How Social Media has Changed and Shaped Our World Today

If you were to ask a teenager to give up their smart phone for a week and replace it with a simple cellular phone that could just make calls and texts, they would probably think they were being punished. How could they check Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as frequently as they are used to.  In today’s world, people feel the need to constantly be connected to everyone and everything ALL THE TIME.  Is social media really being connected with people? Are you really friends with all 562 people on Facebook? Do you know anything more about them than their name, birthday, and the few pictures that are known to Facebook? Social media distorts our view of life.

In the video called Look Up, Gary Turk, an englishman, creates an inspiring and life-changing view of social media.  Although, it is cool for friends far away or from past years to connect, it causes strains on the relationships in our present.  When you are at a party and are scrolling through Twitter feed while “talking” to your friends, you are in no way giving them your full attention because you feel that is more interesting to see what Kim Kardashian has to say in her latest Tweet.  This is not strengthening relationships with people.  We feel that we are closer to people by liking their pictures and commenting on their posts.  How about we all try talking to the people right in front of us? How about we go outside and enjoy the world we live in? How about we make more to our lives that pictures on Instagram and retweets on Twitter.   “The problem I have sits in the spaces between, looking into their eyes or at name on a screen.  I took a step back and opened by eyes, I looked around and realized that this media we call social is anything but, when we open our computers, and it’s our doors we shut.”  Our eyes should be open to the people who actually mean something to us, not those who try to see right through us.  Although social media seems pretty cool, we should focus on our lives and what it means to really live them.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY (I highly recommend watching this video. It is very impactful.)

On a very different note, social media has and is drastically reshaping the world of advertising.  People rarely trust what brands have to say anymore and look for customer reviews.  People feel they can trust what other customers of the products have to say more than what the brand says.  In the video called The Naked Brand, it greatly explains how advertising has shifted to reviews.  Brands must now be completely transparent for their customers because their reviews certainly will be. Transparency is something that cannot be avoided today; if companies disclose the information it makes them seem more reliable and builds a sense of trust for consumers.  Social media will still play a large part in advertising; companies will still try to advertise on social media, but consumers will still look for reviews before making purchases.  http://www.bloomberg.com/video/the-naked-brand-the-future-of-marketing-wTo1reeNTNugBjR1Qj~gnA.html (This video is a bit longer, but again is definitely worth the watch.) http://www.shoutmeloud.com/how-much-has-social-media-changed-society.html

Although I feel social media is cool in certain ways, I think our lives are meant for living and not staring at screens.  This class has taught me so much valuable information about social media that I honestly never knew.  My eyes have been opened to the many dimensions presented across a lot of different social platforms.  I will use the knowledge I acquired in this class to proactively use social media in my future.  I will use it to inspire and attract people to my company through positive ways for my business.  I want people to be engaged on a personal level without allowing their lives to become slave to social media.   I will still myself have an account on a few social platforms, but I want my live to be actually lived not just portrayed as living through the way it is shaped on social media.

This class has been great and taught me a lot.  I would like to leave you with this:

“Don’t give into a life where you follow the hype; give people your love, don’t give them your like.”

Best,

Leen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marketing Through Instagram and Twitter

What are the current best practices on two social media platforms of your choosing?

  • When building profiles or posting photos, what sizes and formats are ideal and why?
  • What should be included in a profile or identity?
  • If the platform supports many kinds of activity and posts, which are best used for what purposes?
  • What are the best times of day for posting, sharing, and communicating, in the absence of analytics data?
  • Should posts/exchanges be long or short? Images or no images?
  • What features should be employed? Geolocation? Tags? Mutual following? Others?
  • What other software or tools, if any, are considered “indispensable” by marketers or organizations that use them?

Social media is impacting the business world more and more each day.  Companies are analyzing ways to use social media in order to create strong marketing campaigns for their users, consumers, customers, etc.  Each social media platform is different and therefore offers different ways of communicating.  It is important to know what each platform has to offer when trying to market to your customers.  For this small study, I will be analyzing Instagram and Twitter.  For the fun purpose of this blog, I will be acting from the view point of the company Nike to breakdown different ways Instagram and Twitter can be used to market for this company.  

