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“Give a person a fish, and you feed them for a day; teach
that person to use the social Media and they won’t bother
“The social Media platform is so big, so powerful and
pointless that for some people it is complete substitute
- Alvin Ikpe
“The internet is becoming the town square for the global
village of tomorrow”
- Bill Gates (American Entrepreneur and Founder of
Microsoft Co., b. 1955)
Social media includes web-based and mobile technologies
used to turn communication into interactive dialogue.
Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media
as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on
the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0,
and that allow the creation and exchange of
user-generated content."Social media is media for social
interaction as a super-set beyond social communication.
Enabled by ubiquitously accessible and scalable
communication techniques, social media has substantially
changed the way organizations, communities, and
Social media takes on many different forms including magazines,
Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, podcasts,
photographs or pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking. By applying a
set of theories in the field of media research (social presence, media richness)
and social processes (self-presentation, self-disclosure) Kaplan and Haenlein
created a classification scheme for different social media types in their
Business Horizons article published in 2010. According to Kaplan and Haenlein
there are six different types of social media:
1.collaborative projects (e.g., Wikipedia),
2.blogs and microblogs (e.g., Twitter),
3.content communities (e.g., YouTube),
4.social networking sites (e.g., Facebook),
5.virtual game worlds (e.g., World of Warcraft), and
6.virtual social worlds (e.g. Second Life).
Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email,
instant messaging, music-sharing,crowdsourcing and voice over IP, to name a
few. Many of these social media services can be integrated via
social network aggregation platforms.
Social media services focus on some or all of seven
functional building blocks (identity, conversations, sharing,
presence, relationships, reputation, and groups). These
building blocks help understand the engagement needs of
the social media audience. For instance, LinkedIn users care
mostly about identity, reputation and relationships, whereas
YouTube’s primary building blocks are sharing,
conversations, groups and reputation.
Many companies build their own social containers that
attempt to link the seven functional building blocks around
their brands. These are private communities that engage
people around a more narrow theme, as in around a
particular brand, vocation or hobby, than social media
containers such as Facebook or Google+.
Social media presents an enormous challenge for firms,
as many established management methods are ill-suited
to deal with customers who no longer want to be talked
at but who want firms to listen, appropriately engage,
and respond. The authors explain that each of the seven
functional building blocks has important implications for
how firms should engage with social media. By analyzing
identity, conversations, sharing, presence, relationships,
reputation, and groups, firms can monitor and
understand how social media activities vary in terms of
their function and impact, so as to develop a congruent
social media strategy based on the appropriate balance
of building blocks for their community.
Increasingly, the term 'social business' is
being used. This reflects that social media is
not just a marketing discipline, but that it has
multiple touch-points in an organization such
as customer service, sales, human resource
management and R&D. Social business is
where social media has broken down silos
and barriers that enable employees to have a
genuinely more open and collaborative
relationship with the outside world.
One of the key components in successful social media
marketing implementation is building "social authority".
Social authority is developed when an individual or
organization establishes themselves as an "expert" in their
given field or area, thereby becoming an influencer in that
field or area.
It is through this process of "building social authority" that
social media becomes effective. That is why one of the
foundational concepts in social media has become that you
cannot completely control your message through social
media but rather you can simply begin to participate in the
"conversation" expecting that you can achieve a significant
influence in that conversation.
However, this conversation participation must be cleverly executed
because while people are resistant to marketing in general, they are
even more resistant to direct or overt marketing through social media
platforms. This may seem counter-intuitive but is the main reason
building social authority with credibility is so important. A marketer
can generally not expect people to be receptive to a marketing
message in and of itself. In the Edleman Trust Barometer report in
2008, the majority (58%) of the respondents reported they most
trusted company or product information coming from "people like me"
inferred to be information from someone they trusted. In the 2010
Trust Report, the majority switched to 64% preferring their
information from industry experts and academics. According to Inc.
Technology's Brent Leary, "This loss of trust, and the accompanying
turn towards experts and authorities, seems to be coinciding with the
rise of social media and networks."
A study by the University of Maryland suggested that
social media services may be addictive,and that users of
social media services leads to a "fear of missing out".
It has been observed that Facebook is now the primary
method for communication by college students in the
U.S. Several colleges have even introduced classes on
best social media practices, preparing students for
potential careers as digital strategists.
There are various statistics that account for social media
usage and effectiveness for individuals worldwide. Some
of the most recent statistics are as follows:
Social networking now accounts for 22% of all time spent
A total of 234 million people age 13 and older used mobile
devices in December 2009.
Twitter processed more than one billion tweets in December
2009 and averages almost 40 million tweets per day.
Over 25% of U.S. internet page views occurred at one of the top
social networking sites in December 2009, up from 13.8% a year
Australia has some of the highest social media usage in the
world. In usage of Facebook Australia ranks highest, with over 9
million users spending almost 9 hours per month on the site.
