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Here at Atypic, we strive to continually innovate and educate. We aim to educate ourselves, our teammates, and our community. Each month we encourage one team member to select an industry related topic and present insights and findings to the team.
This month the topic was social media. To many, social media may not seem like anything new or exciting, but the reality is, the power of social media is constantly changing and evolving. What were once platforms designed to share your day-to-day plans and pictures of your lunch, are now advanced interactive tools of communication, allowing you to share anything from user polls, to 360° images
How Do We Define Social Media?
Let’s bring it back to the basics.
Social: The word social relates to the action of interacting with others by sharing and receiving information.
Media: The word media refers to an instrument of communication with others.
Social media allows us to connect with people in our lives, and even feel connected to those that aren’t. It enables us to communicate with an audience in real time, and spans across a wide variety of devices including laptops, phones, tablets, and even TVs. This along with large advances in technology, have changed the idea of what we consider “social media.” Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter may ring a bell to you, but how about Meetup, Flickr, and YouTube? Have you ever considered these to be social media platforms? Maybe not.
How Has Social Media Evolved?
To start, we’re becoming less and less limited in what types of media content that we’re able to share and interact with. Let’s take the evolution of Instagram for example.
- 2010: Instagram launches
- 2011: Instagram adds hashtags to help users discover both photographs and each other.
- 2013: Instagram launches video sharing.
- 2013: Instagram introduces sponsored post advertising targeting US users.
- 2015: Instagram allows 30-second ads for all advertisers – twice the 15-second limit given for users.
- 2015: Instagram launches Boomerang, an app where the user shoots a one-second burst of five photos that is turned into a silent video that plays forwards and then reverses in a loop.
- 2016: Instagram launches Instagram Stories. The product works like Snapchat Stories: users can post 24-hour ephemeral photo and video slideshows that disappear.
- 2016: Instagram brings in Image Zoom, allowing users to zoom into images.
- 2016: Instagram launches live video, which allows users to broadcast live on Instagram, for up to one hour.
- 2017: Instagram launches a feature allowing users to post multiple photos in one post, in a slideshow-like fashion.
- 2018: Instagram announces the launch of IGTV, a video platform intended to compete against YouTube. Users will now be able to upload videos of up to 10 minutes, while creators and accounts with larger audiences can upload videos of up to one hour
These are just a few milestones in the Instagram history timeline, but shows how fast technology is evolving, and how it’s affecting our social media platforms.
Why is Social Media Important to Us?
There are two reasons it’s important to us. Firstly, as a digital marketing agency, it’s important for us to understand what’s happening in the evolving world of social media. For ourselves, we can use social media to interact with our clients and community, increase our brand awareness, and highlight our service offerings. It gives us an opportunity to virtually communicate with anyone we want.
Secondly, it’s important for us to communicate our knowledge to our clients and recognize if and how social media could benefit their business. With 2.77 billion of the world’s 7.53 billion population on social media, it's a no brainer for us to look at social media as a marketing tool. This approach to social media may not be right for every business, but it has the potential to drive significant business success and conversions.
This lunch and learn helped us gain a better understanding of the different uses and capabilities of social media. We can now use this knowledge to benefit our own social media goals, as well as share this insight with our clients and friends.