Social Media: Its Functional Use

Who remembers Myspace? I do! It was my first social media experience. And at the time (approximately 2006 to be exact), I had no idea what social media was. We were just within the first decade of the widely accessed internet, with little comprehension of where that would take us. 

Now, social media essentially IS communication. For not only personal reasons, but for businesses as well. The vast majority of people around the world have smart devices which can be accessed from their pockets. They contain just about anything you can think of – calling, instant messaging, GPS navigation, wallets, and access to all sorts of applications for almost endless ways of communicating and finding information. 

With this advancement of technology, people and company reach have needed to adapt. 

Social Media’s Importance

So, is social media important? Well, to put it simply, yes. It’s an integral and significant part of our society. It helps us to connect with family, friends, and even strangers. It aids us to visually learn about others, different cultures, world or local events and news, businesses – whether large or entrepreneurial, and so on. 

Of course, there are complications that come with the advancement of technology and social media. With virtually anyone being able to share information, it’s become difficult for us to know what’s real and what’s fake. And because of that, we need to do our part in executing more research before quickly sharing news stories, as easy as it is to click that button. 

Being knowledgeable and doing our research will help prevent the spread of misinformation, which is a not-so-great aspect of social media. Doing this will also help us to use it much more effectively and for its better purposes.

Businesses are able to use social media to build up their brand and audience awareness, loyalty, reachability, and ultimately, make sales. With the rise of social media, the audience’s attention has moved from traditional news, billboards, and commercials, to what’s on their phones. Because of this, companies have found it necessary to make their own social media accounts to stay visible to their customers. In this case, social media is important for businesses to make business. 

Taking advantage of social media campaigns for successful product experiences

Coors light has used a few campaigns since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. One, where they gave out free beer to anyone on Twitter who used the #CouldUseABeer hashtag. And a second one, shortly afterwards, where they made a Clone Machine for those working in Zoom conference meetings. 



Clone Machine

What’s engaging about these is that the company has found ways to deliver powerful movements which relate to people’s emotions about staying home and working virtually (for those who are able to). And thus, effectively increase their brand awareness, and sell more of their product to consumers. 

The company listened to their customers – an impactful interactive marketing technique – and collectively delivered beer to those who #CouldUseABeer. They also took action to continue marketing towards their audience members, still affected by the pandemic.

The future of social media

To be honest, I don’t really know where social media will be in the coming years – all I know is that it will continue to advance. However, social media has steadied out due to its maturing – meaning that the apps that have been developed have consistently secured their audience members, and thus secured their purpose with loyal communities. 

That’s not to say that apps won’t experience more change. With the constant growth of virtual experience, we will definitely continue to see advancement in all things technology. 

Here’s a list of what I think could progress within social media over the next five to ten years:

  • More virtual or augmented reality. 
  • Continued subscription options for those who don’t want to see ads crowding their feed. 
  • More audio and video capabilities.

There is one more feature I think could be utilized in the future. Switching gears back to Myspace here – I wouldn’t be surprised if other social media apps took advantage of some of the perks of the early to mid 2000’s media hit. With our attention spans continuing to decline, what better way to tell users who we are than with a favorite song and decorated home page? 

Using social media in a functional aspect is important. Yes, that means to also be ethical and do research beyond the posts that receive so many shares – finding a credible source. That said, social media is great for building virtual communities, connecting with others, and for businesses to reach their audience (and vice versa). And to put it lightly, social media is not going anywhere – it will evolve to some degree – but it is here to stay.

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