Social Media Marketing (SMM) as Networking Technique Essay

Introduction, reasons behind the popularity of smm, advantages and disadvantages of smm to entrepreneurs, how smm helps pepsi gain more customer insight, two businesses that have used smm to their advantage, future expectations of sm on marketing.

The business realm across the world has been undergoing enormous transformations and one of the foremost changes in the entrepreneurship sector is the emergence of technological advancements (Evans & McKee, 2010).

Modern technologies have been integral in supporting the growth and development of rapturous networking activities and Social Media (SM) has presently become one of the main issues in the business paradigm. Social media platforms, which comprise the actively consumed websites that are enhanced by the advent of the net 2.0 technologies, have been significantly influential in major business undertakings.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a modern marketing technique that uses social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Google+ among other social networks (Neti, 2011). The use of social media marketing strategies is increasingly becoming viral across the world, thus becoming renowned as viral marketing. This study examines the overall impact of SMM on modern entrepreneurship.

Marketing as a business strategy entails activities such as advertisement, announcement, promotion, and these marketing components require effective communication. As one of the best contemporary innovations, social networks are exceedingly becoming the focal point of human social interaction, thus presenting unique entrepreneurial experiences (Evans & McKee, 2010).

Social media is one of the modern communication tools that have recently proven to be powerful in influencing both informal and formal communication, where millions of potential consumers interact freely. Having the ability to engage consumers in an active interaction where sharing of information is effectual through powerful technological devices, social media is gradually receiving attention from businesses of all sizes.

Social media platforms currently tend to associate with flexibility, effectiveness, convenience, and efficiency in business communication where investors are capable of sharing important information with their stakeholders, who include potential business clients (Bailyn, 2012).

By using social networks in business communication, flexibility is achievable via devices that support these platforms, which mainly include accessible technological devices like mobile phones, computers, and tablets (Pradiptarini, 2011). Users access these social networks at their convenient time, hence communication consistency.

Businesspersons consider social networks as convenient communication and information-sharing tools for they involve instant feedback ability where messages reach users expediently. Most recently, researchers have found a great correlation between the use of social networks in businesses with enhanced sales output following increased connection between consumers and entrepreneurs (Pradiptarini, 2011).

Communities, which form the most excellent composure of active consumers of products and services of businesses, are the leading cause of rapid growth of social media marketing.

Since social media involves engaging in diverse online social networking communities, it potentially has substantial influence on attracting enormous consumer population (Pradiptarini, 2011). More specific, as all modern businesses in the markets are targeting the youthful consumers, vibrant youths in social networks offer business boom.

Social media marketing emerged with numerous experiences and brought several opportunities as well as challenges that entrepreneurs have encountered. Being a hotly business contested subject, social networks seem to have presented some potential benefits that have encouraged businesses in their performance (Evans & McKee, 2010).

Social media platforms are essential facets of exposing the business to the competitive markets and reaching out potential consumers. The foremost advantage of social networks in businesses is the enhancement of communication, information exchange, and knowledge sharing.

This aspect of social networks enhances a mutual connection between consumers and entrepreneurs that subsequently boosts the productivity of the businesses. During promotion, advertising, and announcement of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace are progressively becoming essential communication tools (Bailyn, 2012).

These social media networks play a pivotal role in boosting marketing campaigns for organization’s products and services, which subsequently influences positive business outcomes. Modern consumers currently rely more on social networks to access relevant information concerning new products and services offered by companies.

Marketing also involves procedures of unveiling and introducing new products to the market in a process commonly known as product launching. Research considers social media as a great platform useful in creating the accurate market buzz before launching a new product or service (Vries et al., 2012).

As consumers are currently demanding exemplary services, social media enhances marketing campaigns, which are becoming useful in strengthening product and service information within the markets.

Consumers tend to concentrate and associate with famous market products and since social media are assisting in communication of information pertaining to product and service, they help in building brand reputation.

Companies using social networks are capable of attracting public attention more easily and marketing effectiveness of these networks becomes eminent when business performance enhances through increased market share and revenue performance (Vries et al., 2012).

Using powerful videos, photographs, audio streaming, widgets, and other social media features, companies create and share quality content to communicate their services and products to the business community.

Notwithstanding its ability to transform almost every aspect of modern business activity through sophisticated technologies, social media has also received criticism from entrepreneurs (Pradiptarini, 2011). The foremost challenge that comes with the modern technologies and the social media networks is the presence of insecurity within these platforms.

Entrepreneurs have little potency to control the growing cyberspace and Internet security, possess little control over the entire conservation, and can barely manipulate the pessimistic perceptions of clients expressed in public social websites (Vries et al., 2012). There is a high possibility of getting negative feedback from ill-motivated clients due to bad opinions from competitors expressed on social media.

The vibrant cyber activities that engage genuine civilians and illegitimate users across networks with little control strategies placed by the organizations, places companies at high risk of encountering fraud (Bailyn, 2012).

Tracing the route of negative conversation and fraudulent activities is a challenge and as many companies continually engage in social media marketing, the fears about losing billions of finances in fraud cases remain unsettled.

Since its inception as a potential marketing tool, social media marketing has been the most anticipated practice among several small, medium, and even multinational corporations. As Neti (2011) postulates, “Adult beverage companies, exotic automobile manufacturers, pastry shops have been using social media tool” (p.8).

Alongside other major multinational companies, PepsiCo is one of the world-leading international companies famous for producing carbonated Pepsi soft drinks, and currently, its Pepsi Refresh project has provided a new breakthrough in its marketing strategies.

Pepsi Refresh project is responsible for turning individuals’ dreams into realities by producing and researching about marketing possibilities of PepsiCo and funding amazing ideas that support the notion of Pepsi as a soft drink that refreshes the world.

Being responsible for managing resources of the billion dollars worth corporation PepsiCo, Pepsi Refresh project has recently associated with social media marketing as one of its major strategy to make Pepsi a world refreshing drink.

In marketing their major business, going to the market, unveiling, and launching new brands from the company, Pepsi undertook an online consumer-based study in which it concluded that social media was essential in creating and sharing ideas.

Results on the investigations from the 2009 Pepsi Optimism Project about the means of communication of the research impelled PepsiCo to develop off and online forums where social innovation could help in marketing the Pepsi Refresh Project. According to Neti (2011), “Pepsi Coke, Nokia and many of the top brands have effectively used social media for achieving their business objectives” (p.8).

During the process of establishing and informing people about the Pepsi Refresh project, PepsiCo consistently used social media tactics to access multitudes of people.

PepsiCo used Facebook, Twitter, and to market its idea, and this viral marketing through text messages and video clips captured a huge public attention successfully. In using social media in marketing the Pepsi Refresh Project, the company spent less money.

Through, Pepsi became the most publicly renowned Super Bowl brands. In its impact, approximately 37% of Americans familiarized with Pepsi compared to 12% for the same marketing program. Over eighteen million exceptional consumer-oriented visitors engaged in activities of the website.

In online brand rating and voting, more than 12,000 projects received consumer votes, with approximately 2 million online comments from 76 million votes cast.

Benefiting from the newly developed website, brand attributes increased exponentially with products receiving favorability, trust, and attention among other important public interests. Online communities and consumers’ fan pages concerning the Pepsi products started developing following the initial influence.

Demonstrated by a continuum of studies, investigations on the marketing rivalry among the major U.S corporations have continuously identified Pepsi and Coke as the biggest rivalries. However, most American companies, including those in the fortune 500, have already integrated social media marketing. Apart from the beverage companies, exotic automobile manufacturers are using social media marketing.

Retail companies as well as other major corporations have noticed the positive impact of social media in marketing. Microsoft and Wal-Mart are two major fortune 500 companies that have demonstrated exemplary approach towards social media marketing, with Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn being the most used social websites in marketing their products.

The two companies have established social media as one of the most effectual communication and interaction tool where millions of active potential consumers made of optimistic youthful population meet freely. Pradiptarini (2011) acknowledges a substantial influence of these social networks in enhancing marketing strategies, boosting sales revenues, and subsequently influencing financial growth.

As social media gives marketers opportunities to communicate to the public and more specifically, the vibrant peers, consumers and potential customers, both Coke and Pepsi have been lively in promoting their brands through major social networks renowned in the US.

Microsoft and Wal-Mart have been using social media marketing as a strategy in building brand awareness, launching new products from the company, and generating leads. As Vries et al. (2012) affirm, “Companies can place brand posts (containing videos, messages, quizzes, information, and other material) on these brand fan pages” (p.83).

Wal-Mart and Microsoft have engaged their potential consumers in advertisements, promotional activities, and other marketing activities that reveal product information to the consumers.

Regarding their involvement in brands and companies on the social media, Pradiptarini (2011), noticed that approximately 71.14% of the Facebook users proved to be fans of brands produced by the two companies. In addition, 38.63% of their Twitter fans and followers, followed brands advertised by the two companies.

People have awakened towards a contemporary business world that requires present and forthcoming technologies to improve their overall effectiveness and social media is the probable marketing tool whose influence may never cease (Vries et al., 2012). The world is currently experiencing a shortage of youth employment and social interactions have been one of the leisure activities that keep youths engaged.

With the emergence of powerful technological devices like tablets, upgraded laptops, and the Smartphone technologies, social media continue to be a trendy business and social tool. The number of Facebook accounts, Twitter users, and other social media users following new brands and products online is rapidly increasing (Neti, 2011).

Coupled with unique and captivating experiences that social networks provide to the active youths and businesspersons, online working opportunities like brand advertising, social media may continue influencing social and business life for millions of decades to come (Pradiptarini, 2011).

Social media is an all-inclusive advancing technology where all age groups have their portion and as the present population gets weary, new generating still admire these experiences.

Notwithstanding its great potential in influencing millions of users, emerging issues in the cybercrime and related cyberspace insecurity may continue posing significant challenges to the social network users. Internet hacking activities, cyberbullying, and several other unethical practices associated with social networking are subjecting users to frustrations (Evans & McKee, 2010).

Since few policies and rules are currently present in curbing cyberspace insecurity and users are becoming used to social networks unaware of the mushrooming dangers, use of social media may face drastic collapse in the occurrence of a significant concern (Evans & McKee, 2010). Organizations themselves do not have governance and processes for controlling the use of social media within and outside the company.

Both Facebook and Twitter have reported criminal challenges and even in their privacy terms, abuse-related concerns are not addressed appropriately (Bailyn, 2012). In other websites, cases pertaining to social media crime remain undermined, go unreported, or even lack enough evidence to capture and prosecute the offenders.

The US is among the nations experiencing a rapid influx of social networking activities with this rise in social media networking, providing companies and consumers a gateway to enhanced communication. Advanced beverage companies, exotic automobile companies, and even pastry shops have recognized social media as a powerful marketing tool that connects companies with consumers.

Pepsi, Coca Cola, and Nokia technologies are among the American multinational companies that have embraced the use of social media in marketing and successfully witnessed impressive results. They have reported increased brand positive reputation, increased product attention, enhanced customer relationship, and boosted sales turnover.

Although most likely to continue facing high risks related to cybercrime, social media marketing may continue influencing marketing strategies of companies as present and maybe future generations will still continue anticipating for these experiences.

Bailyn, E. (2012). Outsmarting Social Media: Profiting in the Age of Friendship Marketing. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Evans, D., & McKee, J. (2010). Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement . New York, NY: Wiley Publishing Inc.

Neti, S. (2011). Social media and its role in marketing. International Journal of Enterprise Computing and Business Systems, 1 (2), 1-15.

Pradiptarini, C. (2011). Social Media Marketing: Measuring Its Effectiveness and Identifying the Target Market. Journal of Undergraduate Research, 14, 1-11.

Vries, L., Gensler, S., & Leeflang, P. (2012). Popularity of Brand Posts on Brand Fan Pages: An Investigation of the Effects of Social Media Marketing. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26 (1), 83–91.

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Essay: Social media advertising

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The numbers of companies who advertise on social media platforms like Facebook are increasing rapidly in recent years. The diversification of online advertising into social media can be seen everywhere. Facebook advertising is potentially able to reach 699 million daily active users with 1 billion registered users in worldwide (Wordstream, 2014). Scott (2008) says, ‘One of the coolest things about the Web is that when an idea takes off it can propel a brand or a company to seemingly instant fame and fortune.’ He also comments that even though communicating through social media is free at most of the time but only a small number of public relations practitioners are effectively using social media when communicating with their strategic public. Thus, do public relations practitioners have certainly perfected the art of social media advertising? Back during past times, public relations practitioners approached audiences through traditional media. With no doubt, it plays a dynamic role as a medium between organization and its public to highlight their image and impression transparently. However, social media and technology such as Facebook is preferable in globalization for IMC. In 2010, Nike broke its ‘Write the Future’ World Cup campaign on Facebook before the ads aired on television (Business Insider, 2012). Public relations practitioners indicate that the combination of social media and traditional media will enhance the impact of the message by the organization when developing IMC strategies plans. The rapid growth of Facebook in both popularity and number of users make it as first choice advertising platform when lack of budget. As an example, to generate brand awareness for its Old Spice fragrance line, Procter & Gamble invited Facebook users to ‘Turn Up Your Man Smell’ by becoming fans of its products. The brand’s fan page had more than 120,000 new fans in a week (Morrisey, 2009). Furthermore, Toyota who faced with declining sales in the wake of safety recalls used a combination of YouTube videos and Facebook pages to promote its Sienna minivan. Approximately 2000 Facebook users were signing on as fans of the Sienna within few weeks (Elliott, 2010). Impacts of online advertising are huge. The cross channel messaging allows public relations practitioners keeping company’s messages consistent across Facebook which provide greater availability of information in editorial articles and interviews with company personnel. It is definitely help to create brand awareness and recognition via Facebook. Facebook ads, an alternative IMC tool for public relations practitioners to post unpaid links on Facebook pointing to companies’ website or landing pages. Ebay uses a partnership with Facebook which ‘integrates Facebook’s Open Graph global commerce platforms. It is intended to encourage developers to create eBay apps on Facebook that will generate more business for Ebay (Business Insider, 2012)’. Amazon also uses Facebook as a way to drive customers with deals, sweepstakes and giveaways (Business Insider, 2012). Disney has managed 267 pages on Facebook with more than 300 million cumulative Page likes. It uses Facebook to entertain users by sharing movie trailers, songs with attach their other social media landing sites (Business Insider, 2012). In additional, contents for advertisements on social media are now not only limited on text and photos. Facebook implemented ‘Promoted Posts’ in June 2012 and in December 2013 they announced the launch of video ads, sponsored that automatically play in news feeds (Brand Watch, 2014). Zynga ‘ Facebook’s biggest advertiser is spending more than $200 million on sales and marketing for online advertising in form of video ads and promoted ads (Business Insider, 2012). Moreover, Facebook serves as a channel where companies can quickly diffuse specific messages to a wider audience when compared with traditional media such as press releases or printed advertisement. It is more than a broadcast tool because public relations practitioners are now bypassing the middle man and getting permission direct from the end users. Public relations practitioners do not need to get permission to publish news or advertise to medium like newspapers, radios and television since social media is free. It is important in developing an IMC strategies plan for companies because messages public relations practitioners share with audiences can be a long term relationship in the form of page fans on Facebook. They are able to participate in conversations and answer questions directly to audiences, engaging them and leaving no room for the closed loop information delivery to newspapers or magazines (Aggarwal, 2014). It enables to initiate two-way communication with customers and develop relationships with customers via communication and interaction. Citibank who sponsors many different events like concerts, arts and charities has make Facebook as their main CRM channels which customers can get answers from the public relations practitioners or social media staff quickly (Business Insider, 2012). However, the millions of Facebook users are breaking down traditional categories of audiences ‘ employees, customers and shareholders into more specific categories. The nature of Facebook means all audiences can read communications intended for any one audience. Thus, public practitioners cannot assume that advertisements on Facebook will reach everyone as an individual may or may not see information on a Facebook page. ‘83% of surveyed Facebook users report that they would find Facebook’s video ads intrusive and would likely ignore them’, says marketing consultant Analytic Partners (Brand Watch, 2014). Cost for advertising has increased for companies. Besides that, public relations practitioners are required to attend training program in order to learn how to engage with customers on social media. For example, Dell was making $9 million a year in revenues from sales generated by Facebook and other social media. Its commitment is Dell’s social media employee training program has trained more than 10,000 employees (Business Insider, 2012).

