(Scroll down for an awesome video that illustrates my post.)
People use social media in different ways. Some use it to share inside jokes, funny Youtube videos and photos from last night’s party. Some use it to reconnect and communicate with old friends. Some use it to market themselves, network and find jobs. Some use it to market their companies, build a customer base and improve communication channels. Some use it to spread information throughout the world about important events, such as the Iranian protests, the Georiga-Russia conflict and the recent earthquake in Japan. And some just use it to post random brain farts about their daily lives.
Social media isn’t just Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn or Youtube; it is the culmination of all these tools that is transforming the way humans are able to connect and share information with one another. Twitter allows journalists and marketers to monitor real-time conversations about current events and brands. Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace enhance their abilities to track down sources or target prospective customers and employees. Youtube and DailyMotion enable bystanders to post eye-witness accounts of newsworthy situations, and companies to advertise and viralize their products and services for free. And all of these tools combined (and more) allow the integrated networking of information, support and ideas.
To borrow a phrase from the video I posted below, social media may go down in history as “the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution.” And 2009 may go down in history as the year of the Web 2.0 explosion.
The bottom line: Now is the time to embrace these tools to succeed in Economy 2.0.
Here’s a cool video to illustrate my point, posted by Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics. I recommend this book, as well as “Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Media” and “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman.