For individuals, social media is used to keep in touch with friends and extended family, network for career opportunities, find people from all over the globe who share a common interest, share content and more. Those who engage in these activities are part of a virtual social network. For businesses, social media is an indispensable tool for finding and engaging with customers, sales, advertising and promotion, gauging trends and offering customer service. Governments and politicians utilize social media to engage with constituents and voters.
Stay true to who you are. Always be the same person—that person that they came to know and trust five months ago. If you change who you are, you disrupt that trust and may have to start over. That is why consistency is so important in building trust, why authenticity is important in growing trust, and why trust is such an important part of the relationship process.
Another way influencers can make money from digital products is to co-create content with brands, either by selling advertising and editorial space to them, or by being commissioned specifically to create content. An example of this strategy in action is Gritty Pretty, a beauty website and digital magazine founded and edited by Australian beauty editor Eleanor Pendleton. Eleanor created Gritty Pretty to share and monetize her beauty tips, knowledge, recommendations and experience with her audience, and works with brands to create sponsored content, editorial and ads to ultimately fund the magazine and support her team.
Social media often features in political struggles to control public perception and online activity. In some countries, Internet police or secret police monitor or control citizens' use of social media. For example, in 2013 some social media was banned in Turkey after the Taksim Gezi Park protests. Both Twitter and YouTube were temporarily suspended in the country by a court's decision. A new law, passed by Turkish Parliament, has granted immunity to Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) personnel. The TİB was also given the authority to block access to specific websites without the need for a court order.[196] Yet TİB's 2014 blocking of Twitter was ruled by the constitutional court to violate free speech.[197] More recently, in the 2014 Thai coup d'état, the public was explicitly instructed not to 'share' or 'like' dissenting views on social media or face prison. In July of that same year, in response to WikiLeaks' release of a secret suppression order made by the Victorian Supreme Court, media lawyers were quoted in the Australian media to the effect that "anyone who tweets a link to the Wikileaks report, posts it on Facebook, or shares it in any way online could also face charges".[198]
Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.[1] The variety of stand-alone and built-in social media services currently available introduces challenges of definition; however, there are some common features:[2]
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