Social Media is the future of communication, a countless array of internet based tools and platforms that increase and enhance the sharing of information. This new form of media makes the transfer of text, photos, audio, video, and information in general increasingly fluid among internet users. Social Media has relevance not only for regular internet users, but business as well.

Platforms like twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin have created online communities where people can share as much or as little personal information as they desire with other members. The result is an enormous amount of information that can be easily shared, searched, promoted, disputed, and created.

Social Bookmarking tools and news sites such as Digg, Delicious, reddit, and countless others make finding specific information, images, or websites increasingly simple by assigning or “tagging” individual sites with searchable key words.

Applications that have developed within and around these platforms, websites, and tools are endless in number and functionality, but all make online sharing and searching easier in some fashion, regardless of their niche. As nearly every type of business has an association in the non-digital world, so too does the internet offer an endless number of niche social communities where members can gather around a common topic. Topics both general and specific now have living homes on the internet; anything from colon and digestive health to security and compliance can and do have active social media communities.

The key question now being addressed by an ever growing number of social media “experts” is how to best utilize the unlimited amount of information available from social media sites for business advertising, social good, and who knows what else. One thing is for certain; personal data from social media usage will continue to be tracked and logged for the benefit of any business willing to pay for it, and any company that doesn’t invest in social media now will be playing catch-up in the near future.

Relevant Articles:

Social Media Will Change Your Business, Stephen Baker and Heather Green, Businessweek.

The Importance of Social Media Marketing: Why You Should Learn and Master it, Maki.

Introducing Social Media to your Business, Danny Brown.

Categorized List of Social Media Sites, Traffikd.com