Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

The developing role of social media

This step provides an overview of social media strategy and gives an introduction to the key course themes, plus an invitation to social learning.
© University of Leeds

Just a decade ago, the major social media platforms that we are so familiar with now were still in their infancy. Some had yet to be created. Simply being on the internet was enough for many companies.

Social media platforms

Gradually, having a presence on social media became fashionable. However, many organisations struggled to understand the benefits, and often delegated dealing with social media to the most junior staff. As a result of being treated as an optional, rather frivolous extra, social media activity frequently wasn’t deployed very effectively. A real missed opportunity.

Today, the impact of social media on business, society, entertainment and politics is undeniable. Organisations of all sizes across many industries have brought social media into the heart of their marketing, communication and customer support functions.

But in an ever more crowded social media landscape, it’s not enough to just be present in these spaces any more. Your presence has to make a difference.

That’s where social media strategy comes in: you need to plan how to use social media to create impact.

Over the last 15 years or so, social media has enabled and emphasised two-way communication. It’s now an expected part of many online experiences. Audiences want and expect to get more involved with brands, companies and events, whether it’s to complain, make suggestions, find out about events or recommend the company to others. These interactions enhance and deepen the experience for everyone.

What do you think?

  • Have you seen social media used to help restore a company’s reputation?
  • Do you now spend money with an organisation because of how they use social media?
  • What do you think made the use of social media so effective?
Use the Comments section to share your thoughts.
© University of Leeds
This article is from the free online

Create a Social Media Marketing Campaign

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education