Pinterest is a one-stop shop for inspiration and discovering new products and ideas. On Pinterest, users "pin" photos that link to websites, product pages, blog posts, and other content across the internet. It’s a great platform for driving traffic to your website, and Pinterest users are 7x more likely to purchase products they’ve pinned.
How to Use Social Media in Your Career
Do you think you should be on social media but don’t know where to start? What should you post, and how often should you post it? What’s more powerful, a like or a retweet? Here’s what you need to know about the most popular social media platforms for professional settings, whether you are looking to expand your network, build a business or find a new gig.
Social media is now a critical part of the way people in most walks of life communicate and a key part of how work gets done — from corporations to government. Reflecting how important social media can be, .
As social media has become more popular — an estimated — there are also more instances of people who have gotten in trouble for their social networking habits. The fact is that it’s impossible to separate the personal use of social from the professional, and everything you say online can and will be used against you. There are ways in which you can try to safeguard your privacy and control who sees particular content, but the onus is on you to be vigilant. So, the more seriously you can take your social media activities, the better.
Social media changes all the time, so it’s important to keep up with the evolution of the platforms and to keep looking for ways to optimize your use of the available the tools. (Twitter and Snapchat, for example, recently announced major changes that are described below.)
LinkedIn, with its 500 million members, is the quintessential professional network and one that’s not used as optimally as it could be. When I teach classes on social media, I ask “Who’s on LinkedIn?” and almost all the hands go up. But then I ask, “Who knows what they are doing on LinkedIn?” and most of the hands fall.
Most people just take it for granted and start using it in a panic when they have to change jobs. It’s often too late at that point. You are better off learning to use it when you don’t need it. LinkedIn works best when you use it as a career management tool and not just for job hunting.
Expanding Your Network and Influence
LinkedIn offers a variety of ways to expand your network by finding and connecting with relevant professionals in your industry. The key is to find, approach and connect with folks you already know, folks you’d like to know and folks you should know. You should also post your own content, showing off your expertise on a regular basis.
Learn to use to give and receive recommendations for people you have worked with in the past. You should give recommendations only to people whose work you are willing to vouch for. I’ve heard of employers who take recommendations on LinkedIn almost as seriously as ones received in more traditional ways. So if anything gives you pause, you should find a gentle way to turn down a request for a recommendation.
Building and Expanding a Business
Finding jobs is the most important part of LinkedIn for individuals, and you can use the network to track specific companies, people and job openings. Spend time getting to know, in detail, the search features that let you drill down into networks of people, companies and job postings.
When you’re looking for a new job, numbers matter, so take time to build your network. But be sure to do it in a smart way: Blasting invitations at complete strangers in the hopes of connecting with either them or people they are connected with is not a good strategy. Instead, look for legitimate connections you have with people — your alma mater, for example — and reach out with an invitation to connect that includes a personal note.
Keep in Mind
LinkedIn’s free account works well, but you may want to experiment with the premium version. It comes in many price points, starting at $29.99 a month. That’s serious money, but if you’re job hunting, it’s worth paying for the features that include the ability to email people you don’t know yet through the site, and connect in new ways with recruiters.
Read More About LinkedIn
LinkedIn, Notorious for Sending Too Many Emails, Cuts Back
Finding a Career Track in LinkedIn Profiles
New Item on the College Admission Checklist: LinkedIn Profile
Understanding Social Media
Social media originated as a way to interact with friends and family but was later adopted by businesses that wanted to take advantage of a popular new communication method to reach out to customers. The power of social media is the ability to connect and share information with anyone on Earth, or with many people simultaneously.
There are more than 3.8 billion social media users around the world. Social media is an ever-changing and ever-evolving field, with new apps such as TikTok and Clubhouse coming out seemingly every year, joining the ranks of established social networks like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. By 2023, the number of social media users in the United States is forecast to increase to approximately 257 million.
According to the Pew Research Center, social media users tend to be younger. Nearly 90% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 used at least one form of social media. Further, these users tend to be better educated and relatively wealthy, or earning over $75,000 per year.