The number of social media users age 65 and older grew 100
percent throughout 2010, so that one in four people in that age
group are now part of a social networking site.
As of June 2011 Facebook has 750 Million users.
Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.
Social Media has overtaken pornography as the #1
activity on the web.
iPod application downloads hit 1 billion in 9 months.
If Facebook were a country it would be the world's
U.S. Department of Education study revealed that
online students out performed those receiving face-
YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the
In four minutes and 26 seconds 100+ hours of video
will be uploaded to YouTube.
Indians spend more time on social media than on any
other activity on the Internet.
“In the U.S. alone, total minutes spent on social networking sites has
increased 83 percent year-over-year. In fact, total minutes spent on
Facebook increased nearly 700 percent year-over-year, growing from 1.7
billion minutes in April 2008 to 13.9 billion in April 2009, making it the
No. 1 social networking site.”
The main increase in social media has been Facebook. It was ranked as
the number one social networking site. Approximately 100 million users
access this site through their mobile phone. According to Nielsen, global
consumers spend more than 6 hours on social networking sites. "Social
Media Revolution" produced by Socialnomics author Erik
Qualman contains numerous statistics on Social Media including the fact
that 93% of businesses use it for marketing and that if Facebook were a
country it would be the third largest.In an effort to supplant Facebook's
dominance, Google launched Google+ in the summer of 2011.
Social media is not only a whole new way for
consumers to communicate and express
themselves, it’s also a whole new way for
corporations to conduct business. Sure, a
corporation can have a Twitter account and a
Facebook fan page, but that’s the obvious
application. Every day I see new applications for
social media in market research, marketing
communications, brand management, innovation,
and even supply chain management.
Here are some ways I’m seeing social media applied
For Brand Managers
Brand audit—You expend a lot of effort to create a specific image for your brand,
but how successful are you? Is the image you want consumers to have the one
they do, in fact, have? Social media gives you a quick and accurate way to find
out. You can perform a brand audit by analyzing posts (also referred to as “sound
bites” or “verbatim”) from consumers about a brand. The posts can be sorted into
positive or negative classifications and then grouped into themes. Do this, and
you’ll know if the brand positioning you want is the positioning you’ve got.
Tracking new product launches—You can analyze how sentiment and buzz in
social media change over time (daily, weekly, monthly) following the launch of a
Brand equity tracking—Brand managers and customer service managers can
track a metric such as sentiment (positive or negative), which can be thought of as
a measure of brand equity. What’s more, brand equity metrics obtained through
social media analysis are available without waiting for survey data.
Ad campaign tracking—You can conduct a social media search for sound bites
that refer only to commercials, print ads, YouTube videos and other media to
judge reaction to a campaign.
For Customer Service
Consumer satisfaction measurement —This is really the
same technique as brand equity tracking (i.e., tracking
sentiment), but it’s used for customer service evaluation
Demographic segmentation—You can segment your
audience by gender and other factors to analyze opinions,
behaviors and emotions of specific slices of your
For Business Intelligence
Marketing spend ROI—Measure sentiment over time and
then correlate it with marketing spend to show return on
dollars invested in marketing programs.
For Market Researchers
Category analysis—What brands in a category get talked about
the most? Which one do consumers like the most? The least?
What is it about each brand that they like or dislike? You can use
social media to find out all this and more. You can compare
brands in a category on various attributes, including share of
buzz, overall sentiment, and key positive and negative
themes. This blog post shows the technique applied to the casual
dining segment. You can also trend these metrics over time,
something that’s easy to do with social media but has proven
difficult to do on a frequent basis with traditional research.
Competitive intelligence—Using traditional methods, in-depth
analysis of consumer sentiment about your competitors is
prohibitively expensive (not to mention time-consuming), but not
so when using social media. This is probably the most common
use I’ve seen for social media in business.
Product innovation—An innovation technique that social media
supports is incremental innovation, where you improve your
existing product by fixing the complaints or by finding out what
people like about your competitor and adding those benefits to
your product. In addition, consumer feedback can directly or
indirectly lead to ideas for new products or new product
features or applications.
Lead User Scouting—You can search social media for “lead
users,” who are users of a product or service that currently
experience needs still unknown to the public and who would
benefit greatly if they could find a solution to these needs. If
they do, their solution can be commercialized, and the Lead
User Method suggests it will be more successful than most. Best
examples of such consumer-generated product ideas are the
sports drink Gatorade, developed with input from athletes, and
the “liquid paper” invented by a secretary for correcting typos.
For Public Relations
Hot-issue identification—This is a basic “listening” function that reports on
what’s being said in social media, but many PR managers are starting to use
social media to get an in-depth analysis of what is being said, allowing them
to move beyond what to why.
