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.
Use analytics - It’s important to pause every now and then and take stock of what has done well on your social media accounts and what hasn’t. Sites like Fanpage Karma and Squarelovin (Instagram only), will provide data on which of your posts have been most popular. You can use this to identify what content tends to work best, and the best time to post it.
Relationships flourish when you cultivate them, and no other area offers you the opportunity to do this as well as social media. Social channels have broken down the walls between individuals at an unprecedented rate. In 2011, Facebook released data showing that its users were, on average, 3.74 degrees of separation away from one another, making them nearly as connected to each other as Kevin Bacon is to the rest of Hollywood. In the years since that study, the network has only continued to grow. That's pretty amazing, and social media can take credit for making it happen.
Another great thing about LinkedIn is that you can create “groups” where professionals can all come together and share thoughts and ideas. If you have a question or want to know of someone’s experience with something, you have a group of people who have “been there, done that.” They’ll be able to help guide your decisions and help you make your business more profitable than it has ever been before.

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There has been rapid growth in the number of US patent applications that cover new technologies related to social media, and the number of them that are published has been growing rapidly over the past five years. There are now over 2000 published patent applications.[39] As many as 7000 applications may be currently on file including those that haven't been published yet. Only slightly over 100 of these applications have issued as patents, however, largely due to the multi-year backlog in examination of business method patents, patents which outline and claim new methods of doing business.[40]
It is widely believed that young people are hopelessly devoted to social media. Teenagers, according to this stereotype, tweet, gram, Snap and scroll. But for every young person hunched over a screen, there are others for whom social media no longer holds such an allure. These teens are turning their backs on the technology – and there are more of them than you might think.
Most social media accounts post random thoughts and information that doesn’t target any specific demographic. If you intend to earn money through social media, however, it is important to focus on a single subject which you are good at or to pick a specific area to concentrate on. You should then tailor all your posts to fit into the niche you have settled on.
As social media usage has become increasingly widespread, social media has to a large extent come to be subjected to commercialization by marketing companies and advertising agencies.[187] Christofer Laurell, a digital marketing researcher, suggested that the social media landscape currently consists of three types of places because of this development: consumer-dominated places, professionally dominated places and places undergoing commercialization.[188] As social media becomes commercialized, this process have been shown to create novel forms of value networks stretching between consumer and producer[189] in which a combination of personal, private and commercial contents are created.[190]
Be sure to integrate social media into your marketing efforts as early as possible to help amplify and solidify your work rather than waiting until the end of a planning cycle to explore social options. If a social presence is clear from the start, your branding will benefit from additional customer touchpoints, PR will see a lift in impressions and reach, and customer service can proactively listen and activate where necessary.
GeoCities was one of the Internet's earliest social networking websites, appearing in November 1994, followed by Classmates in December 1995, Six Degrees in May 1997, Open Diary in October 1998, LiveJournal in April 1999, Ryze in October 2001, Friendster in March 2002, LinkedIn in May 2003, hi5 in June 2003, MySpace in August 2003, Orkut in January 2004, Facebook in February 2004, Yahoo! 360° in March 2005, Bebo in July 2005, Twitter in July 2006, Tumblr in February 2007, and Google+ in July 2011.[12][13][14] As operating systems with a graphical user interface, such as Windows 95 and Mac OS begin to emerge and gain popularity, this created an environment that allows for early social media platforms to thrive and exist.[15][16]
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