There are many advantages of social media. Considering this is a relatively new medium for communication social media has changed the core of the way people share information with acquaintances. There are those who build strong relationships through social media with people they know in real life, but many of the people connected on social media are just acquaintances. Through the use of social networking sites, individuals who are acquaintances today may be best friends tomorrow and is one of the pros of social networking. This is the main advantage of social media as it allows people to find and network with other like-minded people. All the major social networking platforms have some basic abilities, and those are what dictate the advantage of social media between sites. There are just some social media platforms better for certain types of communication. The University of Minnesota put together an excellent study on the effectiveness of social media as a communication tool,
For example, take Facebook. Facebook started in a Harvard dorm room but quickly took the world by storm. At one time it was mainly targeted towards college-aged students, but that has changed over time. Now Facebook is used by adults to keep in touch with family and old friends. With its features such as the ability to set your hometown, high school, college, place of work, etc.. Its become the primary location to keep in touch or get back in touch with old friends whom you may not have seen for many years. While Facebook does allow you to set places of work, it’s more of a leisure platform than professional networking.
Social Media platforms continue to add new features and more ways to entice you to spend more time on their platform. For example as part of the response to the Covid-19 virus pandemic many companies and educational institutions rushed to get on line. As a result Facebook developed their new create a room feature so people could keep in touch better and in a more personal manner. This proved to be a benefit of social networking.
Professional Social Media
For professional networking on social media, then LinkedIn has become the clear leader. Many people use it to the advantage when searching for a new job or location B2B opportunities its core design provides. The point is depending on the social networking site in question there may be more or fewer advantages of the social media platform. Your intended use is what decides the benefits you receive. It’s important for you to have a positive image if you are using social media for your professional life. Since most take a lot of pictures with their phone, you need to learn how to make those iPhone pictures pop. Phone Photography Tricks is a good place to start.
Benefits of Social Media for Business
The ability of businesses to laser target potential customers has proven to be a major benefit of social media to small mom and pop businesses. Since the business can create a persona of their ideal customer, then advertising on social media allows them to only spend money showing their advertisements to people who may actually make a purchase and are interested.
The importance of social media for business was recently shown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many business where faced with closing their doors completely or moving their business online. Many businesses moved online. For evidence take a look at the 2nd quarter 2020 for cloud companies as Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. These cloud companies all showed increased revenue. The same is true of the advertisers such as Google, Facebook, Twitter. They all had higher then expected earnings.
Businesses have been able to quickly spin up ready made cloud resources and move or expand their business online. Then they where able to target focus their target customer persona’s and put their message in front of likely buyers. This is one of the major benefits of social media in marketing.
Social Media marketing allows you to spend your advertising budget where it makes the most sense. You can set budgets for multiple ads versions and once you figure out which one converts best, move your budget over to what is resulting in the most sales.
You may think that social media marketing would leave out a lot of potential customers, but according to Sprout Social older people are one of the fastest-growing demographics on the Facebook platform.
Source: Sprout Social
This allows businesses of all types to find their exact customer. Another benefit of social media for companies is that they can build a loyal following base of previous customers. Although Facebook will not show all your announcements to your follower list, they will show some, and as long as you work to keep your post engagement up, then you can reach a portion of your previous customers. There is a small business not far from my house, who ran a promotion offering 10% off to everyone who liked them on social media while in the store. This allowed them to capture a Facebook market share and by advertising their goods through Facebook to friends of friends as well as sharing coupons for only people who followed them on social. This small business was able to improve its repeat customer percentages by 300% in just a few months. This action taken before the pandemic is one thing the owner says has kept him in business during the epidemic.
The types of social media platforms determine whether it’s better to build relationships or business. While Facebook does allow you to build relationships, the kind of relationship you may be interested in pursuing. This will determine your usage of social media, as well as the type of social media that meets your unique needs.
Acording to Dataportal’s July 2020 report more than half the world uses social media.
So its apparent from these numbers and the growth over the past 6 months, social is definitely here to stay. Whether social media proves to be a negative or positive for students remains to be seen.
While Facebook is growing seniors, Instagram is exactly the opposite. The 18-34 year olds still dominate the Instagram social media platform.
So if your business primarily has older patrons, then Instagram is not the place to spend your advertising budget. All businesses should check out the individual demographics of any platform they are thinking about advertising with and ensure it makes sense for their business model and industry.
5 Advantages of Social Media
Worldwide Connectivity – Social Media has made the prospect of global connectivity just a mouse click away. You can quickly search for people with a wide variety of interests. This provides a personal benefit to the individual. Some of the ways you may use this ease of access to your advantage are to:
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If you can imagine it, then there is likely a community on one of the social media sites that you can join and take advantage of their offerings. If you have some weird hobby like underwater basket weaving, and you cannot find a group, then just create your own and invite your other basket weaving friends. This is probably one of the greatest advantages of social media in that it allows everyone to find their tribe. This makes it ideal for bringing together like-minded students in social media groups. There is a level of promotion necessary to be effective.
Shared interests– When you find your tribe you can retrieve another benefit of social networking sites, and that is finding people with common interests. The search functions on these websites allow you to scan people’s profiles quickly and find individuals with similar likes and dislikes to yourself. Then you can reach out and start building a relationship with these people. It can be the form of joining a tiny house group if you want to learn how to create small homes or perhaps you are a gypsy at heart and want to roam the wide-open spaces in your tie-die van. Regardless of the topic social media makes the world smaller and allows you to learn from others with similar interests.
Real-Time Notifications– It’s common for people from the same geographical area to connect to one another on social networks. This allows for the almost real-time sharing of information about the area. From missing child abductions to watch out for this terrible storm headed your way. This allows communities to communicate in ways that were never possible before the advent of social media. This has proved to be one of the main benefits of social media platforms.
Making Money – Companies are in the business to make money, and social media is useful for those purposes. Because, at its core, social media brings people together with similar interests, then the platforms also make an excellent location for targeted marketing by local businesses. Since you have a group of individuals with similar interests, and you have a product that may help them solve a problem or something they need or want, then you can create a good return on investment by spending some targeted advertising dollars towards various demographics of social media users. The benefit to the business of social media has been essential when the world experienced a pandemic and many businesses had to quickly move operations online. This has proved to be a merit of social networking.
Entertainment -News feeds on social networking sites can be very entertaining. Whether it is watching one of your friend’s air dirty laundry( that should probably be kept private) to keeping up with the latest funny viral videos, you can find it on social media. These are just a few of the advantages of social media, and there is much more. The list of niche social media networks is on the rise, so if you cannot find your tribe today, it will likely be there tomorrow, or you can use the social media platforms to create your own. There are social networks that provide advantages to educators and a host of other niche groups. Of course, where there are advantages, there are also disadvantages of social media. Get our list of disadvantages.