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essay on social media advertising

Social Media Essay: A Full Guide

essay on social media advertising

In an era where a single tweet can spark a global conversation and an Instagram post can redefine trends, it's fascinating to note that the average person spends approximately 2 hours and 31 minutes per day on social media platforms. That's more than 900 hours a year devoted to scrolling, liking, and sharing in the vast digital landscape. As we find ourselves deeply intertwined in the fabric of online communities, the significance of understanding and articulating the dynamics of social media through the written word, particularly in an essay on social media, becomes increasingly apparent. So, why embark on the journey of crafting an essay on this ubiquitous aspect of modern life? Join us as we unravel the layers of social media's impact, explore its nuances, and discover the art of conveying these insights through the written form.

Short Description

In this article, we'll explore how to write an essay on social media and the purpose behind these narratives while also delving into a myriad of engaging topics. From the heartbeat of online connections to the rhythm of effective storytelling, we'll guide you organically through the process, sharing insights on structure, approach, and the creative essence that makes each essay unique. And if you're seeking assistance, pondering - ' I wish I could find someone to write my essay ,' we'll also furnish example essays to empower you to tackle such tasks independently.

Why Write a Social Media Essay

In a world buzzing with hashtags, filters, and the constant hum of notifications, the idea of sitting down to craft an essay about social media might seem as out of place as a cassette tape in a streaming era. Yet, there's something oddly therapeutic, almost rebellious, about pausing in the midst of 280-character wisdom to delve deeper into the why behind our digital existence.

So, what is social media essay, and what's the purpose of writing it? Well, it's more than just an exercise in intellectual curiosity. It's a personal journey, a reflective pause in the ceaseless scroll. While writing the essay, we gain the power to articulate the intangible, to breathe life into the pixels that dance across our screens. It's an opportunity to make sense of the chaos, to find meaning in the memes, and perhaps, in the process, to uncover a bit more about ourselves in this digital wilderness.

Let's face it - our online lives are a fast-paced carousel of memes, viral challenges, and carefully curated selfies. So, why bother wrestling with words and paragraphs in a world where brevity is king? The answer lies in the art of unraveling the digital tapestry that envelops us.

There's a magic in articulating the dance between the profound and the mundane that occurs within the confines of our screens. An essay becomes a lens, focusing our attention on the subtleties of social media dynamics – the inside jokes that become global phenomena, the ripple effect of a well-timed retweet, and the silent conversations unfolding in the comment sections.

6 Key Tips for Crafting a Social Media Essay

Now that we've set sail into the realm of essays on the digital landscape, it's only fair to equip ourselves with a few trusty tools for the journey. Think of these tips as your compass, helping you navigate the sometimes choppy, often unpredictable waters of crafting an essay on social media.

tips social media essay

  • Embrace Your Authentic Voice: Just like your favorite Instagram filter can't hide the real you, your essay should reflect your genuine thoughts and feelings. Don't be afraid to let your unique voice shine through – whether it's witty, contemplative, or a delightful blend of both.
  • Dive into the Details: Social media isn't just about the grand gestures; it's the small, often unnoticed details that weave the most compelling narratives. Explore the minutiae of your online experiences – the peculiar hashtags, the quirky bios, and the unexpected connections that leave a lasting imprint.
  • Craft Your Hashtag Haiku: Much like poetry, brevity can be your ally in social media essays. Think of hashtags as haikus – succinct, impactful, and capable of conveying a universe of meaning in just a few characters. Choose them wisely.
  • Engage with the Comments Section: The comments section is the lively pub where digital conversations unfold. Dive in, clink glasses, and engage with the diverse perspectives swirling around. It's in these interactions that the real magic happens – where ideas collide, evolve, and sometimes, transform.
  • Navigate the Memescape: Memes are the folklore of the digital age, carrying tales of humor, irony, and cultural resonance. Don't shy away from exploring the memescape in your essay. Unravel the layers, decipher the symbolism, and appreciate the humor that often holds up a mirror to society.
  • Be Mindful of the Clickbait Pitfalls: While clickbait might be the flashy neon sign on the digital highway, it's essential to tread carefully. Ensure your essay isn't just a sensational headline but a thoughtful exploration that goes beyond the surface.

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Social Media Essay Structure

In the age of viral tweets and digital conversations, tackling the essay format is more than just stringing words together—it's about creating a roadmap. As we navigate this landscape of likes and retweets, understanding the structural foundations becomes key. So, let's cut through the noise and explore the practical aspects of how to write a social media essay that mirrors the rhythm of our online experiences.

social media essay outline

Form an Outline

Now that we've acknowledged the importance of structure in your essay, the next step is to build a solid roadmap. Think of it like planning a road trip; you wouldn't hit the highway without a map or GPS, right? Similarly, creating an outline for your essay gives you a clear direction and ensures your thoughts flow smoothly.

So, whether you decide to order an essay online or tackle it yourself, here's a simple way to go about it:

Introduction (Where You Start):

  • Briefly introduce the topic.
  • State your social media essay thesis or main idea.
  • Example: 'Let's begin by introducing the impact of social media on modern communication, focusing on its role in shaping opinions and fostering connections.'

Body Paragraphs (The Journey):

  • Each paragraph should cover a specific social media essay argument and point.
  • Use examples or evidence to support your ideas.
  • Example: 'The first aspect we'll explore is how social media amplifies voices. For instance, hashtags like #ClimateAction mobilize a global audience around environmental issues.'

Transitions (Smooth Turns):

  • Guide your readers from one point to the next.
  • Ensure a logical flow between paragraphs.
  • Example: 'Having discussed the amplification of voices, let's now shift our focus to the influence of social media in spreading information.'

Counter Arguments (Addressing Detours):

  • Acknowledge different perspectives.
  • Counter Arguments with evidence or reasoning.
  • Example: 'While social media can be a powerful tool for connectivity, critics argue that it also contributes to the spread of misinformation. Let's explore this counterargument and analyze its validity.'

Conclusion (The Destination):

  • Summarize your main points.
  • Restate your thesis and leave a lasting impression.
  • Example: 'In conclusion, social media serves as both a bridge and a battleground of ideas. Understanding its nuances is crucial in navigating this digital landscape.'

Creating an outline for your essay not only streamlines the writing process but also ensures your readers embark on a clear and organized journey through your insights on social media. If you're exploring more options, you might even want to buy thesis for more convenience.

Make a Social Media Essay Introduction

Begin your introduction by presenting a concise overview of the key theme or topic you're addressing. Clearly state the main purpose or argument of your essay, giving readers a roadmap for what to expect. Integrate social media essay hooks like a relevant statistic, quote, or provocative question to capture attention.

For instance, if your essay is about the impact of social media on personal relationships, you might start by mentioning a statistic on the percentage of couples who met online.

Social Media Essay Body Paragraph

Structure each social media essay body paragraph around a specific aspect of your chosen topic. Start with a clear topic sentence that encapsulates the main idea of the paragraph. Provide concrete examples, data, or case studies to support your points and strengthen your argument. Maintain a logical flow between paragraphs by using effective transitions.

If your essay focuses on the positive effects of social media on business marketing, dedicate a paragraph to showcasing successful campaigns and how they leveraged different platforms.

Social Media Essay Conclusion

In your conclusion, succinctly recap the main points discussed in the body paragraphs. Reinforce your thesis statement and emphasize its broader implications. Rather than introducing new information, use the conclusion to leave a lasting impression on your readers. Consider prompting further thought or suggesting practical applications of your findings.

For instance, if your essay examined the impact of social media on political discourse, conclude by encouraging readers to critically evaluate the information they encounter online and actively engage in constructive conversations.

Proofread and Revise

In the process of writing social media essay, proofreading and revising are indispensable steps that can significantly enhance the overall quality of your work. Begin by meticulously checking for grammatical errors, ensuring that your sentences are clear and concise. Pay attention to the flow of your ideas, confirming that each paragraph seamlessly transitions into the next.

During the proofreading phase, keep an eye out for any inconsistencies in tone or style. This is an opportunity to refine your language and ensure that it aligns with the intended voice of your essay. Look for repetitive phrases or unnecessary words that might detract from the clarity of your message.

As you revise, consider the effectiveness of your hook. Does it still resonate as strongly as you intended? Can it be tweaked to better captivate your audience? A compelling hook sets the tone for your entire essay, so invest time in perfecting this crucial element.

Furthermore, don't hesitate to seek feedback from peers or mentors. Another perspective can provide valuable insights into areas that may need improvement. Fresh eyes often catch nuances that the writer might overlook. Alternatively, you might also explore the option to buy coursework for additional support.

Social Media Essay Topics

In the vast realm of social media, where every like and share contributes to the digital narrative, choosing the right essay topic becomes a crucial compass for exploration. Let's explore thought-provoking topics that not only capture attention but also invite insightful discussions on the intricacies of our interconnected world.

Impact on Society:

  • The Role of Social Media in Redefining Friendship and Social Bonds
  • How Has TikTok Influenced Global Pop Culture Trends?
  • The Impact of Social Media on Political Polarization
  • Social Media and Mental Health: Exploring the Connection
  • The Evolution of Language on Social Media Platforms
  • Examining the Influence of Social Media on Body Image
  • Fake News and Its Proliferation on Social Media
  • Social Media and the Rise of Influencer Marketing
  • The Intersection of Social Media and Dating Apps
  • Has Social Media Narrowed or Expanded Cultural Perspectives?
  • The Role of Social Media in Fostering Global Communities
  • The Influence of Social Media on Consumer Behavior
  • Analyzing the Impact of Social Media on News Consumption
  • The Rise of 'Cancel Culture' on Social Media Platforms
  • Social Media and Its Role in Spreading Disinformation
  • The Impact of Social Media on Language and Communication Skills
  • Social Media and its Influence on Political Movements
  • The Relationship Between Social Media Use and Sleep Patterns
  • Social Media and the Accessibility of Educational Resources
  • The Cultural Significance of Memes on Social Media

Individual and Identity:

  • The Impact of Social Media Addiction on Personal Relationships and Intimacy
  • Self-Expression and Authenticity on Social Networking Sites
  • Social Media and Its Influence on Teenage Identity Formation
  • The Role of Social Media in Shaping Beauty Standards
  • Navigating Online Dating and Relationships in the Social Media Age
  • The Impact of Social Media on Parenting Styles
  • Social Media and Its Influence on Body Positivity Movements
  • The Perception of Success: Social Media's Role in Achievement Culture
  • Social Media and the Construction of Online Persona vs. Real Self
  • Social Media and Its Influence on Lifestyle Choices
  • The Role of Social Media in Shaping Career Aspirations
  • The Intersection of Mental Health Narratives and Social Media
  • The Impact of Social Media on Self-Esteem and Well-Being
  • How Social Media Influences Gender Identity and Expression
  • Exploring the Concept of Digital Detox in the Social Media Era
  • The Role of Social Media in Shaping Cultural Identity
  • The Connection Between Social Media and Impulse Buying
  • Social Media and Its Influence on Dietary Choices
  • Balancing Privacy and Self-Disclosure on Social Media
  • The Impact of Social Media on Friendships Over Time

Digital Activism and Advocacy:

  • The Effectiveness of Hashtag Movements in Promoting Social Change
  • Social Media and Its Role in Amplifying Underrepresented Voices
  • The Impact of Social Media on Global Environmental Activism
  • Online Activism: The Evolution from Clicktivism to Concrete Action
  • The Role of Social Media in Advancing LGBTQ+ Rights
  • Social Media and Its Impact on Anti-Racism Movements
  • Analyzing the Challenges of Digital Advocacy in Authoritarian Regimes
  • Social Media and the Global Fight Against Cyberbullying
  • The Intersection of Social Media and Mental Health Advocacy
  • Examining the Role of Social Media in Humanitarian Campaigns
  • Crowdsourcing for Change: How Social Media Fuels Fundraising
  • The Challenges of Digital Activism in the Age of Information Overload
  • Social Media and Its Impact on Disability Advocacy
  • The Role of Social Media in Combating Gender-Based Violence
  • Online Petitions and Their Influence on Policy Change
  • Exploring the Intersection of Social Media and Animal Rights Activism
  • The Impact of Social Media on Indigenous Rights Advocacy
  • Digital Advocacy and Its Role in Healthcare Reform
  • Social Media's Influence on Youth Activism
  • Navigating Challenges in Allyship on Social Media Platforms

Privacy and Ethics:

  • The Implications of Facial Recognition Technology on Social Media
  • Social Media Platforms and the Ethics of User Data Collection
  • The Role of Social Media in Combating Deepfakes
  • Balancing Freedom of Speech and Moderation on Social Media
  • Social Media and the Challenges of Regulating Disinformation
  • Ethical Considerations in Targeted Advertising on Social Media
  • The Impact of Social Media Algorithms on User Behavior
  • Social Media and the Right to Privacy: Where to Draw the Line?
  • The Influence of Social Media on Political Manipulation and Propaganda
  • Data Security Concerns in the Era of Social Media
  • The Ethics of Social Media Influencer Marketing
  • Social Media and Its Role in Combating Cyberbullying
  • The Impact of Social Media on Juror Bias in Legal Cases
  • Exploring the Ethics of Incorporating Social Media Usage in Hiring Decisions by Employers
  • Social Media and Its Role in Combating Hate Speech
  • Balancing Personalization with Privacy in Social Media Websites
  • The Influence of Social Media on Public Perceptions of Law Enforcement
  • Social Media and the Challenges of Content Moderation
  • Addressing Online Harassment: Ethical Considerations for Platforms
  • The Responsibility of Social Media Platforms in Protecting User Privacy

Future Trends and Innovations:

  • The Future of Social Media: Emerging Platforms and Trends
  • The Role of Augmented Reality (AR) in Shaping the Future of Social Media
  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Its Potential Impact on Social Media Engagement
  • The Rise of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and Social Media
  • Social Media and the Evolution of Live Streaming Culture
  • The Impact of Voice Search and Voice Assistants on Social Media
  • Social Commerce: The Future of E-Commerce Through Social Media
  • Exploring the Influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Social Media
  • The Role of Blockchain Technology in Enhancing Social Media Security
  • Social Media and the Integration of Virtual Influencers
  • The Future of Social Media Content: Short-Form vs. Long-Form
  • The Influence of User-Generated Content on Future Social Media Trends
  • Social Media and the Adoption of 5G Technology
  • The Potential of Gamification in Shaping Social Media Engagement
  • The Impact of Social Media on the Future of Work and Remote Collaboration
  • Exploring the Relationship Between Social Media and Mental Health Apps
  • The Influence of User Privacy Concerns on Future Social Media Developments
  • Social Media and the Role of Ephemeral Content in Communication
  • The Intersection of Social Media and Virtual Events
  • Predicting the Next Wave of Social Media Influencer Trends

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The future of social media in marketing

  • Conceptual/Theoretical Paper
  • Open access
  • Published: 12 October 2019
  • Volume 48 , pages 79–95, ( 2020 )

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  • Gil Appel 1 ,
  • Lauren Grewal 2 ,
  • Rhonda Hadi 3 &
  • Andrew T. Stephen 3 , 4  

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Social media allows people to freely interact with others and offers multiple ways for marketers to reach and engage with consumers. Considering the numerous ways social media affects individuals and businesses alike, in this article, the authors focus on where they believe the future of social media lies when considering marketing-related topics and issues. Drawing on academic research, discussions with industry leaders, and popular discourse, the authors identify nine themes, organized by predicted imminence (i.e., the immediate, near, and far futures), that they believe will meaningfully shape the future of social media through three lenses: consumer, industry, and public policy. Within each theme, the authors describe the digital landscape, present and discuss their predictions, and identify relevant future research directions for academics and practitioners.

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Social media is used by billions of people around the world and has fast become one of the defining technologies of our time. Facebook, for example, reported having 2.38 billion monthly active users and 1.56 billion daily active users as of March 31, 2019 (Facebook 2019 ). Globally, the total number of social media users is estimated to grow to 3.29 billion users in 2022, which will be 42.3% of the world’s population (eMarketer 2018 ). Given the massive potential audience available who are spending many hours a day using social media across the various platforms, it is not surprising that marketers have embraced social media as a marketing channel. Academically, social media has also been embraced, and an extensive body of research on social media marketing and related topics, such as online word of mouth (WOM) and online networks, has been developed. Despite what academics and practitioners have studied and learned over the last 15–20 years on this topic, due to the fast-paced and ever-changing nature of social media—and how consumers use it—the future of social media in marketing might not be merely a continuation of what we have already seen. Therefore, we ask a pertinent question, what is the future of social media in marketing?

Addressing this question is the goal of this article. It is important to consider the future of social media in the context of consumer behavior and marketing, since social media has become a vital marketing and communications channel for businesses, organizations and institutions alike, including those in the political sphere. Moreover, social media is culturally significant since it has become, for many, the primary domain in which they receive vast amounts of information, share content and aspects of their lives with others, and receive information about the world around them (even though that information might be of questionable accuracy). Vitally, social media is always changing. Social media as we know it today is different than even a year ago (let alone a decade ago), and social media a year from now will likely be different than now. This is due to constant innovation taking place on both the technology side (e.g., by the major platforms constantly adding new features and services) and the user/consumer side (e.g., people finding new uses for social media) of social media.

