Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Social Media and Society

Some topics that I would like to study regarding social media involve how it grew so quickly. Today politicians, companies, and even Fordham use it as an effort to reach out to the public. If companies do not utilize these new marketing tools such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., they may be viewed as not marketing to their full potential. I recently completed a project at my internship where I had to look up various companies’ Facebook pages, note the number of “likes,” as well as what types of promotional tools they use. My advisors wanted to see which companies were using Facebook most effectively and which were lagging behind. Those companies that posted videos, FAQs for customers, sweepstakes information, and interacted very thoroughly with their clients had the largest numbers of fans. This tells me that if companies are not constantly interacting with their customers and providing them the latest tips and product information, their clients may become disinterested and look elsewhere for advice. I also find it interesting that although these sites may compete for users, users tend to utilize various sites at the same time. For example, a user may update a Facebook status with some information and then post the same information on Twitter, while tagging a YouTube video in each one. These sites are all interconnected in an incredible way.

We are all constantly connected. Gone are the days of not being able to reach someone. Whether we are on cell phones, computers, iPod’s, or some other device, social media takes over. Facebook is number 19 in “Top Free Apps” from the iTunes store, with Twitter at number 46. This may seem like a disappointment, but to maintain a position in the “Top Apps” for so long, whether it’s the top 10 or top 50, seems like an incredible feat. So, what makes us feel the need to be connected to our friends all the time? What makes us feel compelled to tell people what we are eating for breakfast, watching on TV, or how lousy a commute we had into the city today because it was so cold (there were plenty of those status updates this morning)? Why do we have to talk to our roommates in a public forum when they are sitting right next to us, or our significant other even though we talk to them constantly throughout the day? Why do we love taking pictures and then uploading them the next day, tagging all of our friends, and commenting or “liking” various ones? Social media has evoked in people a new way of communicating with each other, a way that in some ways seems to remove what makes relationships real relationships, a reliance on face-to-face interaction for communication.

Social media and the world it has created fascinates me. Its effect on politics, businesses, and basic interaction alike has been astronomical. It has opened up an entire group of new possibilities for people, if they only wish to learn how to use the sites to their advantage. Because social media is becoming so infused in the business world, if people choose not to learn how to utilize these sites they might as well start looking for something new to do, because this is the future whether some like it or not.


  1. Good points you raise here. I think that, however trivial the content may be, it's the sense of connection that makes social media so attraction to so many of us.

  2. I agree, and it's that interaction that makes us feel like we have the ability to develop relationships with companies and people that we don't really know. Twitter for example, allows actors and actresses to update their fans constantly and it makes their fans feel connected 24/7. Businesses get to tell their current and potential customers what they are doing and how they are improving the quality of their products. Social media brings people together and makes them feel closer than ever.