Influences of social media on business
After I read the article of Boyd.D and Ellison. N, my attention and interest was drawn on the influence of social media on business. The way organizations communicate with customers has been fast transformed by social media. As a cost-effective way to engage online, social media enable companies to broader reach and cover its customers than email. With a simple post or tweet, businesses can promote products and services, provide instant feedback or support, and create an online community of rand enthusiasts. So if companies want to keep its competitive advantages and succeed in today’s business world, consistent social media strategy is necessary.
There are many articles providing tips for social media strategy such like finding the right social media platforms, understanding the features and functions of the chose social media platforms, fully engagement and utilization, create own contents, personalize own sites and make them social to viewers, and make links to emails, corporate websites and other social media platforms.
All these tips are important suggestions to businessman when they want to promote their businesses by social media, but I think one of the most important tips about the social media strategy is acknowledging and utilizing the characteristics and functions of social media.
Social media have the following characteristics.
- Immediacy. The online dialogue technologies provided by social media enable companies to seize and manage the potential opportunities or issues more actively and positively.
- Universal influence： There were 121 billion minutes in July 2012 spent on social media only in US, 56 % of people in world using the social media. So the potential market for business is huge.
- low-cost: now most of the social media are free of charge, and which would be a great method to save costs.
- It is convenient for companies to improve customer services by collecting customers’ feedback from the social media because customers will share their opinions or experiences about the products or services on social media.
- Brand loyalty. There are at least 50% of users on Twitter and Facebook preferring to discuss, recommend or purchase the products form the companies they follow on social media.
- Event function. On Facebook, companies can create events and export them to Outlook, iCal and Google calendars. It will help companies to promote and manage their events effectively.
- Scheduling Posts. I think it is a useful function for time management on marketing. Companies can preplan and schedule all the posts so that they can save certain time and human resources on the posts.
- Role Allocation. Page managers can now choose to allocate different levels of access to a page. The roles include Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, Advertiser and Insights Analyst. It is a good way to protect companies’ privacy and manage tasks for the media marketing.
- Post promotion. Facebook develop the function to extend the reach of companies’ posts within the normal newsfeed. They can choose the budget from $5.00 to $20.00 to put towards it and then receive a rough idea from Facebook about the coverage of the posts from 1,800 to 3,500 people based on this budget. It can then last up to three days in the newsfeed. I think it is a cheap but effective method for marketing.
After acknowledging these characteristics and functions, the next step for business is the utilization. But what I want to remind here is to keep an eye on the fake information and protect privacy on social media.
But overall, social media has had and is continuing to have a huge influence on business, marketing and on how businesses engage with their target market. The use of social media to share and engage with others continues to grow at an astounding rate, so it would be wise for any business to develop and implement a sustainable social media strategy in order to successfully take advantage of this rapidly changing environment.