What is social media?

Definitionally, social media can be thought of in a few different ways. In a practical sense, it is a collection of software-based digital technologies—usually presented as apps and websites—that provide users with digital environments in which they can send and receive digital content or information over some type of online social network. In this sense, we can think of social media as the major platforms and their features, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We can also in practical terms of social media as another type of digital marketing channel that marketers can use to communicate with consumers through advertising. But we can also think of social media more broadly, seeing it less as digital media and specific technology services, and more as digital places where people conduct significant parts of their lives. From this perspective, it means that social media becomes less about the specific technologies or platforms, and more about what people do in these environments. To date, this has tended to be largely about information sharing, and, in marketing, often thought of as a form of (online) word of mouth (WOM).

Building on these definitional perspectives, and thinking about the future, we consider social media to be a technology-centric—but not entirely technological—ecosystem in which a diverse and complex set of behaviors, interactions, and exchanges involving various kinds of interconnected actors (individuals and firms, organizations, and institutions) can occur. Social media is pervasive, widely used, and culturally relevant. This definitional perspective is deliberately broad because we believe that social media has essentially become almost anything—content, information, behaviors, people, organizations, institutions—that can exist in an interconnected, networked digital environment where interactivity is possible. It has evolved from being simply an online instantiation of WOM behaviors and content/information creation and sharing. It is pervasive across societies (and geographic borders) and culturally prominent at both local and global levels.

Throughout the paper we consider many of the definitional and phenomenological aspects described above and explore their implications for consumers and marketing in order to address our question about the future of marketing-related social media. By drawing on academic research, discussions with industry leaders, popular discourse, and our own expertise, we present and discuss a framework featuring nine themes that we believe will meaningfully shape the future of social media in marketing. These themes by no means represent a comprehensive list of all emerging trends in the social media domain and include aspects that are both familiar in extant social media marketing literature (e.g., online WOM, engagement, and user-generated content) and emergent (e.g., sensory considerations in human-computer interaction and new types of unstructured data, including text, audio, images, and video). The themes we present were chosen because they capture important changes in the social media space through the lenses of important stakeholders, including consumers, industry/practice, and public policy.

In addition to describing the nature and consequences of each theme, we identify research directions that academics and practitioners may wish to explore. While it is infeasible to forecast precisely what the future has in store or to project these on a specific timeline, we have organized the emergent themes into three time-progressive waves, according to imminence of impact (i.e., the immediate, near, and far future). Before presenting our framework for the future of social media in marketing and its implications for research (and practice and policy), we provide a brief overview of where social media currently stands as a major media and marketing channel.

Social media at present

The current social media landscape has two key aspects to it. First are the platforms—major and minor, established and emerging—that provide the underlying technologies and business models making up the industry and ecosystem. Second are the use cases; i.e., how various kinds of people and organizations are using these technologies and for what purposes.

The rise of social media, and the manner in which it has impacted both consumer behavior and marketing practice, has largely been driven by the platforms themselves. Some readers might recall the “early days” of social media where social networking sites such as MySpace and Friendster were popular. These sites were precursors to Facebook and everything else that has developed over the last decade. Alongside these platforms, we continue to have other forms of social media such as messaging (which started with basic Internet Relay Chat services in the 1990s and the SMS text messaging built into early digital mobile telephone standards in the 2000s), and asynchronous online conversations arranged around specific topics of interest (e.g., threaded discussion forums, subreddits on Reddit). More recently, we have seen the rise of social media platforms where images and videos replace text, such as Instagram and Snapchat.

Across platforms, historically and to the present day, the dominant business model has involved monetization of users (audiences) by offering advertising services to anyone wishing to reach those audiences with digital content and marketing communications. Prior research has examined the usefulness of social media (in its various forms) for marketing purposes. For example, work by Trusov et al. ( 2009 ) and Stephen and Galak ( 2012 ) demonstrated that certain kinds of social interactions that now happen on social media (e.g., “refer a friend” features and discussions in online communities) can positively affect important marketing outcomes such as new customer acquisition and sales. More recently, the value of advertising on social media continues to be explored (e.g., Gordon et al. 2019 ), as well as how it interacts with other forms of media such as television (e.g., Fossen and Schweidel 2016 , 2019 ) and affects new product adoption through diffusion of information mechanisms (e.g., Hennig-Thurau et al. 2015 ).

Although the rise (and fall) of various kinds of social media platforms has been important for understanding the social media landscape, our contention is that understanding the current situation of social media, at least from a marketing perspective, lies more in what the users do on these platforms than the technologies or services offered by these platforms. Presently, people around the world use social media in its various forms (e.g., news feeds on Facebook and Twitter, private messaging on WhatsApp and WeChat, and discussion forums on Reddit) for a number of purposes. These can generally be categorized as (1) digitally communicating and socializing with known others, such as family and friends, (2) doing the same but with unknown others but who share common interests, and (3) accessing and contributing to digital content such as news, gossip, and user-generated product reviews.

All of these use cases are essentially WOM in one form or another. This, at least, is how marketing scholars have mainly characterized social media, as discussed by Lamberton and Stephen ( 2016 ). Indeed, online WOM has been—and, we contend, will continue to be—important in marketing (e.g., in the meta-analysis by Babić Rosario et al. 2016 the authors found, on average, a positive correlation between online WOM and sales). The present perspective on social media is that people use it for creating, accessing, and spreading information via WOM to various types of others, be it known “strong ties” or “weak ties” in their networks or unknown “strangers.” Some extant research has looked at social media from the WOM perspective of the consequences of the transmission of WOM (e.g., creating a Facebook post or tweeting) on others (e.g., Herhausen et al. 2019 ; Stephen and Lehmann 2016 ), the impact of the type of WOM content shared on others’ behavior (e.g., Villarroel Ordenes et al. 2017 ; Villarroel Ordenes et al. 2018 ), and on the motivations that drive consumer posting on social media, including considerations of status and self-presentation (e.g., Grewal et al. 2019 ; Hennig-Thurau et al. 2004 ; Hollenbeck and Kaikati 2012 ; Toubia and Stephen 2013 ; Wallace et al. 2014 ).

While this current characterization of WOM appears reasonable, it considers social media only from a communications perspective (and as a type of media channel). However, as social media matures, broader social implications emerge. To appropriately consider the future, we must expand our perspective beyond the narrow communicative aspects of social media and consider instead how consumers might use it. Hence, in our vision for the future of social media in marketing in the following sections, we attempt to present a more expansive perspective of what social media is (and will become) and explain why this perspective is relevant to marketing research and practice.

Overview of framework for the future of social media in marketing

In the following sections we present a framework for the immediate, near, and far future of social media in marketing when considering various relevant stakeholders. Themes in the immediate future represent those which already exist in the current marketplace, and that we believe will continue shaping the social media landscape. The near future section examines trends that have shown early signs of manifesting, and that we believe will meaningfully alter the social media landscape in the imminent future. Finally, themes designated as being in the far future represent more speculative projections that we deem capable of long-term influence on the future of social media. The next sections delve into each of the themes in Table 1 , organized around the predicted imminence of these theme’s importance to marketing (i.e., the immediate, near, and far futures).

The immediate future

To begin our discussion on the direction of social media, in this section, we highlight three themes that have surfaced in the current environment that we believe will continue to shape the social media landscape in the immediate future. These themes—omni-social presence, the rise of influencers, and trust and privacy concerns—reflect the ever-changing digital and social media landscape that we presently face. We believe that these different areas will influence a number of stakeholders such as individual social media users, firms and brands that utilize social media, and public policymakers (e.g., governments, regulators).

Omni-social presence

In its early days, social media activity was mostly confined to designated social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter (or their now-defunct precursors). However, a proliferation of websites and applications that primarily serve separate purposes have capitalized on the opportunity to embed social media functionality into their interfaces. Similarly, all major mobile and desktop operating systems have in-built social media integration (e.g., sharing functions built into Apple’s iOS). This has made social media pervasive and ubiquitous—and perhaps even omnipotent—and has extended the ecosystem beyond dedicated platforms.

Accordingly, consumers live in a world in which social media intersects with most aspects of their lives through digitally enabled social interactivity in such domains as travel (e.g., TripAdvisor), work (e.g., LinkedIn), food (e.g., Yelp), music (e.g., Spotify), and more. At the same time, traditional social media companies have augmented their platforms to provide a broader array of functionalities and services (e.g., Facebook’s marketplace, Chowdry 2018 ; WeChat’s payment system, Cheng 2017 ). These bidirectional trends suggest that the modern-day consumer is living in an increasingly “omni-social” world.

From a marketing perspective, the “omni-social” nature of the present environment suggests that virtually every part of a consumer’s decision-making process is prone to social media influence. Need recognition might be activated when a consumer watches their favorite beauty influencer trying a new product on YouTube. A consumer shopping for a car might search for information by asking their Facebook friends what models they recommend. A hungry employee might sift through Yelp reviews to evaluate different lunch options. A traveler might use Airbnb to book future accommodation. Finally, a highly dissatisfied (or delighted) airline passenger might rant (rave) about their experience on Twitter. While the decision-making funnel is arguably growing flatter than the aforementioned examples would imply (Cortizo-Burgess 2014 ), these independent scenarios illustrate that social media has the propensity to influence the entire consumer-decision making process, from beginning to end.

Finally, perhaps the greatest indication of an “omni-social” phenomenon is the manner in which social media appears to be shaping culture itself. YouTube influencers are now cultural icons, with their own TV shows (Comm 2016 ) and product lines (McClure 2015 ). Creative content in television and movies is often deliberately designed to be “gifable” and meme-friendly (Bereznak 2018 ). “Made-for-Instagram museums” are encouraging artistic content and experiences that are optimized for selfie-taking and posting (Pardes 2017 ). These examples suggest that social media’s influence is hardly restricted to the “online” world (we discuss the potential obsolescence of this term later in this paper), but is rather consistently shaping cultural artifacts (television, film, the arts) that transcend its traditional boundaries. We believe this trend will continue to manifest, perhaps making the term “social media” itself out-of-date, as it’s omni-presence will be the default assumption for consumers, businesses, and artists in various domains.

This omni-social trend generates many questions to probe in future research. For example, how will social interactivity influence consumer behavior in areas that had traditionally been non-social? From a practitioner lens, it might also be interesting to explore how marketers can strategically address the flatter decision-making funnel that social media has enabled, and to examine how service providers can best alter experiential consumption when anticipating social media sharing behavior.

The rise of new forms of social influence (and influencers)

The idea of using celebrities (in consumer markets) or well-known opinion leaders (in business markets), who have a high social value, to influence others is a well-known marketing strategy (Knoll and Matthes 2017 ). However, the omnipresence of social media has tremendously increased the accessibility and appeal of this approach. For example, Selena Gomez has over 144 million followers on Instagram that she engages with each of her posts. In 2018, the exposure of a single photo shared by her was valued at $3.4 million (Maxim 2018 ). However, she comes at a high price: one post that Selena sponsors for a brand can cost upwards of $800,000 (Mejia 2018 ). However, putting high valuations on mere online exposures or collecting “likes” for specific posts can be somewhat speculative, as academic research shows that acquiring “likes” on social media might have no effect on consumers’ attitudes or behaviors (John et al. 2017 ; Mochon et al. 2017 ). Moreover, Hennig-Thurau et al. ( 2015 ), show that while garnering positive WOM has little to no effect on consumer preferences, negative WOM can have a negative effect on consumer preferences.

While celebrities like Selena Gomez are possible influencers for major brands, these traditional celebrities are so expensive that smaller brands have begun, and will continue to, capitalize on the popularity and success of what are referred to as “micro-influencers,” representing a new form of influencers. Micro-influencers are influencers who are not as well-known as celebrities, but who have strong and enthusiastic followings that are usually more targeted, amounting anywhere between a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of followers (Main 2017 ). In general, these types of influencers are considered to be more trustworthy and authentic than traditional celebrities, which is a major reason influencer marketing has grown increasingly appealing to brands (Enberg 2018 ). These individuals are often seen as credible “experts” in what they post about, encouraging others to want to view the content they create and engage with them. Furthermore, using these influencers allows the brand via first person narration (compared to ads), which is considered warmer and more personal, and was shown to be more effective in engaging consumers (Chang et al. 2019 ).

Considering the possible reach and engagement influencers command on social media, companies have either begun embracing influencers on social media, or plan to expand their efforts in this domain even more. For example, in recent conversations we had with social media executives, several of them stated the growing importance of influencers and mentioned how brands generally are looking to incorporate influencer marketing into their marketing strategies. Further, recent conversations with executives at some globally leading brands suggest that influencer marketing spending by big brands continues to rise.

While influencer marketing on social media is not new, we believe it has a lot of potential to develop further as an industry. In a recent working paper, Duani et al. ( 2018 ) show that consumers enjoy watching a live experience much more and for longer time periods than watching a prerecorded one. Hence, we think live streaming by influencers will continue to grow, in broad domains as well as niche ones. For example, streaming of video game playing on Twitch, a platform owned by Amazon, may still be niche but shows no signs of slowing down. However, live platforms are limited by the fact that the influencers, being human, need to sleep and do other activities offline. Virtual influencers (i.e., “CGI” influencers that look human but are not), on the other hand, have no such limitations. They never get tired or sick, they do not even eat (unless it is needed for a campaign). Some brands have started exploring the use of virtual influencers (Nolan 2018 ), and we believe that in coming years, along with stronger computing power and artificial intelligence algorithms, virtual influencers will become much more prominent on social media, being able to invariably represent and act on brand values and engage with followers anytime.

There are many interesting future research avenues to consider when thinking about the role of influencers on social media. First, determining what traits and qualities (e.g., authenticity, trust, credibility, and likability) make sponsored posts by a traditional celebrity influencer, versus a micro-influencer, or even compared to a CGI influencer, more or less successful is important to determine for marketers. Understanding whether success has to do with the actual influencer’s characteristics, the type of content being posted, whether content is sponsored or not, and so on, are all relevant concerns for companies and social media platforms when determining partnerships and where to invest effort in influencers. In addition, research can focus on understanding the appeal of live influencer content, and how to successfully blend influencer content with more traditional marketing mix approaches.

Privacy concerns on social media

Consumer concerns regarding data privacy, and their ability to trust brands and platforms are not new (for a review on data privacy see Martin and Murphy 2017 ). Research in marketing and related disciplines has examined privacy and trust concerns from multiple angles and using different definitions of privacy. For example, research has focused on the connections between personalization and privacy (e.g., Aguirre et al. 2015 ; White et al. 2008 ), the relationship of privacy as it relates to consumer trust and firm performance (e.g., Martin 2018 ; Martin et al. 2017 ), and the legal and ethical aspects of data and digital privacy (e.g., Culnan and Williams 2009 ; Nill and Aalberts 2014 ). Despite this topic not seeming novel, the way consumers, brands, policy makers, and social media platforms are all adjusting and adapting to these concerns are still in flux and without clear resolution.

Making our understanding of privacy concerns even less straightforward is the fact that, across extant literature, a clear definition of privacy is hard to come by. In one commentary on privacy, Stewart ( 2017 ), defined privacy as “being left alone,” as this allows an individual to determine invasions of privacy. We build from this definition of privacy to speculate on a major issue in privacy and trust moving forward. Specifically, how consumers are adapting and responding to the digital world, where “being left alone” isn’t possible. For example, while research has shown benefits to personalization tactics (e.g., Chung et al. 2016 ), with eroding trust in social platforms and brands that advertise through them, many consumers would rather not share data and privacy for a more personalized experiences, are uncomfortable with their purchases being tracked and think it should be illegal for brands to be able to buy their data (Edelman 2018 ). These recent findings seem to be in conflict with previously established work on consumer privacy expectations. Therefore, understanding if previously studied factors that mitigated the negative effects of personalization (e.g., perceived utility; White et al. 2008 ) are still valued by consumers in an ever-changing digital landscape is essential for future work.

In line with rising privacy concerns, the way consumers view brands and social media is becoming increasingly negative. Consumers are deleting their social media presence, where research has shown that nearly 40% of digitally connected individuals admitted to deleting at least one social media account due to fears of their personal data being mishandled (Edelman 2018 ). This is a negative trend not only for social media platforms, but for the brands and advertisers who have grown dependent on these avenues for reaching consumers. Edelman found that nearly half of the surveyed consumers believed brands to be complicit in negative aspects of content on social media such as hate speech, inappropriate content, or fake news (Edelman 2018 ). Considering that social media has become one of the best places for brands to engage with consumers, build relationships, and provide customer service, it’s not only in the best interest of social media platforms to “do better” in terms of policing content, but the onus of responsibility has been placed on brands to advocate for privacy, trust, and the removal of fake or hateful content.

