Impact of Social Media on Local Communities
The methods of communication have evolved over the years with large strides made in the last two decades thanks to the outbreak of the Internet. As time passed by, the communication techniques shaped themselves according to the fast paced environment of people’s busy lives. The most vastly used communication method today is the Internet, more specifically, social media networks. This method has proven to be the quickest way to get in touch with your friends, with Facebook & Twitter leading the charge.
Social Media, in the last couple of years, has become a very crucial part of people’s lives. I personally don’t think that I have spent a single day without using social networks in the last 5-6 years. Social Media enables us to connect with the world in a very convenient way.
Seth Godin, an American entrepreneur, author and public speaker, also popular for the topic of permission marketing, defines the importance of social media in his own way as “How can one squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?”
Social Media not only supports the businesses to promote their product, it also enables local communities to interact faster and spread the news as quickly as possible. Gwinnet’s business community understands the power of social media and effectively harnesses it to communicate through social media. Gwinnett Village Community Improvement’s (CID) director “Joel Wascher” explains the advantage of using social media as “It allows us to provide context for our message by pointing to examples of similar initiatives around the country and showing the results of those efforts. By disseminating our message through social platforms [Facebook, Twitter and YouTube] we are able to connect with community members on a more conversational level”.
Here are details of some ideas used by different people:
- The community of Houston created a Facebook page for an upcoming event (due in September, 2012) i.e. “Houston Hot Sauce Festival”. It highlights a number of award winning hot and fiery products from around the world. They are sharing the news for this festival with local community members and creating excitement for others to attend the festival.
- Lost items in a small community are found within few hours. A girl’s dog was lost, she posted it on Facebook, and believe it or not, after an hour a complete stranger (who is not even on her Facebook friends list) showed up at her home with the dog.
- Remember the Milwaukee flood? Well I do. A man tweeted a link for a blog about his house. In just a couple of hours, a number of people stepped in and started a fundraiser for Milwaukee flood victims. The results for the fundraiser were outstanding.
- One of my friends was having a garage sale. He planned the sale to end within a week, but in the first 3 days hardly 10 items were sold. He posted about the garage sale on Facebook to inform the local community about it. On the 5th day he was forced to end the sale as all the items were sold out.
These are just a few of the cases we have shared with you, which showed the impact of social media on our local community and world. Social Media has empowered people to communicate with each other easily. We would like to hear from you about your experience of social media interaction with your local communities.