Social media has become a massive part of my everyday life, whether I like or want to admit it or not, almost as essential as eating and drinking water. The saddest part is, it is not just one social media application but multiple; pretty much just rereading or rewatching the same thing over and over and OVER again. Yet, everyday I do it and cannot imagine a world where I did not.
Social media has become one of the largest and most talked about areas of business and pleasure. In the article Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media by Kaplan and Haenlein, it speaks about how it is an area where many businesses are focusing their attention on. The main point in the article that interested me was the how to be social aspect, more specifically being encouraged to be interesting and unprofessional. I found this is to be of interest for me due to the fact it seems like the complete opposite from what you learn in school or in action in the workplace. I have always been taught to be on your best behaviour, to act professional at all times and to make sure to act a certain way.
“Users are people like you”
Here it states that “users are people like you,”and that these people would rather it be an honest and humble response or post filled with some mistakes than a robotic, boring, dull, fake, mechanic, lifeless, or computerized post (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). As a consumer I am in accordance with this article. If I see a post that enlightens me via emotion, I will be WAY more inclined to buy or use a certain product or service rather than an post that is typical advertising of “why your products is better than anyone else’s” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). This is where doing social media right becomes crucial for a businesses ultimate success or failure; whether or not the can communicate with their customers properly or not, or even if they decide to participate or not.
Social media now a days seems to be something companies have no choice in anymore; they have to join. With over 50% of the market belonging to mobile social media and 75% of internet users clicking on social media sites, it seems like companies have to social media or fear being a bust due to being irrelevant (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).
From past experience I have found a new company to buy from or hair stylist to go to based solely on their social media account. Their Instagram pages made it more appealing to shop their than anywhere else, which leads into the articles point of being interesting. These companies found out what I wanted to see and hear, found out what was of value to be and developed that content aimed to please me. Which, of course they did so. At times it even seems that when a business you “like” on Facebook shares a video that you also like, that connection brings interest to that company regardless if it is directly related. Social media is a great advertising tool for businesses, but using it as a community or connecting tool creates comfort in buying from that business. More so than a traditional ad might.
Going forward as a consumer, the connection I feel towards certain social media posts will certainly be more influential on my behaviour, wether they are funny videos or company ads. On the other hand, going forward as a business student I will focus more on the connectivity with users rather than the most professional and predictable route of doing business.
Some final thoughts on the future of social media in business, is that the reliance on social media will only grow and that companies, new and old, must use media to survive.
Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons , 53 (1), 59-58.