Social Networking Trends

Digital media trends are changing at a rapid rate. A social networking site is a place online place where users can create a profile and build a personal network that connects them to other users. These sites contain many features all rolled into one, providing avenues for both content creation and evaluation. Members share photos, thoughts, opinions and news. The sites also allow users to choose who gets to view their profiles. The number of people registering on social networking sites is growing at a rapid rate. Love it or hate it, one cannot deny that social networking is the trend of this decade. Facebook and Twitter both boasted triple-digit growth in 2009 and social networking now accounts for 11% of all time spent online (The Nielsen Company). This February, Facebook announced that its membership had grown to 400 million users worldwide. Twitter recently announced that they will soon reach 50 million tweets a day.

Over time social media has proven that it is able to bring benefits to both giant corporations and small businesses. These networks could be used for managing customer relations, advertising, marketing and sales, and even building and maintaining a brand. Most companies have social media policies in place. However, there have been concerns over loss in employee productivity and the consequences of online brand bashing. Prepare your organization well before jumping onto the social networking bandwagon. Next, identify your target audience. There is an overload of information available at the single click of a button and today's technologies are converging in a bid to offer access to maximum information using the smallest, most convenient medium possible. Social networks are beginning to integrate their content with one another. These integration systems seek to connect just about every individual with an online presence, in a bid to establish a substantial network of people.

Social networking is not a fad any longer, it is here to stay and it is essential that businesses use it to their advantage as it facilitates cost-effective marketing and allows companies to sample the target audience before launching new products or pitching new concepts to the market. Companies are viewing social networks as avenues for meeting new clients, customers and even employees. Some have gone as far as undertaking R&D based on the feedback received from users and non-users about the product or brand in question. Technological advancements have allowed companies to extend their relationships into cyberspace, reaching out to people without worrying about geographical limitations.

Social media trends ( ) are ever changing, with each transition offering interesting insights into society. Social networks are now moving towards niche networks with people having similar interests forming exclusive elitist groups. This trend though, defies the very social nature of social networking. If used in the right context, social networking can prove beneficial to all. The careless and personalized use of social networking seeks to merely make private lives public, thereby flooding the internet with layers of unwanted personal information, which could be dug up at a later stage and used against you. Other network users couldn’t care less about your toothache, but we can pull it up from the archives later to use it against you. This network of contacts has tremendous potential if only one could effectively channel it into substantial content, rather than littering cyberspace with personal information.