This is a guest post by Stacey Waxman: Stacey is a freelance writer with a focus on social media and marketing. She can be found typing away on her laptop in Cleveland, OH. Stacey welcomes your feedback via email
Social media made the headlines frequently in 2013. Twitter launched its IPO on the stock market successfully, and Facebook recovered a bit from its not so successful IPO the previous year. Vine and Snapchat took off, and even the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) agreed to allow public companies to utilize social media to disclose information.
This was just in the United States.
In China, the e-commerce site, Alibaba, paid $586 million for part of Weibo, the country’s most popular microblogging site. At the same time, in the Ukraine, cell phone servicers expected an explosion of data traffic when protesters organized against the government over social media sites mimicking the Arab Spring of 2011.
All of these events lead to one major point. There is a vibrant global marketplace for accumulating followers and friends. Naturally, there were plenty of gaffes and blatant examples of celebrity narcissism broadcast over social media, and businesses are still uncovering ways to leverage these platforms. There were many lessons to learn from social media in 2013. Here are just a few.
Mining Social Media and Security
What happens when Raptor X is used in conjunction with the plug-in called Social Bubble? The user sees the geographic locations of Twitterers and their tweets. In addition, Raptor X may have the ability to capture data related to financial and commercial transactions.
The federal government developed Raptor X specifically to data-mine social media sites through the 2012 Project Quantum Leap experiments. Many casual users of social media embrace the convenience of mobile technology. However, they may be unaware of how easily their information can be obtained. Cyber security to protect personal information is a key takeaway from this past year.
Social Media Will Move the Marketplace
On April 23, 2013, the Twitter account for the Associated Press (AP) was hacked. The hacker sent a fake tweet that read: “two explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.” Within seconds, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 150 points.
Later in June, Carl Icahn opened his Twitter account primarily to broadcast thoughts on his battle with Dell computers. However, on August 12, he tweeted that he had obtained a large position in Apple. This resulted in an increase in Apple share price of about 5 percent.
This last year provided concrete proof that social media is just as important to stockbrokers and day traders as it is to the news media.
Social Media is Going Visual
Twitter proved that 140 characters can say a lot, but the maxim that a picture is worth a thousand words still holds true. Twitter launched Vine in January as a mobile platform for sharing short looping videos. In June, Instagram enabled video on its service. Snapchat proved extremely popular as a method to share photos and videos without the permanency of Google+, Facebook or other social media sites. The user controls the length of the length of time the recipient can view the photo or video. Once the recipient has seen the clip, it disappears. Facebook offered to buy Snapchat for $3 billion, but Snapchat turned it down.
Social Media is Growing Up
Lastly, 2013 showed that world leaders are embracing social media. Warren Buffet, Jamie Dimon and Pope Francis have opened their own Twitter accounts. During the Super Bowl, a power outage stopped play for 34 minutes. Oreo tweeted “No Power, No Problem,” and included an image of an Oreo cookie with the caption “you can still dunk in the dark.” This one tweet generated a huge response and proved that social media is a powerhouse for advertising.