How many times have you come across the negative impact that social media has had on the world? Some of it may be true; indeed, social media (SM) has a few drawbacks when you consider its impact on today’s youth. However, most of the negative aspects are simply clickbait. If you were to assess those interactive platforms closely, you would realize that the benefits of social media far outweigh its drawbacks. It promotes businesses to a wider audience, makes kids more mature and hardened, takes away the loneliness in adults, and has a positive impact on society. Let’s see how these improvements come about due to SM.
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The Impact of Social Media on People and Society
Remember the good old days before the internet when we had only letters and rotary phones for communication? For those of you who weren’t born in that era, take this as an example. People usually had to drive or walk miles to have a long conversation with their loved ones. That is because the telephone bills were often in the range of the high utility bills of today, and while you could write everything you wanted to say in a letter, it took days (sometimes months) to receive a response. Thus, meeting in person was the most convenient, affordable mode of communication in people’s daily lives.
In the age of SM, on the other hand, communication is almost free of cost. You only need to pay for a broadband service. Creating social media accounts is free. The response times are quick (often instantaneous), and you can talk with your loved ones as if you’re speaking with them in person. Plus, the auto-correct feature of the chats also improves your communication skills. These are just a few of the numerous benefits of social media for society and the people. You may have been using SM for a while now, but it’s quite probable that you haven’t tapped into all of its benefits yet. Let us take a look at the most important yet possibly obscure impacts of social networks on people and society.
Building Relationships and Staying Connected
How does any relationship thrive? By communicating as often as possible. Don’t believe us? Here’s a statistical fact for you. The number of divorces was quite high in the 1970s and 80s. It was only after the emergence and growth of social media that the number started decreasing. Here’s another. There was a time when staying apart often marked the end of the relationship. Today, more than 50% of long-distance relationships tend to work out, mostly thanks to SM.
We are not talking about romantic relationships alone. Did you know that, back in the day, friends used to drift apart after they moved out of the neighborhood or graduated from college? And family members who stayed in a different city became strangers as the years passed. Compare this with the situation these days. Your friends from high school may still be in touch with you on Instagram, and your second cousin, once removed, may still be commenting on your Facebook posts!
Ease of Communication and Reduced Feeling of Isolation
In this fast-paced world, your ambition often takes precedence over your social life. And at the end of the day, even if you have everything, you sometimes feel isolated from the rest of the world. The problem of isolation is faced most by teens today. That is when the benefits of social media for teens truly shine. You can get rid of that feeling of loneliness by face-timing your friends or tweeting to the world about your day, all that, and more, without even getting off your couch. That is how easy it is to interact with people from different corners of the globe!
Showing Empathy and Kindness
There are many people on social media who respond to your actions or emotions in a positive way. For instance, you may have recently suffered a personal or professional loss, god forbid. You share that loss on your Facebook story as a way to honor it/them. Eventually, you will find a steady trickle of heartfelt comments and condolences from your friends and sometimes even complete strangers. In that sense, you can consider SM as a single organism working to spread empathy and kindness in the world.
As many of you might remember, reading the early morning newspaper formed an integral part of our daily routine at one time. But did you know that the printed news was often several hours old (sometimes several days old)? With SM, you can share an interesting bit of news at the click of a button, and it gets spread to every nook and corner of the world within seconds. Let’s say that a road accident was to occur in Singapore at 13:00 EST. People in New York would potentially know about it at 13:01 EST if the news was posted on social media.
People often turn to SM to find information on some topic. And if you are an expert on that particular topic, then many social media users will eventually discover your information on the platform if you play your cards right. This is one of the greatest benefits of social media for business since it helps you build your brand and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Fresh thoughts and valuable content are always appreciated in some otherwise stale industries.
New Business Opportunities for Young People
Social media websites are the ideal platforms for the youth to show their talents and shine in an increasingly competitive world. Old industries have evolved into advanced sectors, and brand-new niches have been discovered, all thanks to SM. Influencer programs? Digital marketing? Content creation? And these are just the tip of the iceberg to build your social media presence.
Benefits of Social Media for Businesses
You can use social media for personal use for any number of things. But for businesses, the possibilities are literally endless. So we cannot really hope to include all the benefits of social media marketing (SMM) in this blog. Just when you think you have squeezed all the juice out of the SMM fruit, some random entrepreneur manages to extract some more. And that has been happening for years now. To start you off on this amazing journey, here’s how SM is a great tool for businesses.
