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  • Zoe

Social Media : A brief history and the roll it played throughout the pandemic.

Social medias' first recognizable platform, Six Degrees was created in 1997. Over the past two decades, social media has skyrocketed. Now there are well over 100 different social media platforms with over 3 billion users. Despite the plethora of choices available in 2021, I however only utilise 3 social media platforms: Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The photo and video sharing network Instagram created by Stanford University graduate Kevin Systrom and was launched in 2010 after only taking 8 weeks to develop. Within two years Instagram was bought by Facebook for $1 billion U.S dollars. In 2020 Instagram was crowned the fifth most used social media platform worldwide.

Facebook. The king of social media. Facebook was founded in 2004 by Harvard students Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. Facebook quickly became the dominating social media platform with more than one billion users by 2012. Facebook remains the largest platform in 2021 with over three billion users.

Instagram and Facebook share similar characteristics. The ability to post photos and videos, share thought and check into locations such as Parliament House, Two Before Ten Café or Canberra City Centre. Instagram and Facebook also host messaging applications, enabling users to connect to their friends and loved ones across the globe. Posting photos, videos and communicating with others is available through LinkedIn however, LinkedIn is a professional based website where you showcase your skills, personality, awards, education and achievements. LinkedIn is now used by corporations worldwide to evaluate and understand new job applicants, current and previous employees.

In 2003 LinkedIn was launched. This makes LinkedIn one of the oldest social networks, older than YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. In 2015 there were 315 million global users. When co-founder Reid Hoffman finished developing the social network, he aforementioned that LinkedIn would connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. Since the launch, LinkedIn has grown steadily with 2015 statistics showing the creation of two new users accounts per second resulting in more than one million new users each week.

In a report written by Dave Chaffley in Smart Insights, the average social media user spends an average of two and a half hours per day across eight to ten different social networks. According to my iPhone screen time data, on average I spend 29 minutes per day between my 3 chosen social media platforms.

My current average screen time and social media use is exponentially lower than the overall average, however, throughout the COVID lock down my social media use increased tenfold. WARC conducted studies throughout the Asia Pacific during and after initial lockdowns regarding social media. WARC found that the majority of 18–24-year-olds of Gen Z said that the interaction with family and friend’s social media sanctions was beneficial to their mental health and general wellbeing. Considering these facts, it’s no surprise that the Australian peoples' social media usage increased by over 30% throughout isolation.

According to the social presence theory, different platforms are categorised dependent on the interaction type permissible. The higher the communicational intimacy the more users attracted, the higher social presence the larger social influence. Taking into account social presence, media richness, self-presentation and self-disclosure according to Kaplan and Haenlein, I personally use social networks rich with social presence and media.

What is a Personal Brand?

Understanding what you can do, how you can do it and why it works are three crucial questions we must ask ourselves before marketing our personal brand. Jeff Fenster, founder and CEO of Everbowl capitalised on social media and discovered a number of ways to increase his businesses marketing affordably and effectively.

Fenster says that your business wants to be ‘a a buzz’. What is a buzz? I’m glad you asked. A buzz is a business, person, charity or city (pretty much anything) that draws in positive attention and/or interest. Creating a buzz does not start on the internet with a cute dog/food pic posted with a caption cheesier than a roll of brie. Creating a buzz starts within the company. By treating your employees and co-workers well, their appreciation and gratitude will reflect in their work. Treating your team in a negative way will have the opposite effect and their unhappiness will reflect throughout their work, ultimately creating unhappy, unsatisfied customers.

In the LinkedIn course, Creating a Buzz, Jeff Fenster highlighted three particular techniques I would use to highlight my personal brand; Promote hiring, using opportunities to create content and hosting community events. I would mainly utilise these three tools as they are affordable, achievable and beneficial to my personal brand as it provides me with the opportunity to be authentic with my customers.

Social media is a whole other world to ours. It's infinite and we have only recently started to explore the opportunities and possibilities it has to offer. For individuals, businesses, charities and corporations, social media is the number one tool to use in order to communicate with others and promote their strong personal brand.


Below is a list of information I found important from Mr Jeff Fenster’s LinkedIn lesson:

To create a buzz, you need a strong personal brand:

- Do not sound commercial

- Strong personal brands help you connect with customers

- Authentic mission statement which is consistent

- Be authentic

- When people can relate to

- For every 10 pieces of content you post, 9 must not be product or service endorsement

- Seed products and services into posts

- Use personal brand as an opportunity to connect with other media outlets

Let your employees show/do their talent

Lose ego – give credit where credit is due

Media loves community events – get seen and its free exposure/advertisement.

Share directly to the media. Be the content.

Use the press – the wire connects you with the media.

Social media allows customers to shotgun the ride with your company.

Capture as much content on a daily basis as possible.

Share it all – consistent sharing creates a story that something is always happening.

Tag people who have large reaches.

Keep sharing – get in front of people.


Social media is amazing to keep the buzz going.

Podcasts good for buzz.

Nominate yourself for awards.

Share the nomination and/or wins.

Sources used:,app%20was%20launched%20on%20Oct.,the%20New%20York%20stock%20exchange.

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