Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for less than a decade became part of the everyday life of billions of people around the world. The life of many of us can be even separated in periods of time – before and after we made an account in Facebook. Social media are named in this way because they are connected with the social needs of every individual to communicate, share and like. Whether social media are fulfilling these needs or not is another question, which may be also depends not only from the advancement of social media itself, but also from the friends in your list…
If we follow the model of Abraham Maslow about hierarchy of needs (a popular theory in psychology which is related to the stages of growth in humans) we can use this pyramid to illustrate this model. We will see how some of the popular social media websites are related to these needs.
At the beginning of the pyramid are the natural physiological needs of every person related to the function of the body – breathing, eating, sleeping, health and etc. We can not do this online by publishing posts in social media but still we can get useful information about it by joining groups and pages which can give us more advices about how we can take a better care of our health, how to do exercises, to eat properly and to lead a healthy lifestyle.
The need of security on the workplace
After we eat and sleep enough we have fulfilled the need of our bodies. Next we can think about work, career, family. The most popular social media related to work and career in the world is LinkedIn. Till June 2013 LinkedIn has more than 225 millions registered users in more than 200 countries. People want not only to enjoy their work. They want also security of employment, financial independence, enough money for his or her family, money for rent.
The feel of belonging
Not everything in the pyramid has to be in the same order. It is not obligatory for you to have a work in order to have a family but in most cases there is a strong link between the two. The best for a person is to make a family when he has a stable work. By social media like Facebook you can communicate with your friends, to find new one and to see what interesting is happening in their life. We have more curiosity toward people that we know, not toward unknown people. An average person stays 405 minutes in Facebook every month. Facebook and Google Plus are social medias which we can relate to the feeling of belonging – the need of friends, family, intimacy .
Esteem and self-realization
Twitter is good for our self-esteem, inasmuch as it empowers us to reach out to others and self-promote. It can help for self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect for self and of others.
Social media websites like Blogger, Tumblr are related to the need of self-realization. From them we can not only learn new and interesting things, but we can find and share more creativity with other users online. For example if you are thinking how to reduce the electric bill, see that suggestion from Tubmlr!
We can see clear how social media are part of our everyday life. Whether they are useful or not depends from us. If you have a brand or company, you should work both for its offline and online presence, part of which is social media optimization of your company website.