Therefore, to combat these negative consumer beliefs, changes will need to be made by everyone who benefits from consumer engagement on social media. Social media platforms and brands need to consider three major concerns that are eroding consumer trust: personal information, intellectual property and information security (Information Technology Faculty 2018 ). Considering each of these concerns, specific actions and initiatives need to be taken for greater transparency and subsequent trust. We believe that brands and agencies need to hold social media accountable for their actions regarding consumer data (e.g., GDPR in the European Union) for consumers to feel “safe” and “in control,” two factors shown necessary in cases of privacy concerns (e.g., Tucker 2014 ; Xu et al. 2012 ). As well, brands need to establish transparent policies regarding consumer data in a way that recognizes the laws, advertising restrictions, and a consumer’s right to privacy (a view shared by others; e.g., Martin et al. 2017 ). All of this is managerially essential for brands to engender feelings of trust in the increasingly murky domain of social media.

Future research can be conducted to determine consumer reactions to different types of changes and policies regarding data and privacy. As well, another related and important direction for future research, will be to ascertain the spillover effects of distrust on social media. Specifically, is all content shared on social media seen as less trustworthy if the platform itself is distrusted? Does this extend to brand messages displayed online? Is there a negative spillover effect to other user-generated content shared through these platforms?

The near future

In the previous section, we discussed three areas where we believe social media is immediately in flux. In this section, we identify three trends that have shown early signs of manifesting, and which we believe will meaningfully alter the social media landscape in the near, or not-too-distant, future. Each of these topics impact the stakeholders we mentioned when discussing the immediate social media landscape.

Combatting loneliness and isolation

Social media has made it easier to reach people. When Facebook was founded in 2004, their mission was “to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together... use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them” (Facebook 2019 ). Despite this mission, and the reality that users are more “connected” to other people than ever before, loneliness and isolation are on the rise. Over the last fifty years in the U.S., loneliness and isolation rates have doubled, with Generation Z considered to be the loneliest generation (Cigna 2018 ). Considering these findings with the rise of social media, is the fear that Facebook is interfering with real friendships and ironically spreading the isolation it was designed to conquer something to be considered about (Marche 2012 )?

The role of social media in this “loneliness epidemic” is being hotly debated. Some research has shown that social media negatively impacts consumer well-being. Specifically, heavy social media use has been associated with higher perceived social isolation, loneliness, and depression (Kross et al. 2013 ; Primack et al. 2017 ; Steers et al. 2014 ). Additionally, Facebook use has been shown to be negatively correlated with consumer well-being (Shakya and Christakis 2017 ) and correlational research has shown that limiting social media use to 10 min can decrease feelings of loneliness and depression due to less FOMO (e.g., “fear of missing out;” Hunt et al. 2018 ).

On the other hand, research has shown that social media use alone is not a predictor of loneliness as other factors have to be considered (Cigna 2018 ; Kim et al. 2009 ). In fact, while some research has shown no effect of social media on well-being (Orben et al. 2019 ), other research has shown that social media can benefit individuals through a number of different avenues such as teaching and developing socialization skills, allowing greater communication and access to a greater wealth of resources, and helping with connection and belonging (American Psychological Association 2011 ; Baker and Algorta 2016 ; Marker et al. 2018 ). As well, a working paper by Crolic et al. ( 2019 ) argues that much of the evidence of social media use on consumer well-being is of questionable quality (e.g., small and non-representative samples, reliance on self-reported social media use), and show that some types of social media use are positively associated with psychological well-being over time.

Managerially speaking, companies are beginning to respond as a repercussion of studies highlighting a negative relationship between social media and negative wellbeing. For example, Facebook has created “time limit” tools (mobile operating systems, such as iOS, now also have these time-limiting features). Specifically, users can now check their daily times, set up reminder alerts that pop up when a self-imposed amount of time on the apps is hit, and there is the option to mute notifications for a set period of time (Priday 2018 ). These different features seem well-intentioned and are designed to try and give people a more positive social media experience. Whether these features will be used is unknown.

Future research can address whether or not consumers will use available “timing” tools on one of many devices in which their social media exists (i.e., fake self-policing) or on all of their devices to actually curb behavior. It could also be the case that users will actually spend less time on Facebook and Instagram, but possibly spend that extra time on other competing social media platforms, or attached to devices, which theoretically will not help combat loneliness. Understanding how (and which) consumers use these self-control tools and how impactful they are is a potentially valuable avenue for future research.

One aspect of social media that has yet to be considered in the loneliness discussion through empirical measures, is the quality of use (versus quantity). Facebook ads have begun saying, “The best part of Facebook isn’t on Facebook. It’s when it helps us get together” (Facebook 2019 ). There have been discussions around the authenticity of this type of message, but at its core, in addition to promoting quantity differences, it’s speaking to how consumers use the platform. Possibly, to facilitate this message, social media platforms will find new ways to create friend suggestions between individuals who not only share similar interests and mutual friends to facilitate in-person friendships (e.g., locational data from the mobile app service). Currently there are apps that allow people to search for friends that are physically close (e.g., Bumble Friends), and perhaps social media will go in this same direction to address the loneliness epidemic and stay current.

Future research can examine whether the quantity of use, types of social media platforms, or the way social media is used causally impacts perceived loneliness. Specifically, understanding if the negative correlations found between social media use and well-being are due to the demographics of individuals who use a lot of social media, the way social media works, or the way users choose to engage with the platform will be important for understanding social media’s role (or lack of role) in the loneliness epidemic.

Integrated customer care

Customer care via digital channels as we know it is going to change substantially in the near future. To date, many brands have used social media platforms as a place for providing customer care, addressing customers’ specific questions, and fixing problems. In the future, social media-based customer care is expected to become even more customized, personalized, and ubiquitous. Customers will be able to engage with firms anywhere and anytime, and solutions to customers’ problems will be more accessible and immediate, perhaps even pre-emptive using predictive approaches (i.e., before a customer even notices an issue or has a question pop into their mind).

Even today, we observe the benefits that companies gain from connecting with customers on social media for service- or care-related purposes. Customer care is implemented in dedicated smartphone apps and via direct messaging on social media platforms. However, it appears that firms want to make it even easier for customers to connect with them whenever and wherever they might need. Requiring a customer to download a brand specific app or to search through various social media platforms to connect with firms through the right branded account on a platform can be a cumbersome process. In those cases, customers might instead churn or engage in negative WOM, instead of connecting with the firm to bring up any troubles they might have.

The near future of customer care on social media appears to be more efficient and far-reaching. In a recent review on the future of customer relationship management, Haenlein ( 2017 ) describes “invisible CRM” as future systems that will make customer engagement simple and accessible for customers. New platforms have emerged to make the connection between customer and firm effortless. Much of this is via instant messaging applications for businesses, which several leading technology companies have recently launched as business-related features in existing platforms (e.g., contact business features in Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp or Apple’s Business Chat).

These technologies allow businesses to directly communicate via social media messaging services with their customers. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are in the process, or have already released early versions of such platforms (Dequier 2018 ). Customers can message a company, ask them questions, or even order products and services through the messaging system, which is often built around chatbots and virtual assistants. This practice is expected to become more widespread, especially because it puts brands and companies into the social media messaging platforms their customers already use to communicate with others, it provides quicker—even instantaneous—responses, is economically scalable through the use of AI-driven chatbots, and, despite the use of chatbots, can provide a more personalized level of customer service.

Another area that companies will greatly improve upon is data collection and analysis. While it is true that data collection on social media is already pervasive today, it is also heavily scrutinized. However, we believe that companies will adapt to the latest regulation changes (e.g., GDPR in Europe, CCPA in California) and improve on collecting and analyzing anonymized data (Kakatkar and Spann 2018 ). Furthermore, even under these new regulations, personalized data collection is still allowed, but severely limits firm’s abilities to exploit consumers’ data, and requires their consent for data collection.

We believe that in the future, companies will be able recognize early indications of problems within customer chatter, behavior, or even physiological data (e.g., monitoring the sensors in our smart watches) before customers themselves even realize they are experiencing a problem. For example, WeWork, the shared workspace company, collects data on how workers move and act in a workspace, building highly personalized workspaces based on trends in the data. Taking this type of approach to customer care will enable “seamless service,” where companies would be able to identify and address consumer problems when they are still small and scattered, and while only a small number of customers are experiencing problems. Customer healthcare is a pioneer in this area, where using twitter and review sites were shown to predict poor healthcare quality (Greaves et al. 2013 ), listen to patients to analyze trending terms (Baktha et al. 2017 ; Padrez et al. 2016 ), or even predict disease outbreaks (Schmidt 2012 ).

Companies, wanting to better understand and mimic human interactions, will invest a lot of R&D efforts into developing better Natural Language Processing, voice and image recognition, emotional analysis, and speech synthesis tools (Sheth 2017 ). For example, Duplex, Google’s latest AI assistant, can already call services on its own and seamlessly book reservations for their users (Welch 2018 ). In the future, AI systems will act as human ability augmenters, allowing us to accomplish more, in less time, and better results (Guszcza 2018 ).

For marketers, this will reduce the need for call centers and agents, reducing points of friction in service and increasing the convenience for customers (Kaplan and Haenlein 2019 ). However, some raise the question that the increased dependence on automation may result in a loss of compassion and empathy. In a recent study, Force (2018) shows that interacting with brands on social media lowered people’s empathy. In response to such concerns, and to educate and incentivize people to interact with machines in a similar way they do with people, Google programmed their AI assistant to respond in a nicer way if you use a polite, rather than a commanding approach (Kumparak 2018 ). While this might help, more research is needed to understand the effect of an AI rich world on human behavior. As well, future research can examine how consumer generated data can help companies preemptively predict consumer distress. Another interesting path for research would be to better understand the difference in consumer engagement between the various platforms, and the long-term effects of service communications with non-human AI and IoT.

Social media as a political tool

Social media is a platform to share thoughts and opinions. This is especially true in the case of disseminating political sentiments. Famously, President Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 election was partially attributed to his ability to drive and engage voters on social media (Carr 2008 ). Indeed, Bond et al. ( 2012 ) have shown that with simple interventions, social media platforms can increase targeted audiences’ likelihood of voting. Social media is considered one of the major drivers of the 2010 wave of revolutions in Arab countries, also known as the Arab Spring (Brown et al. 2012 ).

While social media is not new to politics, we believe that social media is transitioning to take a much larger role as a political tool in the intermediate future. First evidence for this could be seen in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as social media took on a different shape, with many purported attempts to influence voter’s opinions, thoughts, and actions. This is especially true for then-candidate and now-President Donald Trump. His use of Twitter attracted a lot of attention during the campaign and has continued to do so during his term in office. Yet, he is not alone, and many politicians changed the way they work and interact with constituents, with a recent example of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that even ran a workshop for fellow congress members on social media (Dwyer 2019 ).

While such platforms allow for a rapid dissemination of ideas and concepts (Bonilla and Rosa 2015 ; Bode 2016 ), there are some, both in academia and industry that have raised ethical concerns about using social media for political purposes. Given that people choose who to follow, this selective behavior is said to potentially create echo chambers, wherein, users are exposed only to ideas by like-minded people, exhibiting increased political homophily (Bakshy et al. 2015 ). People’s preference to group with like-minded people is not new. Social in-groups have been shown to promote social identification and promote in-group members to conform to similar ideas (Castano et al. 2002 ; Harton and Bourgeois 2004 ). Furthermore, it was also shown that group members strongly disassociate and distance themselves from outgroup members (Berger and Heath 2008 ; White and Dahl 2007 ). Thus, it is not surprising to find that customized newsfeeds within social media exacerbate this problem by generating news coverage that is unique to specific users, locking them in their purported echo chambers (Oremus 2016 ).

While social media platforms admit that echo chambers could pose a problem, a solution is not clear (Fiegerman 2018 ). One reason that echo chambers present such a problem, is their proneness to fake news. Fake news are fabricated stories that try to disguise themselves as authentic content, in order to affect other social media users. Fake news was widely used in the 2016 U.S. elections, with accusations that foreign governments, such as Iran and Russia, were using bots (i.e., online automatic algorithms), to spread falsified content attacking Hillary Clinton and supporting President Trump (Kelly et al. 2018 ). Recent research has furthermore shown how the Chinese government strategically uses millions of online comments to distract the Chinese public from discussing sensitive issues and promote nationalism (King et al. 2017 ). In their latest incarnation, fake news uses an advanced AI technique called “Deep Fake” to generate ultra-realistic forged images and videos of political leaders while manipulating what those leaders say (Schwartz 2018 ). Such methods can easily fool even the sharpest viewer. In response, research has begun to explore ways that social media platforms can combat fake news through algorithms that determine the quality of shared content (e.g., Pennycook and Rand 2019 ).

One factor that has helped the rise of fake news is echo chambers. This occurs as the repeated sharing of fake news by group members enhance familiarity and support (Schwarz and Newman 2017 ). Repetition of such articles by bots can only increase that effect. Recent research has shown that in a perceived social setting, such as social media, participants were less likely to fact-check information (Jun et al. 2017 ), and avoided information that didn’t fit well with their intuition (Woolley and Risen 2018 ). Schwarz and Newman ( 2017 ) state that misinformation might be difficult to correct, especially if the correction is not issued immediately and the fake news has already settled into the minds of users. It was also shown that even a single exposure to fake news can create long term effect on users, making their effect larger than previously thought (Pennycook et al. 2019 ).

Notably, some research has found that exposure to opposing views (i.e., removing online echo chambers) may in fact increase (versus decrease) polarization (Bail et al. 2018 ). Accordingly, more work from policy makers, businesses, and academics is needed to understand and potentially combat political extremism. For example, policy makers and social media platforms will continually be challenged to fight “fake news” without censoring free speech. Accordingly, research that weighs the risk of limited freedom of expression versus the harms of spreading fake news would yield both theoretical and practically meaningful insights.

The far future

In this section, we highlight three emerging trends we believe will have a have long-term influence on the future of social media. Note that although we label these trends as being in the “far” future, many of the issues described here are already present or emerging. However, they represent more complex issues that we believe will take longer to address and be of mainstream importance for marketing than the six issues discussed previously under the immediate and near futures.

Increased sensory richness

In its early days, the majority of social media posts (e.g., on Facebook, Twitter) were text. Soon, these platforms allowed for the posting of pictures and then videos, and separate platforms dedicated themselves to focus on these specific forms of media (e.g., Instagram and Pinterest for pictures, Instagram and SnapChat for short videos). These shifts have had demonstrable consequences on social media usage and its consequences as some scholars suggest that image-based posts convey greater social presence than text alone (e.g., Pittman and Reich 2016 ). Importantly however, a plethora of new technologies in the market suggest that the future of social media will be more sensory-rich.

One notable technology that has already started infiltrating social media is augmented reality (AR). Perhaps the most recognizable examples of this are Snapchat’s filters, which use a device’s camera to superimpose real-time visual and/or video overlays on people’s faces (including features such as makeup, dog ears, etc.). The company has even launched filters to specifically be used on users’ cats (Ritschel 2018 ). Other social media players quickly joined the AR bandwagon, including Instagram’s recent adoption of AR filters (Rao 2017 ) and Apple’s Memoji messaging (Tillman 2018 ). This likely represents only the tip of the iceberg, particularly given that Facebook, one of the industry’s largest investors in AR technology, has confirmed it is working on AR glasses (Constine 2018 ). Notably, the company plans to launch a developer platform, so that people can build augmented-reality features that live inside Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Whatsapp (Wagner 2017 ). These developments are supported by academic research suggesting that AR often provides more authentic (and hence positive) situated experiences (Hilken et al. 2017 ). Accordingly, whether viewed through glasses or through traditional mobile and tablet devices, the future of social media is likely to look much more visually augmented.

While AR allows users to interact within their current environments, virtual reality (VR) immerses the user in other places, and this technology is also likely to increasingly permeate social media interactions. While the Facebook-owned company Oculus VR has mostly been focusing on the areas of immersive gaming and film, the company recently announced the launch of Oculus Rooms where users can spend time with other users in a virtual world (playing games together, watching media together, or just chatting; Wagner 2018 ). Concurrently, Facebook Spaces allows friends to meet online in virtual reality and similarly engage with one another, with the added ability to share content (e.g., photos) from their Facebook profiles (Whigham 2018 ). In both cases, avatars are customized to represent users within the VR-created space. As VR technology is becoming more affordable and mainstream (Colville 2018 ) we believe social media will inevitably play a role in the technology’s increasing usage.

