For starters, Mark Zuckerberg was tucked away in his Harvard dorm room inventing a social network that would fundamentally change the way in which we interact on both a personal and professional level. BBM, thanks to BlackBerry, was sweeping the nation and the terms “iPhone” and “Siri” were not yet a part of our common vernacular. And TV shows like “The Sopranos” and “The Wire” still dominated our TV line-up.
In 10 years, massive change is inevitable, and that is perhaps no more evident than in the social media world. Just consider the fact that the platforms we have come to frequent daily—even hourly—did not even exist a few years ago. A recent infographic produced by Engadget takes a deep look at the evolution of social cyberspace over the last decade, presenting a myriad of statistics that speak to the massive transformation that took place. Let’s take a look at some of the most salient points:
- In 2011, 88.4 billion minutes were spent a month on social media; in 2012 that number climbed to 121.1 billion.
- In February of 2004, thefacebook.com launched. Today Facebook’s Founder Mark Zuckerberg is worth an estimated $28.5 billion and the social platform boasts 1.23 billion monthly active users.
- Popular sites such as Myspace and Friendster lost considerable market share to burgeoning platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
So, as a leading marketer, what do you need to take away from the social media trends that have dominated the last decade? That social media is here to stay and that marketers who fail to keep up with social shifts will quickly lose their competitive edge.
The fact is that social media is not a passing fad—nor is it something only piquing the interest of high school and college students. Conversely, 87 percent of B2B companies and 88 percent of B2C companies rely on social platforms as their chief content marketing tactic and both use an average of six social media platforms, up from five and four last year respectively. Simply put, you cannot afford to be in the minority not leveraging this content marketing strategy. So how can you adequately prepare for the next 10 years of social media transformation?
- Pay Attention to Innovation: The leading social platforms are constantly evolving and redefining the art of networking. Take a look at LinkedIn’s latest blogging platform or Twitter’s inclusion of pictures in its stream as examples. Industry-leading marketers understand two fundamental truths: the dynamics of marketing are always changing and having your finger on the pulse with regards to evolution is critical.
- Be Willing to Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone: Unsure of whether Vine is right for you? Struggling to conceptualize the perfect Twitter contest. A fundamental characteristic of top-notch marketers is their willingness to find comfort in an uncomfortable place. Step outside of the box. Explore a world of new possibilities. And don’t be afraid to fail. Complacency is the slippery slope to brand irrelevance.
- Get C-Level Buy-in: There’s no telling where the future of social is headed and in anticipation of change, now’s the time to get C-suite buy-in. This means getting support at the top for social media advertisements, full-time social media employees and social automation platforms to support your needs. It will be a whole lot more frustrating if something new breaks onto the scene and you are forced to waste precious time getting support from the powers that be. Get the green light now so you can push down hard on the gas pedal when the newest innovation rounds the corner.