Understanding Social Media and Its Uses

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Watching the lecture videos this week, there was a lot of content, but something that truly stuck with me is how John Goodman spoke about how people react the most to emotions. I studied journalism as an undergrad student and we learned the same thing then, the best sound bite is one that illicit some kind of emotion, good or bad, it doesn’t really matter as long as it gets a reaction. While I think that good reactions are a lot nicer to help with brand promotion than negative reactions, sometimes negative reactions illicit more of a response. What springs to mind about this is how people reacted to the Trayvon Martin case. While this case had a lot of angst over what occurred to begin with, one person Michael Baisden sent out a message to Twitter and Facebook which was seen by his own 65,000 Twitter followers and 585,000 Facebook fans and from there the story and the anger grew. Why is that? The truth is that for some people no matter what they felt, one way to feel heard is to shout it out through social media.

People who use Twitter or Facebook do so for many different reasons, one is to stay in touch with friends socially, another is to solidify a brand for themselves and reach out to professionally. No matter which way you do it, people want to be heard and to interact with each other. People who choose to keep their Facebook profiles private tend to choose to only interact with people they actually know, or acquaintances they have met. However, when someone is trying to build a brand the best way to do that is to try to grow your audience over a period of time through sharing things in order to gain their “likes”. Another social media site is LinkedIn, and this is still considered by far to be the most professional site, although for influence, sites like Google+ and Twitter are gaining ground rapidly.

As Professor Adam Bornstein explains, by using Google+ and using keywords that will be readily searched, an article can quickly jump to the top of the first page and gain influence. While Google+ may not be a lot of peoples favorite social media site yet, the people who do use it see themselves being rewarded and found more easily. Another site that should be mentioned is Pinterest. While it is mostly used by women, due to it being a largely home decorating, crafting, or decorating site, I will say that there are a lot of other ways to use it. For instance I started a board specifically for social media, and it includes different visuals and comments about branding and building a client base. While this does not get pinned as frequently as my board that consists of do it yourself crafts, I can see that over time as I find more compelling visuals other female business owners may decide to check out my boards and follow me as well. At this point I don’t think any social media site should be discounted since the goal is always the same, to get your name out there.

I think that is the end game of all of this. Find people who want to interact with you based on interests, reach out to them through emotional reactions and gain ground when it comes to becoming considered an influential person in what your focus is.

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