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.
Some social media sites have potential for content posted there to spread virally over social networks. The term is an analogy to the concept of viral infections, which can spread rapidly from person to person. In a social media context, content or websites that are "viral" (or which "go viral") are those with a greater likelihood that users will reshare content posted (by another user) to their social network, leading to further sharing. In some cases, posts containing popular content or fast-breaking news have been rapidly shared and reshared by a huge number of users. Many social media sites provide a specific functionality to help users reshare content, such as Twitter's retweet button, Pinterest's pin function, Facebook's share option or Tumblr's reblog function. Businesses have a particular interest in viral marketing tactics because a viral campaign can achieve widespread advertising coverage (particularly if the viral reposting itself makes the news) for a fraction of the cost of a traditional marketing campaign, which typically uses printed materials, like newspapers, magazines, mailings, and billboards, and television and radio commercials. Nonprofit organizations and activists may have similar interests in posting content on social media sites with the aim of it going viral. A popular component and feature of Twitter is retweeting. Twitter allows other people to keep up with important events, stay connected with their peers, and can contribute in various ways throughout social media. When certain posts become popular, they start to get retweeted over and over again, becoming viral. Hashtags can be used in tweets, and can also be used to take count of how many people have used that hashtag.
Maybe you know the top 3 or even the top 5 social networking sites, but do you know what’s happening behind them? We maintain the list of top 15 most popular social networking worldwide. New social media sites are coming and going, but these have stood the test of time. We update this list of social media sites with new data as it becomes available. The data in this list combines global and US social media visitors. The actual numbers of monthly visitors are gathered from different sites. We bring you the latest data out there.
Google+ isn’t so different from Facebook and Twitter in that it allows you to get a message out to a lot of people. The one nice thing about it, though, is that you can separate people into different “circles,” so you can really then target different people of different demographics with your messages and test which marketing messages worked best with who. It’s a great tool to use to really test the potential success of a social media marketing scheme.
For Malcolm Gladwell, the role of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, in revolutions and protests is overstated. On one hand, social media make it easier for individuals, and in this case activists, to express themselves. On the other hand, it is harder for that expression to have an impact. Gladwell distinguishes between social media activism and high risk activism, which brings real changes. Activism and especially high-risk activism involves strong-tie relationships, hierarchies, coordination, motivation, exposing oneself to high risks, making sacrifices. Gladwell discusses that social media are built around weak ties and he argues that "social networks are effective at increasing participation — by lessening the level of motivation that participation requires". According to him "Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice, but by motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice".
But when you are from a digitally native generation, quitting social media can feel like joining a monastery. Amanuel was recently asked by co-workers if she had Snapchat. “I said no,” Amanuel remembers, “and I instantly heard, like, gasps. It was like I’d revealed something disgusting.” She explained that she did have a Snapchat handle, but never used it. “Relief came out of their eyes! It was really weird.”