Social Media and the Business Community

Social media is an informal channel of communication that has turned out to be a place where business communities thrive as they interact and sell their products. With the improvement in information technology that has diversified the market, it has become possible to sell a product to clients across the globe. Companies that have mastered the value and use of social media have experienced a growth at a minimum cost. Companies can monitor traffic and get feedback by interacting with customers.

On the other hand, other companies have spent a lot on technology and more so, social media, yet they have not penetrated the market. The research paper focuses on social media network and its influence on the business community. Attention is drawn on some of the key players in the social media network and how it has worked or failed to work for them.

An annotated bibliography

Weinberg, T., (2009). The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web. London: O’Reilly Media, Inc

Social media has become a paramount platform where businesses are selling and marketing their products. Despite its wide coverage and the lucrative opportunity it gives to companies, not everyone succeeds in creating brand awareness through social media. It is for this reason that Weinberg came up with a book that will ensure businesspersons utilize such a platform to create and promote a brand name.

Social media websites are the most visited compared to other company websites; it is for this reason that most companies are either linking their sites to social media sites or diversifying their business activities. In as much as some companies are making it big on the social media, others are losing it simply because they lack the skills to tap into people’s interests and communicating in the best way they can understand.

Young people invented social media for informal interactions and connections, and this is the information required by companies to know how to use it. The book provides information on the working of different social media networks and the approach that a company has to use on them.

Social media can only produce fruit for a company if they understand the basics of their establishment and the kind of people that frequent them. There are also some shortcomings of social media networks, especially on their safety and the fact that some people misuse them. Unless such challenges are addressed, it may be quite difficult to penetrate through social media and have a share of the cake.

Weinberg has come up with case studies as well as practical examples of how social media can uplift or even lead to the downfall of the products. Even though social media remains to be the most convenient and economical way through which companies can sell their products, most of them may not have the capacity to hold its growth. The fact is that social media travels everywhere, and unless the company can deliver the services to its growing clientele, they may end up losing more clients based on trust.

Weber, L., (2009). Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Larry Weber, in his book, takes us through various networking sites and how they can be applied to ensure the success of the business. With globalization and the wide acceptance of international trade, the web has become the best platform to carry out business research and promote a product.

This cost-effective mechanism is sure to make a company scale into higher markets. As Weber states, social media is all about interacting with people, knowing their needs, and delivering them as per the occasion. Companies hence need to use a language that is more acceptable on social networks to attract more clients.

There is also a need for businesses to monitor how their products are being received and perceived. Feedback from customers should never be taken for granted, no matter how they have been presented. Frequent interactions and effectively addressing the needs of customers on social media is one of the strategies that a company can use to lure and retain its clients.

There is a lot of competition, especially when it comes to marketing on social media. In as much as a company is getting a lot of exposure from it, it should be noted that other companies dealing in similar products are also being exposed. The company with the best strategies will ultimately carry the day on social media.

Bradley, A. & McDonald, M. (2011). The Social Organization: How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective Genius of Your Customers and Employees. London: Harvard Business Press.

Business is all about people, getting their attention, and satisfying their needs. Every business establishment that understands the value of people and endeavoring to meet them will ultimately succeed in the market. Social media provides a platform through which a company can interact with different categories of people. Social sites are, in fact, places where people speak out their hearts without any form of fear.

A company that understands how to utilize such feedback will learn how to improve on its service delivery. A proper communication mechanism is paramount when it comes to marketing through social media. This is because of the various communities that are integrated on the social network. In as much as the language should be as unofficial as possible, a globally acceptable tone should be maintained.

When using social networks, companies should ensure constant monitoring of such sites on what is being posted, and the feedback received. The company should also never compromise its values and visions at the expense of social media. There should hence be a good balance to ensure there is no compromise just to tap into social media. This does not, however, mean that they remain rigid with some policies that may be considered outdated, but rather understand the core values that led to the establishment of the company.

Research

Technology has been growing at a high rate in the recent past as various stakeholders utilize it to make life cheaper and better. One of the biggest beneficiaries is the business community that is not taking chances where technology is concerned. Compared to the past, where international trade practices were reserved for a few due to the high cost involved in travel and transport, these days, business deals are a mouse click away.

