19 Billion Reasons to Pay Attention to Social Media

Hi, my name is Nick Usborne, and this is the first of five articles I’ll be writing this week … all of them focused on the massive growth of social media.

In this, the first article, I want to give you a sense of just how important social media has become to doing business on the web.

In fact, social media will soon pretty much BECOME the web.

Billions of people around the world access services like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest every single day. And millions of companies use the same services to connect with their customers and drive online sales.

Social media is huge, and it’s growing fast.

But, to get a real sense of how big a deal social media has become, consider this …

Something extraordinary happened in February of this year.

Facebook purchased a startup tech company that had developed just a single product – a mobile messaging app. The company, WhatsApp, had only 55 employees.

How much did Facebook pay for this small startup?

$19 BILLION in cash and stock.

Billion, not million.

To put that into context, American Airlines is worth less, at $12.3 billion. Harley Davidson is valued at $14.1 billion. Xerox is valued at $13.2 billion.

On the face of it, the price they paid for a single app seems insane. But, you have to remember that Mark Zuckerberg and his colleagues at Facebook are smart businesspeople. They have proved that time and again.

They see the way the wind is blowing. They predict there are billions upon billions in profits to be made from the growth of social media.

Time spent by people on traditional websites is losing ground to time spent on social media sites.

Time spent on desktop computers and laptops is losing ground to time spent on tablets and smartphones.

The industry is shifting, and it’s growing at a phenomenal rate.

I’m talking about the online marketplace in its entirety here. This tectonic shift will impact not only every company doing business online, but also those who serve those companies … like freelance writers and copywriters.

This shift is bad news for freelancers who are fixed in their ways, or unwilling to adapt to fast-moving change.

And, it’s excellent news for freelancers who recognize there’s always money to be made by helping client companies keep up-to-speed within a fast-changing business environment.

In tomorrow’s article, I’ll look more closely at how companies in North America are responding to this shift from the old web to the new, social and mobile web. (Hint: They’re not doing well, and desperately need help.)

In the meantime … if you’re beginning to smell an opportunity here for your own freelance business … I recommend you spend some time today doing some research of your own.

Go to Google and start with searches for “growth of social media” and “growth of mobile web.” Then work forward from there, until you feel you really understand what’s going on. (Most freelancers don’t.) In the comments section, please feel free to share what you found out so we can get a conversation going.

And please, stick with me this week. By the end of this series, you’ll not only know more than most people about this opportunity, but you’ll also have solid, how-to information on how to present yourself as a social media expert and land your first few clients.

Make Money as a Social Media Marketing Expert

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Published: September 8, 2014

9 Responses to “19 Billion Reasons to Pay Attention to Social Media”

  1. Unbelievable increases, Nick!

    I had heard social media was growing exceptionally fast. I know my own usage has probably doubled, but I did not expect anything like this.

    ...Twitter up 44%, G+ up 33%... and the mobile web growth charts I saw were even more explosive... some had usage increases of over 55% (Opera stat) year to year.

    You certainly have my ear, Nick ...both of them!

    Christopher McCargar

  2. Hi Nick,

    Lately I've noticed how much social media has taken over the internet. Yesterday I was trying to log onto iheartradio.com from my phone to enter a contest for the radio. When I got to the landing page, the only way to get to the site is if I downloaded the app for iheart radio. I didn't download the app because it wanted access to too many folders on my phone. I really dislike that aspect of it. I think I should be able to access any website from my phone without downloading an app.

    Guest (Misha M)

  3. Greetings!
    Just starting out I am made well aware of the need to change writing media at a steller speed. A Freelance writer now cannot be set in "their ways", it no longer is our option if we desire potential growth. The dreadful martyrdom runs its course.


  4. Nick- thank you.
    I have, in short, a nostalgia and respect and adherence, to non-web writing, speech, interaction--etc etc, and yet, the beauty and power in human connectivity available through Twitter, FB, blogs, YouTube, Google, etc etc, is not only not an evil, but, as I am realizing, not even just a great Good, but, a pure inevitability.
    We are in the age where life and the internet are becoming One, and your article here helped further my meditations on the matter.
    Thank you and bless

    Guest (Nate)

  5. Nick, I just did a little research as you recommended. I was blown away. I can only say OH MY GOSH! Where do I get a ticket for this train because, I want to ride it all the way to the end of the line. I especially like the consulting part. As someone who had owned an imagine business back in the 80's I think I could put one out of the stadium with this.

    Guest (Jack McCune)

  6. mediabistro dot com/alltwitter/growth-of-social-media_b51769

    Guest (B Brandt)

  7. Looking forward to a week with Nick!
    From the user's perspective I remember a time when I realized that pop-ups and ads seemed to speak to me on a very personal level.... almost following me!?
    No accident, no magic to it but by design. Targeting of markets/demographics via algorithms ~ Brilliant! Virtual one stop shopping tailored to your interests emotionally, materialistically, professionally, educationally... you name it! Bringing the product directly to buyers in the comfort of their beds, offices and coffee shops. Could not be more cost effective.

    All the best!

    Guest (Bettina Brandt)

  8. Having spent the last thirty years in manufacturing, I am looking at Freelance copywriting as a way to get out of my brick and mortar business, and into something I can enjoy while retiring my old life. Traveling would be nice. I'd like to be a part of this tremendous growth. It seems like a really great opportunity. I feel overwhelmed and lost at times. There are so many directions to go in. I am hoping that AWAI will lead me in a good direction.

    Robert Martinez

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