The history of social media
If you count telegraphs, social media dates back to the 1840s… but that’s a bit of a stretch! In actual fact, the first social platform that is similar to what we know today was called Classmates. Launched in 1995, Classmates helped users find past peers from kindergarten to university. From here we moved to Six Degrees, which was the first friends and affiliations based site. Then came the ill-fated MySpace, which looked set to dominate the space until a small upstart called Facebook came along. For a long period Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat became the ‘big 4’, dominating the space to the point that it felt like it would be impossible for any new social media site to get a foot in the door. Then TikTok arrived to shake up the game.
Social media today
The pandemic has shown just how important the online world has become. While life is slowly getting back to something approaching normal, there’s no doubt that social media will be a continuing force with brands focusing on building an engaged online community. Of course, with so many businesses now competing for consumers’ attention on social media, brands need to do more to stand out and capture attention. For example, instead of doing a standard post promoting Adriatic’s new look Nunawading showroom, we got a world champion drone pilot to fly around the store, creating a tour of the store with a difference.
Influencer marketing has also rapidly become one of the most successful marketing strategies for many brands. The sector grew to $13.8 billion in 2021 and there has been 465% increase in searches for the phrase “influencer marketing” since 2016 – that’s a lot of #ads! So much so, being an “Influencer” has begun to be seen as a legitimate form of income and job title. We have seen first hand how successful and cost-effective influencer marketing can be when done right. One recent example was when we utilised existing relationships with influencers as well as developing new ones in order to host an influencer night for our client The Jerk. This night helped create great brand awareness in the local area as well as capturing user generated content that we can repurpose on The Jerk’s socials.
The future of social
As mentioned earlier, TikTok has shown that not everything is set in stone in the social media space. While other challengers like Clubhouse failed to build on their initial popularity, TikTok has continued to grow – becoming the number one downloaded app in 2021 and the first quarter of 2022. Expect its popularity (and the importance of video content) to keep growing. Meanwhile, Meta will be hoping that the metaverse becomes the future of social. If you’re unsure of what exactly the metaverse is, this article can provide a handy overview. While it seems like just a buzzword now, 70% of influencers expect the metaverse will eventually replace social media. Whatever happens, you can be sure that where consumers go, brands will want to follow.
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