"By now, nobody can imagine the online world without social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn & Co. But do you know when exactly this idea of connecting people was born? No! It wasn’t in 2003 when Facebook was introduced, it was a bit earlier. Let’s take a look!" Facebook, MySpace & Co. – A trip back in time
Social Media is the buzz about town. Almost everyone with internet access is using social media in some form or the other. It is changing the way individuals and organizations communicate or interact with others. However, despite its popularity, most people have a very limited understanding of the scope and utility of Social Media in its entirety.
"Understanding Social Media" is an eBook written by Varinder Taprial and Priya Kanwar that is available for FREE Download from Bookboon.com. This ebook delves into the evolution of Social Media, its benefits for individuals/ businesses and social media management.
Contrary to the general perception of social media being restricted to networking websites like Facebook & Twitter, the social media encompasses all the services that facilitate creation, sharing and exchange of user-generated content. These include but are not restricted to Internet forums, groups, blogs, micro blogs, networking sites, social bookmarking sites, wikis, podcasts, content communities for articles, video/photo sharing sites, Q & A sites, review sites etc. Each type of social media has its own benefits and there is something for everyone. Unfortunately people tend to partake in the most popular websites and expect them to fulfil all their needs instead of settling for a service that best serves their needs. If one has focused objectives and knows exactly what he wants, s/he would certainly find a social media platform that will meet his/her particular needs.
The social media also drove a social change. Social media empowered the people to express their thoughts and opinions and share them with others. To add to this newfound power, people realized that they were not speaking in a vacuum; a highly responsive audience, who took part in the conversation and put across their points of view, heard their voices. This started a social shift towards power coming back to the masses. Now one didn’t have to suffer at the hands of the powerful, or be thrust upon with unacceptable quality of products or services or spend his life waiting for justice or for resolution of issues. One had the choice to come on to the social media, and give his side of the story and demand what he rightfully deserved.
As time passed by, people realized that it was not only their petty issues which the social media could sort out, but by working together they could also influence decision-making. In their own right, each individual was turning into an influencer within his network, some more than the others. They now made a difference whether it was a simple recommendation on a product or something bigger like enlistment of support for a public cause. They are now being recognized and known as “Social Influencers”.
Social media has a character of its own; there is nothing that can be assumed or taken for granted. There is no “one hat fits all” kind of a solution. Yes, there are certain aspects of handling social media that apply to everyone, but they can at best be termed as guidelines or best practices. Otherwise, social media management is a learning process. Ultimately it all boils down to understanding the social media, gathering relevant information and then analysing it to tweak your activity, be it online or offline.
In this book, we will discover how the social media has transformed over the years, what benefits it brings to individuals and businesses and why social media management is important. We will also discuss some tools, which are useful to manage your social media activities.