In an article by Metro.co.uk, author Tom Standage theorises that the social media revolution is nothing new;
“‘Whether you have any news or not, write something.’
It could be the mantra of the Twitter/Facebook generation, but this instruction was actually written 2,000 years ago. Long before Mark Zuckerberg, there was Marcus Tullius Cicero. Back in about 51 BC, this philosopher was changing the way people shared information.
His writings were passed around Rome from one person to another through a team of messengers. And as the above quote shows, like most Twitter users today, Cicero always wanted to know what was going on in the world.”
This idea is an interesting starting point to discuss social media and its place in society today.
Going beyond the invention and proliferation of the infamous “selfie” social media platforms are being utilised in numerous creative ways, from an indispensable tool for businesses to reach customers on an individual level, to saving lives with real time updates during natural disasters.
In terms of corporate adaptions, thanks to social media, small businesses taking on global giants by Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagraming or You Tubing their way to success. By using these platforms to promote their products or services, they are opening themselves up to audiences which may have been beyond their reach only 5 years ago.
For example: Two Brisbane designers Yiota Karalouka and Thessy Kouzoukas managed to resurrect their ailing business, ‘Sabo Skirt’ purely through the use of Instagram alone. They have attracted almost 900,000 Instagram fans and today have 12 staff working for them.
Furthermore, this means big businesses now have access to open lines of communication with the everyman, with social media platforms such as Twitter closing the gap. Today, CEOs and even politicians are often found Tweeting responses to customer/constituents in an effort to meet the expectations of a new age.
This week alone, while mainstream news outlets struggle to provide comprehensive coverage of the NSW bushfires, many stations have integrated information provided on social networking sites in their reports, while live updates on the NSW bushfires are streaming across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, providing real time information vital for residents in the danger areas, as well as family members away from their homes.
Here are the key facts you need to know:
- Every second two new members join LinkedIn
- 93% of marketers use Social Media for business
- 1 in 5 couples meet online
- If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world
- 50% of mobile traffic in the UK is for Facebook
- 45 million photos are uploaded to Instagram everyday
- 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
- 83% of Twitter users expect a same day response to customer service queries
And if you still need convincing as of 2013, Social media has overtaken porn as the number one activity on the internet.
To borrow a phrase: Welcome to the social media revolution.