Social Media in Business
Social Media in Business
Social media usually employs web-based and mobile technologies in order to establish considerably interactive platforms through which communities and individuals share, establish, discuss and alter user-produced content. Over the years, network interactive sites have been rather popular in establishing communication within the society. Because of this advantage, social media has become considerably advocated for within the corporate society. Irrespective of the reluctance to adopt this technology, corporations have begun experiencing significant benefits in relation to utilization. Such benefits range from increased financial performance to simpler mechanisms of targeting consumers. Aside from these company-related advantages, the implementation of social media in corporations has influenced consumers to participate in processes involving marketing exchange. Currently, consumers have begun assuming a dynamic role in the establishment of promotional factors ranging from product designs to marketing messages. As such, corporations have become capable of providing products and services that correspond to the needs and preferences of their clientele.
Goals of Social Media in a Corporate Context
Overall, social media gratifies the novel needs that corporations that possess currently. Accordingly, organizations have been capable of utilizing social media in order to resolve issues that are considered part of the technological age. As an outcome of this, social media, based on its utilization in the business environment, possess a range of goals that can solely be attributed to the corporate setting.
To Nurture Knowledge Collaboration and Development
One of the aims of network interactive technology involves fostering knowledge collaboration and development within the corporation. Undeniably, social media is capable of establishing direct and efficient exchange of knowledge among the disparate interest groups and stakeholders of a company (Gurau, 2008). The process which was once viewed as intricate and consuming due to constraints such as geography has become relatively easy and possible based on the opportunities that social media provides. Hence, building upon social ties, social media aims at enabling the collaboration and development of knowledge among employees and the management irrespective of proximity.
To Establish a Background for Decision-Making
The focus on strategic decision-making in corporations influences the utilization of social media. Corporations have occasionally experienced challenges in researching the markets they hope to penetrate. Conventionally, companies depended heavily on traditional media in order to engage in financial decisions. However, social media has decreased the reliance on inflexible media by being capable of replicating context and establishing the background for a reorganized foundation based on decision-making (Kietzmann, Hermkens, McCarthy & Silvestre, 2011). Through this technology, corporations can now utilize social media in the provision of instant information that may assist in decisions involving strategic aspects such as the promotional mix and marketing.
Principal Uses of Social Media in Organizations
Currently, organizations utilize social media for a range of activities. Foremost, social media sites have become credible resources within the organizations’ promotional mix. According to Boone and Kurtz (2007), organizations have integrated social media within marketing communications. Through this, the technology provides them with the ability to integrate aspects of promotion such as personal selling, advertising, direct marketing, public relation and sales promotion within a single platform. In addition to promotional campaigns, corporations use social media in order to convey their underlying values via mission statements as well as statements illustrating strategic principles. Another major use of social media by organizations involves the development of positive customer relations. Through network interactive sites, corporations have become closer towards their customers. Furthermore, they have enabled communication in the form of product or service feedback. To be more specific, organizations can currently ask customers to relay suggestions based on how they can improve their services or products.
Consequently, corporations utilize social media in order to drive sales. Due to the accessibility of networking sites and media, it is unsurprising to see the considerable efforts that organizations have applied in establishing financial relationships with their customers. An illustration of this concerns the use of organizational blogs. Apparently, companies have actively engaged in connecting with their clientele in order to produce sales leads (Hill & Moran, 2011). In addition to this, businesses are utilizing video streaming sites such as YouTube in order to attract more customers into purchasing the products they offer online. As such, social media have become a major contributor to the development of online business in the form of platforms such as E-Business and E-Commerce.
Benefits and Risks of Corporate Social Media Use
Indeed, social media has generated considerable benefits in relation to the corporate context. Foremost, organizations have utilized this medium as an alternative to traditional forms of promotion. Accordingly, the costs utilized in promoting products and services via traditional media such as newspapers and cable programming are expensive (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). As such, social media have alleviated this challenge by allowing organizations to market their offerings via networking sites at low costs. Secondly, companies have become capable of targeting widespread consumer bases. Indeed, social media has facilitated communication and interaction among people based in different geographical regions. Hence, corporations have exploited this by appealing to international and local clientele in order to drive sales considerably.
On the other hand, social media also poses its own demerits to organizations utilize them. Foremost, the use of networking media has weakened the pragmatism and usefulness of traditional communication platform. The inclination towards modern forms of communications has forced organizations to disregard the key positive effects that traditional communication media can pose especially in the development of an integrated marketing interaction platform. Consequently, social media is also time intensive. In order to ensure successful two-way communication, corporations require commitment. Furthermore, changes within social networks based on marketing developments can affect an organization’s effort in driving sales. Hence, it may be difficult for organizations to manage social networks especially if they lack the service to carry out this task.
Tools Used in Management of Social Media Strategies
Organizations use a range of social media platforms in order to manage their networking strategies. Social networking sites are commonly used mediums in organizations currently. Through such sites, organizations have created online associations with their customers on a daily basis. Facebook, which is rather common, has facilitated this by allowing users to advertise a product, a service or a company to their private list of contacts by simply “liking” such facets. This concept extends similarly to other types of media. For instance, Twitter enables users to obtain small commercials and updates from preferential producers. Collaborative projects such as data-sources and wikis have become avenues of connection especially regarding the provision of information amid customer populations. Blogs, which are managed by organizations, have been utilized significantly as marketing forums. Through them, businesses are capable of endorsing brand awareness via the provision of insider information, updates on novel products and links to key sales conduits.
Critical Factors for Organizations to Consider Regarding Social Media Strategies
Corporations need to reflect on certain considerations in order to implement successful social media strategies. First, corporations need to consider the congruity of the strategies they seek to impose. Accordingly, firms need to create strategies that are suited towards disparate social media operations. As such, it will be imperative to focus on the facets of social media that will support the requirements of its business. Secondly, organizations have to consider whether their social media strategies integrate positively with other aspects of their framework. For instance, it is important for a corporation to see if the networking strategy it seeks to implement coincides significantly with its marketing strategies (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Thirdly, firms need to focus on the impact that social media strategies will impose in relation to time. Indeed, social networking consumes time due to consistencies required in maintaining relationships with consumers. Fourth, there is need to contemplate on the monitoring of social media tasks and how they vary with respect to their operations and effect. Lastly, organizations should consider the costs that may arise from the implementation of social media strategies within their framework.
Indeed, the emergence of social media has not only enabled communication among people. Organizations have been capable of using the technology as a form of competitive strategy aimed at fostering knowledge and profitable decision-making. In light of these aims, various media have been utilized by corporations within a business-related context. However, the overall use of social media has exuded different benefits as well as demerits. As such, organizations need to understand the consequences that come with the utilization of social media in order to offset or mitigate the risks involved. Hence, it is important for them to consider several factors, which will be important in guaranteeing success for them. Such aspects will involve congruity, integration with other business-based strategies, impact, the varying nature of social media and the expenses that may occur from implementation.
Boone, K. E., & Kurtz, D. L. (2007). Contemporary marketing. Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.
Gurau, C. (2008). Integrated online marketing communication: Implementation and management. Journal of Communication Management, 12(2), 169-184.
Hill, P. R., & Moran, N. (2011). Social marketing meets interactive media: Lesson for advertising company. International Journal of Advertising, 30(5), 815-838.
Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media, Business Horizons, 53, 59-68.
Kietzmann, J. H., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I. P., & Silvestre, B. S. (2011). Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Business Horizons, 54, 241-251.