By Caroline Thomas
Managing Director of Sales Scene
Nominated in two categories for Thurrock Business Awards 2013.
FACEBOOK was 9 years old this week! Cast your mind back, and can you now imagine a world without your Facebook newsfeed or the latest information from Twitter? Times have changed, and so is the way that the Thurrock community at large are using social media sites.
Facebook really took off in the UK in 2007, and at that point, it was all about connecting to your “real” friends, and sharing pictures, with the odd status update that seemed personal to each individual. We were not nearly so security savvy in those early days, and personal status updates then could be viewed as something that you would only share in a private message now.
As time has moved on, people now connect to their “acquaintances” and those that they know far less (and some connect to complete strangers) and so what we share has become completely different. This is important for many reasons, but not least that digital footprints last a lifetime. If you’re job hunting, you’ll find that prospective employers will look at what you’re saying online, so think before you post (or update your security settings)
We might have logged on to social media sites in the past to find out what old friends are doing now, or to check out their photos to see just how much they’ve changed, or whether they have a family. We might still do that, but we also share real time information far more, and the conversations taking place are current, ie relating to what is going on RIGHT NOW. This could be people talking about the latest plot in Eastenders as they are watching, or perhaps commenting on the latest person to be kicked off the most current reality show, but we also refer to social media sites for real time information that impacts on our daily lives.
During the snow in January, YourThurrock.com received 26000 page views on the website in 48 hours! People were asking Michael Casey (editor) via Facebook and Twitter whether he knew which schools were closed, and were referring to the site for the latest updates, all driven through social media. As people needed to make plans for journeys to work and childcare provision during the snow, it was clear that there was a massive demand for real time information. The benefit of sharing the news via social media sites, is the viral element, for example, as one parent received the information about school closures due to the snow, it was quicker and easier to share via Facebook and Twitter than ever before, and would reach the widest audience, more convenient than sending lots of individual text messages.
This article is by Caroline Thomas who runs Sales Scene, a social media marketing and training company based in Tilbury.