SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

Social Media Platforms 11

SOCIALMEDIA PLATFORMS

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Tableof Contents

Introduction 2

Background at Social Media 3

Classification of Social Media 4

Social Networking Sites 4

Blogs 4

Content Generating and Sharing Sites 5

User Appraisal Sites 5

Popular Social Platforms 8

Twitter 8

Advantages of Twitter 9

Disadvantages of Twitter 9

Facebook 10

Advantages of Facebook 11

Disadvantages 12

LinkedIn 12

Advantages of LinkedIn 12

Disadvantages of LinkedIn 13

Differences between Facebook and Twitter 13

Privacy Concerns 13

Product Promotion on Social Media 14

Case Study: Dell Computers 15

Conclusion 16

Reference List 17

Appendices 19

SocialMedia Platforms

Introduction

TheWorld Wide Web has madeour planeta global village.Informationis alwaysat our fingertips. Nowmorethan anyothertimein historyhumanbeingshas accessto information,opinions,andnewsthrough variousdigital platforms.Theemergenceof socialmediaandtheensuingtrendof changein consumptionof mediacontents are pushingbusinessentitiesto adoptsocialmediaas of theprimarytoolsof publicrelationsandmarketing(Warschauer,2004).Atthemomentthedevelopmentof internet andtheincreasedusageof digital devicessuchas laptops, smartphonesandtabletshavecontributedsignificantly to theavailability of differentformsof information,content that previouslyusedto be onlyavailablein mainstream mediasuchas televisionandprintmedia.A study conducted by Nielsen Company has shown that there is aimpressive shift in internet activity towards social media. Forexample, about 36 percent of Americans are spending their time whileonline socializing and networking on social platforms such asFacebook, Twitter and Linkedln (Nelson,2012). This translates to a 43 percent increase in a span of three years. In the recent past many individuals were talking about theinformation revolution, today we are observing a social mediarevolution. For many commercial entities, maintain a social mediapresence has become a necessary undertaking.(Gilin, 2012).This paper shall seek to exemplify Facebbok, Twitter and Linkedln andtheir effects of business operations.

Backgroundat Social Media

Thetermsocialmediaisusedto refertotheapplicationof web-basedandcellular phonetechnologies to transformcommunicationinto an interactive dialog.Kaplan Andreas (2010) definessocialmediaas anassemblageof internet based applicationsthat arecreatedon thetechnological andideological backgroundof Web 2.0 andthatinvariablyallowthecreationandsharingof usegenerateinformation(Warschauer,2004).Supportedby universallyscalable andaccessiblecommunicationnetworks,socialmediahavesignificantly revolutionizedthewaythatbusinessentities,communities,andindividualsrelateandcommunicate.Thefigurebelow depicts an overviewof socialmedia.

Figure1: AnOverviewof SocialMedia

Classificationof Social Media

Socialmediaplatformsarecategorizedinto thefollowinggroups:

SocialNetworking Sites

Thesocialnetworking siteoffersa web-based podium forcreatingsocialrelationsamongst individuals.Theyprovidea waythrough which individualscan interactover theinternet, through e-mail andotherdigital devices.Themostpopularsocialnetworking siteis Facebookthatwasstartedin 2004, MySpace startedayearearlierandTwitter andLinkedIn (Noor &amp Hendricks, 2012). Asocialnetworksiteenablestheuser to createa personalized homepage andcreatea socialnetworkonline (Evans,2013).Thecustomizedpagecontainstheprofileof theuser with thingssuchas gender,interest,orientation,religionandcurrentlocation.Theuser can alsocustomize thepageby addingphotographs,video clips andotherfiles.

Blogs

Drawnfrom weblog,a blog is an online journalwherea person,organizationorcompanycan presenta traceof thoughts,beliefs,andactivities.Hereare numeroussitesthat enabletheuser to generateblogs freeof charge,themostsalientsitesincludeblogger.com andBlogspot.com Any personcan createa weblog on suchsitesandoncecreatedblogs can be accessedby anyonewhotypestheUniform Resource Locator (Newson,Houghton &amp Patten, 2008).In thesamevein,thereis anothercategoryof weblogs referredto as microblogs.Theseare similarto blogs theonlydifferencebeingthattheyhavea wordlimitthat can betypedin a singlemessage.Twitter is themostpopularmicroblog(Nadaraja,R. and Yazdanifard, 2010).

