Social media is changing the world. We have allowed it to entrench deep into our daily lives that it has affected the way we communicate with each other, our culture, and our perspective. The average time we spend every day on social media is more than three hours, for people 18 to 64 years old.
Why do we use social media apart from socializing? Well, everything. Journalists checking the news, law enforcement agents tracking criminals, professors teaching students online, jobseekers looking for jobs, voters influencing people to vote, leaders and organizations spreading political awareness, social media marketers almost doubling lead generation, teenagers listening to music, and a new industry creating jobs – all these reasons, and a couple more, have allowed social media to change the world.
Breaking news is faster, with 50 percent of people coming across the latest happenings and events through social media; even reporters and editors use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to keep updated.
The New York Police Department tracks people of interest, mostly criminals, through Twitter to look for smoking gun online. Apparently, some criminals are not so tech-savvy, because they brag about their offenses on social media. For that reason, more than half of law enforcement agencies trust social platforms to help solve crimes faster.
Online learning, also called eLearning, has made it to social media. Four out of five faculties in US academic institutions use the platform to teach their students, while 30 percent of teachers use it to communicate with them. A social media program has allowed students to increase their grades by 50 percent, and it dropped the number of absent students.
Jobseekers say social media helped them find their job. LinkedIn alone has allowed nearly 90 percent of job recruiters to hire employees, followed by Facebook and Twitter.
Voter participation has increased over the years. Facebook users say they are more willing to vote after they see their friends who voted share about the experience. In the November 2012 presidential election, 30 percent of voters were encouraged to vote due to status updates on social media.
Social media increases political awareness. In 2011, Egyptian President Mubarak resigned from his post after tens of thousands of protesters gathered on the streets to oust him. It started with discussions through social media. A similar thing happened with the Occupy Wall Street movement, but for a different cause.
Social media, catapulted by the proliferation of social networking sites, created an industry of its own that led to thousands of jobs, on top of income and sales. In 2012, Facebook earned billions and Twitter earned hundreds of millions. Social media can turn into a $1.3 trillion industry through better productivity and customer service.
We watch 4 billion videos every day. YouTube, a popular online video streaming site, is more popular to teenagers who love to listen to music, as opposed to radio and CDs. “Beliebers,” Justin Bieber fanatics, can attest to that.
When social media came into the picture, online marketing was revitalized. The platform nearly doubled lead generation for telemarketing, trade shows, PPC, and direct mail. The lead conversation rates in social media are 13 percent higher than the average. In addition, nearly half of online users consider social media in purchasing decisions.
Social media interaction skyrocketed. Most teens and adults say it helps them keep in touch with friends and relationships. More than half of us make new friends through social media.
Interest over social media is even evident on Google Search, wherein the search rate for the term “social media” continues to rise.
All those data and more specifics from Nielsen, Huffington Post, Experian, Google Trends, and more, are found in a jam-packed infographic by MyLife.com.