Social Media Fad or Revolution?

aroundtheworld.jpgIs social media a fad? Or is it the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution?

In the past few years, many social media sites have become huge hits with users. Flickr is a premier photo sharing site and del.icio.us has become a major hub for sharing website recommendations. Twitter passed 50 million unique visitors worldwide in July, according to comScore, reaching 51.6 million UVs at the end of the month. Both Google and Yahoo have purchased social networking sites and many more companies, such as Disney.com and Time Magazine, have revamped their websites to include social networking capabilities.

Richard Stacy: The social media revolution represents the breaking of the fundamental equation that marries information to distribution. Broadband internet access and the tools of what is being called social media mean that it now costs nothing to distribute information to a mass audience.

Information has been separated from its means of distribution and it is now free (in a liberty sense as well as a costs nothing sense). Information can now flow between one individual and all of the individuals for whom that information may be of relevance, without any form of institutionalised intervention, except the provision of a freely available technological infrastructure. I call this the post-Gutenberg, or socialised information, principle. — What is the social media revolution?

The Benefits of Social Networks

As the popularity of consumer-based social networks such as Facebook  has grown, businesses have observed the social networking and collaboration benefits they provide, including:

  • Rich user profiles
  • Easy discoverability of people to build a social graph
  • Easy creation and joining of groups
  • Easy generation of content
  • Intuitive display of updates based on social graphs

Social networks built specifically for businesses provide the same benefits of consumer-based solutions along with these additional benefits:

  • Offers social computing behind the firewall
  • Better protects confidential, internal information
  • Follows corporate security and access protocols
  • Designed specifically for business purposes
  • Integrates easily with other internal systems
  • Standardizes social networking for lower IT support costs

How many social networks do you belong to?

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Social media time management strategy

11 thoughts on “Social Media Fad or Revolution?

  1. Hey, you have a great blog here! I’m definitely going to bookmark you! Thank you for your info.And this is bookmarkth.com site. It pretty much covers DoFollow Social Bookmark related stuff.

    Thank.

  2. People have been saying blogging is on the decline for the past 2 or 3 years now… personally I don’t buy it. Some even said now that with Twitter, there’s no need for blogs. Again, I don’t agree. Blogs are more effective at driving traffic than static sites and blogs are very different from Twitter. Blogs are more permanent for one thing.

    But you are correct in that many give up on blogging. Most people want quick results and when they begin blogging have no idea of the effort and commitment it entails. They expect to do a few blog post and get thousands of regular visitors. Working hard and consistently on your blog doesn’t sit well with many (and let’s face it is time consuming and requires dedication) so after a while, the novelty wears off and they give up. Best not to start a blog if one’s not in it for the long haul

    Twitter is indeed easier to do… but when I talk to clients about social media or copywriting I refer them to my blog and my articles… not my Tweets. I choose not to get tweets emailed to me so I don’t feel flooded… I see them only when I log in to my Twitter app. With Facebook I choose what I want to be notified about… so again I control that.

    But, as I mentioned social media marketing, done well, is a great leveller particularly for small businesses and an opportunity for businesses in general to form genuine relationships with their customers. The tools have their place but they are just tools. We control how they are used.

  3. I think the lines between social media and commercial sales pitches are being blurred.

    My email inbox this morning included one from Amazon with some ‘top bargains’ tailored to my tastes on the basis of my past buying patterns.

    So the communication was personal to a degree – or crafted to seem that way.

    Looking at my own behavior, I find it easier to hit the delete key now than it was a year or two ago.

    Back in the day, I used to at least quickly scan emails to see whether I was missing out on something. Now I just hit the delete key. If I want, I’ll go searching – meanwhile, bye bye.

    My psychological threshold to hitting the delete key, or zipping past a message, is dropping all the time.

    I know there will be another flood of emails, tweets, Facebook wall post, and other bits of communication later today, and tomorrow, and the day after that.

    I am quicker, more discriminating, more appreciative of people I take to, but also more turned off to the flood.

    I read a while ago (maybe here) that blogging is on the decline. It takes energy and resources to blog. People have initial energy and then they wilt. Tweeting is less demanding. Recycling news is less demanding.

    Somewhere along the line there has to be content. The more there is of the same content being reproduced and repackaged and presented, the less attractive the tenth repackaging of the same content becomes.

    Somewhere down the line social media will eat itself. And what comes out the other side is anybody’s guess.

    One thing I think is that the energy powering the psyche in interacting with a person in real time/space is being underused if everyone is sitting in front of a computer scanning from their own side of the screen.

  4. It’s probably a lot of both. I recently attended a seminar on social media and the figures are astonishing. 37% of American adults now use the internet as their main source of news. During the election in Iran in June there was 220,000 Tweets per hour, 3000 videos sent to BBC, and 100,000 videos uploaded at YouTube. If there is ever going to be a global revolution of any kind, it is probably already happening.

  5. social media marketing offers many ways to generate these links for little or no cost articles, social media sites and blogs are just a few examples. Social bookmarking is another.With bookmarking, you save bookmarks to blog posts, articles and web pages (including your own). You tag them with a “keyword” of your own choosing (preferably related to your business). You can then add a “tag cloud” to your website. The tag cloud contains the tags you have created and directs users to the bookmarks you have saved for that tag. Facebook is the very good example.

  6. You forgot to mention Facebook, which has over 250 MM users at the last count. In the end it doesn’t matter whether it’s a fad or not. Social Media/Web 2.0, aided by the Internet has disrupted the traditional “marketing approach” and the ways we can connect and engage with one another. Business will have to get with it or risk irrelevance. Some are, and are moving increasing budget into digital/online media. The tools are simply enablers and someone will build a bigger and better “name your tool” at some point. Twitter may not be year in the next two years, who knows? People are splintering off into defined social networks. The point is, the opportunites social media has afforded us to connect, get information, learn and engage and the impact it’s had are truly revolutionary.

    That genie isn’t going back into any bottle any time soon, if ever.

    1. @Nicky
      You’re right. I did not mention Facebook … huge! It’s what’s happening and you are either in or out.

      Social media is growing across all age groups: While the 18-29 year old set spends the most time online (although by just 2 hours per week over the 18-43 year old set) the type of usage varies greatly. The younger the Internet user the more the usage revolves around entertaining rather than informing them. All I will say to that is that it explains a lot regarding the general behavior of many types of folks online and I will leave it at that.

      Social networking isn’t just for Gen Yers anymore. Double-digit growth numbers for the use of online social networking sites proves that the phenomenon has moved well beyond the realm of college students. Just less than one-third of online consumers are on social networking sites monthly, up from only 15% in 2007. Where are these social networkers going? Sixty-eight percent indicate they visit Facebook weekly, while 59% say they visit MySpace. But sites like Eons and BOOMj.com are popping up specifically to address the social needs of older consumers. — Consumer Behavior Online: A 2009 Deep Dive — Executive Summary

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