Sometimes it’s difficult to remember a time before social media. We’re all so connected these days, it would be tough to experience anything to the contrary. In 2005, one study found that only 5% of internet users utilized social media. Just six short years later that number is 65%. When this statistic is broken down by gender, we see that a whopping 69% of women actively utilize social media daily, compared to the 60% of men who do.
Apps, short for applications, was the word of the year for 2010. According to a recent story on the popular show CBS Sunday Morning, apps are changing the world as we know it. Apps allow us to use our mobile devices as mini-computers and the development of new apps each day acts as a driving force behind tech companies and how they design devices. Now that apps can also be used on tablets and in cars, they really have the potential to saturate our daily experiences.
There's no question that social media is here to stay. If your small business (or large one for that matter) isn't using some form of social media to connect and engage with your audience, you're missing out. It's not too late to join the game, but if you are curious as to how other businesses are currently utilizing social media platforms, maybe the following graphic will help clarify things. Postling allows social media users to manage all accounts from one centralized platform. The data is only representative of Postling users, but it still paints a good picture of how things break down. "Because others are doing it" is not really an arguable reason for using social media. A better reason would be "because others are doing it well."
PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) released its new social media policy this week with the hopes that it will offer a unified voice to govern the organization's social media efforts. The entire world is buzzing over the use of social media these days, from organizing protests in Egypt to what Ashton Kutcher had for lunch.
Our society and the practices we adhere to are constantly evolving with the times. With the advances in technology, everything seems to move at a quicker pace. Online dating has become as much or more popular than traditional methods and distance education via virtual classrooms now provide students with the same degrees they previously obtained only by physically attending courses. We want everything and we want it now. Curious about some song lyrics from the 80s? Google and many other search engines are only a couple of keystrokes and a click away. Can't decide what to have for dinner? From recipes to restaurants, the web is a seemingly unlimited resource for all our queries. One site that has gained popularity lately certainly appears to cover many bases when it comes to our questions. Girls Guide To...is a free online forum where members can post and answer each others' questions dealing with a wide range of topics, from self, love and health to college, finances and gadgets. Brette Borow is the president and founder of this venture, currently at 140k members and growing.
"We don't have a choice whether
we DO social media, the question
is how well we do it"
(Social Media Guru & Author)
The above quote is from a great book by Brian Solis & Deirdre Breakenridge called Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR. It's definitely something to consider as social media continues to permeate many aspects of our society. If virtually everything we do online is visible to somebody, how do the choices we make affect our image, both in the digital world and "in real life?" Things to ponder!
Social media, while once the wave of the future, is now here to stay. In this day and age, if an organization doesn’t have and maintain a Facebook page, we just don’t know what to think. When we want to tag a brand in a post, whether it be for professional or personal purposes, if there isn’t anything to tag, we are left scratching our heads.