16 Jan 2010 Social media is changing the way we communicate.

It’s an online thing – you need access to the web to do it.

It’s real-world thing too: I have met with people I first ‘met’ online.

So what is social media?

New Web 2.0 technology has made it possible for non-technical people such as myself to use the technology. It’s all about communication: call and response.

I am talking right now! Hopefully you will comment.  Then it’s my turn to listen.

A blog is one form of social media.

Social networking sites such as Facebook are another.

Why does social media matter?

Because an awful lot of people are doing it.

“If Facebook were a country, it would be the 8th most populated in the world,” says its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

4 out of 5 Americans use social media every month to communicate online.

2 out of 3 of the global online population visit social networks such as Facebook.

It’s popular because most humans love to talk. It’s like the telephone…once we start, we can’t stop.

Social media offers enormous potential to get your message across – and hear how it is received.

Most online sites are free – all you need is an email address to join.

The biggest commodity is time.

Does social media work?

Here is one of my favourite examples, spotted it in May 2009 issue of  Natural Product News magazine – which goes to show how print and web interact.

Thanks to social media, the organic clothing company, Frugi has exceeded its recent sales target by 171%.

The Frugi people did not spend tons of money creating a massive press campaign.

Instead they used their time to set up a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a blog and to comment on or appear in other people’s blogs.

In addition, Frugi’s designers have used customer feedback from these online conversations to inform their new collections.

I like this new method of communication.

Do you?