Instagram:

According to a quick Google search, “Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever.”  This does not necessarily mention anything related to business purposes, however a company like Nike can certainly market by Instagram. For Nike, Instagram can be a phenomenal marketing to post pictures of new, sale, and clearance items to get customers purchasing their products. 

Nike’s name on Instagram should simply be just Nike so it is easily recognizable by customers. In the bio section on Instagram, Nike can say something short about their company and provide a link to the company website.  This is actually what Nike really does.  In the bio it says Just Do It. (Nike’s slogan) with a like to http://www.nike.com.  

Posts for successful marketing on Instagram:

1. Show the actual products. This is obviously a great way to attract customers to purchases.  Seeing a picture of something new and exciting that they do not yet have is surely a way to get people buying products. 

2. Show what the products can do.  Posting picture with people running while wearing Nike sneakers, or someone playing basketball while wearing a Nike jersey reveals a sense of purpose for the product.  It can also make the customers feel like they will have a similar experience to the person in the picture when using/wearing Nike products.

3. Share celebrity uses.  If there are celebrities that use your product, posting picture to your company Instagram of celebrities using or wearing your products is sure to attract customers.  People will see celebrities wearing Nike products and will want to be more like them which will lead to purchases.  

4. Post inspirational pictures that have to do with your company and product.  This is done often on Nike’s Instagram through pictures of extreme mountain sports like snowboarding and skiing and pictures of people surfing massive waves.  These pictures are accompanied with captions like “Today’s resloution: find a new half-pipe.” or “Put your own spin on it.” with the hashtag #justdoit.  This is a way to inspire Nike customers to be the best they can be, and Nike is right there to provide them with the best equipment to do so.  

5. Go behind the scenes.  This is a unique marketing tool that can be awesomely expressed through pictures.  If Nike is doing a shoot for a magazine, or an interview with a famous athlete about Nike products, Nike can post a picture to Instagram of the behind the scenes aspect of these events.  This can increase customer interest to go and find the magazine article or research and watch the interview later on which again can lead to more sales for Nike.  

6. Make followers feel like they have first-hand knowledge. Give first notice of sales and new products through Instagram pictures.  Using promo-codes can be a great way to make customers feel like because they are following Nike on Instagram they have exclusive knowledge to sales and products.  

Many other ways to use Instagram for business can be found at: http://corp.wishpond.com/instagram-marketing-resources-for-businesses/10-creative-ways-to-use-instagram-for-business/

When deciding on what time to post would lead to the most future sales, it is important to think of who the audience/followers of the company are and what their day looks like.  For Nike, followers are probably high school, college, and young adult athletes.  Posting pictures to Instagram around 7AM would allow this group of people to see Nike’s posts before their days start at school or work.  This can entice them to make purchases during or after their work days.  Posting again around 3PM would be beneficial because that is when people’s school and work days are beginning to wind down and therefore they may be more able to get to a Nike store or order online in their free time.  

Geolocations should be used on the pictures if only certain Nike stores are holding sales.  This will let customers know which locations to get to.  Also, geolocations can be used in the types of picture like the mountains or waves mentioned above to let customers know where Nike has been.  

Because this is Instagram, posts consist of pictures with captions.  Pictures should be the main focus of the reason for posting such as a sale or new product launch, but brief captions with details about the picture can allow the customers to more closely understand what is going on within the company.  

Twitter:

According to a Google search of Twitter, it is “an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read short 140-character text messages, called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.” This sounds a like it could be a bit more business oriented that Google’s description of Instagram.  For instance, Nike can use Twitter to post short statements about sales and products with links to their website. 

Posts for successful marketing on Twitter:

1. Post short statements about sales going on.  For Nike this could be something like “Get 10% when you spend $100 or more.”  This can be accompanied by a picture that reveals items offered in the stores.  

2. Post pictures of new and sale items in stores and online.  This allows customers to see what is being offered and a picture can create more interest that just a short Tweet about the products.  

3. Use hashtags in the posts to attract more people.  Although this can also be done on Instagram and Facebook, Twitter is most known for hashtags.  A post about a Nike sale can include hashtags like #justdoit, #salesfordays, #workhardtrainhard, among many others to attract more people who are interested in fitness products and sales.  