Crisis management—PR managers can use social media listening to detect a
steep drop in sentiment, and can analyze sound bites to understand the issue
and help them devise a plan to address it.
New product development—Companies can analyze social media to help
develop a new product for an existing category by identifying everything
people like and dislike about existing products in the category, then
introducing a great product that has all the benefits and none of the
Lead generation—Sales staff can find sound bites where consumers have
made negative remarks about a product. If your company makes a similar
product that doesn’t have the flaws mentioned, you can respond directly to
consumers, recommending they try your product.
For Social Media Managers
Community participation—Sure, you should be on twitter and facebook. But
where else should you be looking? Is there a topic-centric forum that happens to
discuss your brand a lot? Is there a popular group of bloggers who discuss your
products? You can analyze where the social media conversation about your brand
is taking place so you can engage consumers in those communities to counteract
negative opinions and/or inaccurate information.
Brand snapshot report—You can create a report you send on a regular basis to
decision-makers, giving an up-to-the-minute read on consumer perception of
your brand as compared to other brands.
For Category Managers
For Mergers & Acquisitions
Due diligence—Business managers can use netnography to get up to speed on
what consumers think of a company they’re about to buy. It’s like being able to
do focus groups on the acquisition target’s consumers—but much, much faster
and more cost-effectively.
For Supply Chain Managers
Facebook is social networking website that is operated and
privately owned by Facebook, Inc. Users can add friends, send
them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify
friends about themselves. Users can also join networks
organized by city, workplace, school, and region. The
website's name stems from the colloquial name of books given
at the start of the academic year by university administrations
with the intention of helping students get to know each other
More than 300 million active users.
50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day.
The fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older.
Average user has 130 friends on the site.
About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States.
There are more than 65 million active users currently accessing
Facebook through their mobile devices
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-
blogging service that enables its users to send and
read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text
based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the
author's profile page and delivered to the author's
subscribers who are known as followers. Senders
can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends
or, by default, allow open access. Users can send
and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short
Message Service (SMS) or external applications.
Research reported in New Scientist in May 2008 found that blogs, maps, photo sites and instant messaging
systems like Twitter did a better job of getting information out during emergencies than either the traditional
news media or government emergency services. The study also found that those using Twitter during the fires in
California in October 2007 kept their followers (who were often friends and neighbors) informed of their
whereabouts and of the location of various fires minute by minute. Organizations that support relief efforts are
also using Twitter. The American Red Cross started using Twitter to exchange minute-to-minute information
about local disasters including statistics and directions.
During the 2008 Mumbai attacks eyewitnesses sent an estimated 80 tweets every 5 seconds. Twitter users on
the ground helped compile a list of the dead and injured. In addition, users sent out vital information such as
emergency phone numbers and the location of hospitals needing blood donations. CNN called this "the day that
social media appeared to come of age" since many different groups made significant use of Twitter to gather
news and coordinate responses.
In January 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 experienced multiple bird strikes and had to be ditched in the Hudson
River. Janis Krums, a passenger on one of the ferries that rushed to help, took a picture of the downed plane as
passengers were still evacuating and sent it to Twitpic before any other media arrived at the scene.
The Australian Country Fire Authority used Twitter to send out regular alerts and updates regarding the
February 2009 Victorian bushfires. During this time the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, also used his
Twitter account to send out information on the fires, how to donate money and blood, and where to seek
Also in April, public health departments used Twitter to provide updates on H1N1 cases.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking
site founded in December 2002 and launched in
May 2003 mainly used for professional networking.
As of July 2009, it had more than 43 million
registered users, spanning 170 industries. The
purpose of the site is to allow registered users to
maintain a list of contact details of people they
know and trust in business. The people in the list are
called Connections. Users can invite anyone,
whether a site user or not, to become a connection.
MySpace is a social networking webiste targeted at a general audience. Launched in 2003, it
became one of the most visited websites in the world within a few years. With almost a
billion visits per month, MySpace is the most popular social network. MySpace became the
most popular social networking site in the United States in June 2006.
Tagged.com is a social networking site founded in 2004. Tagged is the subject of numerous
customer complaints for sending deceptive bulk mail and is regarded as a phishing and
spamming site and an "E-mail scam" by consumer anti-fraud advocates. The site initially
targeted U.S. Highschool students but has since opened to users worldwide age 13 and
older. The site allows its users to build and customize profiles, send messages, leave
comments, post bulletins, customize status, browse photos, watch videos, play games, chat
and make friends.
Bebo, an acronym for "Blog early, blog often", is a socail networking website, founded in
January 2005. It can be used in many countries including Ireland, Canada, the United States,
the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. Bebo is similar to other social networking
sites. Each profile must include two specific modules, a comment section where other users
can leave a message, and a list of the user's friends.