What is Social Media? Simplest way to answer is that it is web and media based technologies which turn communication into interactive dialogue among individuals and organizations. In the year 2012, social media became one of the most powerful sources for news updates through the various platforms. Let's break them down:
FACEBOOK. Launched in 2004, and now with over 955 million active users - Facebook is the most used social networking site in the world. In 2010 it was estimated that 41.6% of the US population has a Facebook account. Basic premise - you create a personal profile and find your "friends" - it is best used to update where you are or what you are doing, share thoughts, pictures and re-connect with friends. With its availability on many mobile devices, Facebook allows users to continuously stay in touch with friends, relatives and other acquaintances wherever they are in the world, as long as there is access to the Internet.
TWITTER. An online social networking service, Twitter enables its users to send and read text-based messages up to 140 characters known as "tweets." Created in 2006 and rapidly gaining worldwide popularity, Twitter has 500 million active users generating over 340 million tweets daily. We consider Twitter a personal "news source" as you can follow various news outlets- and get the news as it happens. It has become one of the top 10 most visited websites on the internet and gives you quick, easy access to people you want to know - leaders in your industry, celebrities and political figures - watch Twitter to play a major role in getting out information during this election cycle. Want to know more? Read our article on Twitter here.
YOUTUBE. A video-sharing website created by three former PayPal employees in 2005, it is a social media site on which users can upload, view and share videos - this includes movie and TV clips, music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos. Best use? Makeup artist Michelle Phan gathered nearly 2 million subscribers to her YouTube Channel and ended up with a Lancome contract, personal trainer Amanda Russell was named one of Google's next top fitness personalities after she posted a variety of workouts to her channel, 14 year old Justin Bieber became a mega star after Usher saw videos of him signing and signed him to his record company. OR, if you need a good laugh, it has the funniest videos on the web - just check out their daily top 10.
INSTAGRAM. The newest on the social media scene - Instagram is a free photo-sharing program launched in 2010. We have featured it in our favorite apps - because it allows you to take a photo, apply a digital filter to it and then share it with other Instagram users. It is based solely on your smart phone and when you join will search your contacts to connect you with other Instagram users. The younger generation is already replacing Facebook with Instagram to share their daily photos and fun pics. Instagram has 13 full time employees and in its largest acquisition to date, Facebook made an offer in 2012 to purchase Instagram for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock.
LINKEDIN. The "professional" person's social media - Linkedin was founded in 2002 and is mainly used for professional networking. In 2012 Linkedin reports over 175 million registered users in more than 200 countries. In 2011 Linkedin earned $154.6 million dollars in advertising alone - higher than that of Twitter who earned $139.5 respectively. Unique in that the site is available in multiple languages, it surpasses its other competitors MySpace, Viadeo and Xing. 82 of Fortune's top 100 companies say they use the site to find candidates. One tip? If you want to stand out as authority in your industry, select the "answer" tab on the homepage and respond to questions that people in your industry have posted. If you answer enough, you could be featured on the site as an expert.
PINTEREST. An online pin board - this is a great eco-friendly portfolio of everything that inspires you! Great place to get amazing recipes, ideas for home decor, a great location for your next vacation and more. You can manage your images into categories and brows other pinboards for inspiration and "re-pin" images to your own boards to save for later. Basically a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing. In 2011 Pinterest became one of the top 10 most used social media platforms with over over 11 million visits per week. Most of the sites users are female - and one other interesting stat? 80% of pins are "repins" and in comparison, only 1.44% percent of tweets are re-tweets so it is an effort free buzz generator.
With millions and millions of people using these social media sites every day - it is clear that the way we communicate, share our life and pictures and look for jobs is totally different than it was just 5 years ago. Even though it is easy to make fun of those "over-facebookers" or "crazy-pinners" - you do have to agree that social media dominates the way many of us view our world. What is your favorite social media platform? Click here and share on our Funspired facebook page!
Your fun friends,
Susan and Farrar