I recently discovered that a lot of people are unaware of the social media phenomenon, even though they are very much a part of it. As a believer in the power of social media, I owe this post to them.
Simply put, social media collectively describes all tools that enable people to talk online. Often interchangeably used with the term Web 2.0, social media consists of social networks like Facebook, content sharing sites like Youtube and Flickr, blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger, and user-generated information sources like Wikipedia. The term, coined only recently, is creating waves in the PR world. It is a colossal avenue for people to share their insights, opinions and knowledge, through interaction with others like them on the World Wide Web.
Currently, the size of the social media community is estimated at 400 million. According to a study by Strategy Analytics, by 2015, 1 in every 6 people will be users of social media platforms.
Billion dollar companies like Dell, Starbucks and Coca-Cola are reinventing themselves through social media and reconnecting with their stakeholders. Here is a comprehensive list of businesses that have forayed into the social media space. The days of mass advertising and spamming are behind us.
My digital media class in college created a wiki that analyzes the past and future of social media in various countries across Asia. Even though my contribution to the wiki was Japan specific, my research exposed me to the promising world of social media. It’s when I began to look past my Facebook newsfeed, and at the bigger picture. I am a fan of Seth Godin’s blog and his ideas, and I ocassionally read what Guy Kawasaki and Mitch Joel blog about.
The following is the simplest video I could find to explain the concept of social media.