4. Promoted Tweets.  Promoted tweets are regular tweet made by the company that can be found on users’ timelines and search results.  They are bound to become more popular because they are one of the main marketing tools of twitter.  

5. Post short statements that cause the follower to want to know more, and share the company’s website.  This can be very helpful to get people to actually go to the company’s website which can cause them to browse the products and make purchases.  For Nike it could be something like “With these new running shoes you could be running like….www.nike.com.” This can then lead to a picture of an athlete on NIke’s website which will cause customers to be directly on the website.  

More business uses for Twitter can be found at:http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-twitter-for-business-and-marketing/ and https://business.twitter.com/products/promoted-tweets.  

Because people tweet more often than they post on Instagram, it is important to tweet a few times throughout the day to really catch the attention of your followers.  Posts in the morning hours from about 7AM to 9AM can cause people to begin their day thinking about your company.  With that said, it is necessary to post again because by the time people are done with school and work from the hours of about 3PM to 6PM they have scrolled through much more Twitter feed, which without any further posts could cause them to forget about your post in the morning.  One or two more posts throughout the day share the same content as the purpose of the original tweet will lead to more retention by followers and lead to more sales.  

Geolocations on Twitter should be used in similar ways to Instagram.  They should be used when only certain locations are holding sales or offering new products.  Furthermore, geolocations can be used to let followers know where representatives of the company have been.  

Twitter offers more of an involved response oriented social platform to communicate back and forth with followers and customers. Although Instagram allows people to comment on pictures, Twitter seems more possible to have a conversation.  This can allow customers to ask quick questions about products and they can be directed to the company website or someone who can further help them.  The companies can also retweet positive things their customers have said about their products and the company.  This shows that companies appreciate what their customers have to say which can build customer loyalty.  

Ultimately, there are many beneficial uses for marketing when using either Instagram or Twitter.  In fact, using both forms of social media would greatly benefit a company.  It allows them to reach to more people who have preferences over what type of social media they prefer.  When a person’s favorite company uses social media, it can create excitement for that person which in turn creates business for the company.  People can share posts, tag friends, and retweet tweets to create awareness of a company to their followers and friends.  There are many ways in which social platforms can enhance a company’s marketing department that is user friendly and successful; Instagram and Twitter are two great places to start.  

Social Media Means Business

When using many different social media platforms for business, it is essential that a company see how the posts on social media affects their audiences, guests, customers, users, etc.  It is much more than just how many likes something gets’ it’s what those likes mean and if they actually connect the customer to the company.  Avanish Koshik, author of the article titled Best Social Media Metric: Conversation, Amplification, Applause, Economic Value, writes of important ways that companies can track their presence and success on social media.  For instance, Koshik mentions the importance of conversation rate.  Conversation Rate = the number of audience comments per post.  Conversation rate can be measure on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, etc.  “A high conversation rate requires a deeper understanding of who your audience is, what your brand attributes are, what you are good at, what value you can add to your followers and the ecosystem you participate in.” It is important to analyze what people are responding to your company’s posts and what they are saying about your brand.  Furthermore, Koshik explains amplification, which is the rate at which your followers take your content and share it through their network.  It is said that amplification is measured differently across the different platforms: Twitter: Amplification = Number of Retweets Per Tweet; Youtube: Amplification = Number of Share Clicks Per Video; etc.  This allows a company measure what types of content cause the highest amplification success; it is important at this time to take in consideration which areas of the world are sharing what and how certain posts affect certain demographics.  Koshik even created this thing called the applause rate.  On Twitter the Applause Rate = Number of Likes Per Post; on Youtube the Applause Rate = Number of +1s Per Video. This is crucial to understand what appeals to your audiences.  If you upload a picture of a sale going on at your company to Instagram and 27,000 people like it, that most likely means that people love sales! Lastly, economic value is mentioned, which is basically the fundamental use for companies to use social media platforms to spread information about their business/product/services.  Economic Value = Sum of Short and Long Term Revenue and Cost Savings.  “Social media participation done right, adds value to the company’s bottom-line.”  This is very important for companies to measure and manage.  Koshik recommends using Google Analytics, Omniture, CoreIBMInsights, WebTrends, etc. to measure the economic benefit (or loss – but no company wants that) that the use of social media can create.  One of the Human Resources Professionals from New York City’s 21 Club came into my Food & Beverage class about two weeks ago.  She mentioned how her companies monitors their success on social media by using something like a code given out on a social platform that says something like “20% off if you mention this code at your table.”  This can be used to see how many people are actually taking advantage of what companies offer throughout social media.  The 20% off post may have gotten 1500 likes, but only 350 people came in and actually used the code to receive 20% off.  This is another way that companies can monitor the success of their posts. Not only is it very important that companies spend time monitoring the success of their posts, but they must make sure that their posts are so enticing, vibrant, eye-catching, so that they really capture the attention of their users.  In the article, The Social Media Reader, it says “As social media becomes increasingly pervasive in everyday life, more and more people will be overwhelmed by the information surrounding them. And they will have to make choices. Networked technologies allow us to extend our reach, to connect across space and time, to find people with shared interests and gather en masse for social and political purposes. But time and attention are scarce resources.” Because time and attention are scarce resources, companies must strategize their posts so that they create positive attention and receive interest from the guest, customers, and users of the companies’ products.  Ultimately, success on social media can be measured by many of the ways mention above.  Companies that are spending time and money using social media to market to their costumers really must spend the time analyzing their posts, likes, shares, reach, views, etc. to measure the profitability that social media is bringing to their companies.

