Social Media, what is it? How is it used? Why is it important for IT professionals to know about? These are the questions I will be answering in this blog post. I really don’t have much of an idea what this subject is actually about apart from the fact that it involves websites like Facebook, so this will be another aspect of IT we both can learn about during this post 🙂
What is Social Media?
It is the interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. It is based on mobile or web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which individials and communities share, co-create, discuss and modify user-generated content. So you have “social media” websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Second Life and the list goes on and on.
There are so many because a lot of people this day and age choose to do the majority of their socialising on social media websites. I came across an American study showing the average amount of time per day people in different age groups will spend on social media websites.
- 18 – 34 year olds report spending 3.8 hours a day;
- 35 – 49 year olds report spending 3 hours per day; and
- 50 – 64 year olds report spending 2.4 hours per day.
Just thought I would throw that interesting fact in there 🙂 to show not only the different social media websites but the amount of importance that the average person places on these sites.
Social media has been defined as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.”
How is Social Media used?
There are many different ways social media is used one of the most common being personal use. It is a way for people to communicate with each other, keep up to date with what their friends and family are doing, share photos, ideas, opinions, anything they choose for all their social media friends to see. Creating themselves an online community for either personal fullfillment or to simply communicate and “catch up” with people they wouldn’t otherwise be able to (people in other countries). People also use the sites for entertainment, such as playing games, watching videos, looking at photos and shopping. The second most common use of social media is marketing for businesses and organisations. It is a way for them to not only put their name and brand out there but to also offer potential customers specials, keep them up to date with anything new happening and providing customers with the ability to give their honest opinion or feedback about their experiences with a certain business or organisation. In terms of marketing having a strong social media presence on the web is the key to tap into customers interest. If done correctly and thoroughly, marketing with social media can bring remarkable success to your business or organisation. Social media is also used for education, discussions, conversations between professionals in the same fields, uploading and sharing videos and so much more.
Why is Social Media important for IT professionals to know about?
There are a few different reasons that I can think of why social media would be important for us future IT professionals. One being marketing if we ever decide to start up our own business or one of our job roles in a business is to create and maintain their web presence then we definitely need to be very familiar with all the different kinds of social media websites, how they work, how to use them, what is the best way to use them, which ones are the most popular, etc. We also want to be able to help our future customers with any problems they may have, and thinking of the questions and help that is being asked of me now, helping customers, friends and family with their social media accounts may be part of our IT professional career. Social media is also a really great way for IT professionals to have discussions about problems they might be having, or ideas and opinions, as well as keeping up with the latest gadgets and news. I believe knowing about social media is just one of those things that sort of come with the territory of being an IT professional because it is such a big influence in the world and on the internet, with smartphones, computers, tablets and their apps. Since all of that falls under the title “information technology” it is definitely something we need to be familiar with if we want to be classified as “professionals”.
So, Social Media is definitely one of the biggest influences on the internet, and something us IT professionals in training should know about because we will work in a world that live and breathe on these websites. I mean think about it, meeting a “professional IT person” who didn’t know what Facebook was, doesn’t make much sense does it!