I know that this has been said over and over again. The idea of social media replacing the way that the world gets wind of major events is not new. Experts have been studying these trends for much longer than I have been noticing them. However, it still inspires me.
The news that Osama bin Laden is dead came through Twitter. A man, sitting in his house, tweeted the entire event. And, not surprisingly, his amount of “followers” has exponentially grown since then. White house officials, politicians, writers, and reporters all tweeted that they “may have confirmation” that OBL was killed before the official news was released. Not too long ago, the idea that peers would be able to report breaking news events to each other before the television or newspaper was unheard of.
I really, truly think that social media is changing the way that people communicate, operate their businesses, and even live. These changes have been apparent since Myspace was popular; but recent events have enforced this belief for me. World changing, iconic, major, “never-forget-where-you-were” history was broke to the general public through social media. People are finding careers, long lost loved ones, new friends, and life advice through social media. Friends communicate with each other through the Internet more than in person – I know people that would rather Facebook or Tweet that they’re coming to pick me up, when there is a much greater chance that I’ll receive that message if you pick up the phone and call. Or at least send a text.
Companies have most definitely taken advantage of this new platform, and I love following along to see who is creating a Facebook fan page, LinkedIn profile, or Twitter account. It provides them advertising going directly to their target market, which is both imperative and amazing. Internet has taken a lot of the guesswork out of marketing – but it has added a lot of challenges, as well. Forums about your new product can either be great or devastating. YouTube channels can make or break a release. There is a lot more power in the consumers’ hands with online reviews and websites dedicated to rating your firm. But I find this to be inspiring, not frustrating. I am excited that it forces marketers’ to come up with new ways to reach their consumer and capture them.
Change is what pushes us forward – not being stagnant. There are more social media platforms being developed and released, and I’m excited to see which one will catch our attention next.