http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/best-social-media-metrics-conversation-amplification-applause-economic-value/

https://archive.org/stream/TheSocialMediaReader/Mandiberg-theSocialMediaReader-cc-by-sa-nc_djvu.txt

Exploring the Depths of Social Media

As we all know by this point, social media is clearly a big part of today’s world.  Whether looking at it for personal social use or business marketing use, it is constantly being used and becoming more and more popular.  There are many different platforms of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tencent QQ, LinkedIn, Pheed, and Foursquare to name a few.  All of these platforms are in fact very different, what a surprise! If all social media platforms were the same, they would not be as successful as they are because they would not offer a unique experience from one platform to another.  Because I am going into Event Management, I am realizing the increased importance of social media in the business world.  Many companies use social media to talk and market to their customers.  Many careers today are now having titles like “Social Media Marketing Manager” and “Director of Social Media,” which proves the importance of social media in the business world.  When holding positions like the ones mentioned and deciding on the best ways to be involved in the lives of your customers, it is critical to examine the differences between the social platforms and determine which works best for what you and your company are trying to accomplish. For the purpose of this blog post, I will be examining the differences between Instagram and LinkedIn to see how differently these sites allow companies to interact with customers and other people in general. Instagram: According to Instagram’s homepage, it is a way to “Capture and Share the World’s Moments.  Instagram is a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends and family.  Take a picture or video, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post to Instagram – it’s that easy.  You can even share to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and more.  It’s a new way to see the world. Oh yeah, did we mention it’s free?”  The use of the word world twice on the home page of Instagram is very interesting. By opening with “Capture and Share the World’s Moments”  Instagram feels instantly like a platform that connects many diverse people and their experiences.  All of this can be seen on the homepage before even signing up for an account.  Once you are signed in, you setup your account.  You can start by creating your name, which really can be whatever you want, then you can upload a user photo.  After this, it is now time for the wonder to begin.  You can upload your own photos by either taking a photo at that moment or uploading one from the gallery in your phone or computer.  As mentioned in the statements on Instagram’s homepage you are able to apply a filter to your picture to “transform its look and feel.”  These filters can emphasizes color, shapes, and make the pictures more than just a quick snap shot of life.  You can add captions to the photos you upload; in the captions you can tag people and you can use hashtags to get even more notice from people if they happen to search or see the hashtag. People can follow your account, and you can search people and follow them too.  As a user you have the ability to like and comment on other’s photos.  Other users are able to do this to your photos as well!  One interesting feature of Instagram that is not often used or talked about is the “Posts You’ve Liked” section in the options of your own account.  This is a nice feature that allows you to view the posts you have like in the past. Looking at Instagram from the perspective of a business professional, you can see many opportunities to market for your company.  A company Instagram account can be created and used to connect with customers of the company.  For instance, American Apparel is a very well known clothing brand.  They use Instagram to upload the current clothes that are available in the stores.  Clothing is either presented on models or on a flat surface to showcase the outfits.  American Apparel has the ability to edit their photos to emphasize a particular look or piece of clothing.  They also use Instagram to post videos and pictures about certain sales they have going on.  This can allow their customers/followers to see on a day to day basis what is going on in the store and attract many customers in.  I am a follower of American Apparel and find myself frequently in that store because of the posts they share on Instagram.  Clearly, Instagram serves as a great way for companies to market their products to their customers on a daily basis.  They can post offers, news, interesting facts discount codes, and so much more to be closer related to their customers and get them into the store or using the products. LinkedIn:  LinkedIn is a social platform that initially does not give a lot of information on its homepage.  