What is Social Media?

ByJulianC

What is Social Media?

social mediaSocial Media refers to an ever-growing group of Internet-based applications that grew from the foundations of Web 2.0 and it invites the participants to not only create, but also freely exchange personally- or communally-generated content.

Social media utilizes mobile and web-based technologies to generate highly interactive platforms where individuals and groups can interact and react to user-generated content. Social media have revolutionized how individuals communicate with friends, their communities, and their world. The power of these media is growing every day; according to Business Insider, the average person today spends 37 minutes per day on social media, more than email. The audiences have grown tremendously, with Facebook hosting 1.2 billion users, so far, in 2014.

In comparison to the traditional methods of communication (i.e. direct oral communications or through print and mass media formats), social media offers a level of intimacy and immediacy never before believed possible. It is a known fact that Internet users use social media sites far more than than any other type of site. The time spent on social media in the U.S., whether on PCs or mobile devices, has doubled in just under two years. There are over 9 million blogs. Social media is how and where companies are formed, championed, and destroyed, along with individual reputations, careers, and discoveries. There are all sorts of social media for networking, marketing, researching, complaining; they all share one common denominator — they serve to not only communicate, but interact with the user. They are fluid, demanding constant updating and revisions; they are electronic and highly visual, sparking instantaneous reactions and remarks. Some are purely social in purpose (Facebook), some are for discovering and bookmarking resources (StumbleUpon), some offer world news and solicit approval of the contents (Reddit), some are for sharing visual items (YouTube and Flickr), and some offer forums on a myriad of topics (blogs).

Variety of Formats/Purposes

Social media come in many formats, with diverse backgrounds, and purposes; older versions of personal interaction websites (MySpace and Friendster) have morphed into the latest iterations (Facebook), growing in popularity, but not necessarily responsibility or civility. “Following” someone on an electronic media site is considered “cool,” whereas in real life it could be considered stalking. Indeed, social media has created not only its own universe, but also a unique set of rules and transgressions. Sites such as LinkedIn purport to be strictly for business networking and corporate interactions; yet, blogging and endorsing of individual talents and ideas has overtaken resume building on the site. Wikipedia has overtaken the printed versions of information resources, with current day-school children never coming in touch with printed dictionaries or encyclopedias. Virtual libraries allow every type of literature and documentation to be accessed 24/7, no library card needed. There are sites that allow shoppers to browse among millions of items, “pin” them to boards, solicit comments and discuss their good and bad points without ever moving from the computer or handheld device. There are several distinct types of users of social media, ranging from the deeply immersed addicts who spend countless hours on all platforms, to those who sparingly indulge in one or two outlets sporadically. Nonetheless, almost every individual with access to a computer or smartphone or handheld device has some relationship to social media.Throughout Florida, from Hollywood to Tampa, social media permeates everyday life, conversations, and interactions.

Impact on the Business World

Social media’s reach goes well beyond the social realm; it has influenced how companies market their products, how they react to criticisms, how they capture new customers. It has also been responsible for the creation of an entirely new field of service called Internet marketing. Along with Internet marketing comes the need for search engine optimization (SEO), an SEO company to provide it, social media marketing services and web-design. Ranking of companies by search engines has all Internet businesses vying for first page listing in search results. Constant access to the Internet creates a more intimate relationship of business and customer, because feedback can be given and received with the click of a button.

 

Published by: AXIOM Internet Marketing

 

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