I’d say this without any hesitation or guilt that I am obsessed with social media. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or even MSN messenger or Gtalk, I am there, I’m online and I am always ALWAYS connected. Hence my family and friends call me the ultimate social media freak. The pride is all mine!
Just the other day, as I opened Facebook on my BlackBerry, my Homepage updated itself with the most recent posts including links, videos, photos, blog posts and status updates. While some of these updates were simply hilarious, others were quite informative and yet quite a few gave me an update on my friend’s activities.
While I was scrolling down the different posts, I came across a wonderful video. I watched it and instantly ‘Liked’ it so much that I decided to ‘Share’ with my friends, leaving a comment that this is a must watch video!
In almost an hour 25 of my friends had ‘Shared’ the same video in their friend’s network. I wondered how this video had suddenly spread the message among so many people via sharing on Facebook.
Let’s hypothesize. If I have 200 friends on Facebook and I shared that video with all of them, out of which 25 people ended up sharing that video among their friends, (let’s keep 150 as average number of friends each one of them might have) then the same video that I shared in my friends’ circle managed to get 3,750 views in about an hour.
(we all know the number in reality might have been far greater). This is the power of sharing in social media – the fastest and the least expensive (sometimes absolutely free) way to reach a large number of audience. I have to admit, it does get scary at times too.
The biggest concern of social media sharing is that anything and everything can be shared via social networks. However, the content (images, photos, videos, reviews) shared by people or companies will only spread if it appeals to either people at large aka the masses or a certain pseudo community who will spread the content within their own circle of friends having the same interest.
This is extremely tricky especially for big brands, celebrities or even well known people in their respective fields because if the ‘good word’ can spread like fire among their consumers, fans or followers, the ‘bad word’ will equally spread like a conflagration totally out of control.
Hence, social media sharing is no less than the ultimate power in the hands of the users/consumers to make or break a brand’s reputation in the online world. As the famous saying goes; “With great power comes great responsibility” hence, a word of advice for all the online users of this power, think twice before sharing anything in social media!
While yes, we are entitled to share our opinion, our likes and our dislikes with the rest of the world, let’s not forget that misuse of this power can lead to great damages to people and companies that sometimes can be irreparable.