Results: Most Significant Impact of Social Media in Last 5 years?

Last week we introduced a survey asking our Social Media Club community, what have been the most significant impacts of social media in the last five years? 

While social media has existed well over five years, the global adoption of social media tools and platforms increased the most dramatically in the last half decade. 

Some of the most significant changes we’ve witnessed in real-time have been citizen uprisings which lead to government collapse, increased access to news distribution, and better business transparency across brands, large and small. 

More than 60% of those surveyed said the most significant impact of social media has been the access to news in real-time and ease of distribution with social tools. 

The second most significant impact according to those surveyed is the ability to connect more easily with friends and family. 

We also asked people who they thought the most ‘socialized’ brand was? This includes engagement online and offline, and responses included, 

News Outlets: 

CNN, Times of London, HLN, Mashable, Rachel Maddow Show, New York Times and NPR.


Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber.


Pepsi, Think Geek, Apple, Dunkin’ Donuts, Southwest Airlines, Hubspot, Patagonia, JetBlu, Whole Foods, Old Spice, Starbucks, Dell, Coco Cola, Lenovo, Red Vines, Amex and Spotify.

Among the most surprising answers were Facebook and Apple. 

While Facebook is an enormous platform, it’s just the tool…do people really believe Facebook is among one of the most socialized brands? Do we see them engaging with people offline?  Do they represent themselves at industry conferences? Hardly. 

Same goes for Apple.

I’m beginning to think people’s perception of a ‘socialized’ brand is really the user generated content they’re exposed to around the brand name, which leads them to believe the brand is social. Example, Apple, who has amazing product evangelists that add an increadible amount of value to the brand but do you actually see Apple engaging with their community? 

We also asked people to share what has been the biggest impact of social media for them personally and/or professionally, and answers included, 

“…Ability to interact with customers in real time.”

“Social Media as a communication vehicle has had the biggest impact on me. The fact that information can be shared instantly with hundreds of people is incredible.”

“Professionally: changed the way we disseminate information and interact with the general public and media. This is huge for a fire and rescue department of which I am a member. Also, has allowed for intelligence gathering during large scale events such as snow storms of a couple of years ago and Discovery Communications hostage situation.”

“It changed my routine: Social Media has become a part of my life.”

“Personally, I was able to reunite with my high school sweetheart – we have been married a little over a year. Professionally, I have been followed by larger publications as a subject matter expert.”

“Professionally… it’s given me a job. It’s also redirected my career. As a journalism major who is now in the marketing + public relations world, I really don’t know if I’d be where I am today.”

“My artwork has been published in two books, I’ve connected with another artist to do a workshop at a local museum and I’ve made friendships and gained mentors. Pretty big firkin deal in my book.”

“Personally it has made me engage more in politics and learn about issues.”

“Social Media, most specifically Twitter, has brought me to the most awesome things in my life. I found Nerdfighters, I met my best friend, I watched my first TED video and went to my first TED conference, which is now one of the best things in my life, all because I first heard about them on Twitter. On Twitter, I have found and built my own community, one I can go to for inspiration, support, and fun, and this community has changed my life for the better.”

“Two things: the need to learn the practice in order to apply it to business (internally as well as externally) and transform our company’s understanding of things like “who is a spokesperson” and “how is news generated and shared” and “who owns information.” It’s been profound!”

“It’s my professional network. I’m the only geologist teaching at my University. I keep up-to-date with the latest geology events, stories, and keep connected with geologists across the country. I would be so much more isolated without Twitter!”

“…getting reviews of products I might buy.”

And perhaps one of my favorite for sheer humor, “I hate my wife so it´s a way to escape from her.”

In the end, access to information has created opportunities for nearly everyone personally and professionally, and we want to thank our community for being part of our survey. 

As Social Media Club nears its 5th anniversary, we hope you’ll share more personal stories of how social media has impacted you.  Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing how our Club has grown and evolved over the last five years, stay tuned!