Social Media is a fast growing way of communicating via new technologies. According to several sources it is the next big thing. Social Media, everyone in the world of Internet Marketing (and outside!) is speaking about it, but what is it exactly and how do you define it.
According to Wikipedia the definition of Social Media is as follows:
(Pictures Source: Social Media Science)
"Social media is information content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies. At its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content. It's a fusion of sociology and technology, transforming monologue (one to many) into dialogue (many to many) and is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers. Social media has become extremely popular because it allows people to connect in the online world to form relationships for personal and business. Businesses also refer to social media as user-generated content (UGC) or consumer-generated media (CGM)".
The benefit of Social Media is its low cost and open access to everyone. Social Media tools give the power to almost everyone to publish or have access to information. There are no heavy cost involved and with just a computer and an Internet connection you are able to reach thousands and thousands of people in a few clicks. Social Media relies heavily on the interaction of people via several networks and can take many different forms, including: Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video.
Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing, and voice over IP, to name a few.
Examples of social media applications are Google Groups (reference, social networking), Wikipedia (reference), MySpace (social networking), Facebook (social networking), MouthShut.com yelp.com (product reviews), Youmeo (social network aggregation), Last.fm (personal music), YouTube (social networking and video sharing), Avatars United (social networking), Second Life (virtual reality), Flickr (photo sharing), Twitter (social networking and microblogging), and other microblogs such as Jaiku.
Social Media is changing the way we communicate and the way we do business. How is it going to evolve ... nobody really knows but it is expected to be the next "big thing". According to various sources the recent explosion of Social Media could be comparable to Internet. Before 1997, no one was able to predict the future of Internet. Well, it seems that Social Media is following the same path.
For info here are some interesting figures on Social Media:
1 trillion (as in 1,000,000,000,000) unique URLs on the web at once! (source:Google)
- Daily google search: (source)
1998: 10,000 searches a day (Google official history)
1999: 500,000 searches a day (Britannica)
1999 (September): 3 million a day (Google official history)
2000: 18 million searches a day (estimate)
2000 (December): 100 million a day (Google official history)
2002: 150 million searches a day (estimate)
2004: 200 million searches a day (IPO figures)
2007: 1.2 billion a day (Clickz)
2008: 2 billion a day (estimates)
- Susan Boyle singing 'Cry Me A River' video from Britain Got Talent 2009, had more than 47,092,649 views in 2 weeks (Source You Tube)
- Almost 8 millions tweets a day (to follow the count: gigatweet)
- reports that in December 2008 Social media was more important than e-mail
- More than 200 million active users
- More than 100 million users log on to Facebook at least once each day
- More than two-thirds of Facebook users are outside of college
- The fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older ((source: Facebook)
And the list could go on. The fact is Social Media is big and will for sure continue to grow and change the way we do busisness. Social Media is a network of references and people sharing reviews. It is also a known fact that customers are more willing to buy when it is recommended by friends. Establish yourself, share information, buid an image of trust and then people will subscribe or buy from you. Get involved wih Social Media and learn how to do it. Respect others, share and be honest and success will be at your door step. Remember Social Media can create you or destroy you if not adhering to the Social Media Culture".