich our lives, and contribute to the betterment of our global community.
Frequently Asked Questions
Social media allows people to find like-minded individuals. This can lead to new job opportunities or a new understanding of how to approach things in their lives. Social media is a treasure trove of information that can have a positive impact on a person.
Social media allows even the smallest of companies to have a major presence. These platforms have allowed businesses to share information, increase the visibility of their brand, and provide better interaction with customers.
Social media encourages global collaboration and innovation and enables people to have a better understanding of cultures that are different from their own, which can result in a much more inclusive society.
Perhaps the best thing you can do is have a clear goal for why you are using social media. When you have a clear goal in mind, it is much less likely you will get wrapped up in the negativity, and you will gain more from social media interactions.