When going to LinkedIn.com the homepage says “Be great at what you do.”  It then says “Get started – it’s free. Registration takes less than 2 minutes. ” The homepage also has six portrait style pictures of people who seem to be dressed somewhat nicely, meaning they are not lounging on the couch, but seemed put together for the picture. Unlike Instagram, which gave you a breakdown of what the site is about, LinkedIn does not really provide much information to let a new user know what it is about. Without anymore information, I would guess that LinkedIn is a social platform used to connect people for more professional reasons.  I would infer this because of the “Be great at what you do” statement makes it seem like it is for business use.  After creating an account and signing into LinkedIn, the headings on the top left read Home, Profile, Network, Jobs, Interests; this confirms that LinkedIn is a social platform used for business interaction.  When creating your LinkedIn profile, you include information like previous or current schooling, degrees, job experience, honors and awards, other professional information, and a profile picture.  Basically this is a form of social media in which you are creating and sharing your resumé instead of sharing moment to moment updates like Twitter or fun personal statuses and pictures like Facebook.  Once your account is set up you can search for either people you know or people who have things in common with you; this part is similar to other social networks.  Because I am a Hospitality student, I have certain “tags” that come with my profile that people can find me by.  For example, when searching New York University, Hospitality Management, Event Planning, I may come up because of the words mentioned in my background and experience sections.  This allows people to get easily connected.  In the search bar on the top of the page on Linked it says “Search for people, jobs, companies, and more…”  You are able to search positions, companies, and much more on LinkedIn, but it is definitely used for business purposes. As a business professional, I would want my LinkedIn page to represent my experiences and expertise very well.  I would like to have my company well represented by what I have in my information.  LinkedIn differs now from Instagram, and many other types of social media, because if using LinkedIn for business purposes, it would be less of a marketing act and more of a recruitment act.  This means that if I were someone working for the Waldorf Astoria and needed some interns, I could search Hospitality, New York University, Event Management, and so much more to find candidates from NYU’s Hospitality program to become the new interns.  I myself as an NYU Hospitality student can use LinkedIn to connect with Hospitality Professionals in order to gain an internship or a job in the future.  LinkedIn connects people based on similar career fields and offers a platform to share information and build working relationships. Analysis: In terms of marketing, Instagram is better to share interesting pictures, sales, products, and much more to entice current and new customers to purchase the company’s product.  It does not take much money for a company to take a picture of something new they are offering and share it to Instagram.  I would have someone be in charge of social media marketing and use Instagram to spread more awareness about our company and what we have to offer.  I would want that employee or team of employees to try to increase followers by at least 100 per week based on the amount of reach they are receiving from the posts. Because Instagram is not really made for back and forth communication, other than comments on pictures shared, I would like the company Instagram to have a contact email in the bio section in order for customers to be able to contact someone if they have a question about the company or product.   In terms of recruitment, as stated previously, LinkedIn can easily be used to connect employees, business professionals, and people looking for work and business connections.  I think it is important for managers in companies to have LinkedIn pages in order for many other people to learn more about the company and what jobs they have to offer.  I feel that LinkedIn is more of a personal choice, meaning a company may not require its employees to have a LinkedIn but may recommend having one.  Whereas a company Instagram would most likely be a part of the marketing department and not required of employees to have personal Instagram accounts. It is clear to see that there are differences between platforms of social media.  When comparing Instagram and LinkedIn it is almost difficult to see the similarities between the two because they offer and can be used for such different reasons.  Yes, they both connect people based on similar interests, but they can be utilized so differently in terms of personal and business use. I hope this analysis has not bored you, but opened your mind to really looking at the depths of social platforms and what they have to offer. Leen

