It wasn't always constructive and on some occasions it was extremely self-destructive. I made mistakes, I upset people and it cost me. But I learned from my experience and it taught me a lot about myself and the psychology of social media. At 28 I became obsessed with social media, working it out and learning as much as I possibly could.
Initially, I became fascinated by how you can gain such a presence in other people’s lives by creating a kind of absence in your own real life. For personal accounts it started with trends. Posts that others could relate to, envy, dispute and discuss. I always assumed that teenagers powered the majority of the traffic in the online world, but as it turns out 61% of Facebook alone is used by adults between 50-64. In the same study they also concluded that 76% of the audience on Facebook is also making an income of at least £55,000. In the early days of these studies, when I had a corporate career in customer service, they formed the basis of my reasoning that my company should be on these platforms for the right reasons. I concluded that within several years Social Media would have officially dominated the marketing world.
How amazing is it, that in such a relatively short period of time, there are now free online tools that businesses can use to gain relevance, create brand awareness and capture relevant leads? This is not just good news for companies but for consumers as well. We have been targeted with ads for years now, and with new marketing features through Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn make it possible for these ads to finally have some sort of relevance to products and services we are more likely to be interested in, instead of simply broadcasting old school ads at us.
The industry has shifted and going against the grain doesn’t do you any favours anymore. However, the improved visibility and awareness does. As social media marketing's star continues to rise and is becoming more successful by the like and share, I realise how much I enjoy looking at how it can be used by business. I realise the necessity and passion in my own life is to spend the time I would have invested in mindless scrolling, to comparing results and analytics and trying new ways to communicate to targeted audiences.
It seems somehow odd that the entire world of how we do business has completely shifted and yet so many brands and businesses have still to make it work for them. My interest and passion is never going to sit with how we used to use social media, it's always going to grow into how we can push the boundaries of it. To first become aware of the shifting sands and ever changing landscape and then move beyond the current thinking for how to navigate it.
Here's to the next 10 years and beyond.