While AR and VR technologies bring visual richness, other developments suggest that the future of social media might also be more audible. A new player to the social media space, HearMeOut, recently introduced a platform that enables users to share and listen to 42-s audio posts (Perry 2018 ). Allowing users to use social media in a hands-free and eyes-free manner not only allows them to safely interact with social media when multitasking (particularly when driving), but voice is also said to add a certain richness and authenticity that is often missing from mere text-based posts (Katai 2018 ). Given that podcasts are more popular than ever before (Bhaskar 2018 ) and voice-based search queries are the fastest-growing mobile search type (Robbio 2018 ), it seems likely that this communication modality will accordingly show up more on social media use going forward.

Finally, there are early indications that social media might literally feel different in the future. As mobile phones are held in one’s hands and wearable technology is strapped onto one’s skin, companies and brands are exploring opportunities to communicate to users through touch. Indeed, haptic feedback (technology that recreates the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user; Brave et al. 2001 ) is increasingly being integrated into interfaces and applications, with purposes that go beyond mere call or message notifications. For example, some companies are experimenting with integrating haptics into media content (e.g., in mobile ads for Stoli vodka, users feel their phone shake as a woman shakes a cocktail; Johnson 2015 ), mobile games, and interpersonal chat (e.g., an app called Mumble! translates text messages into haptic outputs; Ozcivelek 2015 ). Given the high levels of investment into haptic technology (it is predicted to be a $20 billion industry by 2022; Magnarelli 2018 ) and the communicative benefits that stem from haptic engagement (Haans and IJsselsteijn 2006 ), we believe it is only a matter of time before this modality is integrated into social media platforms.

Future research might explore how any of the new sensory formats mentioned above might alter the nature of content creation and consumption. Substantively-focused researchers might also investigate how practitioners can use these tools to enhance their offerings and augment their interactions with customers. It is also interesting to consider how such sensory-rich formats can be used to bridge the gap between the online and offline spaces, which is the next theme we explore.

Online/offline integration and complete convergence

A discussion occurring across industry and academia is on how marketers can appropriately integrate online and offline efforts (i.e., an omnichannel approach). Reports from industry sources have shown that consumers respond better to integrated marketing campaigns (e.g., a 73% boost over standard email campaigns; Safko 2010 ). In academia meanwhile, the majority of research considering online promotions and advertisements has typically focused on how consumers respond to these strategies through online only measures (e.g., Manchanda et al. 2006 ), though this has begun to change in recent years with more research examining offline consequences to omnichannel strategies (Lobschat et al. 2017 ; Kumar et al. 2017 ).

Considering the interest in integrated marketing strategies over the last few years, numerous strategies have been utilized to follow online and offline promotions and their impacts on behavior such as the usage of hashtags to bring conversations online, call-to-actions, utilizing matching strategies on “traditional” avenues like television with social media. While there is currently online/offline integration strategies in marketing, we believe the future will go even further in blurring the lines between what is offline and online to not just increase the effectiveness of marketing promotions, but to completely change the way customers and companies interact with one another, and the way social media influences consumer behavior not only online, but offline.

For brands, there are a number of possible trends in omnichannel marketing that are pertinent. As mentioned earlier, a notable technology that has begun infiltrating social media is augmented reality (AR). In addition to what already exists (e.g., Snapchat’s filters, Pokémon Go), the future holds even more possibilities. For example, Ikea has been working to create an AR app that allows users to take photos of a space at home to exactly , down to the millimeter size and lighting in the room, showcase what a piece of furniture would look like in a consumer’s home (Lovejoy 2017 ). Another set of examples of AR comes from beauty company L’Oréal. In 2014 for the flagship L’Oréal Paris brand they released a mobile app called Makeup Genius that allowed consumers to virtually try on makeup on their phones (Stephen and Brooks 2018 ). Since then, they have developed AR apps for hair color and nail polish, as well as integrating AR into mobile ecommerce webpages for their luxury beauty brand Lancôme. AR-based digital services such as these are likely to be at the heart of the next stage of offline/online integration.

AR, and similar technology, will likely move above and beyond being a tool to help consumers make better decisions about their purchases. Conceivably, similar to promotions that currently exist to excitse consumers and create communities, AR will be incorporated into promotions that integrate offline and online actions. For example, contests on social media will advance to the stage where users get to vote on the best use of AR technology in conjunction with a brand’s products (e.g., instead of users submitting pictures of their apartments to show why they should win free furniture, they could use AR to show how they would lay out the furniture if they were to win it from IKEA).

Another way that the future of online/offline integration on social media needs to be discussed is in the sense of a digital self. Drawing on the extended self in the digital age (Belk 2013 ), the way consumers consider online actions as relevant to their offline selves may be changing. For example, Belk ( 2013 ) spoke of how consumers may be re-embodied through avatars they create to represent themselves online, influencing their offline selves and creating a multiplicity of selves (i.e., consumers have more choice when it comes to their self-representation). As research has shown how digital and social media can be used for self-presentation, affiliation, and expression (Back et al. 2010 ; Gosling et al. 2007 ; Toubia and Stephen 2013 ; Wilcox and Stephen 2012 ), what does it mean for the future if consumers can create who they want to be?

In addition, when considering digital selves, what does this mean for how consumers engage with brands and products? Currently, social media practice is one where brands encourage consumer engagement online (Chae et al. 2017 ; Godes and Mayzlin 2009 ), yet the implications for how these types of actions on the part of the brand to integrate online social media actions and real-life behavior play out are unclear. Research has begun to delve into the individual-level consequences of a consumer’s social media actions on marketing relevant outcomes (Grewal et al. 2019 ; John et al. 2017 ; Mochon et al. 2017 ; Zhang et al. 2017 ), however much is still unknown. As well, while there is recent work examining how the device used to create and view content online impacts consumer perceptions and behaviors (e.g., Grewal and Stephen 2019 ), to date research has not examined these questions in the context of social media. Therefore, future research could address how digital selves (both those held offline and those that only exist online), social media actions, and if the way consumers reach and use various platforms (i.e., device type, app vs. webpage, etc.) impact consumer behavior, interpersonal relationships, and brand-related measures (e.g., well-being, loyalty, purchase behaviors).

Social media by non-humans

The buzz surrounding AI has not escaped social media. Indeed, social bots (computer algorithms that automatically produce content and interact with social media users; Ferrara et al. 2016 ) have inhabited social media platforms for the last decade (Lee et al. 2011 ), and have become increasingly pervasive. For example, experts estimate that up to 15% of active Twitter accounts are bots (Varol et al. 2017 ), and that percentage appears to be on the rise (Romano 2018 ). While academics and practitioners are highly concerned with bot detection (Knight 2018 ), in the vast majority of current cases, users do not appear to recognize when they are interacting with bots (as opposed to other human users) on social media (Stocking and Sumida 2018 ). While some of these bots are said to be benign, and even useful (e.g., acting as information aggregators), they have also been shown to disrupt political discourse (as mentioned earlier), steal personal information, and spread misinformation (Ferrara et al. 2016 ).

Of course, social bots are not only a problem for social media users but are also a nagging concern plaguing marketers. Given that companies often assess marketing success on social media through metrics like Likes, Shares, and Clicks, the existence of bots poses a growing threat to accurate marketing metrics and methods for ROI estimation, such as attribution modelling (Bilton 2014 ). Similarly, when these bots act as “fake followers,” it can inflate the worth of influencers’ audiences (Bogost 2018 ). This can also be used nefariously by individuals and firms, as shown in a New York Times Magazine expose that documented the market used by some influencers to purchase such “fake” followers to inflate their social media reach (Confessore et al. 2018 ). As discussed above in relation to influencer marketing, where it has been commonplace for influencers to be paid for posts at rates proportionate to their follower counts, there have been perverse incentives to game the system by having non-human “fake” bot followers. This, however, erodes consumer trust in the social media ecosystem, which is a growing issue and a near-term problem for many firms using social media channels for marketing purposes.

However, there are instances when consumers do know they are interacting with bots, and do not seem to mind. For example, a number of virtual influencers (created with CGI, as mentioned earlier) seem to be garnering sizeable audiences, despite the fact they are clearly non-human (Walker 2018 ). One of the most popular of these virtual influencers, Lil Miquela, has over 1.5 million followers on Instagram despite openly confessing, “I am not a human being... I’m a robot” (Yurieff 2018 ). Future research might try to understand the underlying appeal of these virtual influencers, and the potential boundary conditions of their success.

Another category of social bots gaining increasing attention are therapy bots. These applications (e.g., “Woebot;” Molteni 2017 ) aim to support the mental health of users by proactively checking in on them, “listening” and chatting to users at any time and recommending activities to improve users’ wellbeing (de Jesus 2018 ). Similar bots are being used to “coach” users, and help them quit maladaptive behaviors, like smoking (e.g., QuitGenius; Crook 2018 ). Interestingly, by being explicitly non-human, these agents are perceived to be less judgmental, and might accordingly be easier for users to confide in.

Finally, the Internet of Things revolution has ushered in with it the opportunity for a number of tangible products and interfaces to “communicate” via social media. For example, in what started as a design experiment, “Brad,” a connected toaster, was given the ability to “communicate” with other connected toasters, and to tweet his “feelings” when neglected or under-used (Vanhemert 2014 ). While this experiment was deliberately designed to raise questions about the future of consumer-product relationships (and product-product “relationships”), the proliferation of autonomous tangible devices does suggest a future in which they have a “voice,” even in the absence of humans (Hoffman and Novak 2018 ).

Going forward, we believe the presence of bots on social media will be more normalized, but also more regulated (e.g., a recent law passed in California prevents bots from masquerading as humans; Smith 2018 ). Further, consumers and companies alike will be become increasingly interested in how bots communicate and interact with each other outside of human involvement. This brings up interesting potential research questions for academics and practitioners alike. How will the presence of non-humans change the nature of content creation and conversation in social media? And how should companies best account for the presence of non-humans in their attribution models?

Future research directions and conclusion

This article has presented nine themes pertinent to the future of social media as it relates to (and is perhaps influenced by) marketing. The themes have implications for individuals/consumers, businesses and organizations, and also public policymakers and governments. These themes, which represent our own thinking and a synthesis of views from extant research, industry experts, and popular public discourse, are of course not the full story of what the future of social media will entail. They are, however, a set of important issues that we believe will be worth considering in both academic research and marketing practice.

To stimulate future research on these themes and related topics, we present a summary of suggested research directions in Table 2 . These are organized around our nine themes and capture many of the suggested research directions mentioned earlier. As a sub-field within the field of marketing, social media is already substantial and the potential for future research—based on identified needs for new knowledge and answers to perplexing questions—suggests that this sub-field will become even more important over time. We encourage researchers to consider the kinds of research directions in Table 2 as examples of issues they could explore further. We also encourage researchers in marketing to treat social media as a place where interesting (and often very new) consumer behaviors exist and can be studied. As we discussed earlier in the paper, social media as a set of platform businesses and technologies is interesting, but it is how people use social media and the associated technologies that is ultimately of interest to marketing academics and practitioners. Thus, we urge scholars to not be overly enticed by the technological “shiny new toys” at the expense of considering the behaviors associated with those technologies and platforms.

Finally, while we relied heavily (though not exclusively) on North American examples to illustrate the emergent themes, there are likely interesting insights to be drawn by explicitly exploring cross-cultural differences in social media usage. For example, variations in regulatory policies (e.g., GDPR in the European Union) may lead to meaningful differences in how trust and privacy concerns manifest. Further, social media as a political tool might be more influential in regions where the mainstream media is notoriously government controlled and censored (e.g., as was the case in many of the Arab Spring countries). While such cross-cultural variation is outside the scope of this particular paper, we believe it represents an area of future research with great theoretical and practical value.

In reviewing the social media ecosystem and considering where it is heading in the context of consumers and marketing practice, we have concluded that this is an area that is very much still in a state of flux. The future of social media in marketing is exciting, but also uncertain. If nothing else, it is vitally important that we better understand social media since it has become highly culturally relevant, a dominant form of communication and expression, a major media type used by companies for advertising and other forms of communication, and even has geopolitical ramifications. We hope that the ideas discussed here stimulate many new ideas and research, which we ultimately hope to see being mentioned and shared across every type of social media platform.

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Appel, G., Grewal, L., Hadi, R. et al. The future of social media in marketing. J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. 48 , 79–95 (2020).

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7 Example Essays on Social Media

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1. The Unprecedented Advantages of Social Media

  • Introduction: Diving into the modern digital era, the essence and power of social media cannot be understated in its role of interconnecting the globe. Social media platforms, from the versatile Facebook to the snippet-filled Instagram, have transformed traditional communication paradigms, embodying Marshall McLuhan's global village theory, wherein technologies collapse temporal and spatial barriers, enmeshing the world in a tapestry of interconnected networks, conversations, and shared information.
  • Global Communication
  • Talent Showcase
  • Online Scams
  • Conclusion: Henceforth, social media persists as a double-edged sword. On one side, it extols the virtues of interconnectedness, forming an intricately woven global community, while on the other, it presents numerous challenges such as isolation and deception. Navigating through the intricate matrix of virtual interactions necessitates awareness, digital literacy, and an ethic of care to safeguard our psychosocial well-being while fostering genuine global camaraderie.

2. Navigating Through the Downsides of Social Media

  • Introduction: While the digital realm opens gateways to global conversations, it is also fraught with myriad challenges that cannot be sidelined. The tumultuous seas of social media harbor storms such as cyberbullying and misinformation, mandating an exploration into its darker aspects. Incorporating the "Spiral of Silence" theory, we probe into the psychological and social impacts brought upon by the negative facets of online platforms, which sometimes lead to stifled voices and impaired social interactions.
  • Social Awareness
  • Diversified Learning
  • Cyberbullying
  • Misinformation
  • Conclusion: The voyage through the perplexing expanse of social media underscores the quintessential need for a fortified digital ship. Arming oneself with knowledge and analytical skills becomes imperative to steer through the stormy waters of misinformation, negativity, and potential threat, ensuring that the essence of genuine socialization and knowledge acquisition is not drowned amidst the chaotic waves of negatives.

3. Social Media: A Beacon for Social Change

  • Introduction: Amidst the clamor of everyday digital interactions, social media has surfaced as a potent platform for societal metamorphosis. The tendrils of change have entwined with the roots of online platforms, providing marginalized voices a stage to echo their stories, demands, and struggles, shattering the conventional barriers of silence and suppression. Theories like the "Power of Identity" by Manuel Castells provide a lens through which we view social media as a catalytic agent for socio-political transformations and grassroots movements.
  • Mobilization
  • Voice Amplification
  • Narrative Manipulation
  • Verification Challenges
  • Conclusion: Social media, whilst being a pulsating beacon of change and revolution, also demands meticulous scrutiny and verification of cascading information. The power it holds in mobilizing masses and driving socio-political shifts underscores the necessity to approach its offerings with a critical mind and an authentic heart, ensuring that the waves of change are grounded in truth, equity, and genuine social upliftment.

I've expanded on the first three topics with more depth in the Introduction and Conclusion as per your request. Should you require a similar in-depth expansion for the remaining topics, please let me know!

4. The Role of Social Media in Modern Marketing

  • Introduction: Peering into the nuanced domain of digital marketing, social media emerges as a colossal pillar that upholds the realms of contemporary marketing practices. By entwining Chris Anderson’s “Long Tail” theory with the exponential surge of online platforms, we decipher the mechanisms through which social media has become an unparalleled medium for businesses, brands, and entrepreneurs to cascade their offerings to a global audience, meticulously carving niches and tapping into diversified consumer bases with unprecedented precision and scalability.
  • Targeted Marketing
  • Brand Awareness
  • Content Saturation
  • Privacy Concerns
  • Conclusion: Social media, in its versatile and expansive nature, orchestrates a symphony where businesses and consumers converge in a dynamic marketplace. The amplified reach and the nuanced targeting it enables, however, beckon a conscious pondering over ethical practices, data privacy, and the quality of content. The future of digital marketing through social media demands a harmonious balance between strategic brand proliferation and an unwavering commitment towards ethical, consumer-centric practices.

5. Social Media and Mental Health: A Double-Edged Sword

  • Introduction: Embarking upon the intricate path of mental health within the social media landscape presents a complex tapestry of supportive communities and potential mental health triggers. The proliferation of online spaces has fashioned both sanctuaries for collective healing and arenas for potential mental health deterrence. The myriad of experiences, from the support found within digital communities to the anxiety spurred by toxic comparison, necessitates an in-depth exploration and conscientious navigation through the omnipresent digital world.
  • Support Communities
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Comparison Culture
  • Conclusion: Thus, social media, a potent tool, enfolds within it the paradox of mental wellness and struggle. The existence of virtual spaces that foster mental health awareness and provide supportive communities commingles with the challenging domains of online bullying, comparison, and potential mental health deterrence. Striking a balance and developing a mindful interaction strategy becomes paramount to harness the positives while safeguarding one’s mental wellbeing amidst the digital tide.

