The power of social media is immense and has spread like wildfire!!    It is not just a fad.  IT IS A REVOLUTION!!

Erik Qualman is a well known social media advocate and leader in the field. He wrote a recently published book, Socialnomics and maintains his blog dedicated to social media.  I love that someone called him out on why he published a hardcopy book when he knows hardcopies will one day be a thing of the past.  His reply was simply that people still have landlines, use cd’s, and dial up… So many people still love a good hard copy, but yet more and more want it on their Kindle or their iPhone Kindle… Smart man.   Qualman made one of the best – if not the best- videos showing us the impact and importance of social media on the world.  

IF YOU ARE EVER GOING TO CLICK ON ANY LINK ON MY BLOG AND OR WATCH ANY VIDEO I POST- WATCH THIS SOCIALNOMICS ONE PLEASE!!!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my passions and social media has officially become one of the front runners in my life.  I find myself reading about it, working with it, engaging in it, discussing it, promoting it, loving it and not being able to live without it.   I still get the people who say, for example, “I’m against Facebook” or “I don’t get Twitter”.  These people, well, I usually try to explain a bit of what they are missing.  I find it almost impossible not to because I can not fathom why someone would not want to utilize the greatest tools ever.   Eventually though, they all will join the revolution.  One by one, almost everyone is now on facebook.  I mean, that’s old news.  Now it’s all about so many other sites.  The power of social media is what grabs me consistently.

I mean, if you are a business and you are not utilizing social media sites, it’s almost like you are living in the dark ages!   Think about how many more people you reach being in the online world versus good ol’ fashioned marketing and or pr.  If you ask me, social media is not only the wave of the future, but is right now and is here to stay.   And, if you don’t trust me alone, there is so much proof. 

I mean, didn’t that socialnomics clip have enough stats?  Here are few to entice you!!   But you should really watch the clip!!

1 out of every 8 couples married in the U.S. met through social media.

Years to reach 50 million people– TV– 13 years, Radio- 38 years, Internet – 4 years.  But get this—  Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months!   

Education- US Dept of Education revealed online students outperformed those receiving face to face instruction.

1.5 million pieces of content- links, blogs, posts, photos, are shared on Facebook- DAILY!!!

Fastest growing population on Facebook is women ages 55-65.

There are over 200,000,000 blogs and 54% blog or tweet daily.

80% of Twitter updates are done via mobile device- as Qualman says, imagine what that does for bad customer experiences (and or good).

Hulu went from 63 million total streams in April ’08 to 373 million in April ’09.

Here’s one that really gets me- 70% of 18-34 year olds have watched TV on the web while only 34% of them had ever watched a show on DVR/Tivo.  But, 25% of Americans in the past MONTH have watched a short video— ON THEIR PHONES!!!

Truth is- we don’t search for the news anymore.  As Erik says, it finds us!!   He predicts that we will not search in the future for products and services, but they will find us- through social media!!  This is already happening to me!!!   It’s probably in your world too, you just have not thought about it this way — yet….

Any if you don’t believe these stats or want the sources (you know who you are), go to the site and you will be able to see the sources firsthand.   Even traditional PR firms are now hiring full time social media experts.  

Why social media–  START BY WATCHING THIS CLIP if you did not already. 

I recently got in touch with Mr. Qualman and I am hoping to meet him one day and or work with him.   I can not wait to read his book and I am invigorated even promoting it here.  Again, I seem to do endless pr without getting paid… ahh passion!

In recent social media news, check this out-

Just today, a CBS newscaster started a social media driven challenge– to drive across country in 7 days with only his ID, $50.00 and his many gadgets that will enable him to use social media to win this challenge.   CBS put him to the test and he will use only his Twitter, his Qik, Skype, and his blog to get across country.  Awesome.   Click here to read more.  

Even the Anne Frank House has decided to utilize social media through YouTube to post the only existing video footage of Anne Frank!  Awesome move!  No video footage of Anne Frank has ever been seen by the public until recently.   This move will expose an entirely new audience and or generation to the incredibly important story of the Anne Frank.  Already, and as of this instant, the clip has had 401,802 hits on YouTube.  Ah social media— Amazing.

  In the clip from July 22, 1941, Anne is seen in the 9 second mark watching her neighbors on their wedding day.   It is an extremely touching and bittersweet clip taken just a year before the Franks went into hiding from the Nazis.   I got the chills.   To watch it click here.    Simply amazing.     To read more about the above click here.

According to the NYT Education section, even colleges and universities are using social media, blogging, to attract students.  MIT began posting student blogs on admissions homepage over five years and received tons of responses and feedback.  The interactivity and feedback on their homepage shows how much social media here has made an impact!   

According to the New York Times, “Dozens of colleges — including Amherst, Bates, Carleton, Colby, Vassar, Wellesley and Yale — are embracing student blogs on their Web sites, seeing them as a powerful marketing tool for high school students, who these days are less interested in official messages and statistics than in first-hand narratives and direct interaction with current students”.    The full article is actually pretty amazing.  Click here to read it. 

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