Faster, Easier Communication
What is the most integral part of any business? The client or the customer, of course! Providing a good product or service keeps your customer loyalty, and effectively resolving their issues keeps them coming back for more. As you might know, efficient customer service requires an informative, quick response from your end. You can utilize the benefits of social media to do just that. The social media channels’ chat boxes ensure your response is delivered within seconds. And their immediate notifications allow you to address your customer’s concerns in a jiffy.
SM Makes Your Brand More Relatable
There was a time when customers barely knew anything about the brand of products they purchased. People usually based the trustworthiness of a product on its brand ambassador or the quality of its advertisement. With social media, you, as a business owner, have a chance to connect with your target customers on a more personal level. You can share your business goals, show off the qualifications of your personnel, and even reveal your hobbies and ambitions to improve your online presence and build a better rapport.
Social Media Is Great for Promoting
Imagine that a Gen Z teen boy has managed to gather over a thousand followers on Instagram. He has developed a personal connection with almost all of them, liking and sharing their posts and often chatting with them. At that point in his life, he decides to start a business, say selling homemade pancakes.
As soon as he posts about it on his Insta, there is a great chance that his followers will respond in kind, liking his posts, buying his pancakes, and sharing his business with their followers. And this is just one of many, many benefits of social media for teens, rather than for anyone from all walks of life. Once you have promoted and established your business on social media, you can sit back and reap the profits for as long as you have sound marketing strategies in place.
Imagine that your brand is live on several SM platforms like Facebook and Instagram. One batch of your product turns out to be faulty due to a manufacturing error, and your quality team isn’t able to discover that fault. Once this product reaches the consumers, they will start commenting about the fault on some of your posts or downvoting your products. Due to the complete transparency of the platforms, you can easily notice the drop in your brand’s reputation, allowing you to rectify the error and manage your reputation in no time! Having an efficient social media strategy is the key.
Networking & Partnerships
You may know the importance of hiring a movie or a TV celebrity to endorse your brand. But not everyone can afford to pay their exorbitant fees. That is where a partnership with influencers comes into the picture. Basically, influencers are those people who have a huge following or subscriber base on SM (in several thousand or, at times, million). It shows that their subscribers have an interest in what they have to say. And if they were to promote your brand, then it’s almost as good as hiring a brand ambassador. The best part is influencers often charge very affordable rates. Even start-ups can potentially partner with influencers!
Generate Leads Directly and Indirectly
Looking for new prospects? Get them via social media. Once you have generated enough interest for your brand, all you need to do is convert that interest into potential customers. This is where the benefits of social media for business unravel like a blooming flower. Redirect your viewers and followers to your website’s contact form. Give them a taste of your product by offering freebies and discounts or free 1-month subscriptions in case of services. Push your brand in different avenues of the SMM market to effectively generate leads.
Appeal to Younger, Socially-Active Users
Did you know that more than 95% of teens use social media? Not surprising since they were born and brought up in the digital generation. What might amaze you is the fact that a little less than half of them are online all the time. Imagine the potential to grow your business! Don’t have a youth-targeted product? Try promoting it as a gift for their parents or grandparents.
Social media is primarily used by people less than 50 years old and frequently used by teens. There are so many benefits of social media for teens that you can easily build a product around that demographic and generate a healthy interest in a very short time. It doesn’t mean that you should only focus on the youth. If your product can be used by the elderly, then make them a part of your target audience as well. After all, more than 25% of senior citizens (aged 65+) are active on SM.
An unending tome of spectacular knowledge, popular and obscure, opens up once you start using SM. And the social aspects of most of the platforms are simply pristine. You can choose to stay in a close-knit group or expand your social skills with a million others. Know about the wacky goings-on the world over, or spread your unique philosophy in life. And the icing on the cake – build your own business and grow it into mind-boggling proportions! However, like every coin has two sides, the benefits of social media for society are also marred with disadvantages. But those drawbacks are few and far between.
People are prone to get addicted to SM, so much so that they may shun all contact in real life. And since social media is an open platform, not all the information circulating is accurate. That said, addiction can be avoided, and information can be verified. You only need to use SM responsibly.