Social media on the up
“Right now, with social networks and other tools on the internet, all of these 500 million people have a way to say what they’re thinking and have their voice be heard.”
Mark Zuckerberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Facebook
It’s been reported - that 60% of the world now uses social media. That’s 4.80 billion people around the world and the number is continually increasing. In the UK the number was estimated at 57.1 million at the beginning of 2023. Whilst Facebook and YouTube are at the top of the list, Tik Tok is catching them up fast.
New kid on the block
TikTok arrived on the scene at the right time and filled the gap left by Vine when it shut down in 2017. Appealing to those of us with shorter attention spans, it’s fun and creative. Using this social media platform to make videos is easy. It has launched the careers of numerous people – from singers to influencers. Its algorithm learns and takes note of what users like based on their habits and activity. The range of video materials is vast catering to all tastes and all ages. So you’re always likely to find something that will interest you.
But social media comes with a health warning. Cyber-bullying, fake news, extreme content and so on, all contribute to the mental health issues experienced by some users, particularly teenagers. Social media is designed to hook you in. It has a powerful effect on the brain, releasing dopamine, the ‘feel good’ chemical. It will continually share an endless stream of material that they might find appealing and engaging. It does this by targeting users according to their interests.
Adopted by consumers and businesses alike
“Being effective at social media, whether for business or personal use, means capturing people who have short attention spans. They’re only a click away from a picture of a funny cat, so you have to make your thing more compelling than that cat. And that can be a high bar.”
Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder, Reddit
Above all, social media has transformed how we receive and consume media content. It started as a way of staying in touch and sharing news with family and friends. But its growth and popularity make it an excellent marketing tool.
The world of business therefore couldn’t afford to ignore it given the way it reaches and broadcasts to all audiences. Consumers and businesses alike. Suddenly, businesses had a relatively effective way of regularly communicating and positioning themselves as experts in their field. During the pandemic, with movement restricted, it gave many of us a way of staying in touch with the world outside.
Social media is here to stay
The acceleration and growth of the use of social media in all walks of life is staggering. But in reality, it’s still relatively embryonic and the long-term effects have yet to be seen. Teenagers are the most susceptible group. Their brains are still developing and this makes them vulnerable to the negative effects of social media.
However, it’s a double-edged sword. There are many positive aspects like the feeling of being socially connected and feeling part of a group. Using social media also helps develop the digital literacy skills that are needed by businesses. Ultimately this is a digital age and those who don’t or can’t engage with it risk being left behind.
As the world becomes increasingly digitalised, staying on top of technology development and changes is critical. To keep abreast you’ll need to upgrade the legacy technology that you have perhaps acquired over some time. GRENKE’s asset finance solution can help make the cost of doing this more manageable instead of an outright purchase. From IT hardware to smart technology we can help you with flexible finance options tailored to the needs of your business.