Social media sites allow for people to communicate and share mutual knowledge and information in a virtual community without having to worry about the geographical and political boundaries. Unlike regular websites which are used by organisations to communicate information to customers, social networking sites are more of engaging and interacting with the customers/stakeholders rather than giving information.
According to Nielsen, internet users continue to spend more time with social media sites than any other type of sites. In today’s post I am going to be looking at how social media sites participation is used for more than just marketing.
Organisations and individuals have embraced social networking tools with the goal of making for better and more value. Organisations use social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter etc. to connect with their customers and respond to their product/services reviews. Responding to their customer feedback via social networks increases the organisations reputation as it shows that they care about their customers’ input. They can also use social network sites as a form of customer service medium, where there is a dedicated role within the organisation responsible for attending to customer inquires and complaints via the sites. It is true that organisations have developed a marketing strategies using social technology. Starbucks is an example of an organisation that uses social media as a medium for promoting sales and adding more value to their customers.
This is probably the most common use of social media sites and perhaps the main reason why they were started in the 90s. The majority of people using social networking sites such as Facebook, use it purely for fun, personal use and staying in touch with friends far and near.Ian Collins in his blog mentioned that “a wall post can work when a phone call would be too much, such as simply commenting to somebody that they should listen to a song or making an amusing remark”. Social networking sites eliminate the awkward silent moments that occur during normal phone calls and allows people communicate with people they normally wouldn’t talk to.
With the explosion of social technology in web 2.0, it has become more important for institutions to engage students in a social media form of learning. Universities now use social media contents such as blogs and YouTube videos to enrich their websites and attract potential students. Personal Learning Network(PLN) is a form of learning through social networking sites, which many students and education professionals have adopted. With social media, Universities make education available online which enables people from different countries and continents to acquire education from overseas (though there is still a strong challenge when it comes to language barrier). Robert Hernandez, in this YouTube video said that education never stops and that people learn everyday, and for this reason alone, the stipulated time (once a week) for in-class learning is never enough for students and teachers to share their knowledge. therefore social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are really filling in. He also mentioned that students, when introduced to social media as a form of learning, don’t immediately take to it as to some of them, social media is identified as a social tool which are only used for “fun” stuff, but they then understand after they start using it, how powerful a tool it is when it comes to their learning outcomes. The YouTube video says quite a lot about the future of education using social media tools.
Social media platforms are becoming popular among job recruiters and job seekers. Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are the most popular channels that employers use to match skills of a job seeker to their job requirements. Today, it is very important to clean up your digital identity and make meaningful contribution to the online community as this can make or break your personal brand.
In a survey conducted by Robert Half in Brazil, 44% of 2,500 recruiters said that bad social media image alone were enough to disqualify candidates during their employee selection process. 46% said that they make use of LinkedIn to verify the accuracy of references on candidates’ resume, and 43% use LinkedIn on only the candidates that they have interviewed.
Thank you for taking time out to read post and I hope that these few pointer were enough to argue that Social Networking Sites are more than just a marketing channel. Until my next post, Goodbye, Adeu, Addio, Au revoir, Adios