While we can harp on the negatives of social media and digital business, and have certainly spent plenty of time discussing these cons during our class, the reality is that it is here to stay…shocker, huh? Thus, the optimist in me believes that it is much more productive to devote energy to focusing on all of its positives, and essentially convince ourselves that all of the benefits social media has brought to our society actually do make all of its annoyances well worth it.
In my initial thoughts on social media and digital business I said that social media’s pros outweigh its cons, but I really only addressed these benefits on a more social and personal level, such as the constant connection it enables us to have with friends and the ability to contact loved ones during times of disaster. In this post I will focus more on the way this class has made me realize benefits of all things social media and digital from more of a business perspective, and how I have come to realize that both are hugely beneficial to us as consumers as well. Our class and Twitter discussions and the presentations and insightful blog posts of my fellow classmates have exposed me to these positives, and allowed me to fully embrace this viewpoint.
Benefits of social media & digital business for a corporation:
- Corporations no longer have to guess what their consumers are thinking because consumers are literally telling them thanks to social media. User generated content like product reviews on YouTube and hotel reviews on Yelp, and tweets about customer service mean that a company doesn’t have to look far to determine what exactly its customers think about its product or its brand.
- Along these same lines, the plethora of data that exists today due to social media and digital gives corporations exact knowledge of what advertising content and mediums are working, and which aren’t. Similarly, customer data allows brands to personalize and target their marketing unlike ever before. Truly, businesses have consumers in the palms of their hands, it’s just a matter of whether they are able to appropriately capitalize on this opportunity.
- One-click purchasing capabilities thanks to digital business innovations have dramatically increased revenue for many corporations that otherwise may have had stagnant growth (I’m looking at you Amazon).
- And, from a more internal business standpoint, the ease of communication with team members thanks to social and digital is obvious. Additionally, while the effectiveness of virtual teams can definitely be debated, being able to work from home every once in awhile and still have access to your team members, definitely cannot be!
Benefits of social media & digital business for a consumer:
- Social media and digital business have improved customer service and the customer experience infinitely due to the ease of consumers’ ability to express their opinion and the personalization of digital business nowadays. Businesses are forced to prioritize customer experience and completely restructure their business strategy and business model to cater to us consumers more than ever before.
- As consumers, our voices are heard! Sure we may not be able to have a huge impact, but being able to share thoughts on a new product, or receive immediate customer service responses via Twitter gives us much more power as consumers than we’ve ever had, and allows us to feel closer to a brand than previously possible.
- We are able to be smarter consumers thanks to user generated reviews, and the ease of comparing products due to online shopping. If we do our research, we can assure that we almost always get the best products at the best prices.
- The on-demand economy is arguably the aspect of digital business that has spoiled us most as consumers. Though there’s no doubt it’s made us a lazier society, we can have what we want when we want it, thus freeing up our time to do other things, and making us more productive…right?
At the start of the semester, I mentioned in my first blog post that my relationship with social media was “floundering” because of all of the negative ways it has impacted our society. And though I am still very well aware of these negatives, this class has exposed me to ways of using social media tools in a positive manner and has shed light on all of the beneficial ways that social media has changed our world.
Finally, one of my hopes for this class was to gain a better understanding of ways that I can engage with social media on a more professional and educational level. This class has certainly taught me to do so. I find myself going to Twitter much more frequently in search of news and current events updates, and generally seeking out more information on what’s happening in the digital business world in general. Additionally, should I ever be a social media manager, I am now aware of what NOT to do on social, and the importance of being thoughtful and conscious in all social media publications in order to avoid a social media fiasco.
Thank you everyone for a great semester and for sharing your social media & digital business knowledge!