ContentGeneratingandSharingSites

Theseare platformsthat serveas a sourceof informationfordifferenttopics.In thiscategorywehavephotographsharingplatformssuchas google.com andFlicker.com, video sharingplatformssuchas YouTube, documentsharingplatformssuchas docstoc.com andslide sharingplatformssuchas slide share.Thesesocialplatformsare providingfreeinformationandcontent forallindividualon theinternet. Individualscan searchforinformationandcan evendownload thecontents anduseitwithout nay charge(Nadaraja,R. and Yazdanifard, 2010). Theuser can alsogeneratecontents on thesesites,andsuchmaterialis usuallyreferredto as crowdsourcing.

UserAppraisalSites

Finally,thereare user appraisalsitesthat provideindividualswith an avenueto appraisedifferentcontents andproductson theinternet. Thoughan individualcan appraisevariousproductsandservicesusingothersocialmediaplatforms,user appraisalsitesare specificallymeantforconsumersto expresstheir observationandview.An excellentexampleof a user appraisalsiteis the(Nadaraja, R. and Yazdanifard, 2010). Theseplatformsactas a startingpositionforconsumer’sdecisionmakingandgatheringinformationabout a givencommodityorservicetheyare planningto purchase.Theseplatformsserveas crucialplatformsforexpressingafter purchasefeedback. Thetablebelow depicts a listof someof themostprominentsocialmediasitesbased on their functions.

Table1: ProminentSocialMediaSitesBased On Their Functions

Application

Function

Facebook

Social networking

Twitter

micro blogging

LinkedIn

contact database

Wikipendia

Reference

Myspace

Social netwroking

del.icio.us

bookmarking

World of Warcraft

Online gaming

Blogtv, Justin.tv, and

Live casting

Digg and Reddit

News aggregation

You tube

Video sharing

Upcoming

Events

Flickr and Zooomr

Photograph sharing

(Evans,2013)

Figure2, 3 and 4: IndicatesHow American Populace Uses Social Media Platforms

PopularSocial PlatformsTwitter

Twitteris a microblogwhereusers communicatethrough 140 characters,commonlyreferredto as tweets. Manypeopleandbusinessorganizationusetwitter as a meansof communicationandconnectingdirectlyto clientsandto relaycorporationnewsandendorsements(Aseem,2013).

Mostprofessionalservicesorganizationson Twitter applyitto exchangeknowledge,converseabout bestpracticesandsocialize with otherfirms in theindustry.Asaforementioned, twitter can fallintothecategoriesof socialnetworking andmicro blogging sites(Aseem,2013). Twitter accordstheuser an opportunityto engagein realtimeexchangeof informationandsharingof tweets. Everyindividualhas followerswhoautomatically accessthetweets. Based on thestatistics releasedby theTwitter Inc, sitehandlesmorethan 300 million tweets everyday(Evans,2013).Twitter is an excellentsocialplatformthat can be usedby individualsandfirms forbothpersonalandbusinesspurposescorrespondingly. Twitter has an edgeover othersocialmediasitesbecauseof its abilityto connectto a largeraudience.Itcan be appliedverysuccessfullyto advertizeproductsandcommoditieson theinternet andcatchtheattentionofthe audienceimmediately(Neti,2011). Twitter providesbusinessenterprises with anexcellentopportunityto goviral. In thesamevein,itallowsan individualuser to sharevitalupdates andfascinatingnewswith their followers.EventhoughTwitter postsare onlylimitedto 140 characters,itis a verypotentplatformto connecta brandwith millions of peoplearound theglobe(Newson,Houghton &amp Patten, 2008).

Advantagesof Twitter

  • Twitter is a social site that is very easy to join and free to use

  • It provides one of the best ways of connecting with all the relevant people and organization around the world.

  • Twitter is user-friendly, meaning it is a very easy to use. The user is only required to follow other people to get updates and news. It is also easy to tweet and re-tweet by just mentioning particular individuals.

  • The site has numerous applications through which a user can do a lot of things.

  • Twitter can be sued to get followers to know about your enterprise, commodity, services, eBooks, blogs and anything that can help lure people to your firm (Aseem, 2013).

  • The site has many users meaning that the one can find many individuals and organizations, which can be followed.

  • Twitter let the user interact while on the laptop or your mobile phone (Aseem, 2013).

Disadvantagesof Twitter

  • One requires many followers to succeed in promoting a product or service on the internet.

