Social Media For Dummies

Coming into this class, I was confident I knew plenty of relevant information about Web 2.0 since I practically grew up with it. Constantly checking my Facebook and Twitter feeds or refreshing my Instagram profile made me think I was knowledgeable about social media, but in actuality there is so much more out there. After only two days of classes my mind was perplexed.

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Through class discussions, presentations, and videos on the topic, several topics caught my interest. The concept that the first source of social media was the ‘rely all’ button really made me realize that Web 2.0 is a lot more basic than people make it out to be. Social media is the notion of connecting and collaborating  with others from across the world. I find it fascinating that a concept that is so important to us as a society is almost an impossible term to define. Personally, I’m able to give examples of what is a channel of social media rather than the Webster definition.  Leaving class on Tuesday, many questions were running through my mind: Why is it so difficult for businesses to have a solid social media strategy? Is it possible to measure how much social media impacts a firm? What would life be without it in the 21st century?

1.  Social Media Difficult For Businesses — Why?

  • One main reason I believe businesses struggle with social media is because they try to rush into the field without proper preparation. It’s equivalent to an olympic sprinter expecting to win gold in the 100m dash without any practice. Before he or she is able to accomplish their goal, the person must take smaller steps in preparation. It is essential for companies to understand their target audience and what type of online presence they have. If your customers are 40 yr. old stay at home mothers, you need to know their behaviors: (ie. the best way to reached them, what time is best since they are constantly busy, what type of marketing tools catch their eye.) Another reason I  believe businesses find difficulty in executing social media plans are because companies try to join too many outlets at once instead of focusing on one channel that best relates to their business strategy. Companies assume they did their job by just making a twitter account and a Facebook page instead of letting qualitative and quantitative research determine where their network is.


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2.  Can You Measure The Influence Of Social Media?

  • Personally, I believe its extremely hard to determine a quantitative number that measures the influence of social media. Understanding the impact of these outlets are important because companies are spending hundreds of dollars a week to become more knowledge about their audience. While quantitative measurements are hard to come across, I do believe there are other ways to determine the influence you are having on your customers. This past summer at my internship at Karmaloop, one of my  tasks were to determine what content had a positive impact on customer retention online. By using Google Analytics, I was able to track user activity by seeing what pages people clicked on most, what key terms users searched for, and their demographics. This analysis helped me see what was working for the Karmaloop site and what aspects should be changed in a qualitative sense.

3.  Life Without Twitter

  • Just the thought of not having Twitter or any other social media outlet is pretty scary. I learn about breaking news or what is going on in the sports world on these channels before the television or newspaper. Social media allows for fast access to information, while sharing your thoughts. Without this, society would move at a much lower pace. While there are benefits to this new era, we must be aware of the negatives. These forums allow for individuals to share false information that could lead to further consequences. But ultimately, if there was a choice between life with or without social media I think a majority of us want it. Without social media, the human race could go insane.

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2 comments

  1. I love this post because I totally agree with everything said. Coming into this class, I also thought I already knew all there is to know about social media, especially because I did a social media marketing internship this summer. However, I quickly learned that there is so much out there that it is almost impossible to know everything about social media. And there are so many social media platforms that it is impossible to actively be involved on all of them. My main ones are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. Even so, I have trouble keeping up with just those five.

    When it comes to social media in business, you might find this article helpful:
    http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/technology-web/2013/09/12/growing-your-business-becoming-social-media-ninja/

    It talks about “becoming a social media ninja” and one thing it says is to dominate on just one social media platform. Rather than trying to be on every single one, and maybe posting on a few of them every once in a while, choose one or two and dominate them.
    I found the article really interesting.

    Great blog post though, really some good points.

  2. You’ve made some awesome points about social media in this blog post, and I love that you split it up into different topics. Not only does it make it easy to read, but it keeps the reader really engaged and able to follow your thought process!

    I was shocked as well to learn that social media is much more than just the online networks that are popular nowadays like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I never once considered that email could be considered social media, but now reflecting back on it, it does make sense. My definition, too, was (and is) extremely limited as I merely associate Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest to the term, when actually it is so much more. Through this semester, though, I really am looking forward to broadening my knowledge base of the term.

    Your points about social media in business got me thinking about our small group discussions in class this past week. My group discussed the beneficial impact that social media can have on business practices. A lot of businesses find it too difficult to try to employ a social media. They may think it’s too expensive of an effort, but in terms of the impact it has, it’s a cheap endeavor. While the initial investment sum may seem daunting, as soon as the ball is rolling, social media essentially allows for free, earned PR. Nothing is better for a business than word-of-mouth advertising and engagement with consumers!

    All in all, insightful comments!

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