The new business role of social media

In the same way that search engines gained huge popularity during and after the initial Internet boom of the 1990s, social media platforms have experienced similar exponential growth in the last couple of decades. Studies suggest that although each of us typically spends 6.5 hours online daily, some 35% of this time is consumed engaging with social media.

While it is often assumed that teenagers and young adults typify social media users, the reality is that the average age for people who regularly engage with social media is in fact 40, and that the fastest growing social media user audience demographic is the over 60s!

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are no longer simply virtual spaces for users to catch up on what their circle of friends are thinking and doing. Today they are the go-to arenas for digesting the latest news, engaging with like-minded individuals, voicing opinions, and/or purchasing just about any product or service.


Advertising on social media platforms goes far beyond paying for relevant individuals to see a specific ad. By building a community of users who might potentially be interested in any specific event, it is relatively simple to engage with this audience (either organically or using paid media promotion).

As social media platforms were specifically designed to facilitate content sharing, individuals who are interested in an event can easily comment on or share promoted posts. This means that the initial assumed reach and visibility of any paid promotion can expand virally and exponentially.

A significant advantage of social media advertising is that if an event is recurring or cyclical, it is fairly simple to maintain and develop existing communities. This gives a significant head-start for the ultimate aims of congress brand awareness and growth.


Whereas a boosted post already exists on a social media platform and can be shown to a chosen audience for a fee, a sponsored post is essentially a paid ad which will only appear to people who are members of a specific, determined audience. Generally, unlike a boosted post, a sponsored post can have a call-to-action button (such as “Learn More”).  


The major benefit of social advertising is that it reaches a far wider target audience and engages potential attendees in terms of event awareness as well as ongoing educational and association activities.