Social Media can be seen as a marketing channel which offers users the opportunity to produce and share information in the easiest way, and to communicate with other users. One of the most famous examples of social media is facebook.com.
The origins of Social media lie in the middle of the 1990s, when the term referred to chats and conversational possibilities. Later platforms attempted to give users the opportunity to exchange views and information. With Web 1.0, the internet was utilized as a means of one-way communication, which changed significantly with Web 2.0. With the introduction of Web 2.0, another important aspect of the internet was added. This broadened the importance of the internet as a mere information medium and gave users the opportunity to exchange views and therefore to communicate. Moreover, there was no longer a need to have specialized knowledge in order to be able to use the internet. In 2003, the site facebook.com reached a peak which is still increasing today. More and more users are joining the community. Meanwhile, even Social Hubs are now being used in order to show users current news from all social media networks.
Social Media encompasses the areas of the identity, communication and sharing information. It is far-reaching and can appear in many forms such as Microblogs, Content Communities or in social networks. Social media services can include emails or websites such as the photo provider Flickr.de or the music provider Last.fm.
Services such as Klout exist to to investigate and compare the web activities of social media users. This service indicates for example the online reputation of a user in the form of the Klout Score. To track all online activity, the software Fresh Web Explorer can be used. This can be used to investigate current opinions and to react quickly to negative comments.
Furthermore, the ROI of a social media marketing campaign can be measured by the HubSpot software social inbox. The web-based Web analytics tool Fanpage Karma can also be used to plan and control social media marketing campaigns.
Possibilities for using social media have changed considerably in recent years. Whereas social media was previously exclusively used on desktop computers, the use of Apps is now common. This makes it possible to share specific data such as location. As a user of a mobile device often will have many available apps, it can take a while to search for a particular app. A flipboard can be used for example to organize all important social networking apps.
The user can use social media for many different means, for example exchanging ideas and conducting conversations without financial cost. Social media can be used for other purposes such as submitting pplications for job positions, and lectures can be listened to in the form of podcasts.
Companies are also increasingly making more out of social media. Users can be drawn to the company through social media, as social media is often used for advertising. This is possible without great expense, and it is quick and easy. Websites like facebook.com are used to make users aware of the company’s own website, or to increase brand awareness and create enthusiasm for the product. Social media is also be used for marketing purposes and for publicity work. Social media also presents a way to get customer reviews through comments and blogs for websites where goods are sold. Above all, this poses the benefit that such reviews are more credible to customers.
The possibility for colleagues to communicate over the internet to discuss work-related activities are included in the notion of Enterprise 2.0.
The most important aspect in the field of social media are social signals, such as Likes and Shares on facebook or the +1 on Google+. The effect on the user is similar to the Backlink. Through the likes on different social media websites are made aware of different products. This is often seen as an argument to allow social signals to be a ranking factor. Also, it isn’t so easy to manipulate social signals as it is links. It isn’t yet possible to make an exact conclusion about the significance of social signals because on the one hand, social signals are compared to links, which have a direct influence on the rankings in search engines. On the other hand, these are seen as insignificant.
Opinions about the importance of social signals differ widely, but they are offered viewed as significant. Even though they don’t count as a direct ranking factor, they say something about the popularity of a website.