Social media can and will have a big impact on your business. A lot of the traditional barriers to accessing most forms of media have been removed. People have easy access to whatever it is you post. Author Richard Harrington discusses how and why social media has a big impact on your business and what you can do to take advantage of it.
- Hopefully by now I've convinced you that social media can and will have a big impact on your business. Let's talk about a few more points though that you should consider. Remember, social media is just another type of media. Media has been used for years from broadcasting, to publishing, to traditional artwork, to paintings on a wall. But with social media, a lot of the traditional barriers and the scarcity of media had been removed. It's easier than ever to publish but harder than ever to get noticed.
What we've seen through the years is that having a social network profile has become standard. Edison research tracks online behavior, and as of 2017, 81% of all people over the age of 13 in the United States have a social networking profile. As you see here, this has been very steady growth. And we've seen growth from year to year. Now there are many different sites and you might think of Facebook since it's by far number one but each site has its own community and rules and culture, and you might find different opportunities on a different platform.
What's essential is that you don't try to be everywhere but rather find the platforms that work for you. Now I'd like to give you some historical context in how media has changed the ages. Originally media and getting information was tightly controlled, but through the years things have changed. You see there's been a lot of gate keepers, but with time, all things rust and lose their effectiveness. For example, back in 1871, Western Union controlled 90% of all of the telegraph traffic.
This is how information was conveyed over great distances, well before telephones existed. Flash forward 70 years and 97% of the country's radio stations were owned or affiliated by one of four national networks. That's a lot of consolidation. By 1969 the three major networks had all-time highs for viewership of the evening news. Half of all American homes tuned in to watch the evening news.
That's just not the case today. Continue to move forward and you see that things changed. Back in 1997 almost half of all American homes got their internet from America Online. Now a lot's changed in 20 years but I can tell you that AOL is not delivering half of the internet. Back in 2002, Microsoft's Internet Explorer had a 97% market share. While it still exists these days, changed a little bit as Microsoft Edge, and is still a dominant player, it's not the standard anymore.
Nor is it number one. And in 2014, Amazon managed to capture 63% of all books sold online. Putting their competitors out of business. And in fact, sell 40% of all books. In fact, what a lot of people don't even realize is that Amazon controls most of the books that get sold in the book stores. Since they bought the major book distributor. You see, different companies have taken control through the years, but it's rare that one company continues to control.
A few years ago everyone was talking about Google Plus. Now not so much. But what we have seen is that social media continues to grow, and it's important that you don't lose sight of this. So if we look at it this way, internet usage is very high. First we'll talk about the Untied States and then I'll share some world statistics with you. But right now 89% of all men in the United States and 86% of all women use the internet. The younger the group, the more likely.
And you see virtually complete penetration in these under the age of 50. Almost everyone uses the internet. Maybe at work, maybe at home, maybe both. If we take a look at their education, you'll also see that the more educated someone is, the more likely they are to be able to afford or need internet access. And the same holds true, that if you're trying to reach people who are more affluent or have money to spend on your services, they're more likely to be online.
Now even though different areas have different access, we're seeing that the gap between urban, suburban, and rural is narrowing. Now with the ability for internet to be delivered over the airwaves quite effectively, we are seeing that the internet is becoming standard. It comes down to this. I want, what I want, when I want it, and it seems kind of self-centered, but that really is where the internet has gone. And the evolution that's happening now is just a slight change.
I want, what I want, when I want it, where I want it. The fact that internet connectivity is virtually ubiquitous is really changing things. These days it seems almost unusual to climb aboard an airplane or a train and not have the internet. Occasionally while driving across the country I'll find cellular dead zones but they're far fewer than they every were before. The ability to stay connected is virtually everywhere. Which means that you can publish and share at almost any time.
This allows for all sorts of opportunities, but it means that there's a lot of crises here too. Let's move on to our next section where we'll explore the state of the internet. How do people access the internet and what does this mean as a creative professional?
- The impact of social media on your creative business
- Cutting through the hype
- Trends in Internet usage
- Showing a genuine you
- Knowing what to post and how often to post
- Scheduling posts
- Protecting your reputation
- Posting strategies for different social media sites