Today, almost every business has a branded social media profile across the major platforms. It wasn’t always so. In the early days of social media, many marketers regarded social media marketing as a fad that will fade away with time. It was only the growth of Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Twitter that forced more businesses to develop social media marketing strategies.

Now, more brands are using social media to attract their target audience and generate high-quality leads without the typical budget sizes needed in other marketing channels. How did it all begin? This piece takes a look at the past, present, and future of social media marketing.