The History of Social Media Marketing You Didn't Know

The History of Social Media Marketing You Didn't Know

Marketing has been an integral part of culture for forever. It’s a basic human instinct to spin something to its best advantage.  You want someone to buy your horse, marry your daughter, or commission you to sculpt your; you have to present your case just right. Without having any explicit instruction we instinctively understand that to get a desired result, we have to highlight the positive points and minimize the more negative aspects.

                The greatest strength of human kind – innovation – quickly set to work the find new ways to make marketing bigger and better.  As the world expanded and “civilization” blossomed across the sea from Europe into the New World marketing had to adapt with the new global market. The industrial revolution also pushed a new wave of social media into effect. With the utilization of machinery in everyday life, it was only a matter of time before media took on a new form and began finding its way into every aspect of our lives.


Old School Marketing

The Relation

Social Marketing has always been quick to adapt to any new business opportunity and its conception was no exception to that trend. While, technically, the first newspaper was printed was called Acta Diurna' and was published in Rome, around 59 BC, the first weekly newspaper began its circulation in 1605 and was called The Relation. With the innovation of movable type it wasn’t long before there were dozens of weekly and even daily publications. Ads were a nearly immediate result.

The Advent of the Telephone

Nearly three centuries later in 1876 the telephone was famously patented by Alexander Graham Bell. It wasn’t until 1946, however, that they became commonplace in households across the country. In 1970 Telemarketing interrupting the dinner hour in private homes.

The First Radio

In 1895, less than two decades after Bell filed for his telephone patent, Italian inventor and engineer Guglielmo Marconi began developing long distance radio transmission machines. The first successful long-distance wireless telegraph was in 1901. By 1922 radio marketing had begun establishing itself as the newest wave of social marking and by 1933 more than half the homes in the country had at least one radio in them. Because of Marconi’s tireless efforts to advance his radios, he is directly responsible for ending the isolation of ocean travel and saving hundreds of lives, including all of the surviving passengers from the sinking Titanic.

Television in Vertevision

The first electronic television was first successfully demonstrated in 1927 in San Francisco. While several inventors and great minds around the world had the idea for using radio waves to generate moving pictures, it was Philo Taylor Farnsworth who was the first to complete a successful model. When his projection system was demonstrated for the first time, he was only 21; but perhaps even more impressive was that he had lived without electricity until he was 14 and had started development for a system to capture moving images in a form that could be coded onto radio waves and then transformed back into projected images on a screen.

The Maiden Monitor

The first computer was called the ENIAC and was invented by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly at the University of Pennsylvania. While construction began in 1943 it was not completed until 1946. The first monitor, which was developed solely to computing purposes, occupied about 1,800 square feet and used about 18,000 vacuum tubes, weighing almost 50 tons – compare that to the 6x3 inch rectangle in your pocket that can do anything from surfing the web, to calling your boo and it has a calculator (or computer) on it!

 The Patent of Tupperware

Tupperware was developed in 1946 by Earl Silas Tupper in Leominster, Massechusutts. Tupperware parties quickly became a favorite way for woman across the country to get out of the house for an evening, and exchange their favorite tips, tricks, products, and gossip. Simultaneously, it also reinvigorated the “word of mouth” marketing stream while revolutionizing the concept of “door to door” sales and independent sales representatives. In fact, Tupperware has been so well branded that nearly any sealable plastic dish found in a kitchen is colloquially called “Tupperware”.

The Theory of Social Marketing

Weibe's Questions

Every industry has its thinkers. Those who see a trend and instinctively understand its nuances and definition and social media is no exception. Many scholars ascribe the beginning of the study of social marketing to an article published by G.D. Wiebe in the winter 1951-1952 edition of Public Opinion Quarterly. Weibe used this article to ask a question to the rest of the marketing community. “Why can’t you sell brotherhood and rational thinking like you can sell soap?” He used this springboard to jump into discussions about the challenges of selling a social good as if it were a physical good – which in and of itself disguises social marketing from commodity marketing.

Coining the Term

In the following decades social departments around the world such as KFW Entwicklungsbank in Germany, The Ministry for Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands, UK Department for International Development, Canadian International Development Agency, and WHO (World Health Organization) – among others – began putting social marketing campaigns into action to improve and achieve social programs and goals. However, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that “Social Media” was coined as a term by Phillip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman.

New Age of Marketing

Mass Production of Computers

The mass-production of computer was successfully achieved by IBM in Endicott, NY. The IBM 650 was classified as a 650 magnetic drum data processing machine. While it wasn’t yet adapted for casual everyday use in the home, in the nine years between 1953-1962 nearly 2000 systems were produced and sold.

The Dawn of Laptops

While the usefulness of smaller units was seen immediately it took almost three full decades from the first computer being sold to put the first laptop into production. Adam Osborne’s laptop was called the “Osborne 1” and was successfully finished in 1981. It costed $1,795 and came with $1,500 programs and games built into it and a very small computer screen.

Then Unveiling of the World Wide Web

Finally, on August 6, 1991, one of the most influential changes to social media as well as marketing was released to the public – the World Wide Web went live. There was no public countdown and only minimal press coverage. It took several years for most people to ever realize what the internet was, let alone figure out how to use it. However, this momentary learning curve was just that – a learning curve on the road to bigger marketing platforms and campaigns than anyone could have conceived.

The Modern Era of Social Media

From 2003-2006 one of the most notable changes came to social media in that, it came into how we understand that term today. LinkedIn was founded in 2003, and in the following years Myspace, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter were also brought into being. With the new expectation for immediate results and responses, ads were much quicker to make their appearance on these platforms than they had been to be integrated into most previous forms of social media.

The Modern Era of Social Marketing

While Twitter was taking its first steps in 2006, LinkedIn was beginning to offer advertising and barely a year later, YouTube had started utilizing “InVideo” ads. While Facebook may be one of the most common places social ad campaigns are used, they didn’t start promoting ads until 2011, however they were quick to add sponsored stories, and were the first platform to integrate mobile ads into their wheelhouse.

The history of marketing has being vast and diverse, and most importantly, has always been striving for new and better ways of reaching people. The advent of social media as we understand it today, was a marriage between the old school marketing – pushing a product to the consumer – and Weibe’s question. Now marketing is so much more than just putting a product in front of consumers. Now we provide entertainment (blogs, videos, etc…), information (blogs, tips & tricks, etc…), and activities (tips & tricks, diy, local adventures, etc…) in addition to any products or services rendered.

This is a new and exciting age in marketing, we have already surpassed what the industry anticipated when most of us were born.  We have moved beyond simply supplying products and services for purchase, and have started intentionally developing networks of customers and potential customers instead. Now the question is, what’s going to happen next and how can we be a part of it?

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