Types of Social Media
Social media may take the form of a variety of tech-enabled activities. These activities include photo sharing, blogging, social gaming, social networks, video sharing, business networks, virtual worlds, reviews, and much more. Even governments and politicians utilize social media to engage with constituents and voters.
For individuals, social media is used to keep in touch with friends and extended family. Some people will use various social media applications to network career opportunities, find people across the globe with like-minded interests, and share their thoughts, feelings, insights, and emotions. Those who engage in these activities are part of a virtual social network.
For businesses, social media is an indispensable tool. Companies use the platform to find and engage with customers, drive sales through advertising and promotion, gauge consumer trends, and offer customer service or support.
Social media’s role in helping businesses is significant. It facilitates communication with customers, enabling the melding of social interactions on e-commerce sites. Its ability to collect information helps focus on marketing efforts and market research. It helps in promoting products and services, as it enables the distribution of targeted, timely, and exclusive sales and coupons to would-be customers. Further, social media can help in building customer relationships through loyalty programs linked to social media.
Be selective with your social media presence
Regardless of the size of the social media site, consider whether your brand’s target audience is active on those platforms. It’s better to pick two to three sites and do them well rather than create so-so content for five or more different platforms.
P.S. Buffer lets you schedule social media posts to several top social media sites. If you want to manage more than one social media account on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or TikTok, try Buffer for 14 days to experience what it can do for your business.
Credit: The list of top social media sites is compiled by Statista. The respective monthly active users number was taken from the following websites: CNBC (as of December 14, 2021), Statista ( as of December 6, 2021), Statista ( as of November 11, 2021), Statista (as of February 11, 2022), ZDNET (as of January 25, 2022), Semrush (as of October 5, 2021).
The 2021 Children and parents: media use and attitudes report published by OfCom (UK) is interesting if your business is involved in marketing to children or youth markets or you want to understand future adult use of social media. Notably, 44% of 8-11 year olds use social media apps/sites, swiftly increasing to 87% of 12-15 year olds.
Q1. What is the overall popularity of social media compared to internet use globally?
Datareportal regularly updates its massive global compendium of social media statistics, which gives some great insights into the world of social media. It’s a great download for including slides for your presentations. It’s particularly interesting how far some countries are diverging in terms of social media use, and surprising that Western Countries are lagging a fair way behind in adoption rates.
How many people use social media?
The full report from Datareportal contains a huge amount of insight collated from different data providers across 200+ slides. It provides country-specific data for the vast majority of the world, so you might want to check out the slides of the countries in your core markets to get a better idea of the current state of social in the areas you operate. In this post, we focus on the social media data which starts at slide 78 in the report.
A Brief History of Social Media
How did it begin? How has social media affected the lives of billions of people? How have businesses adapted to the digital consumer lifestyle? How do marketing professionals use social media? It’s all part of the story of social media’s ongoing evolution.
While the roots of digital communication run deep, most contemporary accounts of the modern origins of today’s internet and social media point to the emergence in 1969 of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network — the ARPANET.
In 1987, the direct precursor to today’s internet came into being when the National Science Foundation launched a more robust, nationwide digital network known as the NSFNET. A decade later, in 1997, the first true social media platform was launched.
The Launch of Social Sites
In the 1980s and ’90s, according to “The History of Social Networking” on the technology news site Digital Trends, the internet’s growth enabled the introduction of online communication services such as CompuServe, America Online, and Prodigy. They introduced users to digital communication through email, bulletin board messaging, and real-time online chatting.
Weblogs, or blogs, another early form of digital social communication, began to gain popularity with the 1999 launch of the LiveJournal publishing site. This coincided with the launch of the Blogger publishing platform by the tech company Pyra Labs, which was purchased by Google in 2003.
In 2002, LinkedIn was founded as a networking site for career-minded professionals. By 2020, it had grown to more than 675 million users worldwide. It remains the social media site of choice for job seekers as well as human resources managers searching for qualified candidates.
Two other major forays into social media collapsed after a burst of initial success. In 2003, Myspace launched. By 2006, it was the most visited website on the planet, spurred by users’ ability to share new music directly on their profile pages.
Google’s attempt to elbow its way into the social media landscape, Google+, launched in 2012. A rocky existence came to an end in 2018, after the private information of nearly 500,000 Google+ users was compromised by a data security breach.
