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.
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.
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.