Social Media continues to grow tremendously. The growth is clearly visible with the growth spurts that MySpace, and especially facebook has had in the past year. In fact, facebook is no longer exclusive to just college aged kids, or those recently out of college. According to research data done iStrategyLabs, the fastest growing group within facebook has been the 35-54 year old segment. They grew at a rate of 172.9% in 2008 alone! The allure of facebook has been so great that the growth over six months for that age group grew at a massive 276.4%. Social networks, (Social Media) is here to stay. It is not going anywhere, as people of all ages are logging on to connect with friends, find old friends, and find new ones.
As Social Networks, twitter, and tumblr, which are categorically called social media sites continue to grow, it becomes more and more difficult for marketers and companies to get their branding and message to their intended target audience. The days of passive viewers are no longer here. Instead, the days of the engaged and informed viewers are here. What does this mean for companies? It means that they need to get smarter, and realize that people are not going to buy or use your products and services because of a flashy video production. Instead, they will use it if they make the decision that it is something they want and need.
If you look towards facebook’s biggest application right now, it is “25 Random Things About Me”. According to USA Today who did the report, “Social networks represent a paradigm shift in communicating. ‘This is the beginning of what will be a never-ending raft of social network games like this.’ This is where internet marketing can work at its best. Users are putting in information that they themselves have chosen to share with the world. For example, if you are an avid book reader, and have a preference for Fantasy/SciFi books, then perhaps you may put that “The Wheel of Time” series is your favorite book. If marketers are seeking book lovers of that particular genre, they now have a perfect way of doing targeted advertising, and the end user will more than likely be more receptive than someone who has never read a book in their life, and has no fondness for anything out of this world.
For companies to be able to not only survive, but to thrive in this global market with a recession, it is imperative that they realize that people are much smarter and aware than they have ever been any other time in history. We know more about the world though the connectedness of television, and the Internet which is now not only tied to a desk at work or at home, but available on all mobile TCP/IP devices such as the iPhone, blackberry, and much more.