When it comes to marketing, no single technology has disrupted the focus, budgets, or created more opportunities for businesses of all sizes, as social media has. To understand where social media is in 2019, though, we need to look back a few years.

From MySpace to Facebook, cat memes to global brand ambassadors, influencers to superstar e-gaming celebrities, social media has come a long way. And with have come a host of new opportunities for brands. 

It took just over a decade for social media to evolve from a fun place to connect with friends to a hugely significant part of the world’s advertising spend. 

In 2018, content marketing and social media marketing made up 30% of the most effective digital marketing techniques

The use of content and social media has changed the way brands interact with customers, and prospects, forever. 

Now, We Find Ourselves in a Two-Way Conversation 

The days of the Mad Men telling us how to feel, and what to buy, as a result, have changed. They haven’t disappeared, but the feedback loop is far quicker than it’s ever been. 

As an example, EasyJet responding by asking for a customer to remove a picture from Twitter resulted in more than 25,000 people sharing that interaction. That’s the impact of social media in 2019.

The marketing world has become public, for good or bad. Review sites and open forums like Twitter and Facebook, mean brands are in the public eye more than ever before. As a result, they need to communicate with their customers and prospects whilst all their friends, family, and competitors are watching.

So What Does This Mean for Brands Going Forward? 

Well, budgets are going to dictate the price of attention. Big brands can command more attention, they always have. But done right, social media has given more power to small/mid-sized brands. 

The ability to produce HD quality live broadcasts to your own audience, and then share that video endlessly on a platform that doesn’t have licensing fees, production costs, or broadcasting restrictions, means the playing field has changed, drastically.

Every Brand Is Now a Publisher

Whether brands accept it or not, online, you’re not a fashion company competing against other fashion brands, you’re a publisher, competing against an endless supply of publishers: big or small, well-funded or startup, staffed or one-man bands. 

The world has changed, and social media has created an unprecedented attention war. 

You see, if you’re that fashion brand I just mentioned, you’re now competing for attention with food and beverage companies. With car manufacturers. Real estate agents. Software developers. And, of course, the film and music industries, to name but a few. 

We’re all fighting to get in on the new goldrush — ATTENTION. 

“We’re Not in Kansas Anymore!”

100 years ago, families sat down around the wireless, once a night, to catch the latest broadcast. They got the news, information, and some entertainment. 

70 years ago, families sat down in the evening after dinner to watch the nightly broadcast on television. 

20 years ago, we logged on through our dial-up connection and we started to browse the limited, but hallowed halls of the internet. 

Today, we’re connected 24 hours a day. Our smartphones give us more information in the first 30 minutes of our day than our ancestors could have hoped for in a year. 

We live in a multi-screen world, where more than 500 hours of new content is uploaded to YouTube every minute. Likewise, nearly a billion hours of content is consumed monthly on Twitch. And more than 1.5 billion people log in to Facebook every day. It’s easy to understand why attention has become such a prized economy on social media in 2019. 

Social Media Is All About Attention and Data in 2019

The Cambridge Analytica scandal divided the world. Data, and more importantly, data privacy, was at the forefront of everyone’s minds. 

Now referred to as the world’s greatest commodity, data is at the heart of the world’s largest companies. 

Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, all the “tech giants”, amass a huge number of data points on all their clients. The services we all enjoy for free on a daily basis are making trillions by selling this data to brands and advertisers. 

If data is the new oil, then attention is the new gold. 

What Does the Future Hold for Social Media Beyond 2019? 

Social media isn’t going away any time soon. Embracing these channels and becoming part of the system might not be your cup of tea, but if you’re not taking steps to be part of your customers’ day-to-day, then you might wake up one day to find they’ve moved on without you.

Prioritising the creation, publication, and distribution of content is no longer the sole preserve of the big brands. It’s a necessity for all brands. 

The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll build that audience, that following, that connection with your customers and prospects. 

Start prioritising your social media and content creation right now. 

Is Your Business Making These Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes?

So, you’re on social media. You understand its importance to your brand. You’re aware of its influence on people’s daily lives. And you want to make sure your business isn’t missing out.

But do you have the time and skillset to run effective social media marketing campaigns?

Are you aware of the most common mistakes businesses make with their social media marketing, and how to avoid them?

Download your free copy of our comprehensive field guide to the 7 key mistakes businesses repeatedly make with their social media marketing, now. 

Get exclusive insight from Social INK’s team of experts, gained from decades of experience in social media, marketing, and sales.

Use our free, in-depth guide to help you get your social media marketing back on track and yielding results, today.

Chris Bruno
Chris Bruno

Chris, founder and CEO of Social INK, has devised and consulted on more digital marketing and social media marketing campaigns than you can shake a stick at. He’s also got a bit of a thing for online advertising and social media advertising.