What is Social Media Marketing?


In the past decade, alongside the introduction of 5+ major social media platforms, social media advertising has developed into a multi-billion dollar industry. How has it grown, and what is the scale of it compared to other markets?.

The Development

Ever since social media marketing was introduced with the introduction of Google and Facebook around the early 2000s to late 1990s, it has been a very scalable market seeing some promising growth in the first 5-10 years of its development. The online advertising economy saw another vital contributor to its expansion with the founding of Instagram in 2010. In the early 2010s, this form of advertising became more popular with companies looking to promote and scale their online service, growing to over $100 Billion by 2013 for aggregate digital ad costs yearly. As of 2020, social media advertising is now worth over 50% of the advertising market, valued at +$500 Billion. The growth has resulted from the regular and exciting updates to the social media app range and new interfaces regularly introduced with engaging features.

Why is it still growing?

Analysts have predicted the market will still grow a few hundred billion dollars by 2024. Why is it still growing? The predictions state that the digitalised ads are more engaging for users and give better results than other forms such as billboards, newspaper articles and other physical forms of marketing. With hours spent on social media apps such as Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, Snapchat and Google from users shows that a lot of the companies target audience engage in content and think about what's put in front of them. Because of this near-addictive state social-media browsers are in, when they indulge in content, it brings out record results and increased sales for marketers if it's done right. After seeing a positive outcome, advertisers invest more money and recommend it to neighbouring businesses, discussing how to generate more attention and revenue from ads.

How do advertisers take advantage of it?

The convenience of having a digital link within the advertisement encourages customers to act straight away, quickly accessing a website and spending money through a few clicks. With the easy access to a gateway or website where they can buy or find more about the advertiser, a customer only needs a few second hook video or piece of appealing content that engages with their interests and provokes them to find out more. Compared to a physical billboard, online advertising encourages customers to buy or spend money immediately, obviously added a lot of convenience for customers and making digital advertising the successor for both parties. Many elements and data social media companies can gather to improve their service make ads more personalised towards the customer and helps them convert website visitors into revenue. The extreme growth rate seen in the last ten decades shows how well it's working.