As I sit on my deck, overlooking the water, listening to Lightnin’ Hopkins and other great Blues musicians it puts me in a philosophical mood. The question that I am pondering this evening is “why do we use Social Media and how did it get so expansive?”
First we need to look at ourselves. Human beings in a collective sense have an internal desire to share information with one another. We also have a desire to be recognized by our peers for the contributions that we make. A typical conversation usually contains some sort of exchange about current events, opinions, or recommendations. Recommendations can range from a movie someone recently saw to the best place to grab some sushi. These recommendations and reviews are our subconscious attempts to assist our peers and to demonstrate our knowledge or expertise (brought on through the experiences that we have had). We also have to admit, that our recommendations and freely dispensed information wasn’t from a completely altruistic motive. We all crave some attention and social acceptance. We are social creatures’ after-all.
With the invention of the internet information was able to be mass distributed and online communities were formed. The very first communities were primarily restricted to the “tech junkies.” These were communities that communicated primarily through the DOS and command based prompt screens. Online Social Media has been put into overdrive in a very short period of time. Because of our need to interact with each other Social Media Platforms like Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc… have skyrocketed and developed extremely user friendly sites that allow even the most technically challenged person to create a profile for the world to see (usually it only takes 5 minutes to create a profile).
All over the world people are digitally connected. We now have access to reviews of movies our friends have watched, what store has the hottest game in town, where not to go, the best clubs in town, and so much more. There is a 24/7 live feed of information that is being uploaded to the internet for all the world to see. The best part about it is our ability to add to the conversation. We are no longer just bystanders watching tv commercials, but we can interact with our neighbors as well as multi-billion dollar companies. This is where the TRUE power of social media marketing lye’s.
We use social media because it allows even the smallest voice to connect to the largest companies and people. It gives a one person movement the ability to bring their message to millions and possibly start a national campaign. It allows an entrepreneur with no funds and a great idea to get much needed capital by peers through Crowdfunding.
Social Media is here and it isn’t ever going away. Although the platforms may change, the core concept behind Social Media will always be with us. The consumer now knows that it has a voice and it will never let that go.