The concept of Social Media is a complicated one. Looking at Social Media’s face value to a user, it is a quick and convenient way of getting in touch with the surrounding world, yet it is used for so much more.
You can joke or be terrified about how much you can discover through the internet. Not saying that I call myself a stalker exactly, but say you are curious who a friend your friend’s that you saw them with last week…..hypothetically I could probably find them for you. And not just their picture, but their name, high school, college, age, family, hobbies, sense of humor, and much more. Now some may think I am incredibly creepy or maybe a little insane. But in the world we live in today, it is just way too easy! To make it even harder on me, you could even choose a specific social platform like Facebook or Instagram yet the task would still be doable. However, this is not even where social media begins to become complicated and advanced. Using the social platforms for personal pleasure can be fun, entertaining, and helpful. These platforms provide anyone and everyone with the tools to connect to millions of people, no matter the distance. The reach is massive, according to Statista, there will be around 2.95 billion users of social networks by 2020. It is incredible how the variety of platforms even offer different forms of communication; post a status, snap a picture, compose a tweet, pin a craft, etc. Once posted, millions of people are able to view the post (depending on user settings obviously) in seconds.
Now that’s one side of the social world we find ourselves in; the personal side. The flipside is the way that social media platforms have pierced our economy and corporate world; the commercial social media. Social channels are used to advertise and drive sales for basically any type of good or service. A Wall Street Journal article reports on how e-commerce is currently booming and changing the way rural America shops. Social media becomes complex with user experience concerning the three C’s of marketing.
Whether aware of their contribution or not, data collected based on consumers drives social marketing strategies for most companies. Shopping habits and internet trends dictate what ends up on social media. The consumer has a certain set of expectations for their world wide web experience. A consumer has the power to demand a faster service or a more personalized customer journey. Their actions dictate the company and competition’s next move.
The company truly decides what to post based on the consumer’s wants and needs. Employees go through mounds of data looking for what leads products to have the highest click through and purchase rates on the internet. This action is called data mining and is considered one of the best ways to “communicate” with consumers. Then, they cater the messages toward consumers that have shown tendencies to purchase similar products, fit the demographic, or share a certain type of lifestyle. As a consumer, it may seem like a crazy coincidence that after looking up airfare prices to a tropical place, your screen is filled with ads for hotel deals and excursions you can go on while there. Next, sunscreen and swimsuit ads are all over your Facebook and sprinkled into your Instagram feed. Every website you travel to and ad you click on produces a virtual footprint.
While pleasing the consumer, the company also has to make sure they are beating the competition. Looking at what other companies are using for their social strategies is one of the best ways for an individual company to improve their own goods and services. The social world is forever changing and the next big thing is always rolling out so a company needs to try their best to be one step ahead of the competition. A successful company tends to propel themselves forward by being reactive. Being the first to release a POV (point of view) on an addition to a platform such as Facebook Live or Snapchat Memories makes a company more competitive. The digital business world is also still relatively new and always changing.
Between personal social media and commercial social media, we find ourself surrounded by advertisements, new features, and random Buzzfeed articles. Social media finds itself into our commute, our job, our food, our living rooms, and even our beds.
Admittedly, I find myself addicted to my devices and completely sucked into this digital world and I don’t hate it.
In Social Media and Digital Business, I am excited to learn how to further leverage social media personally and for a business sense. I am curious to see where technology takes us next.My grandfather has told me about the first computer he ever saw and how impressed he was. I even remember playing with the paper that came attached with the holes down each side. My dad always talks about how for him growing up a calculator was $100 and thought of being incredibly technologically advanced. In this day and age, the iPhone 7 and self-driving cars are fascinating to us all. That is what makes me so curious about what technology is going to make me look like a dinosaur to my own children. Will the world be run by robots and artificial intelligence? Who knows?