6. Privacy and Security in the Age of Social Media

  • Introduction: Traversing through the omnipresent realms of social media, privacy and security emerge as pivotal facets that demand meticulous scrutiny and safeguarding. Amidst the plethora of interactions and data exchanges that social media platforms facilitate, rests a substantial concern pertaining to the safeguarding of user data, personal information, and overall digital privacy. The embodiment of such concerns navigates us through a crucial discourse regarding digital ethics, cybersecurity, and the imperativeness of establishing robust data protection mechanisms.
  • Personalized Content
  • Seamless Connectivity
  • Data Breaches
  • Misuse of Information
  • Conclusion: Delving into the dimensions of privacy within the digital domain underscores the significant necessity to conjure, implement, and uphold stringent data protection policies and mechanisms. As social media platforms burgeon and data becomes an invaluable asset, the ethical utilization and safeguarding of personal information emerge not merely as a technical requisite but as a moral imperative, ensuring that the digital space remains secure, authentic, and respectful towards user privacy.

7. Future Trajectories: Social Media in the Coming Decades

  • Introduction: Envisaging the future trajectory of social media, we stand on the precipice of advanced integrations, technological amalgamations, and potentially, an entirely revamped digital interaction paradigm. Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are no longer distant concepts but imminent integrations, poised to redefine the constructs of digital interactions, online experiences, and the very essence of social media platforms as we comprehend them today.
  • Technological Integration
  • Immersive Experiences
  • Digital Divide
  • Hyper-realistic Misinformation
  • Conclusion: Standing on the cusp of technological evolution within social media, the future beckons with promises of enhanced, immersive, and potentially transformative digital experiences. However, it simultaneously demands a conscientious, equitable, and ethical approach towards technology development, deployment, and access. Ensuring that the evolution of social media is inclusive, accessible, and ethically configured becomes paramount to navigate towards a future where technology amplifies connectivity, rather than disparity.

These in-depth insights into each topic provide a comprehensive understanding and theoretical grounding, offering a balanced and informed perspective on each facet of social media. If further expansion or specific details are needed, please let me know!

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An Essay About Social Media: Definition, Outline and Examples

An essay about social media is a piece of writing that explores social media’s impact, influence, and consequences on various aspects of society, such as communication, relationships, politics, mental health, culture, and more.

The essay can take on different forms, such as an argumentative essay , a cause-and-effect essay, a critical analysis, or an exploratory essay.

A good essay about social media aims to provide a well-researched and thought-provoking examination of the topic and to help readers better understand the complex nature of social media and its role in our lives.

The essay may address questions such as:

  • How has social media changed communication?
  • What are the positive and negative effects of social media on mental health?
  • How has social media impacted politics and public opinion?
  • What is the future of social media, and how will it continue to shape our lives?

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College students may write an essay about social media for several reasons:

  • To fulfill an assignment: Many professors assign social media essays as part of a communication, media studies course, or sociology. Writing an essay on social media helps students understand the topic more deeply and grasp its impact on society.
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How to write an essay about social media

Essay about social media

Step 1: Choose a Topic Before you start writing your essay, you must choose a topic you are interested in and clearly understand. This could be a specific aspect of social media, such as its impact on mental health, or a more general overview of the pros and cons of social media.

Step 2: Research To write an effective essay about social media, gather information and data on your topic from various sources, such as books, articles, websites, and interviews. Make sure to take notes and organize your research to make it easier to reference later.

Step 3: Create an Outline An outline is a roadmap for your essay about social media and will help you organize your thoughts and ideas. A standard essay outline includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Step 4: Write the Introduction In the introduction of your essay about social media, provide background information on social media and introduce your thesis statement. A thesis statement is a sentence that states your argument and sets the direction of your essay.

Step 5: Write the Body Paragraphs The body paragraphs are the main part of your essay, where you will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of social media, its impact on society, and other relevant topics. Each body paragraph should have a topic sentence, supporting evidence, and a conclusion.

Step 6: Write the Conclusion The conclusion should summarize your main points and restate your thesis. It should also provide a final thought or call to action, encouraging the reader to think critically about social media and its impact on society.

Step 7: Edit and Revise Once you have completed your first draft, take some time to revise and edit your essay. Check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, and ensure your ideas are well-organized and presented.

Step 8: Proofread Proofread your essay one last time to catch any mistakes you may have missed in the previous steps. This will help to ensure that your essay is well-written and error-free.

Essay about social media

Essay about social media: outline example

I. Introduction

Definition of social media A brief history of social media Importance of social media in today’s world II. Advantages of social media

Connectivity and communication Access to information Improved marketing and advertising Increased global exposure and reach Ability to participate in social movements and activism III. Disadvantages of social media

Cyberbullying and online harassment Addiction and decreased productivity Spread of misinformation and fake news Decreased privacy and security Impacts on mental health and self-esteem IV. Social media and its impact on society

Influence on politics and elections Changes in the way we interact and communicate Increase in consumerism and materialism Impact on journalism and news media Effects on personal relationships and communication skills V. Conclusion

Recap of the advantages and disadvantages of social media Final thoughts on the role and impact of social media in society Call to action for the responsible and mindful use of social media

Example 1: Short social media essay

Social media is a term that refers to the various platforms and websites that allow individuals to communicate, share information and content, and connect with others on the internet. With the rise of social media, the way people communicate, interact and consume information has dramatically changed. Overall, Social media has changed the way we communicate, access information, and interact with others, but its impact on society is both positive and negative, highlighting the need for responsible and mindful use. One of the most significant advantages of social media is the ease of connectivity and communication. Social media has brought people from all over the world together, making it possible to form online communities and interact with others who share similar interests (Lin et al., 2021). This has been especially beneficial for individuals who live in isolated areas or have mobility issues, as social media provides a way to stay connected and engaged with others. In addition, social media has provided unprecedented access to information. The internet has become a vast library of knowledge available to anyone with an internet connection. With the help of social media, people can access the latest news, events, and trends from around the world and learn about various topics and issues from diverse perspectives. However, social media also has its negative aspects. One of the most significant drawbacks is the spread of misinformation and fake news. The ease of creating and sharing content online has led to an increase in misleading information, which can have far-reaching consequences, particularly in politics and public opinion (Kuss & Griffiths, 2017). Additionally, social media can be addictive and can negatively impact productivity, as people spend hours browsing and scrolling through their feeds. Social media has also had a significant impact on the way we interact with one another. The anonymity provided by the internet has led to an increase in online harassment and cyberbullying, which can be particularly damaging to young people’s mental health ()Lin et al., 2021; Kuss & Grifffiths, 2017). Moreover, social media has decreased privacy and security, as personal information can be easily shared and spread online. In conclusion, social media has been both a blessing and a curse for society. On the one hand, it has revolutionized how people communicate, providing a platform for global connectivity and access to information. On the other hand, it has also led to an increase in misinformation, cyberbullying, and privacy concerns. As social media continues to evolve, it is important to find a balance between its benefits and drawbacks and to use it responsibly and mindfully. References
  • Kuss, D. J., & Griffiths, M. D. (2017). Social networking sites and addiction: Ten lessons learned. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(3), 311.
  • Lin, L. Y., Sidani, J. E., Shensa, A., Radovic, A., Miller, E., Colditz, J. B., Hoffman, B. L., Giles, L. M., & Primack, B. A. (2021). Association between social media use and depression among US young adults. Depression and Anxiety, 33(4), 323–331.

P.S: Click here if you need help with your social media essay 

Example 2: 1000 + words Essay About Social Media

Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, connecting us to people and information from around the world. With the rise of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, social media has transformed the way we communicate, share information, and consume media (Statista, 2021). This essay, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of social media, as well as its impact on society. The overaching assertion is that by understanding the complex role that social media plays in our lives, we can begin to use these platforms in a more responsible and mindful way, ensuring that we are maximizing their benefits while minimizing their negative effects. Advantages of social media Connectivity and communication Social media has made access to information easier and more convenient than ever before. News, entertainment, and educational content are readily available through social media platforms, providing users with a wide range of perspectives and viewpoints. Social media has also made it easier for individuals to access information that would have previously been difficult to find or obtain (Gershon, 2019). For example, people can now easily find information about medical conditions, research studies, and government policies, all of which can be used to make informed decisions about their health, education, and politics. Improved marketing and advertising Social media has revolutionized the way companies market their products and services, enabling them to reach a wider audience and target specific demographics. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have sophisticated advertising algorithms that allow companies to target users based on their interests, location, and behavior (Gershon, 2019). This has made advertising more effective and efficient, resulting in higher engagement and conversion rates. Social media has also enabled small businesses and entrepreneurs to reach customers without the need for expensive marketing campaigns, making it easier to compete with larger corporations. Increased global exposure and reach Social media has given individuals and organizations global exposure, allowing them to reach audiences they would not have been able to reach otherwise. Social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram have been used by celebrities and public figures to build their brands and reach a wider audience (Pew Research Center, 2021). Social media has also been used by activists and social movements to raise awareness about issues and mobilize support across the globe. For example, the #MeToo movement, which started as a hashtag on social media, has become a global movement that has led to significant changes in the way society views sexual harassment and assault. Ability to participate in social movements and activism Social media has given individuals the power to participate in social and political movements, making it easier for people to voice their opinions and take action on issues they care about (Mesch, 2018). Social media has been used to organize protests, raise awareness about issues, and mobilize support for causes. It has also given marginalized groups a platform to share their experiences and perspectives, enabling them to demand change and hold those in power accountable. Disadvantages of social media Cyberbullying and online harassment While social media has many benefits, it also has several disadvantages. One of the most significant drawbacks is cyberbullying and online harassment. Social media platforms have become breeding grounds for bullying and harassment, with individuals using anonymity to attack and intimidate others. This can have severe consequences for the victim, including depression, anxiety, and in extreme cases, suicide (Mesch ,2018). Cyberbullying has become a significant concern, with one study finding that 59% of U.S. teens have experienced some form of online harassment (Pew Reserach , 2021). Addiction and decreased productivity Social media can be highly addictive, with users spending hours scrolling through their feeds and engaging with content. This addiction can have detrimental effects on productivity, with individuals spending less time on work or other important activities. Studies have shown that social media addiction can lead to a decrease in academic performance, work productivity, and overall well-being. Spread of misinformation and fake news Another disadvantage of social media is the spread of misinformation and fake news. With the ease of sharing content on social media, it has become easy for false information to be disseminated to a wide audience quickly. This can have severe consequences, as false information can influence people’s beliefs and behaviors, leading to harmful outcomes. The spread of fake news has been a significant concern, with social media companies facing criticism for not doing enough to combat it. Decreased privacy and security Social media has also led to a decrease in privacy and security, with users’ personal information often being collected and shared without their consent. Social media platforms collect vast amounts of data about their users, including their location, interests, and online behavior. This information can be used for targeted advertising, but it can also be used for nefarious purposes, such as identity theft or cyber attacks. Impacts on mental health and self-esteem Social media has been linked to several negative impacts on mental health and self-esteem. Studies have shown that excessive social media use can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Social media has also been linked to negative body image and low self-esteem, with individuals comparing themselves to unrealistic and idealized images presented on social media platforms (Pew Research Center, 2021). Social media and its impact on society Influence on politics and elections Social media has had a significant impact on politics and elections, with candidates and parties using social media to reach and engage with voters. Social media has enabled political campaigns to reach a wider audience, mobilize support, and fundraise (Tufekci, 2018). Social media has also been used to spread propaganda and false information, leading to concerns about its impact on the democratic process. Changes in the way we interact and communicate Social media has transformed the way we interact and communicate with others, with many individuals relying on social media platforms as their primary means of communication. Social media has enabled individuals to connect with people across the globe, but it has also led to a decrease in face-to-face interactions. This can have significant consequences, as face-to-face interactions are crucial for building strong relationships and developing social skills. Increase in consumerism and materialism Social media has contributed to an increase in consumerism and materialism, with individuals being exposed to a constant stream of advertisements and product promotions. Social media platforms have become virtual marketplaces, with individuals being bombarded with messages that encourage them to buy more and consume more. Impact on journalism and news media Social media has also had a significant impact on journalism and news media, with many individuals turning to social media platforms for their news and information. While social media has enabled citizen journalism and given a platform to marginalized voices, it has also led to the spread of misinformation and fake news. Social media has also led to a decrease in traditional news media outlets, with many newspapers and TV stations struggling to compete with social media platforms (Tandoc et al., 2018). Effects on personal relationships and communication skills Finally, social media has had significant effects on personal relationships and communication skills. While social media has enabled individuals to connect with people across the globe, it has also led to a decrease in the quality of interpersonal relationships (Pew Research Center, 2021). Many individuals rely on social media for their social interactions, leading to a decrease in face-to-face interactions and the development of social skills. Additionally, social media has enabled individuals to present a curated and idealized version of themselves, leading to a lack of authenticity and trust in personal relationships. Conclusion In conclusion, social media has become an integral part of our lives, with many individuals relying on social media platforms for communication, information, and entertainment. While social media has many advantages, it also has several significant disadvantages, including cyberbullying, addiction, spread of misinformation, decreased privacy, and negative impacts on mental health and self-esteem. Social media has also had a significant impact on society, influencing politics and elections, changing the way we interact and communicate, contributing to consumerism and materialism, and affecting journalism and news media. As we continue to navigate the complex world of social media, it is crucial to be mindful and responsible in our use of these platforms, ensuring that we are using them to their fullest potential while minimizing the negative impacts. By doing so, we can continue to enjoy the benefits of social media while mitigating its negative effects. References  Statista. (2021). Number of social media users worldwide from 2010 to 2026 (in billions). Pew Research Center. (2021). Social media fact sheet. Tufekci, Z. (2018). Twitter and tear gas: The power and fragility of networked protest. Yale University Press. Mesch, G. S. (2018). Social media and social support. In J. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (pp. 28–33). Elsevier. Tandoc, E. C., Jr., Lim, Z. W., & Ling, R. (2018). Defining “fake news.” Digital Journalism, 6(2), 137–153. Gershon, I. (2019). Media ideologies: A comparative study of Russian and US journalism. Cambridge University Press.

Social media essay topic ideas

  • Why social media has changed the way we communicate
  • A critical analysis of the impact of social media on mental health
  • How social media has affected politics and public opinion
  • Where social media has made the biggest impact on society
  • An examination of the benefits and drawbacks of social media
  • The role of social media in the spread of misinformation
  • How social media has changed the advertising industry
  • The impact of social media on privacy and security
  • Why social media can be addictive and what can be done to mitigate its negative effects
  • An exploration of the use of social media in education and learning.
  • The influence of social media on relationships and personal connections
  • How social media has impacted the job market and employment opportunities
  • The role of social media in promoting cultural exchange and understanding
  • An analysis of the influence of social media on popular culture
  • The impact of social media on traditional forms of media, such as television and print
  • The potential of social media for social activism and social change
  • How social media has changed the way we consume and share information
  • The impact of social media on the way we perceive and experience events
  • The role of social media in shaping the future of technology and communication
  • An examination of the ethical considerations surrounding social media and its use.
  • The influence of social media on fashion and beauty trends
  • How social media has impacted the way we perceive and experience travel
  • An analysis of the impact of social media on professional sports and athletics
  • The influence of social media on the music industry and artist promotions
  • The role of social media in fostering online communities and relationships
  • How social media has changed the way we access and consume news
  • An examination of the impact of social media on the way we shop and make purchasing decisions
  • The influence of social media on the way we view and engage with art and creativity
  • The impact of social media on personal branding and self-promotion
  • An exploration of the use of social media in crisis management and emergency response.

Essays about social media additional tips

  • Start with a strong thesis statement that clearly states your argument.
  • Use reputable sources for your research and reference them properly in your essay.
  • Avoid using overly technical language or overly casual language.
  • Use specific examples to support your argument and make your essay more relatable.
  • Be mindful of the tone of your essay and aim for a balanced, neutral perspective.
  • Avoid making broad generalizations and instead focus on specific, well-supported claims.
  • Consider both social media’s positive and negative aspects and provide a nuanced perspective.
  • Use clear, concise, and well-structured sentences and paragraphs to make your essay easy to read and understand.
  • Use a variety of sentence structures and avoid repeating the same sentence structure repeatedly.
  • End your essay with a strong conclusion summarizing your main points and providing a final thought or calls to action.

