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Why social media rules the World
Janine Do Cabo | Business Growth Strategist | Johannesburg
Whom would you say rules the world?
Beyoncé would argue that GIRLS run the World, something I’m positive feminists would agree. A good number of people would suggest that the leader of the “Free World,” Donald Trump does. It’s a necessary question to ask in the power-hungry existence we find ourselves a part of, and although at face value queen Bey the beloved songstress from the famous all-girl band Destiny’s Child and Trump, a self-made millionaire who became the president of America, appear to have nothing in common; there is a commonality between them. The thread that binds them together is not that they are equally as influential on a global scale. Nor is it the fact that they have a tremendous amount of wealth, but rather that they maintain and grow their fame using social media. Among them are many others, from the Royals at Buckingham Palace to once normal people who rose to fame from a song they sang or dance they did that went viral. All of whom have enjoyed the benefits of instant information so readily available at the world’s fingertips – social media has been proven time and time again to be the trusted mode of getting a message across quickly and impactful. In the following article, we will delve into why I believe social media rules the world.
Search the name of your favourite social media influencer and you will get lost in the beautifully chiselled physiques and near-perfect lives portrayed on their account. Accounts where photos are carefully selected to only display the high life, super exciting hobbies, and visits to exotic destinations. Social media fulfils the need of communicating instantly; a need that arose as a result of a desire for people to instantly share and receive messages from as far back as when we learned to read and write. Having evolved from the telegram to radio and finally the telephone; every progression has led us to where we are now. Whether good or bad, dignified or ratchet, what most people are not aware of, is that communication is far more than the DM (direct message) on your IG or FB, but rather; it’s everything you post or publish, as each post sends out a story to the outside world, influencing how their view of you is shaped. Every caption, every picture, and every hashtag communicates what your personal or business brand stands for. In other words, whether you intended to or not, your post is speaking on your behalf. With this in mind, it makes social media very pivotal in developing your brand. But what is a brand and when did this become so important?
A brand is a name or symbol that is used in business or advertising for recognition or to distinguish it from other brands. If brand awareness is done properly, by the brand’s colours and design, one should be able to easily pick up what that seller sells or what the company does or stands for; something very similar to the way cattle were branded in farming to establish where they came from. A giant in branding is Coca Cola with its Loki-cola font and red label, people around the world who speak different languages are able to identify the famous, fizzy, black, sugary drink. With its aim at allowing its customers to “enjoy a coke” their messages globally are around sharing a coke amongst family and friends, making a coke more than a drink but rather – an experience. Developing brand identity, tone and design are crucial elements in business. But, with everything and everyone being online, having a brand with an online presence is (or should be) the goal of every business. Today, building a brand as strong as Coca Cola doesn’t need to be as long of a process as it was before the advent of social media. In the same way that social media has got the message across of celebrities, it’s been used to do the same for businesses. So, it’s safe to say that, social media is quite a big deal.
The world population is around 7.7 billion, with an estimate of around 3.5 billion being online – that’s just under half! To bring it closer to home, that’s 1 in every third person. Leading the pack is Facebook with a whopping 2.4 billion users with YouTube and WhatsApp with over a billion each. If one needed to get a message across quickly and globally, using any of these platforms would be more than ideal. It all started with Myspace in the 2000s and, social media platforms have competed for the attention of the majority of the world’s population ever since. Only Facebook has dominated for the past decade improving its interface, usability, algorithms while providing for businesses to advertise effectively on its platform. Bringing us to the next point, algorithms, what they are and how social media uses them to improve business and user experience.
In computer programming, an algorithm is a set of computer-implementable instructions or problem-solving operations. In layman’s terms, it’s an algorithm that extracts the data of your usual search results to bring to the top posts what would interest you while ignoring the ones that may not; because let’s face it, not everything on social media is going to be of interest to you and conversely, the products you sell may not interest everyone. Algorithms bring your customers to your doorstep. The obvious advantage to this is that brand awareness becomes easier for businesses and all one needs to do, is position yourself in such a way that they can be found.
In conclusion, social media facts speak for itself. A quick look at how the generation born after the year 2000 responds to social media and how social media conscious they are shows how it does indeed rule or run the world. Where the world once was a big, daunting far-to-reach place, social media has made it a lot smaller allowing someone from anywhere the opportunity to sell to anyone in the world. When used for businesses and profit it is a powerful game changer that businesses MUST utilise to tap into a market they may not have previously tapped. Being the catalyst to global influence makes social media, RULE THE WORLD!
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