Social media has become something so much more than just companies getting others interested in online networking. It’s now become a way that our lives are vastly changed through digital platforms. We are able to know exactly what our friends, families, peers, and coworkers are doing by simply opening an app on our phone. Now it’s becoming a culture to post photos that consistently document our daily lives. From Facebook being the place to announce successes and losses to Snapchat having instantaneous uploads and geofilters for us to tell the world where we are on its map.

Social media has become a way of creating a global community of people to learn and connect with. Living in a digitally saturated world, it even goes as far as to change the way we receive news. Now news outlets are struggling to be the first reports of what is happening. With Facebook live, news happens in live real time for all of an individual’s followers to see and share. It’s almost as if news and media outlets are just the ones to confirm the incidents happened. Newspapers are a dying industry if they do not make the change to digital. Having social media accounts for news outlets allows them to automatically the share the most updated information with real facts so consumers are still interested in subscribing to their network.

It’s now more important than ever for companies to stay updated on their corporate social responsibility to share it with the world. Companies and businesses are able to create an online voice and brand for themselves utilizing social media. Brand managers and marketers can interact with consumers instantly by providing them with instantaneous information. When consumers making interactions and engagements on brands’ social media pages, they can immediately reply to keep negative commentary at a minimum and foster positive social media engagement. How companies choose to share content and interact with consumers really shapes the way consumers view the image of the company. It’s incredibly important now more than ever for companies to have strategized social media planners, content calendars, managers, and data analytics managers.

Companies can utilize their consumer data analytics to decide how to properly strategize digital marketing campaigns. As well, companies can monitor and discover how consumers are interacting with one another. By having a thorough understanding of consumer behavior from a demographic to a psychographic analysis, marketers can better understand and predict plausible purchase behavior and engagement rate with digital content.

Whether it’s a large company or a user from a small town, a huge goal that many social media users have is to go viral. Going viral means that posts or content gets heavy attention from users. Facebook and Twitter are primarily the two platforms where users strive for viral. Instagram and Snapchat would be less of a phenomena for this due to the fact that you generally don’t share too much content and the follower base is on what you follow. Facebook and Twitter give users the options to share or retweet content for their followers to see. One of the most unique things about going viral is that it’s not the content creator but their followers that decides what goes viral. Viral content generally has an element of strong emotional appeal. Whether the content is hilarious, depressing, evokes anger, or is a happy feel-good story, it still takes an excellent mind to appeal to a mass social media audience. Some viral content is politically-charged and is shared or debating depending on the audience that favors the content. Another type of viral content is targeted at generational superiority. This is where baby boomers make fun of millennials whilst millennials immediately fire back with anger creating another cultural divide. The meaning of viral content is basically telling an individual’s followers “hey i believe in the nature of this post.” Then followers agree or disagree by giving it a certain reaction or another share. It is fascinating to begin to understand and predict viral content.

A huge way that social media can bring users together is through live tweeting or posting large cultural events. Whether it’s placing bets on what team will win the super bowl or angrily posting after an artist didn’t winning best album of the year, users seem to come together to explain, debate, but most importantly, share their reactions to the event. It’s a place of community to see others reactions that are similar or different and then debate the topic. Social media has created communities and connected people that may have never been connected before. As society leans into a culture that is primary a digital society, it will be interested to predict future behaviors. A majority of daily interactions are already fostered in online communities. As these platforms grow and change so will the human behavior behind them.