Social media - we live and breathe it, right? It’s difficult to remember a time without social media, given that we’re now all connected at all times. It’s a place to share news, photos, feelings and, of course, a thought-provoking quote or two.


You can find a thought-provoking quote about all kinds of things, including social media itself. Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny that you have an opinion about social media.  

To give you some food for thought, and even maybe a chuckle, here are 16 thought-provoking quotes about social media.

1. “Distracted by distraction by distraction”

                                                                                                              - T.S Eliot, writer

While T.S Eliot died in 1965, these words from his 1936 poem ‘Burnt Norton’, ring particularly true today. In the poem, he says moderns are "distracted from distraction by distraction," which is exactly what social media is today. It’s the perfect distraction, without having much meaning. Perhaps this is a good reminder to stop distracting from the real world and start getting things done?

2. “If you are on social media, and you are not learning, not laughing, not being inspired or not networking, then you are using it wrong.”

                                                                                                  - Germany Kent, journalist


Germany Kent has said many profound things about social media, but this is possibly one of the most relevant - striking a chord with many who suffer with their mental health as a result of social media. Social media shouldn’t be a place to share negativity, especially when targeted at others, so if you’re not getting any of the above from it then perhaps it’s time to distance yourself from it for a while. We’re hearing more and more about the tragic consequences trolling and abuse can have, and it’s up to the individual to make wiser choices around how to behave online.

Like it or loathe it, there’s no escaping social media - it’s all around us. Whether you’re a marketer, a business owner or an individual, it affects you somehow. While it’s difficult to imagine a world without it, remember that there is a whole wide world out there, so don’t let social media take over your life.

3. “These days, social media waits for no one. If you’re LATE for the party, you’ll probably be covered by all the noise and you might not be able to get your voice across. It could only mean that if you want to be heard by the crowd, you have to be fast; and on social media, that means you have to be REALLY fast.”

                                                 -  Aaron Lee, social media manager and entrepreneur

Social media has grown rapidly and beyond comprehension over the last decade. With so many people using it, you have to be quick if you want to be noticed, otherwise, you’ll fade quickly down the feeds. For social media managers, understanding the opportune time to post, which platform and how frequently, can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your campaigns.

4. “We and others have done a bunch of work to show that if your real friends online say or do something, it affects you. But if your online acquaintances say or do something, it does not. People, on average, have about 106 Facebook friends, but only five or six real friends.”

                                                         - Nicholas A. Christakis, sociologist and physician

It’s very easy to get caught up in what others are doing, or at least what they say they’re doing, on social media. People rarely share their dark news via social media, hence the ‘Instagram versus Reality’ posts you’ll see daily. Instead of getting gripped by feeling of envy towards others, remember who your real friends are and share in their joy, while sharing your own with them too.

5. “You are what you share”

                            - Charles Leadbeater, leading authority on innovation and creativity

It’s true, you are what you share. There are a lot of personal choices to be made when sharing content online. Sharing positivity, news and avoiding posts which causes harm or offense to others can help you get the most enjoyment out of social media. Sharing the content that interests you is also the way to develop relationships with others online and help discover some mutual interests.

6. “The best way to engage honestly with the marketplace via Twitter is to never use the words ‘engage,’ ‘honestly,’ or ‘marketplace.’”

               - Jeffrey Zeldman, A List Apart magazine founder and web entrepreneur

For marketers, social media is an invaluable platform for reaching audiences. But reaching those audiences is more difficult than it sounds. People want to be spoken to as humans, in their own language, which means it’s important to connect with your audience in the right way. Using bigger, ‘smarter’ words, isn’t the way to win over your audience.

7. “Twitter provides us with a wonderful platform to discuss/confront societal problems. We trend Justin Bieber instead.”

                                                                                                             - Lauren Leto, author

Twitter is a powerful truth. When people want to confirm a rumor or find out the latest news, they’ll go to Twitter before anywhere else. As well as being a news source, it serves as a place for debate and discussion. Or at least it could be. There’s no denying the influence of celebrities on Twitter, but often it’s the glamorous side of life that makes that trending list, rather than the hard-hitting news.

8. “Activate your fans, don’t just collect them like baseball cards.”

                                                                  - Jay Baer, Founder of Convince and Convert

Whether you’re a business, an individual, a celebrity or an influencer, the value of having a large following online is huge. But it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t engage with them. Instead of worrying about your follower numbers, make sure you engage with them. That’s where you’ll get the most value and trust, instead of someone who covets likes and new follows.

9. “These days, in the world of apps and social media and … idiot friends, it is literally impossible to avoid spoilers.

