When Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned his post and turned over all power to the military, he ended his autocratic rule of close to 30 years. He also showed that the power of social media has grown to the point where it can topple governments.
Preceding Mubarak’s resignation was a revolution carried out largely through online networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. To avoid the brutality of Egyptian police and pro-Mubarak thugs, protests were taken to Facebook.
It all began with the murder of Khaled Said, and Egyptian citizen who, according to an article in the New York Times, was pulled from an Internet café last June and beaten to death by two police officers. Within five days of his death, an anonymous human rights activist created a Facebook page entitled We Are All Khaled Said, and posted cellphone photos from the morgue of his battered and bloodied face. By mid-June, 130,000 people joined the page, according to the NYT article. The page remains the largest in Egypt, with 473,000 users.
“Facebook and YouTube offered a way for the discontented to organize and mobile—and allowed secular-minded young people to seize the momentum from Egypt’s relatively neutered, organized opposition,” the NYT article reported.
Social media strategies aren’t only for fomenting revolution in government. Businesses are utilizing social media to revolutionize the way they market and advertise. According to an article on Articlebase, the ability to group together and target like-minded individuals is the selling point of online networking sites.
“Social networking allows like minded people on the Internet to interact with each other. This provides a great opportunity to the business organization to interact with so many potential customers at a single place,” Articlebase reports.
This reason alone is drawing companies to create a social network. EMarketer expects that U.S. marketers will spend $3.08 billion to advertise on social networking sites this year. That is a 55 percent increase over the $1.99 billion U.S. advertisers reportedly spent on social networking sites in 2010.
“2010 was the year that Facebook firmly established itself as a major force not only in social network advertising but all of online advertising,” Williamson said in an article on Mashable. “In 2011, its global presence is something multinational advertisers can’t ignore.”
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