Social Media Frenzy Essay
The craze of social media has a phenomenal effect on the world of keeping in touch as we know it today. On his website, Kariger gives us a definition that “Social media is the use of websites and other online means of communication that are used by large groups of people to share information and to develop social and professional contacts” (Kariger). Since the early 2000s, social media seems to have become the most used communication reference since the introduction of the internet. Most social media websites are free and easy to download to create login information for the use of their services. Social media has changed the delivery, structure, and availability of information to reach current and future customers and others (Taneja). Whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube or Instagram, social media can be very beneficial and play a major role in the business world for innovative methods of researching, networking, marketing, advertising, and of course, communicating as we know it today.
There are various ways that social media can be useful to businesses. In her article, “Putting a Face on Small Businesses”, Sonia Taneja states that “Small business leaders are using social media marketing to promote their business to gain visibility, viability, and sustainability to survive in the current competitive era” (Taneja). With social media being used by billions of people daily, it is safe to say that it is essential and beneficial for businesses to engage in the online activity, just to stay on top of their game.
First, we have Facebook, which is great for visibility (Blakeman). It allows users to visually see what product or services the business has to offer. On Facebook you can create a business page where the company can post photos, slogans, and product knowledge. Facebook also has instant messaging communication which permits business media managers to respond subsequently to consumer questions, thoughts, and ideas. This feature allows businesses to connect with consumers consecutively worldwide. It also allows businesses to get instant feedback on the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of their product or services. It is vital to monitor business pages on social media to quickly respond to any feedback on site. In some cases, using Facebook could be harmful to a business when customer feedback is not so pleasant. When negative feedback occurs, instant messaging is very useful in order to respond quickly and positively as possible to correct an issue. In her article “Part II: Social Media”, Karen Blakeman shares that “Monitoring Facebook for discussions of you and your services or products is essential if you are to nip bad press in the bud. Respond appropriately and you can turn negative feedback into a positive story” (Blakeman).
Another social media link such as Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, allows visual advertisement and photo sharing for businesses to gain the attention of users and possibly influence them to try or buy the product or services that they have to offer. Although Instagram has been censored for its rules that administrate rights of consumers posts and control appropriate words of dialog on its media (Carroll), it can still be used broadly to promote products and services for any business. In spite of this controversy, Instagram is still a positive social media marketing tool for business and consumer interactive communication and is used by over half a billion individuals worldwide.
LinkedIn, on the other hand is definitely one of the most influential application used for businesses when it comes to searching for professionals that can get the job done. In his journal, Scott Brown tells us that “The powerful thing about LinkedIn is that you can showcase your skills, your interests, your presentations, your awards and honors, your reading recommendations and more, all on LinkedIn” (Blakeman). This can be very beneficial to businesses to employ the most effective persons with the skills and knowledge of their products and services for promotion and sales. LinkedIn is designed to help individuals create resumes, build portfolios and has continuous updates to keep you informed on new information. Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn all require secured login information to access a business page. This can be useful for businesses when advertising on social media because it also gives them an incentive to entice serious inquirers.
Next, there is YouTube. This popular social media site has substantial benefits for businesses in visibility and viability. YouTube is a video-based website (Driver), and gives a business the visibility to post DIY (do it yourself) videos as well as videos that demonstrate the results of the use of a product or service which promotes the capability of the business itself. YouTube can also be great for promoting and advertising. With the option of four different type of video ads that can be used, businesses can choose to solicit their products and advertisements before, during or after videos (Driver). Some are free and limited to 30 seconds and others come with a fee (Driver). The usefulness that YouTube will have for a particular business product or service can become very costly depending on what advertising strategy the company decides to utilize.
Finally, there is Pinterest. This social media app is also great for advertising, marketing, and promoting products and services visually. Pinterest allows posting, known as “pinning”, of videos and pictures for individuals to share and uncover new interest and ideas on their boards or others (Meng). In his blog, Andy Meng tells us that “Small businesses can capitalize on the Pinterest surge to market their products and grow their consumer base” (Meng). This could be very useful for businesses to allow consumers to visually observe what companies have to offer. It also allows you to post comments and instant messaging to receive feedback consecutively.
Conclusively, social media applications can both be beneficial and harmful when it comes to researching, marketing, advertising and communicating in hopes of gaining new clientele. The great thing about all of these applications is that they are free to download and install to your cell phone or computer. This gives all businesses an equal opportunity to visually, viably and sustainably promote their exclusive products and services efficiently worldwide. Communication through social media also gives a company or business the ability to reach consumers all across the globe sufficiently and effectively. As the old saying goes, social media allows businesses to ultimately keep up with the Joneses.