  • The site encounters a lot of spamming conundrum. Many users try to scam other users by sending spam tweets.

  • It is difficult for the user to express their feeling and views thoroughly in 140 characters (Newson, Houghton &amp Patten, 2008).

  • The security and privacy aspects of twitter users have been volatile issue. Many users feel their privacy is infringed and their security compromised, because the site shares all personal information to third parties (Aseem, 2013).

  • Apart from tweeting and sharing and sending pictures, there is nothing much that ca be done on Twitter to promote a product or service.

  • Twitter lags behind other sites such as Facebook. In business prospective views, a platform such as Facebook fan page can be very useful such an avenue is not available in Twitter (Aseem, 2013).

  • Twitter has many users and more often than not it is overloaded

Facebook

Facebookis a socialplatformthat supportsreal-time informationfeed,wherebyindividualscan createprivateandcompanypages.At thepresenttime,thesitehas morethan 900 million activeusers andis themostpopularsocialsitein theglobe(Evans,2013).

Itis prevalentthatFacebook is one of themosthelpfulsocialsiteformarketinga company’sproductsandservices.Researchfindingsby Knowledge Networks has revealedthat‘’morethan 15 million peoplearound theglobe’’goon socialmediabefore theymaketheir purchasedecisionhighlights theimportantfunctionthatFacebook assumesin themodernworld(Aseem,2013).AFacebook pageallowstheuser to createtheir profile,indicatingtheir currentlocation,age,gender,andhobbies.In addition,ifofferstimeline whereusers can continuously updatetheir status.In thisplatform,individualcan highlight theirwhich productstheyprefer,advicefriendon thebestalternativesin themarketandsharethiswill thefriends.Companiescan alsouseFacebook pageas a businesswebsite. Commercialenterprises usetheir pageto informthepublicvariousaspectsabout their products(Aseem,2013). Businesscan alsocreateonline networkwith otherfirms.In addition,companiescan createa funpagewhich is an importantavenueforinformingpeoplebout thecompanyproducts.

Advantagesof Facebook

TheeverdynamicFacebook designhas madeiteasyforpersonsandcorporationsto createa pageexclusivelymeantforthepromotionof a product,brand(Aseem,2013).

  • Companies can create a fun page which offers an interaction of the brand and product’s fun with the enterprise.

  • Fun pages have a powerful prospect of going viral since it provides means of communicating with consumers and allows offering of special coupons and challenges for product or brand devotees.

  • Through the use of applications such as Facebook markup Language, individuals can create new tabs of their choice, and that can carry contents as is fit for the company.

  • A properly designed Facebook page has the potent of fostering interaction between the firm and consumers.

Disadvantages

  • The user of Facebook has limited authority over customization of Facebook fun page.

  • Facebook is only accessible to individual who is registered.

LinkedIn

LinkedInwasinitiatedin 2003 thoughtwasfounda yearearlier.Itis an online contactdatabase forprofessionals.LinkedIn is meantforcompaniesandusers to connectwith one anotherforcommercialorprofessionalfunctionssuchas searchingfora jobandexploitingcommercialopportunities(Evans,2013).Thissocialnetworking siteis createdanddesignedto fosterprofessionalnetworks.LinkedIn users can interrelate with otherusers usuallyprofessionalsin an online platform.Allusers can stayupdatedabout jobvacancies,workstatusandevensubscribeto updates from particularorganizations.In addition,usersusuallyalignthemselves based on thenatureof their industryandthusare alwaysupdatedwithchangesin their industrialcommunity(Aseem,2013).

Advantagesof LinkedIn

  • Provide opportunjty to meet and interact with people related to one’s profession or line of business

  • It assists in increasing social relations with individuals in different parts of the globe

  • Allows the user to post their curriculum vitae and this is important especially when looking for a job.

Disadvantagesof LinkedIn

  • Linkedln is not easy to use

  • There exist a massive learning curve when introduced to navigating and comprehending the capability of the site.

  • It entails a lot of data entry, which might consume a lot of time.