Modern Social Media Outlets
Launched in 2005 by Massachusetts 20-somethings Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian as a news-sharing platform, its 300 million users have transformed Reddit into a combination news aggregation/social commentary site. Its popularity is based on the ability to “up-vote” and “down-vote” user posts.
Founded in 2011 by a trio of Stanford students — Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown, and Bobby Murphy — this video-sharing service introduced the concept of “stories,” or serialized short videos, and “filters,” run for informative digital effects, often based on location.
Founded in 2016 by Chinese tech company ByteDance, this short-form video-sharing site was merged with the U.S.-based mobile app Musical.ly in 2018 and became popular with American teens and young adults. As of early 2020, it had more than 800 million users worldwide.
The term “social media content” covers all types of content which is created or published on social media. By using social media content, companies are trying to reach users on a different and more personal level than is possible via Google AdWords or similar types of online marketing. Authentic content which is not created for purely marketing purposes can offer users real added value. Guides and posts on Facebook, an employee photo-story on Instagram, or regular tweets from the company’s founder or development department make the company appear more human and help to demonstrate their wish to engage with their customers. Content such as competitions, quizzes, and raffles encourage users to interact with the company and thus help to increase their loyalty to the brand.
You Should Prioritize TikTok if: You want to reach (and entertain) a young audience with fun video-based content that doesn’t often have a direct connection to your products or services. Being overly self-promotional on this platform won’t build you a loyal following, so be prepared to take the approach of entertaining first.
The 7 Top Social Media Sites You Need to Care About in 2022
Should you go all in on Instagram? Maybe place half of your social media budget into Facebook and split the rest between YouTube and LinkedIn? What about Tiktok? These are the kinds of questions plaguing small businesses and marketing teams alike.
Long the home of influencers, brands, bloggers, small business owners, friends and everyone in between, Instagram has topped well over 1 billion monthly users. If you’re wondering whether a meaningful segment of your audience spends time on the platform, the answer is almost surely a resounding yes.
Who’s on Instagram (and Why): Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms for teens and young adults, especially in the U.S. Use of the app slowly drops off with age but stays consistent across both men and women, so if your customers are under 40, then Instagram can’t be ignored.
The Content that Works Best on Instagram: Beautiful photography, stunning visuals, unique designs, selfie-style video that speaks directly to your audience and a cohesive theme to your content will help you stand out on Instagram.
Top 7 Impacts of Social Media
1. The Impact of Social Media on Politics
A new study from Pew Research claims that about one in five U.S. adults gets their political news primarily through social media. The study also finds that those who do get their political news primarily through social media tend to be less well-informed and more likely to be exposed to unproven claims that people who get their news from traditional sources.
In comparison to other media, the influence of social media in political campaigns has increased tremendously. Social networks play an increasingly important role in electoral politics — first in the ultimately unsuccessful candidacy of Howard Dean in 2003, then in the election of the first African-American president in 2008, and again in the Twitter-driven campaign of Donald Trump.
The New York Times reports that “The election of Donald J. Trump is perhaps the starkest illustration yet that across the planet, social networks are helping to fundamentally rewire human society.” Because social media allows people to communicate more freely, they are helping to create surprisingly influential social organizations among once-marginalized groups.
2. The Impact of Social Media on Society
Thanks to the internet, each person with marginal views can see that he’s not alone. And when these people find one another via social media, they can do things — create memes, publications, and entire online worlds that bolster their worldview, and then break into the mainstream.
Without social media, social, ethical, environmental, and political ills would have minimal visibility. Increased visibility of issues has shifted the balance of power from the hands of a few to the masses.
The flipside: Social media is slowly killing real activism and replacing it with ‘slacktivism’
While social media activism brings an increased awareness about societal issues, questions remain as to whether this awareness is translating into real change. Some argue that social sharing has encouraged people to use computers and mobile phones to express their concerns on social issues without actually having to engage actively with campaigns in real life. Their support is limited to pressing the ‘Like’ button or sharing content.
