You've heard it all before, I'm sure - the notion that you absolutely have to be on Facebook/Twitter/Google+/et-cetera.
Marketing experts all over the Internet are quite keen on avowing the virtues of social media, and you can't click a link on the Internet without seeing at least one person talking about the value of Facebook to a business.
Thing is...what exactly is it that makes websites like Facebook so powerful?
And why should you, as a content creator, care?
A New Age Of Communication
"Social media sites have changed the way we interact with each other," writes Udemy's Lindsay Patton-Carson. "Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Vine, and more make it simple to stay connected." It's not just social media, either - it's only part of the bigger picture.
See, technology has brought us closer together than we've ever been at any point in human history. It has fundamentally changed how we communicate with one another. We're essentially living in the sort of world predicted several decades ago by sociologist Marshall McLuhan.
We're living in the era of The Global Village.
Alright, enough rambling about sociological theories. Let's get straight to the point. What has this fundamental change done for marketers and content creators?
The Era Of The Storyteller
Here's the thing about social media - it allows effortless one-on-one communication between any two individuals in the world. What this means for businesses and content creators alike is that they can connect with their audience in a fashion that would have been impossible even a decade ago. As a writer, you can personally communicate with your audience, adding a powerful element of personalization to your pieces.
Of course, the ability to connect with one's audience is only part of the equation.
There's also the matter of viral content - something which was previously completely unknown. See, social media is all about sharing our experiences - about conversing with our friends and families about what we saw online. If we come across a cool video, we'll post it; if we read an interesting opinion piece, we'll talk about it.
Given that pretty much everyone in the western world now uses Facebook to some degree, you can imagine how such conversations might end up spreading like wildfire.
So, What's The Big Deal About Social Media?
You've heard that social networks are an important element in marketing your website or business, and now you understand why. In addition to connecting you with more users than would be otherwise available - and allowing you to foster better relationships with those users - it gives your content the potential to go viral, driving a metric tonne of traffic your way. That sort of power should never be underestimated, and it should always be factored into your marketing strategy.
Image credit: Ksayer1