Organization’s Communications

One of my favorite things that I follow on social media is Christian groups.  One in particular is Pastor Greg Laurie.  I am a Christian and have a great relationship with God and Jesus.  I feel that it is very helpful and nice to be constantly reminded of my faith while scrolling through my Facebook or Instagram or Twitter feed.  Greg Laurie uses different forms of social media to get more notice for what he is doing.  For instance, he posts pictures on Instagram and Facebook when he will be preaching a new topic.  Usually these kinds of pictures include the title of the message and when and where it will be taking place.  One post he recently uploaded said “The Power of Your Story, Sunday at Harvest.”  If you are a follower of Greg Laurie, not only on social media but of his talks, events, and books, you know that Harvest stand for Harvest America.  Harvest America is his initiative to spread the word of God.  On the website, http://harvestamerica.com/, it says “Proclaiming the Gospel live across the nation.”  Sometimes I share statuses that Greg posts on Facebook so that my friends can see the wonderful things he has to say so they can begin a relationship with God.  This public communication on social media, as I stated before, is a nice reminder throughout the day of God.  I really enjoy scrolling through pictures on Instagram and seeing a picture of a cute dog, and delicious food, and then a wonderful picture of either a new talk that Greg will be giving soon or a picture with a nice quote about Jesus.  This is different from other forms of media because I am not constantly checking news channels, newspapers, magazines, etc. throughout the day. Because we live in such a social world, I am however frequently checking Instagram, Facebook, and sometimes Twitter.  I follow other Christian groups that also provide wonderful reminders of God that seriously make me happier throughout the day.  Greg Laurie is in his sixties and still avidly uses social media.  I believe that he does this because it is a way to connect with other believers on a day to day basis with little tid-bits of information or inspirational quotes.  Through social media, he is able to reach and attract younger audiences on different platforms; myself being an example. I happen to just tune in to Greg Laurie’s radio station this week and guess what the topic was…Social Media! Greg was speaking with the radio host and his son about how to use social media platforms to reach more people with the glory of God.  “Instead of being afraid of this technology, I say we use it.  It’s a way to communicate with a lot of people quickly. ” Greg said this when explaining about why he uses social media.  The main purpose of him speaking about social media at that specific time on the radio was to get his radio listeners interested in other platforms to follow Greg Laurie by.  Greg’s son explained the different platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  They created a hashtag that they want their users to use when positing on Twitter: #askgreglaurie.  Greg told his followers to ask a question on Twitter and use the hashtag so that he will see it and respond that way, instead of the usual way he communicates with his radio listeners through the phone.  They explain how the purpose of a hashtag is to be linked in with other people who are interested in the same topic; in this case, it will be all the people asking questions to Greg Laurie.  Greg further explains how when a hashtag is greatly used it begins trending.  “When you trend on Twitter it means that other people pay attention.  It brings them into the loop. We want to bring them into the loop to talk about the Lord.  And so this is just taking this platform of social media and using it for God’s glory.”  That right there perfectly explains why Greg Laurie uses social media.  He wants more and more people to now about and connect over the glory of God, and what better way to reach many people quickly than through social media.  “Young kids are using it like crazy, and older folks are adopting it more and more.” Greg explains how many people can hear what he has to say through social media young or old.  It is a great way to spread the word of God to many people quickly.  Honestly, there is nothing about these Christian posts on social media that I do not like.  As mentioned before, I really enjoy seeing them throughout the day and I enjoy frequently being reminded of God’s love for us.

