We spend a lot of time talking about how to make social media work for business and robust social media adoption model specifically designed for small business. what kind of marketing social media users target. But we don’t often take a step back and see the true impact of social media networks on our everyday lives. Ten years ago, could you ever have imagined what social media is, let alone how it has changed our world?
The addition of social media to our everyday landscape has been both a positive and a negative impacts and influence. Social media has made it incredibly easy for news to spread. It seems as though people are more educated as to what is going on in the world around them, because it is no longer necessary to check the news. More than likely, someone on your Facebook feed has posted a story, or you have seen a tweet about what’s going on. This ease of spreading information has gave birth to a new type of marketing, real-time marketing. At the same time, many people feel as though their privacy has been compromised. It is very easy to find out nearly any kind of information about any person online, and this is in large part due to the presence of social media.
One positive aspect that has personally made me feel as though social media has helped people draw closer together is the amazing ability for grassroots campaigns to be successful. While of course incredibly tragic, last week’s attack at the Boston Marathon is an example of this. People posted all over social media with requests for help, blood donations, and places for displaced runners to stay. The response was astonishing. Blood banks and hospitals had to turn away people looking to donate blood because they were full to capacity. It’s just amazing.
The overwhelming use of social media can have downsides as well, as with anything that grows in popularity so quickly. Sometimes, news spreads too quickly and facts are distorted. Again, in the case of the Boston Marathon, rumors regarding what exactly happened circulated for days, whether they were correct or not. Gruesome photos of people who were injured were posted all over the Web without permission from the victims or their families. Imagine finding out that a friend or relative was hurt by seeing their photo on the Internet or in a new story, before you hear it directly.
But there is no denying the power of social media. It will only continue to grow, if people keep up the level of interest that they currently have. I would encourage anyone who uses social media on a regular basis to be a savvy user. Don’t share sensitive information. Do take the time to pass along interesting social media posts or you are passionate about.
A recent article was published by Texas A&M Engineer Research Magazine- Power of Social Media presents some numbers for different social media networks:
- Facebook and Twitter combined have over 1 billion users.
- Pinterest grew from 400k users to 18.7 million users in less than a year.
- YouTube is the second largest search engine, preceded only by Google.