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Social media are today the most important phenomena transforming the Internet. The term includes social networks, online communities, blogs, wikis or any other online collaborative media for marketing, sales, public relations and customer service. Common social media tools include Twitter, LinkedIn (60 million users), Facebook (200 million users), Flickr, Wikipedia (which has eclipsed Britannica as the encyclopedia most used), Orkut and YouTube.

In the context of internet marketing, social media refers to a collective group of web properties whose content is primarily published by users, not direct employees of the property (e.g., the vast majority of video on YouTube is published by non-YouTube employees). This presents a splendid new marketing opportunity for those who learn how to use it. (this text is adapted from Wikipedia and Social Media Marketing for Dummies).

Here are some truths:

  1. Social Media (e.g. Facebook) are going to become immensely important.
  2. Family Promise of South Palm Beach County just raised $67,922 in 90 days (ending Nov. 4, 2010) using social media (DonorDrive from Global Cloud).
  3. Computers are going to get immensely more powerful and thus more important and more flexible.
Consider: Social media is the No. 1 activity on the Web. It took 38 years for radio to reach 50 million users, 13 years for TV, four years for the Internet, three years for the iPod. In contrast, Facebook added more than 200 million users in less than a year, now has 500 million users and tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S. Moreover, in the United Kingdom, 50 percent of the mobile Internet traffic is for Facebook. If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third most populous, between India and the U.S. The fastest growing segment on Facebook is females between 55 and 65 years old. Meanwhile, some 80 percent of companies employ social media for recruitment, with 95 percent of those using LinkedIn. Ashton Kutcher (6.2 million on Twitter & 7.7 million on Facebook ) and Britney Spears (6.6 million on Twitter) have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Sweden, Israel, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway and Panama. In many texting quarters, e-mail already is considered laughably Old School. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Wikipedia (wiki is a Hawaiian term for quick) has more than 15 million articles, 78 percent of which are non-English. There are more than 200 million blogs. Social media is the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution? For now it’s a growing worldwide phenomenon, and a fundamental change in the way a heckuva lot of human beings communicate, and of course, do business and raise money. (written by C.B.Hanif)


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