This passivity is a very human reaction when people are given options that absolve them from the responsibility to act. A 2013 study by the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business found that when people are presented with the option of ‘liking’ a social cause, they use this to opt-out of actually committing time and money to a charitable cause. On the other hand, when people are allowed to show support in private, they are more likely to offer meaningful support by making a financial contribution.
The researchers found that a public endorsement is meant to satisfy others’ opinions, whereas people who give in private do so because the cause is aligned to their values. This peer pressure may be a factor in the recent trend of political polls in the U.S. to misread voter intentions: people who respond to the polls may be answering how they think the pollsters expect or the way they think will please their peers, but in the privacy of the voting booth (or at home with a mail-in ballot), they vote according to their true preferences.
FREE Digital Marketing 101 Course
3. The Impact of Social Media on Commerce
The rise of social media means it’s unusual to find an organization that does not reach its customers and prospects through one social media platform or another. Companies see the importance of using social media to connect with customers and build revenue.
Many studies suggest implementing social networks within the workplace can strengthen knowledge sharing. The result is to improve project management activities and enable the spread of specialized knowledge. Fully implementing social technologies in the workplace removes boundaries, eliminates silos, and can raise interaction and help create more highly skilled and knowledgeable workers.
The flipside: A low number of social ‘shares’ can lead to negative social proof and destroy business credibility
Interestingly, although social sharing has become the norm rather than the exception in business, some companies, after experiencing first-hand some adverse effects of social media, have decided to go against the grain and remove the social sharing buttons from their websites.
These results highlight the double-edged nature of the impact of social media. When products attract a lot of shares, it can reinforce sales. But when the reverse is true, customers begin to distrust the product and the company. This effect is what Dr. Paul Marsden, psychologist and author of ‘The Social Commerce Handbook,’ referred to as ‘social proof.’
The Bottom Line
It’s been said that information is power. Without a means of distributing information, people cannot harness its power. One positive impact of social media is in the distribution of information in today’s world. Platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others have made it possible to access information at the click of a button.
Research conducted by parse.ly shows that the life expectancy of a story posted on the web is 2.6 days, compared to 3.2 days when a story is shared on social media. That’s a difference of 23%, which is significant when you consider that billions of people use the internet daily.
The lifespan of an article is different from the active lifespan of a social media post itself. Green Umbrella estimates that a Facebook post has an average lifespan of 6 hours, an Instagram post or LinkedIn post of 48 hours, and a tweet on Twitter a mere 18 minutes. The longer social media users actively access the information, the more discussion it generates and the greater the social media impact. The shorter the active lifespan, the more frequently one must post to that channel to maintain engagement (recognizing that posting too frequently can cause reader burnout).
While the world would be a much slower place without social media, it’s caused harm as well as good. However, the positive impact of social media is astronomical and far surpasses the ills associated with sharing.
Ultimately, sharing is about getting people to see and respond to content. As long as the content is still relevant and the need for information still exists, it’s always worthwhile for any organization to use social media to keep publishing.
Fundamentals of Social Media Advertising
This course takes a deep dive into paid advertising on social media. Learn how to start advertising on platforms like Facebook and Instagram by developing effective ads. Learn how to work with design teams by capturing the essence of your ad campaign in a creative brief, and understand how privacy policies may affect your ads. Complete the course with a project where you will produce a creative brief with assets you would deliver to a design team for your ad campaign. You’ll also create your first social media ad.
By the end of this course you will be able to: • Determine why and when to invest in paid advertising on social media • Understand the anatomy of a social media ad and how they differ from organic posts • Evaluate on which platforms to run social media ad campaigns and what makes an ad effective • Craft compelling and effective visuals and copy for social media ads • Learn how to collaborate effectively with others through creative briefs • Build foundational understanding for data, data-based advertising and privacy protection • Build an ad directly from your Facebook Business Page and your Instagram Business Account • Use Instagram Stories Ads effectively to connect with customers • Write a creative brief and create a social media ad This course is intended for people who want to learn how to create and manage ads on social media. Learners don’t need marketing experience, but they have basic internet navigation skills and are eager to participate and connect in social media. Having a Facebook or Instagram account helps and ideally learners have already completed course 1 (Introduction to Social Media Marketing) and 2 (Social Media Management) in this program.