What is Social Media
Social Media refers to “websites or applications that enable users to create and share content or to particiapte in social networking”. Social Media is termed as Web 2.0 application. Unlike the era of Web 1.0, in the Web 2.0 platform, the idea of content publishing comes from all users instead of a few individuals. In addition, communication can be made through a variety of channels and medium under social media. These methods include audio, video, text, forums, discussion boards, SMS, chatting, as well as blogging etc. As a result. Social Media can be seen as a depository of real time information because of its ability to collect and process information in massive scale.
Social Media in Business
Given the popularity and the great potential, people have brought Social Media into the business world. Many companies nowadays have integrated Social Media as part of their strategic plans; they use social media to increase their presence in the external environment as well as to strengthen their business functions internally.
Externally, companies see the opportunity of using social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter to raise brand awareness and build customer loyalty. They also use Blog or Discussion Forum to collect market opinions from audience through reviews and comments.
For Internal usage, these social media tools provide employees an informal way to dissimilate ideas and faciliate collaboration between departments. The tools also serve as medium to evaluate and improve employees’ performance. For example, IBM integrates Second Life into its leadership training program. Toyota also uses virtual games to engage not only customers but also employees to help design new products and services.
This video below outlines the potential of Social Media in Business:
However, the application social media cannot guarantee a market success for business, companies need to use their imagination and make efforts to explore market opportunity. As the guidelines, below are the top ten considerations for companies adopting Social Media
- Choose carefully
- Pick your application, or make your own
- Ensure activity alignment
- Media plan integration
- Access for all
- Be active
- Be interesting
- Be humble
- Be unprofessional
- Be honest
Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review press
Lawson, J. (2012, January 29). The social media revolution 2012: Why social business matters. [Video]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6rf-EWL8fs