The Impor­tance of Social Media

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Did you know that nearly a quar­ter of total time spent on the inter­net is spent on social net­works. This reflects the cur­rent state of our soci­ety, where social media has essen­tially taken over most of our lives. We use it to catch up on the lat­est fads, gos­sip, news and for most Far­mville addicts games. But just what is the impor­tance of social media to the wider society?
  • It is impor­tant for Busi­nesses – small, medium and large

Social media is becom­ing a huge asset to busi­nesses, as it is one of the lead­ing mar­ket­ing tools. Whether you are a small busi­ness or a large con­glom­er­ate, you have and own a brand and one can­not ignore social media if you want to fur­ther your brand. A social media con­sumer is the best type of con­sumer. Why? Because they spend the most and are more influ­en­tial on their friends than the aver­age inter­net user. Attract­ing these types of users to your brand will ben­e­fit your busi­ness as it is likely that if you attract them, they will attract oth­ers as well. Social media is also per­fect for busi­ness adver­tis­ing and promotions.

  • Per­fect Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tool

When watch­ing tele­vi­sion, view­ers receive many dif­fer­ent types of infor­ma­tion, but they are unable to give feed­back. Social media is a two way com­mu­ni­ca­tion mech­a­nism that allows the receiver of the mes­sage to give feed­back to the sender. The sender can then know if the mes­sage was deliv­ered appro­pri­ately and inter­preted cor­rectly. Addi­tion­ally, in times of dis­as­ter, social media has proven to be an excel­lent infor­ma­tion dis­sem­i­na­tion arena, where per­sons can keep up to date on the lat­est crisis.

  • It is the best way to con­nect over long distances

Due to the plethora of social media sites, we can now con­nect and recon­nect with friends, rel­a­tives and even busi­ness asso­ciates from wher­ever we are in the world. Remem­ber when every­one used to be rush­ing to buy a magic jack? Or wor­ry­ing about the impact of inter­na­tional calls on their phone bills? Those days are non-​existent, as fea­tures such as Face­book call­ing enable you to chat with your loved ones for free. Also, their sta­tus updates, tweets and insta­gram posts give you the oppor­tu­nity to catch glimpse into their lives even though you can­not phys­i­cally be there.

  • It has become a valu­able aid for crime solving

For­tu­nately or unfor­tu­nately (depend­ing on the per­spec­tive) some crim­i­nals decide to post infor­ma­tion about their mis­deeds on social media, mak­ing it eas­ier for the police to track them down. Also, post­ing images of miss­ing per­sons on social media ensures a fur­ther reach than a tele­vi­sion ad, as when per­sons share these images on their pages, their friends can also see and share as well, thus increas­ing the amount of per­sons that see the infor­ma­tion, and pos­si­bly increas­ing the chances of locat­ing the miss­ing person.

  • It can be a form of polit­i­cal influence

Social media has truly given per­sons a voice, and this can be a pow­er­ful source for change. It has the poten­tial to influ­ence the out­comes of polit­i­cal deci­sions and it also plays an impor­tant role in many elec­tions across the world. Social media has also been found use­ful in ral­ly­ing peo­ple around a cause through the use of hash­tags and can also inspire mass movements.

  • It is great for job seekers

With social media sites, for exam­ple LinkedIn (the largest pro­fes­sional net­work in the world), you can cre­ate a pro­file that can basi­cally be used as an online CV. Per­sons can look at your best qual­i­fi­ca­tions, other mem­bers can endorse you for skills, and you become more mar­ketable as a job seeker. LinkedIn also offers you the oppor­tu­nity to net­work and con­nect with per­sons in your field or related fields.

  • It cre­ates end­less opportunities
Essen­tially, social media can open up indi­vid­u­als to a myr­iad of pos­si­bil­i­ties. These include social (meet­ing new peo­ple and maybe find­ing “the one”), pro­fes­sional (kick-​starting that career, or busi­ness, land­ing a job), and even per­sonal (many inspi­ra­tional sto­ries and quotes can aid in per­sonal devel­op­ment). Thus, there is no limit as to what social media can do in or con­tribute to a person’s life.

Much is writ­ten about the neg­a­tive impact of social media. How­ever, while the neg­a­tive effects should not be ignored this should not take away from the fact that social media has become an impor­tant resource to be used in society.

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