  • Has very number of customized modules

Differencesbetween Facebook andTwitter

EventhoughbothTwitter andFacebook are socialnetworking platformsthereare fundamentaldifferencethat distinguishesthetwo tools.Evidentlythetwo socialsitesare themostpopularon theinternet.Thekeydifferencesemanates from thecommunicationmethodemployedby eachsite(Aseem,2013). WhileTwitter is an activeformof interactionandcommunication,Facebook is meantto bea passiveform.Individualstalkon Twitter depending theissuesthat emerges,youdonot haveto haveanyrelationshipwith thosethat followyouandthatthatarefollowed.Facebook is meantforfriendsthoughnot per see.Bothsitestendto holdtothenotionthateverything is publicandFacebook givesan individual’sfriendswhileTwitter giveperson followers. Friendshaveto getapprovalfrom theuser thatis not thesameforTwitterfollowersUsers in Twitter are freeto followanyone providedtheywereregisteredmembers(Aseem,2013).

PrivacyConcerns

Privacyissueshavebeenone of theprimaryconcernsthat havesignificantly affectedthecontributionof socialmedia.Ithas becomeevidentthatanytimea user visitstheir favoritesocialplatformtheyleavecyber footprint,which can be usedto accessprivateinformationwithout theuser approval(Nadarajaand Yazdanifard, 2010). Usingsocialplatformssuchas Twitter andFacebook topromotecompanybrandcan invariablyimplicatetrust,securityandprivacyissuesof theuser. Companiesmight,therefore, compromisetheir privacyin theprocessof developinga brandon a socialsite.Trustisofutmostimportanceespeciallyin theuniquefacetof transactional privacyandsecurity.Itis an importantaspectthat boostsusers andcustomerloyaltysocialmediapromoters andadvertiser(Nadarajaand Yazdanifard, 2010). Normallysocialmediaplatformssuchas Twitter andFacebook has their securityandprivacypoliciesthat providea frameworkfortheyuseof consumerdata andtheir relationswith thirdpartyinconnection with private information.Hackers havealsomadesocialmediaplatforms veryunsafeandunreliableas a placeforsaleof commodities.Securityissuesare thesourceof intensefearamong manypeoplewhorefrainfrom conductingbusinesson thewebNadarajaand Yazdanifard, 2010).

ProductPromotion on Social Media

Marketingon socialmediaplatformscan confertremendousadvantagesto companies.First,theyofferan opportunityforcompaniesto provideunlimitedinformationto consumerswithout humancontact(Neti,2011). Moreimportantly thisinformationcan be offeredin theformandmannerthatcustomerscan readilyunderstandandprocess.Agoodexampleis theairscheduling andhotelreservation.Itis evidentthere is nootherplatformotherthan thoseofferedontheinternetto serveeveryindividual(Neti,2011). Alsoin firms offeringa broadrangeof productsandthuschoicesfortheconsumerare large,itishard to provideinformationon allthe goodsin anyother format that is better than World Wide Web (Nadaraja, 2010).

Second,socialmediaplatformsprovidea companywith a chanceto interactwith consumersby personalizing informationforparticulargroupsof customers.Acompanycan alsoacquirehelpfulinformationon howtheyshould designproductssoas to meetthedemandanddesireof theclient(Zarrella,2010). Third,there are five keyadvantagesthatadvertisingon socialmediaplatformsconfers to a firm (Nadaraja, 2010). Theseinclude

  • Advertising on social media is cost effective

  • Increase in the level of social interaction that exposes a firm’s product to a broad consumer base

  • Social media networks provide greater access to information and supports greater use control and engagement.

  • Social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter enable companies to target a particular group of audience and consumers based on site’s user’s personal preference interest and based on what their friend prefers.

  • Provide an avenue to address the concern of customers.

Finally,socialmedianetworkshavemadetransactionsbetween companiesandcustomerspossible,without humancontact.Dell has beenone of thefirmsthat havethrivedthrough advertisingandproductpromotionon theinternet andspecifically,on thesocialmediaplatforms(Nadaraja,2010)

CaseStudy: Dell Computers

Theillustrationof howsocialmediaturnedDell computersfrom grassto graceis perhapsone of thebestexamplesof thebenefitsthatsocialmediacan conferto an enterprise.Thedebaclebeganin 2005 whenthecompanyignoredthecomplaintof aninfluentialblogger about his personalcomputer.Theblogger portrayedDell Inc as an arrogantgiantandthestorywentviral. Thestoryhadsignificantdamagetothereputationof thecompanyandsubstantiallyreducedsales. Tocounter thisdisaster,Delllaunched‘Idea Storm’ a socialsiteto enablecustomersto communicatetheir experienceandfeelingsabout thecompanyproduct.Italsobecameactiveon Facebook andTwitter. Customercould nowbe ableto askquestions,post commentsandplacesuggestionthatthecompanywould considerin its operations.Forexample,whenconsumerssuggestedanddemandedthatDell should pre-install Linux operatingsystemon Dell computers,thecompanycommencedequippedsomecomputerswith Linux OS. Morethan 100,000 individualshaddemandedtheinclusionof Linuxoperatingsystem(Neti,2011).SocialmediaplatformshaveenabledDell to buildbrandtrust,wherecustomerscan depend onDellto performperceivedfunction.Thisamong otherthingshas madeDell one of themostsuccessfulcompaniesin United States.

