It all started back in the year 1996! The first social networking site named Bolt was launched then. Down the line, many sites were introduced but back to square one! In time of 1997 to 2005, many platforms like Flickr, Photobucket, LunarStorm were launched. At this stage, the term social media marketing was wholly non-existent, and legitimately targeted marketing was off the table. But then there began the new era of social media.
In the midst of 2005, Powerhouses like YouTube & Reddit were introduced, and just then, marketers started seeing the potential in social media marketing. However, these platforms were still in their babyhood, yet they didn’t have that charm to attract “.com” freak marketers.
According to some expert’s opinion, the year 2006 was the onset of advanced social media. This was when Google obtained YouTube for $1.65billion, and in addition to that, Facebook and Twitter joined the club. That’s where everything started changing in a flash.
In no time, quick as wink Facebook was the 3rd most visited platform on the internet. On the other hand, Twitter was budding at its own pace, but it has changed social media’s prospects altogether. Twitter allowed its users to interact with millions of other people around the globe. This facilitated users to directly interact with their favourite celebrities and brands like never before.
Now by this time, businesses gradually began to understand the importance of social media presence. Initially, eCommerce businesses made an appearance on social media, which is now followed by all sorts of companies.
The expansion of social media didn’t cease with only Facebook and Twitter. Several different social media platforms were commenced, aside from Facebook, Twitter & YouTube, some other most celebrated & influential social media platforms like Instagram, Linked In, Snapchat, Pinterest, Whatsapp that entered the race.
Now let’s have some glance at statistics,
• Currently, 3.96 billion people are active on social media worldwide which is nearly 50% of the world’s population. It was 2.07 billion in 2015, almost doubled in a few years. (Backlinko)
• Every individual on average spends an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social networking sites. A person with on average 50 years of a lifetime would spend a total of 5 years on social media. (Globalwebindex)
• Millennials on average spend 2 hours and 38 minutes per day on social media while Gen Z spends 2 hours 55 minutes. (World Economic Forum)
• Today, 90% of Millennials and 77% of Gen X are actively present on social media. (Emarketer)
• In 2020, the average person had 8 social media accounts which were 4.8 back in 2014. (Backlinko)
• On average 54% of users use social media for product research. (Globalwebindex)
• Facebook dominates other social media networks with 2.7 billion active users monthly. (Backlinko)
• Followed by, YouTube with 2 billion active users monthly. Which makes it the second-largest search engine globally. (Backlinko)
• Whatsapp has more than 2 billion active users on daily basis. (Backlinko)
• Instagram has monthly 1 billion active users, among them, 500 million are daily users. (Statista)
• Twitter has more than 330 million monthly active users globally. (Statista)
• LinkedIn has more than 690 million active users. (LinkedIn)
Present-day, with all these 3 billion people’s presence on social media, no wonder the value & consumption of social media marketing will increase over time. In this day and age, social media strategies are profitable & valuable by most marketers.
With the evolution of technology, it is beyond doubt that social media marketing can help businesses generate quality leads without burning a hole in the pocket. These considerably cost-effective platforms provide an ideal environment for brands to come up with appealing strategies. If you take a look, you’ll find all range businesses from small to extensive taking digital marketing benefits, notably because of the cost-effectiveness compared to traditional marketing.

Social media platforms have a lot to offer to businesses. With the proper social media marketing strategies, these platforms can be utilized for branding, competitor analysis, customer retention, targeted audiences, real-time analysis, customer acquisition, to lead generation. Brands have now started using social media to revamp their customer support as well. Social media is the only marketing platform that permits brands to engage and interact with their consumers one to one.
With new platforms coming up in the market, the established platforms were continually improving their services. At present, one of the significant changes we can notice is escalating demand for live streaming. Brands are now willing to give their audiences real-time content using the going ‘Live’ feature of Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube!
At the other end, Influencer Marketing made headway. It’s a win-win strategy for both brands and potential social media users.
Today, no one questions the potential of social media marketing, yet what does the future hold on?
The growth of cutting-edge technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will make users more engrossed in social media like never before.
Social media giants like Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, and many more explore ways to execute AR in marketing plans. Quality advertising and shooting up sales will always be the ultimate desire.
Virtual reality has already unfolded periphery for marketing, and seeing businesses implementing VR for their social media strategies is just around the corner. By now, Virtual reality is rocking many nooks and hub, and social media is no edge case.

Except for recorded videos, average social media is going to embrace more rigorous consideration to live videos. Today, 1 out of 3 social media users watch or interact with brands via videos. As significant mass has brushed off the traditional marketing videos, live streaming will succeed in the future as the better way to bring about more leads using video.
Indeed! Social media has fully grown in the past decade. The social media marketing industry’s progress is not going to roll back at any moment with the expanding perforation of internet and mobile phone technology.
Out of all time spent on the internet, every individual is spending 23% out of that on social media on average. That being the case, brands without having any profitable social media strategy will drop out of sight in this cut-throat competition.
End of the line, it’s now a high old time to have your brand’s presence on social media! It is free from doubt that social media marketing IS and IT WILL continue to be the biggest platforms for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Hence, more and more companies are counting on hiring social media marketers for their business growth or relying on bespoke digital agencies to do the same for them. But the question is, are you? If not, it’s time for you to rethink your marketing strategy and consult a strategist today!

Author's Bio: 

To be the most preferred school in the media and communication sector by creating an intellectually stimulating environment, nurturing professionalism, entrepreneurship, and social sensitivity.