Interacting with family and friends across long distances has always been a challenge. People rely on communication to enhance existing relationships. This is where social media comes into play.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
You’ve probably heard this proverb before. It means, roughly, that difficult situations inspire new inventions or solutions. People needed to be able to get in touch faster, so they have envisaged various creative solutions.
In the past, written correspondence was delivered by courier, coach or horse rider and letters took a long time to reach their intended recipient. Urgent messages had to be delivered fast which led to the invention of the telegraph as a far more rapid system of communication.
Then people started thinking of ways to communicate directly to each other. Two groundbreaking inventions were introduced at the end of the 19th century – the telephone and the radio. The first radio transmissions, in 1896, were coded signals transmitted about a mile far. Radio as we know it today, came out in 1921. Telephone lines and radio signals enabled real-time communication across great distances, something that had never been practiced before.
Computers and the Internet
In the first part of the 20th century, technology started to change quite rapidly. The first digital electronic programmable computer was developed to perform calculations. Experts began to work on different ways to create networks between computers. This is how the Internet and some primitive forms of email were created.
The Social Media Boom is here to Stay
Social media – computer-mediated technologies creating highly interactive platforms that facilitate the creation and sharing of information via user-generated content or pre-made content posted online.
Six Degrees is considered to be the very first social networking site created in 1997. It allowed users to become friends with other users. Then, in 1999, the Internet moved into a totally different era of blogging and instant messaging. By the year 2000, it was almost everywhere and most people had access to it. New websites emerged.
MySpace became available to users throughout the world who could set up a profile, make friends, write blog posts, add music, and customize their MySpace pages. It quickly grew to become the most popular social network on the planet, before being overtaken by Facebook.
LinkedIn is another website from the dawn of social networking. It provides access to professional opportunities and insights.
YouTube, the video-sharing phenomenon, came out in 2005 and was certainly the next best thing.
The current social network titans, Facebook and Twitter, were both set out to network people, topics and ideas. More websites turned up, dubbing the modern-day pop-culture microblogging tool for a mobile audience (Tumblr), providing location data (Foursquare), finding and saving inspirational stuff in a catalogue (Pinterest), and capturing and sharing the world’s moments (Instagram).
Reasons Why Social Media Has Peaked
- First and foremost, it is easily accessible. It is also the favorite meeting point of today’s internet audience. The remarkable growth of these websites ultimately reflects our deepest desire to connect.
- Increased consumer mobile app usage.
- The major target audience comprises teenagers, young adults and middle-aged people.
- It allows for direct interaction with clients.
- Advertising through social media is pretty inexpensive as compared to costs incurred by other traditional media.
- It also helps in search engine optimization and improves company website rankings. It is a whole new pattern for communicating and selling online.
- Social media icons are everywhere and it would be almost unusual to see a website or any other online marketing asset without one.
- Social media posts can be used to drive targeted traffic to your website. Having a strong presence builds brand loyalty which is no easy task. Whether your business is sponsoring a charity fundraiser or attending a trade show, there is no better way to highlight your presence than with the help of social media.
Social Media Today
Networking sites have tremendous popularity. Everyone has heard about Facebook and Twitter. Thus, social media can be an effective marketing tool for corporations, nonprofit organizations, political parties, and entrepreneurs. Use it to reunite with old friends and associates, make new friends, share content and photos. Marketing organizations use social media to advertise their products and boost customer loyalty. Getting customer feedback helps businesses understand the market and fine-tune their strategies.
Commonly referred to as “the cornerstone of democracy,” social media has changed the way we talk to each other about politics. It also plays an important role in the electoral process.
What would life without the Internet and social media look like? It sounds impossible because right now social networking boom is definitely in full swing. And with the new and advanced technologies being invented day today, it will only become more dominant in the years to come.
I am a fashionista and love fashion marketing. My career started in 2011 as an online marketing analyst, blogger & fashion expert @ Amazing Wristbands. In the meantime, I also love writing articles in various inspiring categories for popular websites, forums, and e-magazines.