Social media is the new sheriff in town thanks to popular social sites such as Facebook that contain more than 2 billion followers. Social media has transformed our lives in tremendous ways.Some positive and some negative, its transformation on social life cannot be understated.
Two decades ago, our parents didn’t have the opportunity to connect with people outside their geographical locations. More so, acquiring information was quite difficult for them, unlike today. In the age we live in, information can easily be accessed because of news on social media.
People are now informed about global issues than it was before. It’s easier to know what your friend is doing from the other side of the world. Geographical locations are no longer barriers to reckon with.
There are numerous social networking sites that help people to connect. Some of these sites apart from Facebook include Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ among many others. You have no limitations to the number of sites you can join.
Each site comes with its own format and unique customer experience. Social media sites have gained popularity because of their ability to keep people far away from each other engaged. A message in social media communicates to millions of people at one go; making a fast channel of communication.
Advantages of social media
It’s no doubt that social media has brought a myriad benefit to our day to day lives. For instance,
- People have access to more contacts
Unlike the typical phonebook that can only contain a handful of contacts, a social media account can hold several. Facebook can hold friends and followers of up to 5000.
Such a large provision allows you to have contacts of relatives, friends and acquaintances that you can always get in touch with. Social networking sites make this even more interesting by allowing photo sharing,audio and video uploads.
This not only makes the engagement and captivating but interesting as well.
- Product description and reviews
With E-commerce at its height, buying things online appears to be the better option for many consumers. To purchase the best products, consumers need a first-hand knowledge on the specs of the product. This is where a product review becomes handy.
Previous users of an item can write a product description of the product they bought and used. This helps users who have never seen the product to get to know about it before they try it out.
- Group formation features for people with a common interest
Apart from the interactions and engagement on social media, users with a common interest/goals also have the benefit of forming social media groups.
Groups are ideal for bringing people who share something in common together. Social media groups can be formed for various reasons.
Some are formed for business ideas, investment purposes, marketing, family groupings, job groupings and so forth.
- Economic improvement
This is indeed phenomenal. Social media has thousands of employees who would never have gotten employed if it was never to be.
Major social sites such as Facebook and Linkedin boast of more than over 5000 employees. Twitter boasts of at least3000 employees.
Given that unemployment is a pertinent issue most governments are grappling with, Social media has helped to reduce unemployment figures.
- Great impact on sales and marketing
Before social media came into existence,most entrepreneurs relied on traditional media to do marketing and sales. While we cannot underestimate the impact of traditional media on marketing, Social media has revolutionized sales and marketing to a whole new level.
A business or a brand could within a short time be the talk in town because of social networking. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter have revolutionized marketing through rigorous advertisement programs.
Google that owns Google+ came up with Google AdSense a platform for marketing your brand and products. Instagram has now an insta likes free platform marketers could use to popularize their brands.
Imagine your brand or business spread across several social networks. It’s very easy to get established and get potential clients in the process.
- Increased political campaigns and outreach
Gone are the days’ politicians had to attend several rallies and public events to interact with the public. At the click of a mouse, politicians influence masses through strong opinions, campaigns and a simple retweet.
The impact of social media on politics cuts both ways. The public can also engage and interact with a politician on social media without having to meet them.
Disadvantages of social media
While social media is good, it has brought with it a fair share of challenges.
- It consumes a lot of time
Because of the growth in mobile technology, the number of Smartphone users worldwide continues to increase by the day.
Social media is so live and transparent that you can’t afford to ignore it. Almost every second, thousands of updates show up on several social networks.
If not disciplined enough, Social media could interfere with your routines.
- It’s a social burden
Statistically, 51% of social media users feel stressed up after using social media. The possible reasons for such feelings could be varied. If you upload a photo and it happens to get few likes, that could be a potential cause for worry.
To add to this, people have become more connected on social media than in real life. It’s not uncommon to find a group of friends seated together but everyone is busy with their phones. They find more pleasure in chatting to their Facebook friends at the expense of people seated nearby.
Also, with increased social media activity, your personal information is at risk. It becomes socially unbearable to find your privacy violated on social media sites.
All said, the benefits of social media in our lives far outweigh its disadvantages. Today, it easier, faster and cheaper to spread information over a large mass of people than it was before. Sales and marketing have taken a whole new dimension and business online is booming.However, in all this euphoria, you want to guard against two important things in life: your time and privacy.