Stay Social

Leen

Social Society

Society.  What is society? According to a Google search of the word society, a society is an aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.  Synonyms to the word are community, the general public, and the people.  Another definition that Google offers is an organization or club formed for a particular purpose of activity.  Synonyms to this definition of society include association, club, group, league, etc.  When we look at social media’s place in society, or society’s place in social media, I believe it is important to know the actual definition of society, which is why I opened with the basic definitions.  The current state of social media in society is that it is becoming increasingly popular all the time.  Older people ranging 50+ are becoming familiar with the term “hashtag,” which according to Google is defined as “(on social media sites such as Twitter) a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign ‘#’ and used to identify messages on a specific topic.”  This is a clear representation of social media’s influence on our society.  It seems as through the younger generation people, avid users of social media, may know the # sign as the hashtag instead of the number sign or the pound sign.  While still staying with the topic of the hashtag, television shows now have a small pop up on the bottom or top of screens with a # and then a few words.  For instance, if a couple in a show was about to break up, a “#thebreakup” may pop up on the screen.  The purpose of such hashtags is to offer a sign of encouragement for viewers to Tweet about the part of the episode and relate and connect with other viewers who are watching at the same time.  Another example of social media in society relates to what just happened with the Oscars this past Sunday.  Ellen Degeneres, the host of the Oscars, took a picture with other celebrities and posted it to Twitter.  She said she wanted to see if she could get that picture to break the record for most retweets ever.  This was actually so successful that Twitter crashed for a few moments due to the amount of participation (the amount of retweets).  This example also reveals society’s current state within social media.  Many people watching the Oscars so wanted to be a part of this “record-breaking moment” that they participated on Twitter and retweeted as soon as they could.  This exposes society’s desire to be a part of something.  I can say that I, myself, participated and retweeted the picture.  Many people desire to be a part of something, and by having a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or any other social media account allows people to feel as if they are a part of something, while they may be sitting on their couches by themselves.  Social media can be good for society to keep they up-to-date with current topics.   As you can see, the President of the United States, has a Twitter account that he uses to keep his followers on point with what he is currently doing and dealing with in office: https://twitter.com/BarackObama.  In my opinion, for reasons like the one just mentioned, social media is good for society because it is a quick way of sharing information to keep people connected and on the same page.  There are certainly ways in which social media may be bad for society.  Because social media is a fact-paced world of sharing information, if an incorrect piece of information gets shared, it may be quickly believed by many.  For instance, I really like the musician Bruno Mars.  I once saw on Facebook a status along with a posting of an article stating that “Bruno Mars Dies in Car Crash.”  I instantly became sadden and clicked on the link provided:http://bruno.mars.swellserver.com/news/top_stories/auto80.  I read the article and believed it until I researched further.  I found out the article had been a hoax and was a stupid way of “scaring” people through social media.  Many other occurrences happen all the time of false information that circulates throughout social media that has the ability to change the public opinion.   Something that is continually making social media a positive integral part of society is the use of businesses using social media to monitor consumer preferences and market to their customers.  In the area of college admissions, it is said that “With all the buzz about the role of social media in almost every industry, it shouldn’t be surprising that it has increasingly become a significant part of the college admissions process. A Zinch survey last year found that 68% of students used social media to research schools, and 38% said they used it as a research tool when deciding where to enroll. This has prompted college and universities to use social media as an informative recruitment tool, with 97% of schools using social media in their online recruitment efforts (up from 37% 10 years ago), according to the National Association for College Admissions Counseling” (more about this can be found http://blog.linkedin.com/2013/12/04/the-role-of-social-media-in-college-admissions).  In fact, this scenario is both positive and threatening to society.  While it is positive that colleges and universities are using social media to provide what they have to offer to the future applicants, it can be threatening to future applicants if the universities can see their social media pages.  Applicants may post inappropriate pictures or statuses that are unattractive as a candidate for admission.  It is important to filter what you share in order to not cause problems for yourself in the present or the future.  As more and more colleges, universities, and major companies use social media to scope out their potential students and employees, people may be screened out because of their postings.  This seems as a negative to people yet a positive to the companies because they are screening out people for reasons of inappropriateness.  In a very interesting article titled Social Problems Everywhere and No Attention to Spare, it is clear to see that there are many factors that influence what is discussed publicly throughout social media.  The article mentions that a lot of what is shared today, thanks to social media, is more on the minor level of problems versus the economy or world issues: “Although it is definitely still possible for a few big issues, like the economy and the election race, to dominate people’s attention, most other issues never leave the relatively small public arenas of their interest groups and engaged publics. Because the internet has led to so many choices in news mediums, such as blogs, social media, YouTube, and news Web sites, the public’s attention is becoming more and more scattered and difficult to attract” http://climateshiftproject.org/2013/09/03/social-problems-everywhere-and-no-attention-to-spare.  We can see that the “pressing issues” of today that dominate throughout the social media sources may not be relatively important to the real world.  Again using the Oscars retweet picture,  that spread widely across social media within minutes and does not really have any affect or benefit to people’s lives.  Social media and society are 100% related because what is social media without society.  Without people’s common interests, social media platforms would not be as successful as they are today.  In a way, social media creates a society of its own.  People become a part of something and share common interests with many people across the world.  Our lives are developing in interesting ways, and therefore I leave you with: 

