What is social media?
Social Media is any form of social networking service that allows users to send/receive messages, pictures, videos, audios, documents and other files. These social sites can either be PC based or mobile based and have different functionalities.
A few years ago, one of the biggest social networking sites was born and no it’s not more than 15 years. Currently with over a billion users worldwide, Facebook is the leading social networking site and is a powerful tool in creating friendships, marketing & advertising, news and so much more. Users are able to share anything from videos, images, written posts etc. Other big social sites include Instagram, WhatsApp, Snap-chat, LinkedIn, Pinterest and many others
The Impact of Social Media
The Influence of social media lives within our minds since it’s the eyes that feed and our brains will interpret. One of the biggest manipulations and data scandals is the Cambridge analytica scandal where Facebook user data was used to influence elections in some countries including the US. There is not so much details to this but you can agree with me that even here in Africa, a political issue can easily be influenced with social media. Uganda is one the countries that have been affected since over 60% of the country’s population are the youth. The government has resorted to a social media tax on all OTT services i.e. Social Media.
Another big influence comes with brands and personalities that are trying to show a good image. Some of these include Musicians, Pastors, Celebrities and many others.
Social Media also brings about the ‘Need’ for you to have an influence among friendships and family circles. These sites have learnt the way our brains think and will always prompt us to share what we think. LinkedIn is also one of the biggest influential networks where professionals are excited to share milestones in their careers to the outside world.
Addictions haven’t been sighted only in drugs and alcohol but social media as well only that it creates a certain kind of imagination. In teenagers all over Africa and world-wide, social media impacts their way of life and thinking. The need to show a certain kind of impression to their friends and family gives them a bigger task of wanting to live a mystery life or a better life. Some users have become so famous on social media because of the funny things they share or say to entertain the others. A good example comes from Twitter with so many mysterious and famous people who are actually living a totally different life from the one which is online.
Advertising / Marketing
Companies, organizations or individuals have had the chance to advertise their products, brands or events using social media sites. An examples is YouTube – one of the biggest video platforms that has marketed musicians, brands and other individuals. It’s also easy for a new product to easily get on the market after a few ads on these social networking sites. Facebook on the other hand has millions of pages where companies have access to showcase their pages and give their audiences the right information. There are thousands of professionals out there who have earned most of their clients through social media and these include photographers, fashion designers, travel agents and many more.
The internet evolves each day and so does social media, with China being one the countries with the highest number of social sites. It’s now easy to do everything using your mobile phone from shopping, to online classes, TV, radio, and work. In Uganda today, these jobs have been created due to the presence of social media and they have created a huge impact;
- Brand Influencers/brand advocates; these help in pushing the brand when it’s rolling out a new product or trying to promote a certain event. The ROI is quite higher as the public listens to them more than the Brand pages.
- Digital Marketers; These have mastered the art of online marketing on different sites include search engines and the social networks. Digital marketing involves many things like paid search, display advertising, search engine optimization, social media marketing and so much more.
- Content Writers; These have helped come up with good content which is used on all social sites.
- And many others
LinkedIn is one of the biggest professional and job searching platforms and is used by many companies globally. Users will create accounts to show more about their professional skills, career goals, achievements and more.
In every society, competition is key to growth of any individual but with a bigger community like social media, the competition grows bigger. Facebook’s Marketing tools have advanced their ways of allowing pages reach out to more users. You will realize the sponsored pages are getting more attention and this is because there is so much competition for the users from other pages. Instagram, LinkedIn & Twitter algorithms work almost in the same way and give more attention to the sponsored pages/accounts.