1. Retail– As social media continues to dominate the minds of consumers, brands and fashion retailers seem to be benefiting exceedingly from social media since retail is such a visual aspect of our lives. Big brands like Target will always do well using social to promote their inventory, but small retail establishments, boutiques and antique stores are beginning to network and expand their reach of consumers through social. Sites like Groupon give people daily specials and work with retailers to find new customers everyday. Social media influence on purchase decisions is on the rise; 4 in 10 social media users have purchased an item online or in-store after sharing it or making it as a favorite on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, and 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media referral. Consumers use these platforms to learn new information about products, give feedback, make purchases and communicate with others users and fans to see how they interact with the same retailers. How retail brands use social media is equally as important to their success, seeing how 78% of consumer respondents said that companies’ social media posts impact their purchasing decisions.
2. Entertainment– This is pretty self explanatory but basically, social media allows entertainers to continuously entertain and connect with fans on an unprecedented level. Interactions are at an all time high and social media has a lot to do with achieving that. 63% of all Facebook posts during fall of last year involved the entertainment industry, and advertisers and networks eat it up. The music industry in itself has created a lifeline through social media because a large part of music influence is peer driven, and that is shared through their own social platforms. 7 of the top 10 most followed users on Twitter in 2016 are musicians and rely on it heavily as a way to connect, recruit, and expand their fanbase. A recent poll run by Penn Schoen Berland found that musicians also benefit from social media with 70% of respondents listening to music by an artist based on what a friend posted on a social networking site and 63% of the U.S population uses YouTube for music listening/watching. The report also touched upon social media relating to TV and movies, and of those who post about TV shows, 76% do so live and 51% do so to feel connected to others who might also be watching.
3. Real Estate– This is surprising to some, but it makes sense that social media allows agents and buyers/sellers the opportunity to share and find exactly what they are looking for in a very efficient way. Social media has become an essential tool for businesses and entrepreneurs to compete and succeed in the marketplace. The real estate industry has demonstrated a surge in learning and applying social media resources at a relatively high level. When polled 55% of real estate agents said they were comfortable using social media networks and 26% somewhat comfortable. Only 10% were uncomfortable and 9% didn’t use social media at all. According to a Texas based property manager, “You can use Facebook to create highly targeted advertisements, or simply ask friends to share properties on their profiles. This is an easy way to get people talking about your listings.” However, real estate still has the lowest level of engagement (one “share” for every 19 social posts), followed by marketing services and software/tech and that is partially because it’s not displayed well. Raydr’s technology and aggregation abilities will simplify and enhance buyers experience with viewing properties. Real estate’s social footprint will develop even further and be just another way for consumers to use social media.
4. Marketing– Social Media platforms are becoming a critical part of almost every big marketing strategy because it works. Visuals are key and you can highly target and segment audiences based on ever growing and changing analytics. From a business standpoint, social media has exponentially driven interaction and relations between consumers and businesses; 92% of marketers say social media has generated exposure for their business, 80% say social media has increased website traffic for their business, and 72% of marketers say social media helps them develop loyal fans. Social is viewed as the second-most effective digital tactic for customer retention, behind only email. 64% of sales reps say they closed at least one deal in 2014 directly from social media use. And of small business owners who use social media, 92% agree that “social media marketing is important for my business.”
5. Education– We really love this one, because it’s great to see social media put to such a proficient use. Colleges use it the most to advertise, market, and expand their student reach and ability to provide extra curricular learning experiences. Recently, a study shows that 57% of colleges surveyed used social media as a key component of fundraising which allows them to grow, expand, and improve their resources for students. Although many teachers may jump to the conclusion that their students are not utilizing social media in class for academic purposes, studies show that 59% of students use social networks to talk about education topics online, and 50% of those who talk about education topics are talking specifically about schoolwork. Now more than ever, educational institutions are incorporating social platforms into their online learning environments to encourage students in utilizing their resources. Programs like webcourses, blackboard and moodle have combined online education access with social media to increase student usage and participation with learning materials. Teachers are also creating facebook pages and twitter accounts for their new classes each year to provide immediate feedback, answer questions, and post assignment information which in turn heavily cuts down the wait time traditionally spent trying to communicate with professors outside of class. As social media continuously evolves, institutions are revolutionizing how students interact with teachers and one another and the possibilities to improve the learning experience are endless.