“You are what you share” (CLB)

Leen

Social Media and Relationships

Social media is increasing in popularity all the time. This is changing and reshaping the way in which people interact with each other. How does social media affect relationships is a very interesting question that does not have a simple answer. Is it good or bad for relationships? Again no simple answer to that question either. The answers to these questions are mainly opinion based. Because this is my blog, I will be obviously giving the depths of my own opinion on this topic. I believe that social media affects different relationships in different ways. For long distance friendships social media can be a great way to keep people connected and in no way interacting in each other’s lives. For instance, my best friend Sara and I attend different universities and through Facebook we like each other’s pictures, write wall posts back and forth, and goes beyond the “one-dimensional” communication of texting. I say one-dimensional because texting is more of just writing back and forth to each other. Social media, Facebook in this case, allows people to view your public pictures, not just the certain ones you choose to send to friends through text. Because of the option of wall posts, I am able to take a YouTube video and send it to Sara and tag others in it as well so they can all view the video. Another example of the benefits of social media on friendships is my mother and her high school classmate. They have remained friends over the years rough Facebook even though her friend now lives in Hawaii. They can view each other’s pictures and statuses too see what is going on within each other’s lives. In the two scenarios mentioned above, my mother and I stay up-to-date with our actual friends through social media.  Social media, however, changes the way in which we use the word “friend.” I have about 600 “friends” on Facebook.  Would I consider myself actually friends with about 90% of those people, no.  Surely if I saw them in public I would say hello, but I do not engage with most of those people outside of social media.  This can be understood more through this article: http://www.richardgjonesjr.com/blog/2013/5/12/how-does-social-media-affect-our-relationships-interpersonal-9.html. Moving on to romantic relationships, I believe social media creates a great deal of strain on romantic relationships. Although people can stay socially connected to their significant others, it may create problems if people are tagged in pictures with other people or if a boyfriend likes a picture of a girl on Instagram. This may upset his girlfriend even though he is just friends with the girl in the picture. Furthermore, two people with existing romantic relationships who make their friendship with each other known through social media may cause disruptions within their romantic relationships. Therefore, I believe social media strengths friendships and strains romantic relationships. Given that relationships may be strained through what occurs between users, people should monitor what they do on social media. Maybe liking a picture of a friend of the opposite sex could cause a problem for a relationship and therefore, should be thought of before doing. One should think of the scenario from their partner’s point of view and think if it would make themselves unhappy or not. If the answer is that they would be unhappy if it happened to them, then most likely they should not do it to their partner. I feel that this is highly based on opinion, however I also believe that many people would agree with my position. As a society, we should filter hat wears hare on social media and with whom we share with. On topics dealing with employment, many employers and/or colleges look up potential candidates on social media to see the “real them.” However, it is interesting to think that people are not necessarily 100% them real selves based on what they share throughout social media. As stated in a previous blog, people can shape what they want to share to make their lives appear the way they want them to.  Also, social media is said to be increasing our interactions with others, but not through face-to-face interactions, but those based on the Internet.  This is an interesting change within out society that greatly makes sense because of social media: http://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/051313p10.shtml.