Social Media – Fad of Forever?

Well, since social media is an integral part of my life – and my job, I think it deserves some attention in the form of a blog (which is a form of social media, by the way).  I am by no means an expert and I am still exploring all the social media facets out there, but I am an adamant user, my mother might even call me an addict.  It’s true, I NEED IT!  Anyways…

First thing’s first, what is social media?

Social Media : forms of electronic communication (such as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos).

Let’s be honest, social media has infiltrated practically every facet of our world. And while social media is no longer new, there are a couple things have changed and progressed over the last year or so.  The globalization of Facebook is one GINORMOUS leap forward for social media.  The growth of Facebook in North America hasn’t been as substantial over the last year (since the majority of us are already on it already) but in countries such as Indonesia, South Korea, Brazil and Russia, Facebook is exploding!  As technology becomes more readily available, social media continues to grow and grow.

Being in advertising/marketing, I often get asked by clients about social media and whether or not they should be using it.  My answer is always HECK YES!  I mean, really – why wouldn’t you? It’s free and it can be very effective if used properly.

One of the best things about social media is the ability to interact with clients in Real Time.  A client can Facebook chat or Tweet at you and you can really engage with them RIGHT NOW. It breaks down barriers.  As long as you actually do it, that is.  Please don’t get a Facebook page and never check it – that drives me bonkers (even more than I usually am)! Social media helps create and improve that client/company relationship.  I know that here at Pure Vision, we like to get to know our clients and interact with them which makes working with them a whole lot of fun!

Now, there are some people who try to tell me that social media won’t work for their specific target market.  To this I say, “HOOEY!” The reality of it is, smart phones – iPhones and Blackberries in particular, are everywhere. Social media works hand-in-hand with smartphones now.  I used to work in agriculture and if farmers are using smartphones, apps and social media while harvesting canola in the middle of a field, I think it’s fair to say that there is some segment of your target audience that uses it too.  Think of it this way, if Facebook has 600 million users, don’t you want to get in on a piece of that super gigantic popular pie?

Mmm…pie. Sorry, I had a Homer Simpson moment there.  Speaking of Homer Simpson – HE’S ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER! If fictional characters can use social media, you can too.

Another fun little fact is that 50% of the world’s current population is under the age of 30.  Big deal, right?  Well it is a big deal because 96% of those people have joined a social network.  Holy money maker Batman! That’s pretty darn significant no matter what industry you’re in. Even if you are targeting senior citizens for assisted living, their children and grandchildren use social media and, furthermore, all those under-30 people will eventually be senior citizens tweeting about the lunch menu in your nursing home! Think about it. With 65 million Tweets going out into the world each day, what should you be telling the world about your business?

When it comes down to it, social media isn’t going away.  Whether you use it to your benefit or not is up to you. Love it or hate it, you have to accept that it is now the way we communicate with each other. That’s just the reality of it.  Some social media sites have come and gone while we wait on others to find out if they have staying power or not (Google+).  But certain social media sites are not going away.  Ever.  Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Flickr, these sites are not going away. And if in some crazy alternate universe, they did, I might die.  Just stop living.  Seriously.

My advice is to jump on board because the social media train isn’t making any stops!  Toot Toot!  I mean, Tweet Tweet!

Check out these fun infographics that bring some things into perspective just in case you aren’t quite convinced…yet.  In fact, we tweeted them and posted them on our Facebook page a little while ago!

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