To doubt the power of social media in society is to doubt the importance of sunlight on Earth. It is no longer a want, but a need. Just imagine what life would be like without the platforms that allow people from all over the world to connect. Imagine having to pay hundreds, if not thousands, on telephone bills just to reach your neighbours. Imagine having to email photos from your entire album so your friends could see what you’ve been up to. It would be a very lonely world.

Growth of social media

Fortunately, with the advent of online networking, catching up with your neighbours, communicating with friends, getting the latest updates and connecting with customer service is as easy as a click of a button. In January 2018, there were 4.02 billion internet users worldwide – that’s 53% of the world’s total population. There are 3.2 billion active social media users, or 42% of the population. These figures alone prove that social media is here to stay, if not flourish even more.

With such widespread use, its importance for society cannot be ignored – especially in the world of marketing. The reach and influence of social media is a treasure trove in the business and commercial industries, where the need to engage and persuade the market is paramount. With the slow death of print and radio, social media has taken over as one of the leading channels for marketing and advertising.

“90% trust peers on social networks (even strangers); only 15–18% trust brands.”

-Danny Brown

“But can social media really benefit my business?”

If you are still asking yourself this question, you have come to the right place. To help you understand the power of social media in the world of commerce, here are some important facts and figures.

According to We Are Social’s Digital in 2018 Global Overview, Facebook is the second most visited website in the world, followed by YouTube and topped by Google. Facebook was also the most searched query on Google, followed again by video sharing platform YouTube. These figures prove that four billion active internet users turn to social media platforms every day.

As consumers spend more time on social media, these platforms are also becoming a source of product and brand information. With more than 60 million pages on Facebook, brands reach millions of people on the social media platform. The same We Are Social report revealed that posts on a brand’s Facebook page reach 10.7% more people than its current followers. It also revealed that 4.2% of all Facebook users who see a Facebook Page post engage with it – either by reading the status, liking the post, watching the video or clicking on the link.

Social media effects on sales

We Are Social’s Digital in 2018 Global Overview reported that 17% of the world’s population shop and pay bills online. Strong economies such as the UK (78%), South Korea (74%), Germany (74%), Sweden (70%) and the US (69%) have the highest e-commerce penetration, or the percentage of the population that has made an online purchase.

Interestingly, as the largest percentage of users – 18-34 year olds – have the most purchasing power, they are more likely to make a purchase influenced by social media. A Nielsen study commissioned by Twitter found that one in four new car buyers in the US used Twitter to make a purchase decision.

The benefits of social media for brand building

Increase brand awareness

Humanizing your brand

Establish your brand as a thought leader

Increase website traffic

Increase sales

Engage customers and audiences

Learn more about your customers

Assess the mood around your brand


With all these facts, figures and statistics, it is impossible to deny the impact of social media on the consumer. Social media has a huge impact, whether it is simple brand awareness or brand loyalty reflected in sales. If you haven’t given much thought to your social media marketing strategy, now is the best time to do so.

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