When was the last time you wrote a letter to tell a friend what was happening in your life? If you're like me, it's been a while. I rely on e-mails, wall postings and tweets to communicate with members, colleagues, family and friends.
To say the least, the ways in which we communicate have changed how we do business, how we stay in touch and, in some ways, how we live. Social networking (or social media) is driving this revolution. Social networking has grabbed attention and imagination worldwide. The popularity of platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter has exploded:
1. Facebook reports 800 million active users. Fifty percent of those users log on to the site each day, and more than 40 million users update their status at least once per day. Over 200 million photos are uploaded each day.
2. LinkedIn counts more than 100 million members
3. Twitter has 360 million registered users,
4. Fully 65% of adult internet users now say they use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61% one year ago. This marks the first time in Pew Internet surveys that 50% of all adults use social networking sites.
Social networking sites now reach 82 percent of the world's online population, representing 1.2 billion users around the world… In October 2011, Social Networking ranked as the most popular content category in worldwide engagement, accounting for 19 percent of all time spent online. Nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online is now spent on social networking sites.
Social media is now a leading reason people use the Internet. And social networking is not just for kids. Facebook says it has more users in the 45 to 65 year old range than in the 13 to 17 year old range. Forty-five percent of users are age 26 and older.
So what does this mean to you, and why am I blogging about it here? For you and for NBDPA, social media presents tremendous opportunities for networking, collaborating, sharing best practices, communicating and connecting to a nearly unlimited pool of people with similar needs and wants, as well as to information that may benefit you. The world truly is getting smaller. Instead of reaching out to single contacts, you can now create networks of hundreds or thousands of people located around the globe—and you can do so almost instantaneously.
NBDPA's use of technology continues to evolve as well, as we seek new ways to communicate with and engage our diverse membership. Our online iRadio program is a great example of these efforts. These radio shows go far beyond traditional radio because we incorporate the Chat feature during the broadcast creating an opportunity for listeners' to dialogue and network during the broadcast. Moreover, each program is recorded so they may be accessed on demand, a great benefit to time-crunched professionals and members on the go who no longer need to worry about time differences.
You may be participating in social networking already. If so, you probably have found many different ways to connect with other NBDPA members. NBDPA is supportive in building these communities, but the real drivers of these conversations are you, the members. By sharing your thoughts and adding to the dialogue, you create value for all members.
If you haven't given social media a try, I urge you to do so. First connect with your friends, colleagues and fellow members on www.bdpa.org. Second join us on Facebook page, FOLLOW us on Twitter, and JOIN our LinkedIn group. You will find it not only fun, but also valuable. If you need a place to start, connect to me.