We have another post from Samantha McFarland, one of the many interns we have working at The Chamber. This posts discusses Social Media (different for this blog, right?) but with a twist - from the perspective of a college student. What's really interesting here is just that - Samantha's perspective on Social Media, one that is without question shared by most of those in her age-group. Enjoy!
Social media is an evolving world that is here to stay. No matter if one is for the use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or foursquare, to name a few, it is inevitable to ignore it. From interning at the chamber, I see and use the Easton Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook and the importance it holds for small businesses in the Easton area. It is an interactive site where pictures can be seen, news about upcoming events can quickly be shared, and comments or messages give the chance for instant interaction between multiple parties.
I am a 21 year old, soon to be senior in college, and I use Facebook for not only social/personal usage but also as a primary outlet to get news. For example, when the news that Osama Bin Laden was killed I found out through Facebook, which, then led me to put on the news and Google the event. (More people are frequently using Google for instant answers). I even found out about the Casey Anthony verdict whether I cared to or not, because of Facebook.
For young people, social media is a large portion of our everyday lives. From the facebook statistics website, I found that there are more than 750 million active users and 50% of those users log on to Facebook everyday, spending over 700 billion minuets per month on the site. This little bit of information is a crucial aspect for businesses to use facebook as one of their main advertising outlets. It is cost efficient and effectively reach the masses.
How prevalent the use of social media is for college students and young adults, I think, depends on the type of person they are. Most people that have smartphones, like the iPhone, droid, or blackberry, tend to be connected to the internet at all times. These are usually the people that use social media more frequently due to the instant internet accessibility. Also, the more social media is used by a group of friends, the more likely one is to use the media; there is more of a reason to check Facebook and/or Twitter to see what their friends are up to. It is an easy was to keep in contact with old friends from high school that one might have lost touch with, or even to keep in touch with distant family.
Not only is social media used for social purposes, but now almost every news channel, like CNN and FOX, has a Facebook and Twitter. This allows those networks to quickly distribute breaking news at anytime, making them seem like a more reliable news source than their competitor. These websites are very user friendly and easy to navigate which factors into the contribution of social media extreme usage. Social media is a new world that is becoming, if it already is not, one of the most effective means to reach a large group of people for awareness for not only business, but anything. We now live in an “always on” world, where people really do not stop working even after they leave the office. In some way people are always connected, at any time can be, and are expected to be.
Facebook statistics website: