At the turn of the new year, inspired by our NYE tweetup, I wrote about why I love social media, and what social media is to me. In a sentence, I wrote that social media, to me, was about “conversations, community and friendships, with a dash of spontaneity”, and that was why I loved it.

What I left out of that post, though, is the power of that. Yes, on the surface, the whole “social media is about people” thing seems very nice and heartwarming, but I think it goes far beyond just that.

Social media allows you to build a tribe more easily than ever. And tribes are really powerful. When a group of people who share the same ideal and the same vision of how the world should be, get together and bond together around those beliefs, a lot can happen. A small group of people, bonded around a shared passion and belief, is all it takes to change the world.

And I think that’s the power of social media. It makes it easier than ever for anybody, anywhere, to connect with others who share their beliefs and their passions. It takes away boundaries of distance and social status. It takes away almost all boundaries, actually. And allows people to connect like never before. It makes it easier than ever for groups to form around a shared belief and to take action to make those beliefs happen.

That’s the power of social media. It lies in the people, and the ability to form relationships and have conversations. It’s not about marketing reach or cheap advertising. It’s still about people, and community, and conversations, and relationships. That’s where I think the true power of social media lies.