Society

Social media is part of the fabric of our society

Ten years ago we saw the rise of the social media evangelist. These people, often PR professionals, were busy spreading the word about the promise of social media and preaching the gospel of openness, transparency and the wisdom of the crowd. Among them were those in senior management of Thornley Fallis. Our mission was to educate people about connecting directly with each other online and to open the minds of organizations to the possibilities for social media in marketing, communications and more. The stories we told, the vision we shared, stirred imaginations and blew some minds!

Fast forward to 2016 and that vision is more than realised. More than 2.1 billion people use social media—that’s almost a third of the world’s population. In western countries almost 70 per cent of the population is on one or more social networks. Social media plays almost as large a role in purchasing decisions as TV advertising and more than half of consumers admit their opinions about companies and brands is influenced by what their friends say online. Social media touches almost every part of daily life…education, work, transportation, entertainment, health and sport, food and sleep, commerce and even love and sex.

So yes, after only ten short years, a veritable heartbeat in evolutionary terms, social media has become part of the fabric of our society. What will happen in another ten? It might change beyond all recognition as technologies advance and relentless innovation continues to transform our lives, but humans will become even more reliant on social media. For organizations this means One thing is for certain, social media is not going away. Communications will continue to evolve and having current PR knowledge, skills and talent will remain essential.

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