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Happy #SocialMediaDay

Yes, there’s a day for almost everything. Today, June 30th, is Social Media Day, so Happy Social Media Day everyone. While to most of us, particularly those who are younger, it seems like social media has been around forever, it’s fun to note that the first site to reach over 1 million users (seems like small potatoes now) was MySpace, which began in 2003. Then along came Facebook in 2004, and the rest, as they say, is history. As you can see from the chart below from Pew Research, the majority of U.S. adults now use at least one social media site.

The younger the age group, not surprisingly, the higher the usage:

Facebook continues to be the most used social media platform, even among younger age groups, but Instagram has been making steady upward progress. Of course, since Facebook owns Instagram (and WhatsApp), it’s difficult to truly disaggregate the numbers. According to the data from Pew Research, other platform usage has remained relatively consistent. One platform which Pew Research does not include is TikTok, which has grown exponentially since its merger with Musical.ly in 2018 and expansion beyond its original China market. It has gone from 300 million users to over 1 billion by February 2019, outpacing Facebook and Instagram in downloads. The platform skews much younger than other platforms, with almost 80% of its audience age 34 or younger, according to Marketing Charts.

Social media is integral to business growth
While all of this is interesting and points to the importance of social media in our lives today, why is this important? Social media is increasingly critical to sales and retention, particularly for younger audiences. According to Adobe, “social media is the most relevant advertising channel” for 50% of Gen Z and 42% of millennials. And a study of consumer behavior by PWC finds that social networks are the biggest source of inspiration for consumer purchases. Even more telling is an article/infographic published by Smart Insights, which states that 71% of consumers who have had a positive social media experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. However, it also says that 80% of companies believe that they deliver great social media customer service, but only 8% of their customers agree. Social media has pervaded all aspects of individuals’ and companies’ existences, even for wealth and asset managers, where it is becoming an integral part of thought content output, client service, lead generation and client communication. Companies that are more active and successful in utilizing social media are realizing strong benefits in terms of business growth and retention, and the potential impact is growing.