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.
Publishing content has become exponentially simpler over the last several years, which has helped skyrocket the use of social media. Non-technical web users are now able to easily create content on a rapidly growing number of platforms, including those that are owned (hosted communities, blogs, etc.), rented (social networks or third-party communities), and occupied (commenting, contributing, etc.). Today's web has shifted from a "one-to-many" to a "many-to-many" method of engagement, and we're loving it.
There is no straight and easy way to make money online. Most people use a platform to create opportunities for their business in order to make the money, but there is still not a direct way to the money. That’s because there’s another side of the pocketbook—you know, the person you’re targeting. This person needs more than to find your site out of the blue, stumble upon the product they have always been looking for, and then purchase. It doesn’t happen that way anymore.
Users typically access social media services via web-based technologies on desktops and laptops, or download services that offer social media functionality to their mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablets). As users engage with these electronic services, they create highly interactive platforms through which individuals, communities, and organizations can share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content or pre-made content posted online.