Social media are online digital- mediated technologies that facilitate the sharing or creation/interactional exchange of information, concepts, professions, hobbies, and other types of expression through digital networks and social communities. The term was first used in 1996, when the World Wide Web was introduced. It became popular as a result of the emergence of many social networking websites, which were established for the purpose of sharing content and information with an extended range of users, and allowing them to interact with each other. The primary driving force behind this new and emerging technology was the desire to provide a “counter-balance” to the often less attractive and chatty nature of traditional media, such as newspapers, books, and magazines. Social media emerged as a counter-balance, providing a venue for people to share and get connected with each other, in a way that was both more humanizing and interactive than ever before.
Social media has evolved significantly since its early days, taking on various forms and fusions as time goes by. This includes media systems such as blogs, message boards, instant messaging services (Skype, Yahoo Messenger, etc), news feeds, and wikis. It also includes digital art, music, video, applications, social gaming, and shopping sites (E-commerce). These developments have helped fuel the rapid expansion of social media usage and have changed how businesses do business.
The core elements of social media include a group of people who come together online to form online relationships and interact with each other. Social media use often involves blogging, message boards, and micro-blogging, which allow a group of individuals to write and post messages to a centralized hub online. This message is then visible to all other members in the network, providing a medium through which to communicate with each other. As networks of these types grow in size and popularity, they also begin to integrate various other features and functions such as games, file sharing, media sharing, and application sharing.
What is Social Media? Social media has been around for many years, but it was only recently that it began to really take off. In the past, most media were text based – things like web pages and email. This meant that the people who were interested in using online media had to spend a lot of time learning how to use it, or else they would be ineffective at creating any sort of impact online. Today, however, social media has changed the way people communicate and share information.
Social media also has real world value. For instance, a search engine can tell a user about the latest trends in any given location, what is popular with people in an area, or what people are talking about at any given time. This means that if you are in the process of marketing your business online, social media allows you to reach a much broader audience and create a higher chance of bringing in more revenue.
It is no secret that businesses need to embrace the change that social media represents. If you have not already jumped on board, you are likely losing out on an entire section of the online marketplace. Instead of fighting the ever-increasing popularity of social media, it is in your best interest to join in and make the most of your online presence.