Social Media and Social Change
Whether you're starting a worldwide revolution or checking into Jimmy's Sloppy Sandwich Bonanza, I'm going to know all about it.
And therein lies the existential crisis I have regarding Twitter, Facebook, and many other social media platforms. At what levels are they valuable? Are they really valuable at all? Do you really need to be browsing through the pictures, musical interests, and musings of tangential acquaintances? How important is it that you let everyone know how your work elevator smelled today?
Although the above is a fairly safe stereotype regarding the mainstream's use of social media, dismissing the phenomenon of social media altogether would be borderline ludicrous. Social media websites, particularly Twitter, have been at the forefront of mass social change within the last year and show no signs of slowing down. News and movements such as the death of Osama bin Laden, the Arab Spring uprisings of The Middle East and Africa, and the Occupy movement of America have all jumped into the collective consciousness pool only after dipping their toes in Twitter first. Facebook regularly serves as a platform for the organization and planning of large gatherings and events, facilitating everything from parties to protests to +3,000 person flash mob library raves, and it's now possible to apply, interview, and be hired for a job without ever leaving your room. The top social media sites pull in billions of dollars a year and employ thousands of people. Dang.
Indeed, the age of insular hypersocial ability is at hand. People are sharing a lifetime of experiences without ever meeting face-to-face...now it's more Facetime to Facetime, less real-life personal interaction, and more real-time software interfaces. More efficient processes for mass communication are putting more and more means of information access at our fingertips on a daily basis at a nearly overwhelming rate -- a near whitewash of information. Our innate desire for dopamine, one of the "happiness chemicals" in your brain which is released by unique situations and by solving problems, pushes us deeper into the foray of social media. Social media websites are constantly improving their effectiveness in catering to our instinctual desire for new information. In fact, more than one study is now suggesting major social media websites may be as addicting as drugs, creating a regular desire for the stimulation necessary to maintain your daily social media fix.
The opportunity provided by these relatively unregulated and new media platforms should not be understated. They are a means of direct, personal communication which is paradoxically derived from communications neither direct nor personal. Social media marketing is an exceptionally great way for a business to deliver advertisements, coupons, announcements, and more, and the success of these are mainly dependent on the social "stickiness" of these posts. Social media strategy can be a double-edged sword - bad moves and publicity can lead to social media meltdowns such as the ongoing Susan G Komen For The Cure Planned Parenthood debacle, but a socially sticky and exciting campaign has the potential to create amazing results. Small, thoughtful updates are good to make often - little giveaways, surveys about a relevant topic, and unique information are all promotional gold and relatively easy to maintain for nearly any business owner/manager with a few minutes to spare. However, campaign management and professional social media services provide successful assistance beyond the scope of the average Twitterer or Facebook-lover. Professional services such as extended link distribution, market demographics analysis, consistent social branding, public persona management, and measurable ways to track the ROI (Return On Investment) on your social media efforts help you improve and refine your social media strategy. Having a talented social media strategist looking after your business' social media presence is useful, and it can bring in an unprecedented amount of revenue.
At the risk of tooting my (our?) own horn(horns?), BlueTone Media knows a thing or two (or hundred?) about social media management. We regularly write Twitter and Facebook updates to generate organic interest and referral traffic for our clients, and our blog post subscription packages can boost your website's SEO (search engine optimization) enormously by providing a source of regular, unique, and interesting text content for your website. We can even build a totally custom Facebook app for your business , exactly to your specifications. We'll make it easy-to-update too, and like always, once we build it, you own it. Completely. We can also help you integrate social media into your site, and our social media options run from simple links to dynamically-creating "like" and "share" buttons for different pages and parts of your site. BlueTone Media not only offers some of the most killer web design Wilmington NC has to offer - as a full service web company, we keep up-to date on everything we possibly can, and as the market shifts towards social media conscious advertising we make sure to stay on top of the heap and ahead of the curve. Contact us to describe your social media needs - together we can craft the perfect social media package to help you grow your business.
Oh, and also. Please. Never name your child Facebook . That's just messed up, man.
Relevant Links and Further Reading
- Why Some People Seek Dopamine So Strongly
- Social Media: Addictive, or Super Addictive?