Conclusion

Theemergenceof socialmediaandtheensuingtrendof changein consumptionof mediacontents are pushingbusinessentitiesto adoptsocialmediaas of theprimarytoolsof publicrelationsandmarketing.This paper has discussed three social sites Twitter, Facebook andLinkedIn.

Twitteris a microblogwhereusers communicatethrough 140 characters,commonlyreferredto as tweets. Manypeopleandbusinessorganizationusetwitter as a meansof communicationandconnectingdirectlyto clientsandto relaycorporationnewsandendorsements.Facebookis a socialplatformthat supportsreal-time informationfeed,wherebyindividualscan createprivateandcompanypages.At thepresenttime,thesitehas morethan 900 million activeusers andis themostpopularsocialsitein theglobe.Linkedlnis an online contactdatabase forprofessionals.It is design specifically for business community. Though privacy andsecurity has raised major concerns among users of social media sites,they perform a crucial role in human communication, exchange of dataand information and business operations. Socialmedianetworkshavemadetransactionsbetween companiesandcustomerspossible,without humancontact.Dell has beenone of thefirmsthat havethrivedthrough advertisingandproductpromotionon theinternet

ReferenceList

Aseem,R 2013. Facebook,Twitterand Linkedln.

Evans,S 2013.26social stats from 2013 you should know (and use for your nextpresentation). Retrievedfrom: http://socialfresh.com/social-media-stats/

Nadaraja,R. and Yazdanifard, R 2010. SocialMedia Marketing: Advantages And Disadvantages. Center of Southern New HampshireUniversity (SNHU) of Help College of Arts and Technology, KualaLumpur, Malaysia.

Nelson,A 2012. 20Stats About How Social Media Influences Purchasing Decisions.Retrieved from:http://www.exacttarget.com/blog/20-stats-about-how-social-media-influences-purchasing-decisions/?&amputm_source=twitter&amputm_medium=social-media&amputm_campaign=addtoany

Nadaraja,R. and Yazdanifard, R 2010.SocialMedia Marketing: Advantages And Disadvantages. Center of Southern New HampshireUniversity (SNHU) of Help College of Arts and Technology, KualaLumpur, Malaysia.

Gilin,P 2012.TheNew Conversation:Taking Social Media from Talk to Action. HavardBusiness Review.

Neti,S 2011.SocialMedia And Its Role In Marketing.InternationalJournal of Enterprise Computing and Business SystemsVol. (1) 2. Retrievedfrom:http://www.ijecbs.com/July2011/13.pdf

Newson,A., Houghton, D., &amp Patten, J. (2008). Bloggingand other social media: exploiting the technology and protecting theenterprise.Aldershot, Hants, England, Ashgate.

NoorAl-Deen, H. S., &amp Hendricks, J. A 2012, Socialmedia: usage and impact.Lanham, Md, Lexington Books.

Warschauer,M. 2004. Technology&ampsocial inclusion: Rethinking the digital divide.MIT Press.

Zarrella,D 2010. Thesocial media marketing book.Beijing, O`Reilly.http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com/9780596806576.

Appendices

Figure1: AnOverviewof SocialMedia

Table1: ProminentSocialMediaSitesBased On Their Functions

Application

Function

Facebook

Social networking

Twitter

micro blogging

LinkedIn

contact database

Wikipendia

Reference

Myspace

Social netwroking

del.icio.us

bookmarking

World of Warcraft

Online gaming

Blogtv, Justin.tv, and

Live casting

Digg and Reddit

News aggregation

You tube

Video sharing

Upcoming

Events

Flickr and Zooomr

Photograph sharing

Figure2, 3 and 4: IndicatesHow American Populace Uses Social Media Platforms

Figure2

Figure2 &amp3