I’ve always maintained that the true power of social media lies in its dynamism. Year after year, social media has reinvented itself and it will continue to do in the years to come. While social media started off in the form of blogs and wikis, the onus is now on using the optimal mix of various social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others coupled with email and instant messaging tools.
In this post, I emphasize upon seven things that you need to know about the evolution of social media.
1. It’s not anti-email
Being an early adopter of social media, I’m intrigued on the comparisons with email. In my opinion, social media vs. email is not an either/ or proposition. Social media was never meant to replace email. Instead, social media works best in conjunction with email and other legacy communication medium.
2. Blogging isn’t dead
Blogs are perhaps the earliest form of social media. I come across several experts who claim blogs won’t survive the test of time. I strongly believe that blogging as a form of social media is here to stay. In fact, modern social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest help make your blog an even more powerful social media tool.
3. Number of Fans and Followers
While statistics such as number of fans and followers is important, it isn’t the only metric of success in the social media world. In fact, an increase in number of fans/ followers is usually the positive side effect of your overall social media efforts.
I strongly believe that social media thrives on interactivity. The unique selling proposition of social media is the high degree of “interactive user feedback”, something that was amiss in traditional media techniques. Contrary to several old school media techniques which worked as monologues, social media is an active proponent of creative participation and community building.
The sociology of social media lies in its dynamism and interactive relationship with media consumers.
Social media has been a great advocate for democratization of media. Social media is a mass-access open-to-all service as opposed to traditional techniques which were limited in reach and worked for only a select few. It’s fair to say that social media has led the democratization of media for all kinds of businesses by opening up new avenues of creating, publishing, distributing and consuming media content.
We live in a globalized economy and nobody is too far, courtesy of the wide reach of social media. It has played a crucial role in building viral communities spanning geographical and cultural borders, thereby providing businesses with a unique opportunity to target customers worldwide.
7. Social Change
A popular saying quotes that “Man is a social animal”. While that’s true, our social needs are constantly changing. Media techniques which worked perfectly in the past may not be crowd pullers today and vice-versa. In that respect, social media is re-defining the paradigm of social change.
Whether it’s natural calamities such as the Tsunami in Japan or the earthquake in Haiti or public outbursts such as those in Egypt and Syria, social media is driving the social change revolution.
What are your views on the evolution of social media? Please leave a comment to share your views on this subject.