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FLEXO Magazine : June 2012
FTA TODAY The Flexo Online Community Studying Social Media Use in the Flexo Industry in the Year 2012 Doreen M. Monteleone Social media encourages conversation online. This con- trasts traditional online media, which delivers content but doesn’t allow readers, viewers or listeners to par- ticipate in the creation or development of the content. Social media has been in existence for nearly 15 years and contin- ues to rapidly evolve. Today, there are a number of choices and it is important to determine the most appropriate media to facilitate information sharing to benefit the flexo industry. Shortly after the World Wide Web went public more than two decades ago, private Internet sites began popping up. By 1997, the first social media site, SixDegrees, allowed for inter- active communications. Friendster and MySpace followed it then, in 2004, Facebook and LinkedIn. Twitter came online in 2006 and, most recently, Google+ launched in 2011. Today, the “big three” of social media sites are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. In early May 2012, there were more than 900 million active users of Facebook. That number grew by nearly 200 million in the last year alone. In early 2012, Linke- dIn reported more than 100 million users worldwide, while Twitter boasted more than 140 million. The Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) launched a LinkedIn site in June 2009. It is a closed site in which site members must be invited, or granted permission to join. For the first year and one half, on average, about 20 people joined the FTA site per week. That growth doubled over the next 12 months. Since the beginning of 2012, 60 to 100 people A GROWING COMMUNITY • In recent years, social media has exploded giving customers, companies and advertisers a direct line to one another • With the sheer number of social media options available, picking the right one can be a challenge without demographic data • The results of the survey showed that respondents represented all segments of FTA membership • It is important to stress that the results of this survey are not static, the popularity and functionality of various social sites continue to evolve 24 FLEXO jUne 2012 www.flexography.org 0 20 40 60 80 100 FTA Membership’s Use of Social Media LinkedIn FaceBook Google+ Twitter