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Feb 15, 2023

6 Example Essays on Social Media | Advantages, Effects, and Outlines

Got an essay assignment about the effects of social media we got you covered check out our examples and outlines below.

Social media has become one of our society's most prominent ways of communication and information sharing in a very short time. It has changed how we communicate and has given us a platform to express our views and opinions and connect with others. It keeps us informed about the world around us. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have brought individuals from all over the world together, breaking down geographical borders and fostering a genuinely global community.

However, social media comes with its difficulties. With the rise of misinformation, cyberbullying, and privacy problems, it's critical to utilize these platforms properly and be aware of the risks. Students in the academic world are frequently assigned essays about the impact of social media on numerous elements of our lives, such as relationships, politics, and culture. These essays necessitate a thorough comprehension of the subject matter, critical thinking, and the ability to synthesize and convey information clearly and succinctly.

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Want to learn how to write an argumentative essay? Check out these inspiring examples!

We will provide various examples of social media essays so you may get a feel for the genre.

6 Examples of Social Media Essays

Here are 6 examples of Social Media Essays:

The Impact of Social Media on Relationships and Communication


The way we share information and build relationships has evolved as a direct result of the prevalence of social media in our daily lives. The influence of social media on interpersonal connections and conversation is a hot topic. Although social media has many positive effects, such as bringing people together regardless of physical proximity and making communication quicker and more accessible, it also has a dark side that can affect interpersonal connections and dialogue.

Positive Effects:

Connecting People Across Distances

One of social media's most significant benefits is its ability to connect individuals across long distances. People can use social media platforms to interact and stay in touch with friends and family far away. People can now maintain intimate relationships with those they care about, even when physically separated.

Improved Communication Speed and Efficiency

Additionally, the proliferation of social media sites has accelerated and simplified communication. Thanks to instant messaging, users can have short, timely conversations rather than lengthy ones via email. Furthermore, social media facilitates group communication, such as with classmates or employees, by providing a unified forum for such activities.

Negative Effects:

Decreased Face-to-Face Communication

The decline in in-person interaction is one of social media's most pernicious consequences on interpersonal connections and dialogue. People's reliance on digital communication over in-person contact has increased along with the popularity of social media. Face-to-face interaction has suffered as a result, which has adverse effects on interpersonal relationships and the development of social skills.

Decreased Emotional Intimacy

Another adverse effect of social media on relationships and communication is decreased emotional intimacy. Digital communication lacks the nonverbal cues and facial expressions critical in building emotional connections with others. This can make it more difficult for people to develop close and meaningful relationships, leading to increased loneliness and isolation.

Increased Conflict and Miscommunication

Finally, social media can also lead to increased conflict and miscommunication. The anonymity and distance provided by digital communication can lead to misunderstandings and hurtful comments that might not have been made face-to-face. Additionally, social media can provide a platform for cyberbullying , which can have severe consequences for the victim's mental health and well-being.


In conclusion, the impact of social media on relationships and communication is a complex issue with both positive and negative effects. While social media platforms offer many benefits, such as connecting people across distances and enabling faster and more accessible communication, they also have a dark side that can negatively affect relationships and communication. It is up to individuals to use social media responsibly and to prioritize in-person communication in their relationships and interactions with others.

The Role of Social Media in the Spread of Misinformation and Fake News

Social media has revolutionized the way information is shared and disseminated. However, the ease and speed at which data can be spread on social media also make it a powerful tool for spreading misinformation and fake news. Misinformation and fake news can seriously affect public opinion, influence political decisions, and even cause harm to individuals and communities.

The Pervasiveness of Misinformation and Fake News on Social Media

Misinformation and fake news are prevalent on social media platforms, where they can spread quickly and reach a large audience. This is partly due to the way social media algorithms work, which prioritizes content likely to generate engagement, such as sensational or controversial stories. As a result, false information can spread rapidly and be widely shared before it is fact-checked or debunked.

The Influence of Social Media on Public Opinion

Social media can significantly impact public opinion, as people are likelier to believe the information they see shared by their friends and followers. This can lead to a self-reinforcing cycle, where misinformation and fake news are spread and reinforced, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

The Challenge of Correcting Misinformation and Fake News

Correcting misinformation and fake news on social media can be a challenging task. This is partly due to the speed at which false information can spread and the difficulty of reaching the same audience exposed to the wrong information in the first place. Additionally, some individuals may be resistant to accepting correction, primarily if the incorrect information supports their beliefs or biases.

In conclusion, the function of social media in disseminating misinformation and fake news is complex and urgent. While social media has revolutionized the sharing of information, it has also made it simpler for false information to propagate and be widely believed. Individuals must be accountable for the information they share and consume, and social media firms must take measures to prevent the spread of disinformation and fake news on their platforms.

The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health and Well-Being

Social media has become an integral part of modern life, with billions of people around the world using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay connected with others and access information. However, while social media has many benefits, it can also negatively affect mental health and well-being.

Comparison and Low Self-Esteem

One of the key ways that social media can affect mental health is by promoting feelings of comparison and low self-esteem. People often present a curated version of their lives on social media, highlighting their successes and hiding their struggles. This can lead others to compare themselves unfavorably, leading to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.

Cyberbullying and Online Harassment

Another way that social media can negatively impact mental health is through cyberbullying and online harassment. Social media provides a platform for anonymous individuals to harass and abuse others, leading to feelings of anxiety, fear, and depression.

Social Isolation

Despite its name, social media can also contribute to feelings of isolation. At the same time, people may have many online friends but need more meaningful in-person connections and support. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.

Addiction and Overuse

Finally, social media can be addictive, leading to overuse and negatively impacting mental health and well-being. People may spend hours each day scrolling through their feeds, neglecting other important areas of their lives, such as work, family, and self-care.

In sum, social media has positive and negative consequences on one's psychological and emotional well-being. Realizing this, and taking measures like reducing one's social media use, reaching out to loved ones for help, and prioritizing one's well-being, are crucial. In addition, it's vital that social media giants take ownership of their platforms and actively encourage excellent mental health and well-being.

The Use of Social Media in Political Activism and Social Movements

Social media has recently become increasingly crucial in political action and social movements. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have given people new ways to express themselves, organize protests, and raise awareness about social and political issues.

Raising Awareness and Mobilizing Action

One of the most important uses of social media in political activity and social movements has been to raise awareness about important issues and mobilize action. Hashtags such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter, for example, have brought attention to sexual harassment and racial injustice, respectively. Similarly, social media has been used to organize protests and other political actions, allowing people to band together and express themselves on a bigger scale.

Connecting with like-minded individuals

A second method in that social media has been utilized in political activity and social movements is to unite like-minded individuals. Through social media, individuals can join online groups, share knowledge and resources, and work with others to accomplish shared objectives. This has been especially significant for geographically scattered individuals or those without access to traditional means of political organizing.

Challenges and Limitations

As a vehicle for political action and social movements, social media has faced many obstacles and restrictions despite its many advantages. For instance, the propagation of misinformation and fake news on social media can impede attempts to disseminate accurate and reliable information. In addition, social media corporations have been condemned for censorship and insufficient protection of user rights.

In conclusion, social media has emerged as a potent instrument for political activism and social movements, giving voice to previously unheard communities and galvanizing support for change. Social media presents many opportunities for communication and collaboration. Still, users and institutions must be conscious of the risks and limitations of these tools to promote their responsible and productive usage.

The Potential Privacy Concerns Raised by Social Media Use and Data Collection Practices

With billions of users each day on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, social media has ingrained itself into every aspect of our lives. While these platforms offer a straightforward method to communicate with others and exchange information, they also raise significant concerns over data collecting and privacy. This article will examine the possible privacy issues posed by social media use and data-gathering techniques.

Data Collection and Sharing

The gathering and sharing of personal data are significant privacy issues brought up by social media use. Social networking sites gather user data, including details about their relationships, hobbies, and routines. This information is made available to third-party businesses for various uses, such as marketing and advertising. This can lead to serious concerns about who has access to and uses our personal information.

Lack of Control Over Personal Information

The absence of user control over personal information is a significant privacy issue brought up by social media usage. Social media makes it challenging to limit who has access to and how data is utilized once it has been posted. Sensitive information may end up being extensively disseminated and may be used maliciously as a result.

Personalized Marketing

Social media companies utilize the information they gather about users to target them with adverts relevant to their interests and usage patterns. Although this could be useful, it might also cause consumers to worry about their privacy since they might feel that their personal information is being used without their permission. Furthermore, there are issues with the integrity of the data being used to target users and the possibility of prejudice based on individual traits.

Government Surveillance

Using social media might spark worries about government surveillance. There are significant concerns regarding privacy and free expression when governments in some nations utilize social media platforms to follow and monitor residents.

In conclusion, social media use raises significant concerns regarding data collecting and privacy. While these platforms make it easy to interact with people and exchange information, they also gather a lot of personal information, which raises questions about who may access it and how it will be used. Users should be aware of these privacy issues and take precautions to safeguard their personal information, such as exercising caution when choosing what details to disclose on social media and keeping their information sharing with other firms to a minimum.

The Ethical and Privacy Concerns Surrounding Social Media Use And Data Collection

Our use of social media to communicate with loved ones, acquire information, and even conduct business has become a crucial part of our everyday lives. The extensive use of social media does, however, raise some ethical and privacy issues that must be resolved. The influence of social media use and data collecting on user rights, the accountability of social media businesses, and the need for improved regulation are all topics that will be covered in this article.

Effect on Individual Privacy:

Social networking sites gather tons of personal data from their users, including delicate information like search history, location data, and even health data. Each user's detailed profile may be created with this data and sold to advertising or used for other reasons. Concerns regarding the privacy of personal information might arise because social media businesses can use this data to target users with customized adverts.

Additionally, individuals might need to know how much their personal information is being gathered and exploited. Data breaches or the unauthorized sharing of personal information with other parties may result in instances where sensitive information is exposed. Users should be aware of the privacy rules of social media firms and take precautions to secure their data.

Responsibility of Social Media Companies:

Social media firms should ensure that they responsibly and ethically gather and use user information. This entails establishing strong security measures to safeguard sensitive information and ensuring users are informed of what information is being collected and how it is used.

Many social media businesses, nevertheless, have come under fire for not upholding these obligations. For instance, the Cambridge Analytica incident highlighted how Facebook users' personal information was exploited for political objectives without their knowledge. This demonstrates the necessity of social media corporations being held responsible for their deeds and ensuring that they are safeguarding the security and privacy of their users.

Better Regulation Is Needed

There is a need for tighter regulation in this field, given the effect, social media has on individual privacy as well as the obligations of social media firms. The creation of laws and regulations that ensure social media companies are gathering and using user information ethically and responsibly, as well as making sure users are aware of their rights and have the ability to control the information that is being collected about them, are all part of this.

Additionally, legislation should ensure that social media businesses are held responsible for their behavior, for example, by levying fines for data breaches or the unauthorized use of personal data. This will provide social media businesses with a significant incentive to prioritize their users' privacy and security and ensure they are upholding their obligations.

In conclusion, social media has fundamentally changed how we engage and communicate with one another, but this increased convenience also raises several ethical and privacy issues. Essential concerns that need to be addressed include the effect of social media on individual privacy, the accountability of social media businesses, and the requirement for greater regulation to safeguard user rights. We can make everyone's online experience safer and more secure by looking more closely at these issues.

In conclusion, social media is a complex and multifaceted topic that has recently captured the world's attention. With its ever-growing influence on our lives, it's no surprise that it has become a popular subject for students to explore in their writing. Whether you are writing an argumentative essay on the impact of social media on privacy, a persuasive essay on the role of social media in politics, or a descriptive essay on the changes social media has brought to the way we communicate, there are countless angles to approach this subject.

However, writing a comprehensive and well-researched essay on social media can be daunting. It requires a thorough understanding of the topic and the ability to articulate your ideas clearly and concisely. This is where comes in. Our AI-powered tool is designed to help students like you save time and energy and focus on what truly matters - your education. With , you'll have access to a wealth of examples and receive personalized writing suggestions and feedback.

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Home — Essay Samples — Sociology — Sociology of Media and Communication — Social Media

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Argumentative Essays About Social Media

This is a comprehensive resource to help you find the perfect social media essay topic. Whether you're navigating the complexities of digital communication, exploring the impact of social media on society, or examining its effects on personal identity, the right topic can transform your essay into a captivating and insightful exploration. Remember, selecting a topic that resonates with your personal interests and academic goals not only makes the writing process more enjoyable but also enriches your learning experience. Let's dive into a world of creativity and critical thinking!

Essay Types and Topics

Below, you'll find a curated list of essay topics organized by type. Each section includes diverse topics that touch on technology, society, personal growth, and academic interests, along with introduction and conclusion paragraph examples to get you started.

Argumentative Essays

Introduction Example: "In the digital age, social media platforms have become central to our daily interactions and self-perception, particularly among teenagers. This essay explores the impact of social media on teen self-esteem, arguing that while it offers a space for expression and connection, it also presents significant challenges to self-image. "

Conclusion Example: "Having delved into the complex relationship between social media and teen self-esteem, it is clear that the digital landscape holds profound effects on individual self-perception. This essay reaffirms the thesis that social media can both uplift and undermine teen self-esteem, calling for a balanced approach to digital engagement."

Introduction Example: "As political landscapes evolve, social media has emerged as a powerful tool for political mobilization and engagement. This essay investigates the role of social media in shaping political movements, positing that it significantly enhances communication and organizational capabilities, yet raises questions about information authenticity. "

Conclusion Example: "Through examining the dual facets of social media in political mobilization, the essay concludes that while social media is a pivotal tool for engagement, it necessitates critical scrutiny of information to ensure a well-informed public discourse."

Compare and Contrast Essays

Introduction Example: "In the competitive realm of digital marketing, Instagram and Twitter stand out as leading platforms for brand promotion. This essay compares and contrasts their effectiveness, revealing that each platform caters to unique marketing strengths due to its specific user engagement and content dissemination strategies. "

Conclusion Example: "The comparative analysis of Instagram and Twitter highlights distinct advantages for brands, with Instagram excelling in visual storytelling and Twitter in real-time engagement, underscoring the importance of strategic platform selection in digital marketing."

Descriptive Essays

Introduction Example: "Today's social media landscape is a vibrant tapestry of platforms, each contributing to the digital era's social fabric. This essay describes the characteristics and cultural significance of current social media trends, illustrating that they reflect and shape our societal values and interactions. "

Conclusion Example: "In portraying the dynamic and diverse nature of today's social media landscape, this essay underscores its role in molding contemporary cultural and social paradigms, inviting readers to reflect on their digital footprints."

Persuasive Essays

Introduction Example: "In an era where digital presence is ubiquitous, fostering positive social media habits is essential for mental and emotional well-being. This essay advocates for mindful social media use, arguing that intentional engagement can enhance our life experiences rather than detract from them. "

Conclusion Example: "This essay has championed the cause for positive social media habits, reinforcing the thesis that through mindful engagement, individuals can navigate the digital world in a way that promotes personal growth and well-being."

Narrative Essays

Introduction Example: "Embarking on a personal journey with social media has been both enlightening and challenging. This narrative essay delves into my experiences, highlighting how social media has influenced my perception of self and community. "

Conclusion Example: "Reflecting on my social media journey, this essay concludes that while it has significantly shaped my interactions and self-view, it has also offered invaluable lessons on connectivity and self-awareness, affirming the nuanced role of digital platforms in our lives."

Engagement and Creativity

As you explore these topics, remember to approach your essay with an open mind and creative spirit. The purpose of academic writing is not just to inform but to engage and provoke thought. Use this opportunity to delve deep into your topic, analyze different perspectives, and articulate your own insights.

Educational Value

Each essay type offers unique learning outcomes. Argumentative essays enhance your analytical thinking and ability to construct well-founded arguments. Compare and contrast essays develop your skills in identifying similarities and differences. Descriptive essays improve your ability to paint vivid pictures through words, while persuasive essays refine your ability to influence and convince. Finally, narrative essays offer a platform for personal expression and storytelling. Embrace these opportunities to grow academically and personally.

Some Easy Argumentative Essay Topics on Social Media

  • The Impact of Social Media: Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Is Social Media Enhancing or Eroding Our Real-Life Social Skills?
  • Should There Be Stricter Regulations on Social Media Content to Protect Youth?
  • Social Media's Role in Relationships: Communication Enhancer or Barrier
  • Does Social Media Contribute to Political Polarization?
  • The Role of Social Media in Shaping Perceptions of Divorce
  • The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health: Benefit or Harm?
  • Can Social Media Be Considered a Reliable Source of News and Information?
  • Is Social Media Responsible for the Rise in Cyberbullying?
  • Impact of Social Media on Mental Health
  • Does Social Media Promote Narcissism and Self-Centered Behaviors?
  • The Role of Social Media in Business Marketing: Is It Indispensable?

