I Have Never Liked “Social Media!”
Whilst I have never liked the term – social media – I have named my business – The Social Media Guy. Why is that?
Social Media – a problematic term
“Social media” puts too much emphasis on people and socialising. Now it holds a negative connotation and is too often blamed for problems in today’s world. To a certain extent, it has now become a platform for people-driven media and I accept that.
Personally, I prefer the terms; interactive media, online media, or even web media because the focus should be on the interactive nature of the medium and the fact that the medium is on the Web.
However, if I was to say, “online media” not many people would understand what I’m referring to. People instantly resonate with “social media” and know what it is. Hence, I chose the name – The Social Media Guy.
Before the term social media was coined, these websites were referred to as social networking. The original purpose of these websites was to provide a platform for people to easily connect with classmates, friends, family, and colleagues remotely. This proved especially useful for people who live in different countries or people who you rarely see.
Few could have predicted the success of social networking websites such as Facebook and a switch to focus as a marketing platform for businesses. As of June 2019, Facebook now has over 1.5 billion active daily users on average.
A Brief History
In the beginning, most of the content being posted was user-generated; people uploaded personal updates, family photos, holiday snaps, pictures of their lunch and the occasional funny video.
Slowly but surely “Pages” began to appear for mutual interests like music or sport. Soon after, memes, news pages, and large companies eventually took over our feeds because they were able to produce new content consistently.
Similarly, other social media platforms followed this trend. Small businesses had to take advantage of this new avenue of marketing in order to compete.
The focus switched from a peer-to-peer platform where users shared their personal content to a platform where users were viewing content from pages that they “liked” rather than just friends and family.
There you have it, a brief history of social media but also an important lesson: Sometimes we have to learn to evolve with the rapid rate of change in technology.