Although social media is taking the world by storm and changing the entire face of business marketing and advertising, some experts call social media sharing a religion - and not a good one.
"The problem is that social media has no concept of privacy," wrote Suzanne Moore in the Guardian. "If [a] couple was arguing in public, anyone may record and snigger at it. But this is to confuse public space with social space, for social media makes everything 'social.' Sharing is the new religion. And some of that sharing may well be not very nice."
Although some experts may agree with this way of thinking, the numbers don't lie: Businesses are expected to spend $77 billion on interactive marketing campaigns in 2016, which is how much marketers spend on TV advertising currently, according to a recent Forrester report.
Interactive marketing campaigns may include social media, web-based advertising and email marketing, with Forrester predicting the latter to bring in $1.7 billion in 2012. However, a recent infographic by Host Papa showed that although email marketing has its benefits, social media is still an important marketing tool that can only grow from here.
- Social media has unique features
Depending on which social media platform a business utilizes, there are various features that could make it a more valuable tool than email marketing. Social media stands out in message deliverability (100 percent compared with 97 percent delivered via email) and content sharing, which both give messages and marketing tactics a chance to get more views more quickly than email.
- Social media is growing at faster rates than email
Email may be the most popular online activity now, but social media's recent growth far surpasses the latest email marketing numbers. The infographic reported that 100 percent of small- to medium-sized businesses predicted an increase in social media budgets in 2012, and 70 percent of their business plans included an increased general marketing budget. The total projected social media marketing budget for 2012 is reported to be $4.7 billion.
However, not all business leaders choose to dive into social media and test the water: A study by CEO.com revealed that 70 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are absent from social media. The study also predicted that CEO communication through social media - now at just 16 percent - is expected to increase to 57 percent.