It is self-evident that social media is serious business, and something about which businesspeople must be knowledgeable, if not actively skilled. One great source of information about trends and strategies for success on the various social media platforms is the annual Shorty Awards - this de-facto social media "Oscars" honors the folks who create great content and achieve big successes on various social platforms.

Last year, I wrote about 6 important lessons derived from my observations at the 2016 Shorty Awards; this year I follow up with some highlights and lessons from the 2017 awards held this past Sunday in New York City.

1. Social media is extremely diverse

Not only were the nominees, finalists, and winners of awards from extremely diverse backgrounds, but the content that they created on their way to achieving success spanned the gamut in terms of topic and target audience. There were awards given for success in STEM, comedy, make up tutorials, parenting, and many other areas. Take note: There are people achieving big audiences on social media by producing content related to pretty much every area of life. In fact, not all of the winners were people - there were of course, businesses as well, and even animals: 2017's social media's stars include parties as different as Bill Nye, The Science Guy, and Crusoe, a "Celebrity Dachshund;" both won awards at Sunday night's event.

2. Social platforms come-and-go rapidly

Nowhere could this be more obvious than with the presenting of the final award for "Viner of the Year" - effectively honoring not only its 2017 winner, Kenny Knox, but, also highlighting the importance that the Vine platform - which brought short-form video to the social media mainstream - played in establishing the reputation and careers of many social media stars, before Twitter shuttered it last year. Besides presenting the aforementioned award, the Shorty Awards event included a video tribute presentation to Vine - showcasing many of the more famous short-form videos from throughout Vine's brief history. Ironically, in my article last year about the tween-and-teen-phenomenon social media platform,, I predicted that it would likely become a formidable competitor to Vine - in less than a year it has clearly won that battle.

3. Social media can be utilized to drive important societal imporvements

Karlie Kloss won the Shorty Awards' first "Phenom" award for making a remarkable impact on society that she amplified through the use of social media. Kloss founded and runs Kode With Klossy - which, among other efforts, runs summer camps that teach girls to code. I have written multiple times about sexism in the tech industry and the problem of our society's driving half of its population away from the industry that literally builds the future, so, for me, personally, it was great to see this new award presented to someone working to effect a positive change and correct the aforementioned serious, and harmful, societal ill. Social media has been a major component of spreading the word about Kode with Klossy, and the number of camps and participants has grown rapidly in the short time since the effort was founded. I should also note that the first award presented during this year's Shorty Awards ceremony was to the Snapchatter known as "Women in Tech" who won Snapchatter of the year.

Greg Galant, co-founder of The Shorty Awards, noted that this year's winners were selected after input from both an academy of experts as well as over 5 million votes, with the number of votes doubling since last year's awards selection. He noted that "The growth of the Shorty Awards is a sign of how vibrant the Internet is for talented creatives, and a reminder of how important their work is."

For a complete list of winners of 2017's Shorty Awards please see the Shorty Awards Winner page.