Social media originated as a tool that people used to interact with friends and family but was later adopted by businesses that wanted to take advantage of a popular new communication method to reach out to customers. The power of social media is the ability to connect and share information with anyone on Earth (or multitudes of people) as long as they also use social media.
One challenge is that militant groups have begun to see social media as a major organizing and recruiting tool.[57] The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIL, ISIS, and Daesh, has used social media to promote its cause. ISIS produces an online magazine named the Islamic State Report to recruit more fighters.[58] Social media platforms have been weaponized by state-sponsored cyber groups to attack governments in the United States, European Union, and Middle East. Although phishing attacks via email are the most commonly used tactic to breach government networks, phishing attacks on social media rose 500% in 2016.[59]
According to research from UCLA, teenage brains' reward circuits were more active when teenager's photos were liked by more peers. This has both positive and negative features. Teenagers and young adults befriend people online whom they don't know well. This opens the possibility of a child being influenced by people who engage in risk-taking behavior. When children have several hundred online connections there is no way for parents to know who they are.[107]
Social media is not something you can simply "tack on" to the rest of your marketing, branding, PR, and advertising efforts; it needs to be a fully integrated part of the mix. In doing so, you can create a cohesive and scalable experience for your customers. Think of it as a means to an end, and not an end in itself. Also, it's not as hard as it sounds.
According to research from UCLA, teenage brains' reward circuits were more active when teenager's photos were liked by more peers. This has both positive and negative features. Teenagers and young adults befriend people online whom they don't know well. This opens the possibility of a child being influenced by people who engage in risk-taking behavior. When children have several hundred online connections there is no way for parents to know who they are.[107]

^ Kittur, Aniket; Suh, Bongowon; Chi, Ed H. (2008). "Can you ever trust a wiki?: Impacting perceived trustworthiness in wikipedia" (PDF). In Begole, Bo; McDonald, David M. Proceedings of the ACM 2008 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work: November 8-12, 2008, San Diego, California. New York, N.Y.: ACM Press. doi:10.1145/1460563.1460639. ISBN 978-1-60558-007-4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-11-30.
Checking updates on friends' activities on social media is associated with the "fear of missing out" (FOMO), the "pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent".[100] FOMO is a social anxiety[101] characterized by "a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing".[102] It has negative influences on people's psychological health and well-being because it could contribute to negative mood and depressed feelings.[103]
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.
Whether you choose to promote your products, services, or talent, leveraging the power of social media can help you take your business to the next level. That is with the right plan and strategy, of course. That is why at this year’s Entrepreneurs Summit, experts will be sharing tips and advice to help business owners and entrepreneurs monetize their online presence.
Recent research has demonstrated that social media, and media in general, have the power to increase the scope of stereotypes not only in children but people all ages.[130] Three researchers at Blanquerna University, Spain, examined how adolescents interact with social media and specifically Facebook. They suggest that interactions on the website encourage representing oneself in the traditional gender constructs, which helps maintain gender stereotypes.[131] The authors noted that girls generally show more emotion in their posts and more frequently change their profile pictures, which according to some psychologists can lead to self-objectification.[132] On the other hand, the researchers found that boys prefer to portray themselves as strong, independent, and powerful.[133] For example, men often post pictures of objects and not themselves, and rarely change their profile pictures; using the pages more for entertainment and pragmatic reasons. In contrast girls generally post more images that include themselves, friends and things they have emotional ties to, which the researchers attributed that to the higher emotional intelligence of girls at a younger age. The authors sampled over 632 girls and boys from the ages of 12–16 from Spain in an effort to confirm their beliefs. The researchers concluded that masculinity is more commonly associated with a positive psychological well-being, while femininity displays less psychological well-being.[134] Furthermore, the researchers discovered that people tend not to completely conform to either stereotype, and encompass desirable parts of both. Users of Facebook generally use their profile to reflect that they are a "normal" person. Social media was found to uphold gender stereotypes both feminine and masculine. The researchers also noted that the traditional stereotypes are often upheld by boys more so than girls. The authors described how neither stereotype was entirely positive, but most people viewed masculine values as more positive.

The other big mistake retailers make is to use social media to talk about what is important to them rather than talking about what is important to the customer. As a retailer, you may think it is great to shout that you have a sale going on; and in some regards, this would be true. But, if that's the only reason you are getting involved in social media it won't be beneficial. Your goal should be to provide content that is relevant to your customer and engage with them to the point that they want to share your post with others.

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]


There are several negative effects to social media which receive criticism, for example regarding privacy issues,[137] information overload[138] and Internet fraud. Social media can also have negative social effects on users. Angry or emotional conversations can lead to real-world interactions outside of the Internet, which can get users into dangerous situations. Some users have experienced threats of violence online and have feared these threats manifesting themselves offline. Studies also show that social media have negative effects on peoples' self-esteem and self-worth. The authors of "Who Compares and Despairs? The Effect of Social Comparison Orientation on Social Media Use and its Outcomes"[139] found that people with a higher social comparison orientation appear to use social media more heavily than people with low social comparison orientation. This finding was consistent with other studies that found people with high social comparison orientation make more social comparisons once on social media. People compare their own lives to the lives of their friends through their friends' posts. People are motivated to portray themselves in a way that is appropriate to the situation and serves their best interest. Often the things posted online are the positive aspects of people's lives, making other people question why their own lives are not as exciting or fulfilling. This can lead to depression and other self-esteem issues as well as decrease their satisfaction of life as they feel if their life is not exciting enough to put online it is not as good as their friends or family.[140]
The picture here is a bit different if we look at the brand names. WhatsApp and Messenger are in a close race for the top spot. But both of these most popular social media apps are owned by Facebook so the competition may not be as fierce as between completely separate companies. Then there’s a lot of Asian apps and then on the sixth spot is Instagram, again owned by Facebook.
Mobile social media refer to the use of social media on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. Mobile social media are a useful application of mobile marketing because the creation, exchange, and circulation of user-generated content can assist companies with marketing research, communication, and relationship development.[24] Mobile social media differ from others because they incorporate the current location of the user (location-sensitivity) or the time delay between sending and receiving messages (time-sensitivity). According to Andreas Kaplan, mobile social media applications can be differentiated among four types:[24]
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