Social Media: Introduction

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Social Media: Introduction

Social media, as referred to by some is known as social networking sites by others. These days, the term social media is tossed around very frequently. Social media is a two-way communication channel which enables the users to respond as well. Social media sites are not simply sources of information, but these are websites where the user can interact with other users and with different organizations.  Communication is essential to every organization and individuals. No organization can function in vacuum. Social media is the platform which can be used by business to communicate and prevent vacuum. In this blog I will emphasize on the importance of social media to any organization. The subsequent blogs will include my opinion about how organizations can use social media effectively.

Social media has changed the environment in which any business operates. Public relations and social media go hand in hand. In addition to traditional media and other media outlets, social media is an essential tool which public relation professionals use to communicate with their public and also hear back from the public. Before the social media era, it was a B2B and B2C setting, but now it has evolved to B2P, with P being people. With the rise in social media platforms, public demands an instant response from any organization.

Before we delve deeper into the importance of social media, we shall understand why it is essential to utilize social media to an organizations benefit. With the advancement in technology, receivers were exposed to the platform known as social media. Social media became the platform where people express themselves. They not only discuss and share information on social media pages, but they also provide feedback, reviews, comments and criticism on these pages. All this has become exceedingly easy with the increase in use of mobile technology. Mobile web has made it possible for users to provide instant response on social media pages. People post queries on social media pages to ask for other people’s opinions before shopping. The response they get from others is an important factor that effects decision making. Studies have indicated that Mobile web usage has gone up by 82% in 2012 over 2011 and mobile app usage has grown by 85%. This increase in mobile web and social media tells us something. It indicates that social media is the next web simply because people spend a vast majority of their time on social media sites. As mentioned earlier, it is important to understand that people are no longer passive receivers. The people known as audience are active social media user who have an effect on the organization’s reputation and business.

A recent article posted on PR Daily indicates that social media users can be profiled into 12 categories based on their social media usage. The article categorized people into groups ranging from “ultras” to “virgins.” Image

Through this point, I am only trying to emphasize on the point that social media users are ardent and abundant. They are so abundant that researchers have been able to profile them. Utilizing social media platform to convey the right message to all the users can be very beneficial to any organization.For example, videos like Kony 2012, Harlem Shake and Gangam Style and Gangam Style have over one billion views and are extremely popular viral videos. This rate at which the videos gained popularity explains how fast information travels on social media platforms. This aspect of social media can be utilized by an organization to make or break their brand and business.

Details about how can an organization use social media can be read in my next blog.

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