Impacts of Social Media on Human Relationships

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Pros and Cons of Social Media: Social Networking

Positive and negative effects of social media, sleeping habits and social media usage, negative effect of social media on young people, get a personalized essay in under 3 hours.

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Social Media Cons and Prons: Evaluating Its Advantages and Disadvantage

The importance of staying safe on social media, impact of social media on our lives, social media: negative effects and addiction, discussion on whether is social media beneficial or harmful for society, negative effects of social media: relationships and communication, social media pros and cons, social media - good and bad sides, a study of the role of social media concerning confidentiality of personal data, how social media causes stereotyping, social media addiction: consequences and strategies for recovery, the role of social media in making us more narcissistic, the effect social media is having on today's society and political atmosphere, digital/social media, censorship in social media, why teenagers are addicted to social media and how it affects them, advantages and disadvantages of social media for society, enormous impact of mass media on children, the role of social media in the current business world, social media is the reason for many of the world’s problems and solutions.

Social media refers to dynamic online platforms that enable individuals to actively engage in the generation and dissemination of various forms of content, including information, ideas, and personal interests. These interactive digital channels foster virtual communities and networks, allowing users to connect, communicate, and express themselves. By harnessing the power of technology, social media platforms provide a space for individuals to share and exchange content, fostering connections and facilitating the flow of information in an increasingly digital world.

In a peculiar manner, the inception of social media can be traced back to May 24, 1844, when a sequence of electronic dots and dashes was manually tapped on a telegraph machine. Although the origins of digital communication have deep historical roots, most contemporary narratives regarding the modern beginnings of the internet and social media often point to the emergence of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) in 1969. The year 1987 witnessed the establishment of the direct precursor to today's internet, as the National Science Foundation introduced the more robust and expansive NSFNET, a nationwide digital network. A significant milestone occurred in 1997 when Six Degrees, the first genuine social media platform, was launched.

Mark Zuckerberg is a notable figure in the realm of social media as the co-founder and CEO of Facebook. Zuckerberg played a pivotal role in transforming Facebook from a small networking platform for college students into a global social media giant with billions of users. His innovative ideas and strategic decisions have reshaped the way people connect and share information online, making him one of the most influential individuals in the digital age. Jack Dorsey is recognized as one of the key pioneers of social media, notably for co-founding Twitter. Dorsey's creation revolutionized online communication by introducing the concept of microblogging, allowing users to share short messages in real-time. Twitter quickly gained popularity, becoming a powerful platform for news dissemination, public conversations, and social movements. Dorsey's entrepreneurial spirit and vision have contributed significantly to the evolution of social media and its impact on society. Sheryl Sandberg is a prominent figure in the social media landscape, known for her influential role as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook.Sandberg played a crucial part in scaling and monetizing Facebook's operations, transforming it into a global advertising powerhouse. She is also recognized for her advocacy of women's empowerment and leadership in the tech industry, inspiring countless individuals and promoting diversity and inclusion within the social media sphere. Sandberg's contributions have left an indelible mark on the growth and development of social media platforms worldwide.

Social Networking Sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace. Microblogging Platforms: Twitter. Media Sharing Networks: Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. Discussion Forums and Community-Based Platforms: Reddit and Quora. Blogging Platforms: WordPress and Blogger. Social Bookmarking and Content Curation Platforms: Pinterest and Flipboard. Messaging Apps: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat.

Facebook (2004), Reddit (2005), Twitter (2006), Instagram (2010), Pinterest (2010), Snapchat (2011), TikTok (2016)

1. Increased Connectivity 2. Information Sharing and Awareness 3. Networking and Professional Opportunities 4. Creativity and Self-Expression 5. Supportive Communities and Causes

1. Privacy Concerns 2. Cyberbullying and Online Harassment 3. Information Overload and Misinformation 4. Time and Productivity Drain 5. Comparison and Self-Esteem Issues

The topic of social media holds significant importance for students as it plays a prominent role in their lives, both academically and socially. Social media platforms provide students with opportunities to connect, collaborate, and share knowledge with peers, expanding their learning networks beyond the confines of the classroom. It facilitates communication and access to educational resources, allowing students to stay updated on academic trends and research. Additionally, social media enhances digital literacy and prepares students for the realities of the digital age. However, it is crucial for students to develop critical thinking skills to navigate the potential pitfalls of social media, such as misinformation and online safety, ensuring a responsible and balanced use of these platforms.

The topic of social media is worthy of being explored in an essay due to its profound impact on various aspects of society. Writing an essay on social media allows for an in-depth examination of its influence on communication, relationships, information sharing, and societal dynamics. It offers an opportunity to analyze the advantages and disadvantages, exploring topics such as privacy, online identities, social activism, and the role of social media in shaping cultural norms. Additionally, studying social media enables a critical evaluation of its effects on mental health, politics, and business. By delving into this subject, one can gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex and ever-evolving digital landscape we inhabit.

1. Social media users spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes per day on social networking platforms. This amounts to over 7 years of an individual's lifetime spent on social media, highlighting its significant presence in our daily lives. 2. Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users, with more than 500 million of them using the platform on a daily basis. 3. YouTube has over 2 billion logged-in monthly active users. On average, users spend over 1 billion hours watching YouTube videos every day, emphasizing the platform's extensive reach and the power of video content. 4. Social media has become a major news source, with 48% of people getting their news from social media platforms. This shift in news consumption highlights the role of social media in shaping public opinion and disseminating information in real-time. 5. Influencer marketing has grown exponentially, with 63% of marketers planning to increase their influencer marketing budget in the coming year. This showcases the effectiveness of influencers in reaching and engaging with target audiences, and the value brands place on leveraging social media personalities to promote their products or services.

1. Schober, M. F., Pasek, J., Guggenheim, L., Lampe, C., & Conrad, F. G. (2016). Social media analyses for social measurement. Public opinion quarterly, 80(1), 180-211. ( 2. Appel, G., Grewal, L., Hadi, R., & Stephen, A. T. (2020). The future of social media in marketing. Journal of the Academy of Marketing science, 48(1), 79-95. ( 3. Aichner, T., Grünfelder, M., Maurer, O., & Jegeni, D. (2021). Twenty-five years of social media: a review of social media applications and definitions from 1994 to 2019. Cyberpsychology, behavior, and social networking, 24(4), 215-222. ( 4. Ruths, D., & Pfeffer, J. (2014). Social media for large studies of behavior. Science, 346(6213), 1063-1064. ( 5. Hou, Y., Xiong, D., Jiang, T., Song, L., & Wang, Q. (2019). Social media addiction: Its impact, mediation, and intervention. Cyberpsychology: Journal of psychosocial research on cyberspace, 13(1). ( 6. Auxier, B., & Anderson, M. (2021). Social media use in 2021. Pew Research Center, 1, 1-4. ( 7. Al-Samarraie, H., Bello, K. A., Alzahrani, A. I., Smith, A. P., & Emele, C. (2021). Young users' social media addiction: causes, consequences and preventions. Information Technology & People, 35(7), 2314-2343. ( 8. Bhargava, V. R., & Velasquez, M. (2021). Ethics of the attention economy: The problem of social media addiction. Business Ethics Quarterly, 31(3), 321-359. (

Relevant topics

  • Effects of Social Media
  • Media Analysis
  • Discourse Community
  • Cultural Appropriation
  • Sociological Imagination
  • Sex, Gender and Sexuality
  • American Identity
  • Social Justice

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essay on social media advertising

January 14, 2022

How Targeted Advertising on Social Media Drives People to Extremes

People seeking to radicalize others are using ads to push conspiracy theories and extremist views

By Jeanna Matthews & The Conversation US

Qanon sign held outside US Capitol building.

Crowds gather outside the U.S. Capitol for the "Stop the Steal" rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The following essay is reprinted with permission from The Conversation , an online publication covering the latest research.

Have you had the experience of looking at some product online and then seeing ads for it all over your social media feed? Far from coincidence, these instances of eerily accurate advertising provide glimpses into the behind-the-scenes mechanisms that feed an item you search for on Google, “like” on social media or come across while browsing into custom advertising on social media.

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Those mechanisms are increasingly being used for more nefarious purposes than aggressive advertising. The threat is in how this targeted advertising interacts with today’s extremely divisive political landscape. As a  social media researcher , I see how people seeking to radicalize others use targeted advertising to readily move people to extreme views.

Advertising to an audience of one

Advertising is clearly powerful. The right ad campaign can help shape or create demand for a new product or rehabilitate the image of an older product or even of an entire company or brand. Political campaigns use similar strategies to push candidates and ideas, and historically countries have used them to wage propaganda wars.

Advertising in mass media is powerful, but mass media has a built-in moderating force. When trying to move many people in one direction, mass media can only move them as fast as the middle will tolerate. If it moves too far or too fast, people in the middle may be alienated.

The  detailed profiles  the social media companies build for each of their users make advertising even more powerful by enabling advertisers to  tailor their messages to individuals . These profiles often include the size and value of your home, what year you bought your car, whether you’re expecting a child, and whether you buy a lot of beer.

Consequently, social media has a greater ability to expose people to ideas as fast as they individually will accept them. The same mechanisms that can recommend a niche consumer product to just the right person or suggest an addictive substance just when someone is most vulnerable can also suggest an extreme conspiracy theory just when a person is ready to consider it.

It is increasingly common for friends and family to find themselves on opposite sides of highly polarized debates about important issues. Many people recognize social media as part of the problem, but how are these powerful customized advertising techniques contributing to the divisive political landscape?

Breadcrumbs to the extreme

One important part of the answer is that people associated with foreign governments, without admitting who they are, take extreme positions in social media posts  with the deliberate goal of sparking division and conflict . These extreme posts take advantage of the social media algorithms, which are  designed to heighten engagement , meaning they reward content that provokes a response.

Another important part of the answer is that people seeking to radicalize others lay out trails of breadcrumbs to  more and more extreme positions .

These social media radicalization pipelines work much the same way  whether recruiting jihadists or Jan. 6 insurrectionists .

You may feel like you’re “doing your own research,” moving from source to source, but you are really following a deliberate radicalization pipeline that’s designed to move you toward more and more extreme content at whatever pace you will tolerate. For example, after analyzing over 72 million user comments on over 330,000 videos posted on 349 YouTube channels, researchers found that  users consistently migrated from milder to more extreme content .

The result of these radicalization pipelines is apparent. Rather than most people having moderate views with fewer people holding extreme views,  fewer and fewer people are in the middle .

How to protect yourself

What can you do? First, I recommend a huge dose of skepticism about social media recommendations. Most people have gone to social media looking for something in particular and then found themselves looking up from their phones an hour or more later having little idea how or why they read or watched what they just did. It is  designed to be addictive .

I’ve been trying to chart a more deliberate path to the information I want and actively trying to avoid just clicking on whatever is recommended to me. If I do read or watch what is suggested, I ask myself “How might this information be in someone else’s best interest, not mine?”

Second, consider supporting efforts to require social media platforms to offer users a choice of algorithms for recommendations and feed curation, including ones based on simple-to-explain rules.

Third, and most important, I recommend investing more time in interacting with friends and family off of social media. If I find myself needing to forward a link to make a point, I treat that as a warning bell that I do not actually understand the issue well enough myself. If so, perhaps I have found myself following a constructed trail toward extreme content rather than consuming materials that are actually helping me better understand the world.

This article was originally published on The Conversation . Read the original article .

Essay on Social Media for School Students and Children

500+ words essay on social media.

Social media is a tool that is becoming quite popular these days because of its user-friendly features. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more are giving people a chance to connect with each other across distances. In other words, the whole world is at our fingertips all thanks to social media. The youth is especially one of the most dominant users of social media. All this makes you wonder that something so powerful and with such a massive reach cannot be all good. Like how there are always two sides to a coin, the same goes for social media. Subsequently, different people have different opinions on this debatable topic. So, in this essay on Social Media, we will see the advantages and disadvantages of social media.

Essay on Social Media

Advantages of Social Media

When we look at the positive aspect of social media, we find numerous advantages. The most important being a great device for education . All the information one requires is just a click away. Students can educate themselves on various topics using social media.

Moreover, live lectures are now possible because of social media. You can attend a lecture happening in America while sitting in India.

Furthermore, as more and more people are distancing themselves from newspapers, they are depending on social media for news. You are always updated on the latest happenings of the world through it. A person becomes more socially aware of the issues of the world.

In addition, it strengthens bonds with your loved ones. Distance is not a barrier anymore because of social media. For instance, you can easily communicate with your friends and relatives overseas.

Most importantly, it also provides a great platform for young budding artists to showcase their talent for free. You can get great opportunities for employment through social media too.

Another advantage definitely benefits companies who wish to promote their brands. Social media has become a hub for advertising and offers you great opportunities for connecting with the customer.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Disadvantages of Social Media

Despite having such unique advantages, social media is considered to be one of the most harmful elements of society. If the use of social media is not monitored, it can lead to grave consequences.

essay on social media advertising

Thus, the sharing on social media especially by children must be monitored at all times. Next up is the addition of social media which is quite common amongst the youth.

This addiction hampers with the academic performance of a student as they waste their time on social media instead of studying. Social media also creates communal rifts. Fake news is spread with the use of it, which poisons the mind of peace-loving citizens.

In short, surely social media has both advantages and disadvantages. But, it all depends on the user at the end. The youth must particularly create a balance between their academic performances, physical activities, and social media. Excess use of anything is harmful and the same thing applies to social media. Therefore, we must strive to live a satisfying life with the right balance.

essay on social media advertising

FAQs on Social Media

Q.1 Is social media beneficial? If yes, then how?

A.1 Social media is quite beneficial. Social Media offers information, news, educational material, a platform for talented youth and brands.

Q.2 What is a disadvantage of Social Media?

A.2 Social media invades your privacy. It makes you addicted and causes health problems. It also results in cyberbullying and scams as well as communal hatred.

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  • 27 March 2024

Tweeting your research paper boosts engagement but not citations

  • Bianca Nogrady

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

Even before complaints about X’s declining quality, posting a paper on the social-media platform did not lead to a boost in citations. Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty

Posting about a research paper on social-media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) doesn’t translate into a bump in citations, according to a study that looked at 550 papers.

The finding comes as scientists are moving away from the platform in the wake of changes after its 2022 purchase by entrepreneur Elon Musk.

An international group of 11 researchers, who by the end of the experiment had between them nearly 230,000 followers on X, examined whether there was evidence that posting about a paper would increase its citation rate.

“There certainly is a correlation, and that’s been found in a lot of papers. But very few people have ever looked to see whether there’s any experimental causation,” says Trevor Branch, a marine ecologist at the University of Washington in Seattle and lead author on the paper, published in PLoS ONE last week 1 .

Every month for ten months, each researcher was allocated a randomly selected primary research article or review from a journal of their choice to post about on their personal account. Four randomly chosen articles from the same edition of the journal served as controls, which the researchers did not post about. They conducted the experiment in the period before Elon Musk took ownership of what was then known as Twitter and complaints of its declining quality increased.

‘Nail in the coffin’

Three years after the initial posts, the team compared the citation rates for the 110 posted articles with those of the 440 control articles, and found no significant difference. The researchers did acknowledge that their followers might not have been numerous enough to detect a statistically significant effect on citations.

The rate of daily downloads for the posted papers was nearly fourfold higher on the day that they were shared, compared with controls. Shared papers also had significantly higher accumulated Altmetric scores both 30 days and three years after the initial post. Calculated by London-based technology company Digital Science, an Altmetric score, says Branch, is a measure of how many people have looked at a paper and are talking about it, but it’s not a reliable indicator of a paper’s scientific worth. “It’s thoroughly biased by how many people with large followings tweet about it,” he says.

The findings echo those of information scientist Stefanie Haustein at the University of Ottawa, whose 2013 study 2 found a low correlation between posts and citations.

Haustein says the problem with using posts as a metric is that, even a decade ago, there was a lot of noise in the signal.

“We actually showed that a lot of the counts on Twitter you would get were bots, it wasn’t even humans,” says Haustein, who wasn’t involved in the new study.

She says the more recent departure of scientists from the platform has been the final nail in the coffin of the idea that posting could increase citations.


Branch, T. A. et al. PLoS ONE 19 , e0292201 (2024).

Article   PubMed   Google Scholar  

Haustein, S., Peters, I., Sugimoto, C. R., Thelwall, M. & Larivière, V. J. Assoc. Inf. Sci. Technol. 65, 656–669 (2014).

Article   Google Scholar  

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