Social media has become a primary way people communicate
Over the past 15-20 years, the Internet has revolutionized how information is shared. Not only has sharing news and academic knowledge become so much easier, but a new concept has been created called social media.
Facebook, for example, has become so popular that it now gets more daily hits than Google does. Friends now stay in touch on Facebook more than they ever did in person. And friends and acquaintances from the past can re-emerge as part of your life thanks to social media.
Social media has risen to prominence with political movements as well.
In the middle east, social media have played a prominent role in pubic uprisings such as the one we saw in Egypt. This is led to attempts by some governments to control and censor the content of social media.
For the latter half of the 20th century, television has been the most powerful instrument of political communication. People got their knowledge of world affairs, and domestic affairs from newspapers and television. But with social media and with the Internet in general it is now possible to get news from hundreds if not thousands of sources.
These social media also offer a much wider variety of perspectives than was ever available before. No longer are people completely dependent on the corporate mainstream media for their news. Now they have access to alternative news sites that offer a different point of view.
Friends use social media like Facebook to exchange news with friends as well as for organizing activities – political ones and social ones. Organizations often have their own Facebook page, which allows them an easy way to get news out to their members about upcoming events.
Some criticize social media like Facebook and Twitter because so much of what is posted is trivial and unimportant. We follow what our friends are doing no matter how mundane that might be. We follow celebrities on Twitter as they throw out comments throughout their day.
Social media marketing takes advantage of the fact that social media are not just for entertainment anymore; they are a largely untapped opportunity to reach large numbers of potential customers, particularly those from a younger demographic. For social media marketing to succeed, the marketer has to create content or a message that users of social media will spread from one person to another – and from one web site to another.