It's been 8 years since I joined Facebook and literally fell in love with it. My excitement about Social Media was so profound. I wanted to join every existing site. But Twitter was not what I expected. It was not the same as Facebook. I had assumed that the features on Twitter will be the same as Facebook. You can imagine the scenario. I got all confused. Anyways, it did take a while, but I began to enjoy Twitter too, and then Instagram and then the YouTube. Understanding the different sites and types of social media made it eventually doable and fun.
However, mastering and using the different features of each site is a great deal easier if we first understand what applies to them all. In the same way that there are differences, similarities also exist between them. This is the truth about Social Media.
The previous post on social media explored the Evolution of Social Media and the growth timeline of its various platforms. A deep dive into their commonalities will be an invaluable platform from which we can later delve into their particular features and how best to use these to our advantage.
· Virtual community- A major feature of social media is the presence of a worldwide online community. All social media platforms have a global audience, connecting people across geographical and national boundaries, and creating communities of mutual interests or goals. That’s why right from my country, I can interact with friends in countries far beyond my borders.
· Web use- The World Wide Web “www” governs the online environment and the existence of social media revolves around the use of the internet. This is why the net is the founding bedrock for social media; they are both interlocked. Some examples are, www.facebook.com www.twitter.com www.instagram.com and so on.
· Content- social media platforms provide a web space for its users to post anything. From pictures, texts, audios, videos, to graphics, blog posts, podcasts and news. Although, some contents are unique to its platform such as discussion polls on twitter, generally social media platforms have user generated content. Hence, I can write about anything I deem informative and entertaining. That’s my right as a user, even though some users tend to abuse theirs.
· Accounts- online accounts are major features of social media platforms where users are given ownership and privileges over their pages. It is so easy to have a social media account unlike the long processes in banks; they are obviously not the same. On social media, account registration requires the filing of basic information, personal username and email address. Also, to further protect the identity of the user, the user is required to create a password.
· Profiles- for every registered user on social media, there is always a profile created from inception. These profiles provide the basic information of each social media user. Profiles are personalized and easily created by the owner of the account. Updates are also periodically done to ensure viewers of the page are kept up- to date of user's bio. You can literally be whoever and write about yourself as you feel fit.
· Communication- conversation is a key feature of social media. Every social media user has the platform to interact with other users, put up public posts or send private inbox messages. Nonetheless, communication is taking place. This also helps make business marketing and advertisements more feasible and flexible on social media. Besides, dating has not been more exciting as it is now, thanks to this feature.
· Networking- this is another major characteristic, as it connects people and friends across borders. Also, in regards to corporate networking, a global targeted audience can be reached, making social media a hub for business interactions and attaining marketing goals, which any start-up business can utilize in growing their business.
Social media has become the main entertainment and fun hub for most young persons. Business marketing and advertisements have not known better days as strategic networking occurs daily in every social media platform. A start-up business has a great chance of growing faster in 21st century with the use of different packages on social media. The dissemination of news, whether true or unfortunately false, gets to millions of people with just a click. These advantages cut across all social media platforms and will be the focal point for our next blog post.
So stay with us. Let us know what you think every step of the way. If you know of more similar features, do share with us- leave us your comments!