Is Social Media Addictive and Is This Good News for Businesses?
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – the use of these popular social networks has become ingrained in our daily lives as virtual places to read and share news and interact with friends. But is social media addictive? And is this good news for businesses?
How many times would you say you check your social media feeds per day? Weekly? Daily? Hourly even?
You might be shocked to read that according to stats from “keepitusable”, 72% of internet using adults have social media accounts and 23 hours per week is the average time they spend using them! In the words of keepitusable, that’s the equivalent of a part time job!
Why is social media so popular?
Social media has three main compulsions.
One of these compulsions is a means of expression – an extension of yourself, to showcase the best, and sometimes the worst parts of your life. Showcasing online is a means to encourage validation of who we are (likes) and to invite interaction (comments). It takes the effort out of having to physically create an impression.
Another compulsion is that users have real-time access to information…hot topics, trending news, gossip from friends. It’s a way of staying in the loop in a world where everything is instantly accessible and knowledge is power.
The third compulsion is the fear of missing out(FOMO). With 2 billion worldwide social network users, life has literally shifted online. If you’re not online, you’re not current. 67% of users have said they feel out of touch when not using social media.
As social media users, we are particularly captivated by visual stimuli. Funny cat videos, makeup applications, stunts, food porn, you name it, we ogle it. Mindlessly too. We are spoilt with content in our feeds and it is downright addictive!
Psychology of addiction
Psychology Today describes addiction as ‘a condition that results when a person engages in an activity that can be pleasurable but the continuation of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary responsibilities’.
A person who spends 23 hours a week on social media is most definitely compromising something in their lives to accommodate this activity, whether it be work or family time, or merely just presence in a moment. Let’s face it, we are all familiar with ‘phone-zombies’ who frequent our streets, shops and public transport.
Statistically, on a daily basis, 500 million daily tweets are sent on Twitter and 70 million images uploaded on Instagram. 300 hours of video is uploaded every minute on YouTube. Phenomenal stats and a fairly strong case for suggesting we are addicted to social media.
What this means for businesses
Whilst our social media addiction might be problematic for employers and family members, businesses are capitalising on the trend. The social community offers a virtual place where there is a captive audience.
With such a high churn of content being viewed, businesses are growing their customers via social channels, using popular networks such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to promote visual content about their brand. And successfully too.
Some are using the heavier branded social ad space to serve ads to target audiences, whereas other brands are using more entertaining visual content and relying on the viral aspect of organic sharing.
Either way, social media marketing is a powerful and relatively inexpensive way to get content out to a vast audience, targeting people subliminally by means of exposure in users’ feeds. This not only works for B2C but also B2B, after all, most business decision makers have private social media accounts.
If you need some advice on how to get in front of your desired audience on social media, Whitefish Marketing can help. Based in Folkestone Kent, we are masters of the social arena and how to use this to the advantage of your business. Call us on 01303 720 288.