In January, I gave a presentation on social media at the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce. Due to the response I got, I thought I would share it on the Fletcher blog. This is part 2; if you missed part 1, be sure to check it out.
Social media is everywhere. There’s no escaping it. You fall down the stairs in the library, and in five minutes the video is posted on Facebook (and tagged, of course). You meet your favorite musician and forget how to spell your name (or maybe that’s just me), and the whole 140-character tale enters the Twitter-sphere within seconds. Your date night outfit is on FLEEK, and naturally the selfie is prepped and primed for Instagram perfection.
I recently gave a presentation on social media at the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce. Due to the response I got and considering the amount of work that went into putting the presentation together, I thought others might find this information useful as a blog. Since it’s a bit long, I’m going to split this into three parts.
Social media has changed how we communicate with people and how often. From things like posting pictures of our delicious breakfast to staying connected with loved ones across the globe, we can utilize social networking sites in any way we choose. We are more connected than we could have imagined and now there’s a day to celebrate it.
We’ve all heard the phrase “loose lips sink ships” before. Now the phrase “loose tweets sink markets” can be coined, as long as you don’t mind if your idioms don’t rhyme.
On Tuesday, Apr. 24, the Syrian Electronic Army hacked the Associated Press’s official Twitter account. The hacker group then tweeted there had been an explosion at the White House and President Barack Obama had been injured in the blast.
Aside from stirring up panic among the AP’s massive online audience (the AP has more than 1 million Twitter followers), it also created hysteria at the New York Stock Exchange. The NYSE streams certain Twitter feeds across electronic banners on the trading floor, and you guessed it, the AP is one of those accounts the exchange broadcasts. After Wall Street traders got a glimpse at the offending tweet, a massive sell-off occurred, creating what is often referred to as a “flash crash.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 130 points, nearly one percent, over the span of two minutes. Six minutes later, the Dow had gained back nearly all that lost value. Another major index, The S&P 500, lost $121 billion dollars in value during this flash crash.
The stock market is known for experiencing wild swings, but these typically occur over the course of days, weeks or months. It is very unusual for such a large drop (or gain for that matter) to happen in the span of just a few minutes.
This incident demonstrates the power of social media. One fake tweet was able to move the entire stock market and cause people to react in such drastic fashion. Nearly 9 million shares of Dow stocks were traded during that dip. Let this incident serve as a demonstration of the power of social media.
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.