Nearly ten years ago popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest were unknown but now are household names used everyday. Today, social networking sites are getting bigger with more and more users connecting people all the way across the world. According to Nielson’s article, social media has become the “global living room”. Social media sites are easily accessed via computer, cell phone, and tablet. According to the article, as of June 2012, more than 33 percent of Twitter users had actively tweeted about TV-related content, 44 percent of U.S tablet owners and 38 percent of U.S. smartphone owners use their devices to access social media while watching tv. On a global scale the percentages rise with 50 percent of users interact with social networking sites while watching tv in Latin American and 60 person in the Middle East/Africa. It’s crazy just often I find myself stepping out of my present life to catch up on the ideal self I am portraying on various sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They say perception shapes reality; if one can master the execution of this they can convince others of almost anything. I find virtual world perception to be so intriguing yet distracting due to the amount of time we spend creating and maintaining these perceptions.
In 2007, comScore the leading Internet analytics company measuring the digital world proclaimed that Facebook ranked number sixth most trafficked website in the USA with more than 30 billion page views a month just behind well known companies such as Microsoft and Yahoo. Thus, proving that Facebook is a leading competitor of the Internet world. Facebook successfully tops the charts in social networking and its’ online presence in addition to opening new doors for companies, advertisers and has brought voices to those unheard. 70% of local businesses use Facebook for marketing (5). 24/7Wallst.com says that, Fortune 500 companies such as Coca-Cola, Disney and Starbucks also use Facebook as a marketing tool and have the three largest facebook pages (in ascending order) among companies. Furthermore, Facebook has become a superhighway for people all over the world to communicate in remarkable speeds. Social media has brought a voice to those otherwise being overshadowed by the media or government. It has helped break down barriers both at small and large; in 2011 Facebook started the movement of the revolution of Egypt.
Do not be fooled by all of the potential benefits social media creates. Companies are creating their own perceptions that they want you as users and consumers to buy into just as users are creating their personal perceptions. Social media allows companies and consumers to directly connect on a more personal level. The article, COMMENTARY: How Social Meida Will Make You Fall in Love with Brands articulates that brands reach out just to let you know they’re thinking about you. Social media brings voice to brands and allows brands to transmit subliminal messages of endearment in consumers while strengthening that trust and brand loyalty. Brands are really trying to get to know their consumers. Specifically, social media allows companies to access key demographic and psychographic data used to better understand their existing and potential target markets. Consumers are interested in the total package; both appearance and personality. Mr. Nike or Mr. Gatorade could be taking you out on your next date so be cautious and weary of the technological advancements in social media and don’t let the powers of perception fool you.