What social media mean and how they are used in various areas
With millions of Facebook users across continents, the use and definition of social media are presented in a multitude of ways.
Evolution of Journalism: print and photos
For San Diego reporter Lily Leung, the use of social media is one way of telling her audience that she is a real person. Leung is required to post stories every day. It is a way, according to her, of reaching out to the readers and vice versa.
As cited at www.utsandiego.com, Leung, who covers the real estate beat, said, “It is just a huge beat and I just try to cover it as well as I can by giving people a good mix of not just data analysis, but also fun stories and investigative stories.”
The writer is active in social media including Twitter where she has 4000 followers. She said she was able to access, through social media, several pieces of information such as the people’s struggle about their finances, their mortgages and banks, which she consider an important part of her responsibilities.
She noted, “I would say in general journalism is a very freeing experience. You get to do a lot of different kinds of work, meet a lot of different people and just learn a lot of stuff every day.”
Her activeness in social media has earned her a reputation of “mavens of social media usage in U-T newsroom.”
Not only in printed words did social media revolutionize. It has also transformed the way Eduardo Contreras presents his photographs.
The newspaper staff photographer said, “Now there are so many more outlets for your work so you have to put it in all of those outlets.” Contreras is just starting to tweet his published photographs.
He claimed that it is not his responsibilities as a photojournalist that have changed in the past 25 years, but the platform for informing the public. “I’m not making huge strides, but I’m making sure I’m going forward all the time,” he said of the challenges he accepted in connection to the “rebirth” the journalism industry is undergoing today.
Social media in religion
Even Pope Benedict XVI recognizes the role of social media calling it and search engines “the starting point of communication for many people who are seeking advice, ideas, information and answers.”
His Holiness noted that the world today experiences “restlessness of human beings, ceaselessly searching for truths, of greater or lesser import that can offer meaning and hope to their lives”, but the Pope urged for a balance in online and inner lives.
The Pope recognized the power of social media, and other applications in helping the people achieve a balance. “Attention should be paid to the various types of websites, applications, and social networks which can help people today to find time for reflection and authentic questioning as well as making space for silence and occasions for prayer, meditation, or sharing of the word of God.”
“(T)he extraordinarily varied nature of the contribution of modern communications to society” can be seen in websites dedicated to spreading the words of the Creator.
In an article at Religious Dispatches – a daily online magazine publishing news about religion, politics, and culture – Elizabeth Drescher shared five social media trends that are reshaping religion and spirituality. Social Prayer is one. Facebook pages that are religious in nature are said to outrank celebrity athletes and superstars as the most engaging locale on Facebook. Twitter is also increasingly becoming a very good tool to spread the Good News through hashtags of names related to various religions.
Another trend is “Ministers-on-the-go” which is made possible through the use of location-based service (LBS) Foursquare. Applications for the religious ones are also made available. And one example of which is the Prayer book apps. The writer also cited social media commandments offered by various groups and organizations in the religious sector.
Social media in commerce
One area that social media have undoubtedly given a very big advantage is commerce. Business owners have reached their goals through a medium that reaches a greater market base. Likewise, social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ have allowed consumers to access a vast array of products in several websites. However, social media post a challenge to business owners. Because of social media’s prominent characteristics, business owners need to be more proactive in handling client concerns about their products or services.
Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Optimization are considered new means of marketing. iConcept Global Advertising Inc. believes that these are an addition to a marketer’s marketing ammunition.