If a character dies, it is gonna be the number one trending topic on Twitter, it is gonna be the top trending story on Facebook — and Reddit and Tumblr just turn into a completely uncensored memorial service of memes.

This happens all the time with sports results, but — I s*** you not — I once got a notification from the BBC News app saying that a character in a show I was watching had just died! I thought that news notifications are supposed to be for impending natural disasters, not for just ruining my bloody afternoon.”

                                                                                      - Dan Howell, YouTube influencer

Social media can make a TV series (#LoveIsBlind anyone?), helping to build up hype and get everyone talking. The activity around Game of Thrones was huge! But, as great as it can be for new discoveries, it is terrible if you’re even just seconds behind. Avoid social media like the plague if you don’t want to know who scored or which Stark has just been killed off - nothing is safe when it comes to staying spoiler-free.

10. “Social media is not just a spoke on the wheel of marketing. It’s becoming the way entire bicycles are built.”

                                                                                                               - Ryan Lilly, Author

In the early days of social media, it was barely used for marketing. Flash forward to today, and it’s now one of the most popular tools used by businesses to market themselves. In fact, for many businesses, it’s the only way they’ll market themselves. With social media being largely free, it can provide a huge ROI when the message is right. Even using more traditional marketing methods like print advertising, you can usually find a social handle included somewhere in the artwork.

11. “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.”

                                                                                                 - Scott Cook, Founder, Intuit

The power of social media can turn a brand into a sensation overnight. Take iconic British influencer Mrs. Hinch. An ordinary woman from Essex who loves to keep her house clean, she’s amassed over 3.2m followers in just a couple of years - all through sharing cleaning tips and remaining humble, likable and honest throughout. But it’s the impact she has on other brands that’s interesting to see. One recommendation can make a brand Insta-famous, leading to empty shelves, waiting lists and a huge overnight following.

And that’s what word of mouth on social can do. It’s the audience who decides how something is talked about, and opinions are soon reciprocated and shared. Through the power of influencers, brands can spread far and wide compared to their own social media efforts, introducing a whole new type of marketing to the game.

12. “Importantly, companies are using social media to do things that go way beyond just chatting up existing customers on Facebook. Sales departments use social to nurture leads and close sales. HR posts job openings and vets applicants. Community and support squads mine networks, blogs, and forums with deep listening tools.”

                                                              - Ryan Holmes, Founder and CEO of Hootsuite

This is a great quote not only for marketers, but for people across all businesses. Not only does social media provide an opportunity to market products and services on a daily basis, but it’s not the way forward to recruit, to listen, to engage and even work together with others. While many businesses would have dismissed social media as a ‘time-wasting’ tool in the past, they’re certainly seeing the value now.

13. “With the growing reliance on social media, we no longer search for news or the products and services we wish to buy. Instead, they are being pushed to us by friends, acquaintances and business colleagues.”

                                                                                                         - Erik Qualman, author

Has social media made us lazy? Thanks to the power of online recommendations, we no longer need to search for anything! Twitter and Facebook will tell us what’s going on in the world, and our communities, while Instagram will help you decide what to buy! Recommendations are big news online, and if a friend or relative recommends something to you on social media, you’re much more likely to give it a try.

14. "It's not just about consuming content, but sharing it, passing it on, and adding to it."

                                                                                - Ariana Huffington, Huffington Post

Social media doesn’t just provide a way for people to find content to read, watch or listen to - it gives them the chance to create it too. Individuals don’t need a big budget or a fancy graphic designer to make something work, a creative idea takes care of the hard work. Sharing great content is the way to make discoveries, and businesses and marketers can learn a lot by sharing the great content of others.

15. “People want to go on the Internet and check out their friends so why not build a website that offers that? Friends, pictures, profiles, whatever you can visit, browse around, maybe it's someone you just met at a party. I'm not talking about a dating site. I'm talking about taking the entire social experience of college and putting it online.”

                                                                 - Mark Zuckerberg (the character, not the real Facebook creator), The Social Network

If you needed to sum up the reason why we’re so invested in social media - this quote would be it. Originally there to satisfy our curiosity about those who are in our lives, even if we’ve just met them, now it’s about something more than that. We all know how awkward striking up a conversation with a stranger can be at a party or in a club, but social media has made it that much easier to develop connections and even build meaningful relationships.

16. “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”

                                                                                        - Seth Godin, writer and blogger

Storytelling is a huge part of marketing in the social media world. In many situations, it’s not just highlighting the products you sell, but rather what you have to say. Social media is a creative space in which to share stories, and that’s what will connect your product to the audience.


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