Social Media in a most simplistic definition is a virtual place where people come together, where ideas collide, where an emphasis is solely put on what the person has to share rather than who the person is. Social Media is a platform for ideas, opinions and much more. It has a life of its own.
The core idea behind the creation of social media was to increase and improve the communication. Between two friends who cannot meet every day, between the siblings and the families. What had started with a social experiment has now become the most powerful tool in the hands of mankind. After involving people into this virtual social convention, the idea was to improve on the success.
The next step was to voice the concerns of the people. To bring in the awareness among the people through the ideas and involve the brands who could help. The communication channel was no longer restricted to the selected few. It was open to the mass. Soon, a community began to form and together their voices started to matter. Brands grew conscious of these voices.
What do these voices have? Opinions. People had opinions on everything – from what they ate to where they ate. These small pieces of communications were piled up in a big pool which formed a review system for the brand.
Facebook wasn’t the first to start the social media but it is now the behemoth of every social media platform on the planet. The likes and comments were taken lightly by the people and the brands. It is no longer the case. These pieces of communications are treated with utmost respect by the brand managers for it has the power to influence other people. The visitors. If a brand is not popular on Facebook, there’s a very slim chance of expanding the clientele.
The more you share on Facebook, the more you are seen on Facebook, and the more you are seen on Facebook the more you are talked about, and the more you are talked about on Facebook the more interactions you attract. It is a complete cycle which must never be stopped.
For the brands Facebook provides a personal touch which the consumers love.
There’s a social network for everyone. Then there’s a social network for professionals only. This is a place where professionals gather and share their insights about a problem they recently resolved, or a new challenge they are facing. It has also proven to be an effective platform for a more relevant job search. You no longer need to have a detailed CV with you. Linkedin provide you with the tool to create an extensive profile about an individual.
Want to hire someone? You can check him on LinkedIn. You’d probably end up learning more about his professional abilities from LinkedIn than from a five minute chat with him. This is huge for the interviewer and the interviewee both.
But what about the big brands?
LinkedIn allows the brands to add their mission, their recent achievement and the goal they seek in the upcoming quarter or a year. This strengthens the position of the organization. An individual can directly interact with the brand, can learn more about the organization, its products and even a long term career. LinkedIn makes it all possible. One of key things about LinkedIn is its ability to refine itself and yet not lose the professional touch.
Simply put, it is a micro blogging site. It limits itself to 280 characters, increased from the previously 140 characters. We have all learned that people have tremendous ability to utilise every character. From poetries, political ranting to giant revolution, Twitter has seen it all through hash tags.
The most beautiful thing about Twitter, which also helped make it more popular was its ability to categories the content based on the interest. The interests were tagged by ‘hash tags’. These hash tags are then used by the individuals to promote their content and if too many people are using it in your area, it becomes the top trending topics.
Remember the selfie with Ellen DeGeneres? That was sheer power of Twitter. Brands are doing exactly that. They are learning more about the users from these hash tags. This is another communication channel for the brands to interact with the users. There is more accountability now.
A photo sharing site. You like the sunset you’re seeing? Why don’t you click a picture and see what the world has to say about it? Instagram made this possible. Before Instagram, clicking pictures was limited to professional photographers only, but it is no longer the case. Since the launch, Instagram has garnered 800 million active users. It is no longer a place to just share pictures.
Do you have something to sell? Click a picture and share it on Instagram. Oh, we have hash tags too. The concept of hash tag is similar on Instagram as well. And like Twitter, anybody can explore based on the hash tag they click. It is important to tag your pictures with relevant hash tags. Brands find users through it and the users find relevant products through it.
We all have ideas, how about cataloging them neatly? Like the last info graphic you created for your company. Pinterest is a site where the users can share images, videos and if you like one, you can pin it too on your profile. It is like a large bulletin board where all your favorite ideas, inspirational quotes and favorite cat videos are pinned. So you are always motivated.
Brands use this platform to advertise about their latest products. They can create a virtual storefronts to showcase all of their products. Users tend to spend more if you show them your product than just talk about it.
One of the interesting studies was that, a user coming from Pinterest spent $180 compared to the users coming from Facebook who only spent $80. This is significant and justifies the approach of Pinterest here.