Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, and others are thought to be no more than platforms to share photos, opinions, and to keep up your “poke-wars”. With billions of people across the world having accounts on some or all of these programs, social media is becoming a serious contender in the advertising, marketing, and branding fields. Having access to billions of potential customers in one medium is a fantastic way to promote your business, sell your products, and advertise your company’s services.
Let’s narrow this down to one company- Facebook, the front-runner in social media. This media giant has more than 2 billion monthly users and 1 billion daily users across the globe. For those billions, the average person spends about 35 minutes total on their Facebook account every single day. Sure, that doesn’t sound like much, but let’s do some math. At 35 minutes per day, your weekly total is 245 minutes/4 hours, your monthly (30 days) total is up to 1,050 minutes/17.5 hours, your 6-month total would be 6,300 minutes/105 hours, and in one year, you would come to a grand total of 12,600 minutes/210 hours or 8.75 days. DAYS. Keep in mind, this is only for Facebook and these are averages. Most social media users have accounts on other platforms that they will spend plenty of time on as well, so you can go ahead and add a few more days on that final total.
With these earth-shattering-amounts-of-time-wasted-on-scrolling numbers, it is no surprise that many companies around the globe have seen this opportunity and started utilizing these mediums to advertise. Those ads that show up on the side of your computer/mobile screen, and those ads that (SUPER annoyingly) pop up in the middle of a video you’re watching, are very strategically placed. Most of the time it means you fit within that company’s targeting parameters (i.e. age, location, gender, etc.). Companies, like Facebook, offer advertisers the opportunity to pay to “boost” or “sponsor” posts. This basically is paying for a spot on your news feed without you following them. While most find this annoying, some actually click the links and use those advertisements to shop.
Social media is such a big platform that there are now high-paying jobs as Social Media Directors and Social Media Managers whose job is to actually manage different social media accounts for different companies. Companies are willing to pay a lot of money to either hire someone to do this or outsource this so the company itself can focus on other things.
With billions using social media every single day, this is a prime location for advertising. While advertising spots on the side of your screen are great (for the companies advertising), there are other ways to promote and advertise products online. Celebrities, influencers, and bloggers have huge amounts of followers. Top celebrities like the Kardashians, Katy Perry, and Justin Bieber have hundreds of millions of followers. Top companies will pay celebrities hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote their products on their accounts. Even local fashion bloggers have thousands of followers and can make money off of affiliate marketing (Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products.)
All of these factors combine to make social media a leading advertising tool among companies. Social media is now more than a place to update your status and continue your never-ending “poke war” with friends that you started in high school. It’s a place that is highly valued and a sought-after tool to market products to users that are most likely to buy. Maybe now you will pay attention to the ads that pop up on your news feed, or maybe you’re still in shock about how much time people spend on Facebook. Either way, you now know how much actually goes into “the art of social media”.