Three Ways Social Media Has Evolved

Last Updated on January 3rd, 2019 at 10:40 am

social media has evolved

In this article, We examine how social media has evolved over the last decade, how user behavior has changed with it and the opportunities for brands online to attract audiences online.

Over the past 5 years, social media’s coming of age has seen lots of shifts which are becoming the new norms. In a relatively short timeframe, social media has evolved from pure social networks the place people keep up with their friends, someplace to carry out a myriad of behaviors that aren’t so social. As a result, there have been some changes in how and why individuals are utilizing social media.

Social time has now overtaken TV
Every year we’re seeing more and more time being spent on social media. It’s increased a lot that it’s overtaken TV, with the average internet user spending about 15 minutes longer each day on social platforms than watching TV, based on GlobalWebIndex data. In fact, a higher proportion is utilizing Facebook day by day (50%) than are watching TV (39%), with an even larger gap seen among Millennials (54% vs. 33%). Crucially, which means TV and traditional media no longer provide the widest or most efficient reach.

Personal sharing has dipped
Back in 2014, “sharing opinions” was a top motivation for utilizing media. Fast forward to 2017 and this motivation is much additional down the listing. Now just 30% say it is a key reason why they use social media, compared with about 40% three years ago. Similarly, there’s been a fall in the percentages utilizing social to share opinions and details of their daily lives.

Instead, entertaining and time-filling content material has grown to be more necessary than sharing. So while the proportion updating their statuses, tweeting and sharing images have dropped, the proportion watching videos and reading news stories have risen. In brief, there’s been a transition from sharing content material to consuming content material.

Social behaviors have to become more purpose-driven 
As networking behaviors have become less centered around sharing content material about daily lives, they’ve become more orientated around fulfilling purposeful actions which have historically laid outside the social arena. Through their social media accounts, customers can access a wide range of information and providers – whether that’s news updates, customer support agents, or details on a brand’s latest merchandise.

Passive networking doesn’t essentially translate into social disengagement, however. Since 2014, the percentage utilizing social media to analysis merchandise to purchase has risen, and Passive Networkers* are a lot more likely than average to be utilizing social media for more meaningful behaviors like product research, keeping up with news and watching sports content material.

This shift in social behaviors actually presents some chances for brands and marketers. With less content material creation, however, more content material consumption, brands can fill the gap. One example of this done effectively is the promotion of Netflix show Orange is the New Black. By hosting a Twitter occasion, making a hashtag for one of the characters, and giving shareable content material to followers through a custom app, the campaign earned over 98,000 social mentions in one week before the Season 2 premiere.

These changes pave new rules and methods of interaction between brands, media firms and customers alike. Though customers are becoming less ‘active’, brands can at least ensure that customers are scrolling through content and seeing their brand online. It’s vital for them to regulate to the changing landscape and consider the new, social media has evolved opportunities for interaction which have arisen.

*Passive Networkers are those who use social media to fill up spare time, as a result of their friends use them, or say they’ve logged into either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram in the last month without commenting on or posting something themselves.

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