In the last few years social media has blown up and now is an inescapable feature of digital life these days. Over 10,000 South African users join Twitter each month and YouTube pulls in the visitors by the millions.
A business that doesn’t use some form of social media is doomed to die a slow and painful death while those with a social media strategy in place often has a meaningful relationship with its customers which in turn drives sales.
Now on to a more global perspective. How can posting a few tweets, sharing a link on Facebook or adding a old colleague on Linkedin change the world as we know it?
1) We all know about the power of viral videos. Key example: The video of Gangnam Style by PSY or the Koni child soldiers video that went viral on all the major social media networks. The awareness created by these have led to global phenomenon’s like PSY’s pony dance, now known by everyone and seen everywhere. Knowledge is power and once someone is aware of an issue they have the ability to do something about it.
2) Social media fosters transparency and creativeness. There are millions of blogs out there, mostly created by ordinary people who want to be heard. Blogging is not an easy thing to do and there are a number of variables one needs to take into account. In an over-saturated market a person’s blog needs to stand out, both in title, content and appearance. Website designs are becoming more and more innovative and the ease of Youtube makes it easy for amateur film makers and activists to post videos and gain millions of followers. Any internet work, login or signup creates a paper trail and these days people are more careful about what they do and where they sign up. However at the same time more of people’s lives are on show and ready for speculation.
3) Social media creates jobs. Not just any jobs but specialized jobs that involved knowing knowledge about a range of technological subjects which are related to even more subjects which in turn helps enhances ones know ledge. Social media for a business/ organisation /blog / website/ product is not a once off thing and involves constant meaningful engagement with your audience. Social media leads to the dissemination of knowledge and data in an easily accessible manner which leads to people using this knowledge to rebroadcast, create apps or write a relevant and factual blog topic.
4) Social media is about people. People make up the world and thus social media has the ability and the power to drive people to action. Social media’s main objective to transmit a message to the people who are interested in it. For example in the United States they have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in all the developed countries. As teenagers are always on their phones, a innovative idea came about to message teens and remind them about their birth control. A study showed that this would be a very viable and popular option.
Social media is a growing phenomenon that is affecting most our daily lives. In today’s digital age people want knowledge quickly and social media is the channel through which this is done. Mahatma Ghandi’s quote still applies: “be the change you want to see in the world”. A slight change in your social media behavior can change your world.
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