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Social media has become a staple in our day-to-day lives. We use Facebook to check our family and friends’ latest status updates, we go on LinkedIn to network for our careers, and we post photos on our Instagram accounts to share the highlights of our lives.

Social Media Usage
The Pew Research Center recently released a report detailing Americans’ social media trends. When the Pew Research Center began measuring social media usage in 2005, five percent of U.S. adults used at least one social media platform. Today, 69 percent of the public utilizes some form of social media.

According to the Pew Research Center, we typically use social media for social interactions, including staying in touch with friends and family, reacquainting with those we’ve lost touch with, and even meeting new friends or potential romantic partners. Social media is a common means of engaging in civic and political activities and discussions, gaining scientific and health information, performing job-related tasks, receiving the latest news stories, and more.

As the Pew Research Center reveals, social media isn’t unique to one group of people, and strategically using its prevalence can result in bottom-line growth. For instance, people of all ages use Facebook, including 76 percent of young adults, 68 percent of those between the ages of 50 and 64, and nearly half of those age 65 and older. In fact, the Pew Research Center reveals that 74 percent of Facebook users visit the site daily, while nearly half do so several times a day.

Snapchat and Instagram, in contrast, are more popular among young adults between the ages of 18 and 24—with 73 percent and 75 percent using these apps, respectively.

Privacy Concerns
While social media has a plethora of uses and has become an important source of connecting with the world at large, people sometimes experience sensory overload from the onslaught of information at their fingertips. Some might take a break from social media because they’re too busy, uninterested or jaded by the drama or conflict they see. In addition, some of us might have privacy concerns about the way our personal information is collected and used.

Leveraging Social Media for Your Business
These findings are particularly important for business owners leveraging the power of social media, as they represent an essential helping hand in identifying actionable marketing strategies for one’s preferred demographic.

Utilizing social media to interact with your customers can translate to better client relationships and higher revenues, while disregarding or misusing online interaction can actually cost your business money. There are very few demographics you cannot reach online; if you aren’t connecting with your market on social media, you’re closing off an entire communication channel with your customers.

With the development of technology and its increased utilization, online interaction will only grow in importance and value. Different platforms may fluctuate in popularity, but social media will continue playing a starring role in business. Stay ahead of the competition by leveraging your social media accounts, or risk getting left behind.

Desirée Patno is the CEO and president of Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE), as well as chairwoman of NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC). With 30 years of experience in housing, Patno is a champion for women’s economic growth and independence. In 2017, Entrepreneur.com named her the Highest-Ranking Woman and 4th Overall Top Real Estate Influencer to Follow. For more information, please visit www.nawrb.com.

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