This week’s inspiration for my blog post came when least expected. It all started from one simple question asked by a dear friend of mine this past Saturday. Let me explain. This past weekend one of my best friends from college came to stay with me. After explaining my role of a social media intern to him, he first asked the most common question I receive after explaining my position, “So…you just play around on Facebook all day?” I must say, there has not been a single person that has not asked me this question upon hearing I work in social media. He then followed this oh-so-generic question with a point that has never occurred to me before. “What would happen if Facebook were to phase out?”
For a moment I was dumbfounded. Could a future career in social media really be endangered by the extinction of Facebook? I briefly answered his question and we went on with our day. Amongst our adventures of exploring Dallas (and by exploring, I mean getting lost) and battling the crowds of Uptown on a Saturday night, I could not seem to shake this question from my head. I have given the answer to this question a great deal of thought and have come up with two main points that have put me at ease about beginning my career in social media.
Facebook is not going away anytime soon. Plain and simple. According to Facebook, there are currently 901 million monthlyactive users, making it the largest social media outlet out there. Facebook is able to achieve this number by constantly evolving for brands and for consumers. For brands, Facebook is continually bringing new ideas to the table to interact with consumers. Recently, this has been done with the evolution of the “promote” button; which allows you to pay money in return for increasing your reach on specific posts. Can you say genius? By interacting with consumers via status posts, brands are able to interact with customers in a way that creates a personal relationship rather than a pesky advertisement. On top of that, it’s relatively cheap. For consumers, Facebook is always adding new features to personal pages keeping Facebook fresh and new. An example of this would be the Timeline switch which ultimately changed Facebook for everyone.
Second, if for some reason Facebook were to phase out, the need for a major social media platform is still there. Facebook has created a need. A need to fill time. Whenever I am on lunch, waiting for an appointment, or just have some spare time, I check my social media accounts. Whether it is on my computer or on my phone, I feel a need to fill the spare time. I feel a need to feel connected to the rest of the social world even if it is for a brief few moments. As if Facebook isn’t enough, I also have Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest accounts to keep me busy. Not to mention the need to check in everywhere I go via Foursquare. This has brought me to the conclusion that as long as people continue to have spare time, social media will be present.
If you are a recent college grad looking to pursue a career in social media I hope these points encourage you even more. Social media is a movement that is only beginning. The opportunities for brands and consumers to engage in social media are endless and I cannot wait to watch it evolve in the years to come.
By Rachel Baughman
Rachel is theSocial Media Manager atAtomic Design & Consulting.
Atomic’s offices are located just north of Dallas, Texas in Plano. Rachel is a social media strategist who uses out-of-the-box ideas to promote our B2B & B2C clients at Atomic.