Business is not as physical as it used to be, as many prefer to do it the virtual way. Physical interactions only become necessary when the deals have been sealed, and the parties agreed. With the introduction of the internet, which made it possible for companies to share their information with clients as well as get feedback, the internet has created more lucrative avenues to promote business.

Despite the challenges that are involved and the security risks that come with technology, it has become inevitable to use it due to its wide coverage and acceptance. Various social media platforms are being used more for business connections rather than just informal interactions.

With everyone flocking the social media network, companies have remained with no alternative but to flow with the wind. In business, the customer is always considered as the king. It is for this reason that every business that desires to succeed in its endeavors has to look for where the clients are. Even though the most preferred language of business communication is official, companies have had to adjust to the unofficial form of communication that is mostly used on social media (Bradley & McDonald, 2011).

Being connected to many social media networks does not, however, guarantee the success of a company. Various techniques should be used to lure customers and even attract them to company products. A company needs to consider various factors before launching its business activities on social media. As informal as it is, it requires proper planning to ensure it yields the needed results. Just as a business considers various advertisement options before deciding on the best, this is also true with social media.

There are various sites, of which a company needs to consider the best that can be used for their business. Some of such factors are the target consumers, the coverage of the social site, the type of product, whether virtual or physical, cost of managing the site, and the expected feedback. Companies launch their products on social media for various reasons, which may include creating awareness, getting feedback from consumers, or physically sell the product (Weinberg, 2009).

If the product is aimed at targeting consumers at a specific region, it may be meaningless for the company to advertise it to people who may not be able to access it. Apart from virtual products and services that can be accessed all across the world, other physical products such as food items and household goods need only to target people in a specific region.

There are, however, other companies that are ready to ship products to any destination as long as they get a client that is willing to buy. Social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogger, Whatsup, Hi5, Orkut, and the likes have gained a lot of popularity among young people. As they are busy getting in touch with each other, they can also make their shopping easy as well as getting aware of various products.

The ability of a company to get its products well covered depends on the number of people that are linked to the network. One of the ways to get as many followers as possible is through advertisements. Social networks have made it possible for companies to advertise their sites to get more coverage.

Such efforts employed by the company may, however, be in vain if the sites are not kept as active as they should (Safko, 2010). It should be noted that the sole purpose of social media is for interactive purpose. The only way to keep such a site active is by engaging the people frequently.

One of the ways through which companies promote their products and get many people to follow up on their posts is by introducing competitions or interesting chat topics on the media. The topics may not necessarily be linked to products of the company but just one of the ways to make the page more interesting. Competitions are also one of the ways that have attracted people to follow on what the company is doing.

It is also one of the ways through which the company tests how much their products are known to the public and at the same time creating awareness of the same. Some gift hampers are accorded to those who win the competition. Social media is also one of the ways through which a company can reach out to most of its clients without much hustle. They can communicate some of the events of the company, technical hitches in their service delivery as well as promoting their new products.

Social media being an internet-based software; it is prone to cyber crime as well as hacking. The company should hence, be careful to ensure that their sites are verified and protected. There is also the risk of impersonation where a person can come up with a similar page as the company names and hence deceiving unsuspecting users. Most common social sites are free to join and manage. They come with terms and conditions where the company takes responsibility for all that happens to their sites.

Even though the pioneers of social sites try their best to secure them, hackers are becoming intelligent day by day and hence not being able to guarantee its safety. The best thing that is required is to ensure that only trusted few employees have access to the passwords and secret codes of the network and to ensure that such codes are changed regularly especially when there is a change of employees (Weber, 2009).

A company should never assume that social media sites work the same way and will yield similar results. It is important for the company to understand how a certain network operates before launching its operations. Most of the sites also have avenues where one can monitor traffic and receive feedback and hence making it the best tool for advertisement and awareness.

Among the feedbacks received, some may be unrelated to what has been posted, or others may extremely hate on the company for some reasons or the other (Qualman, 2012). Whichever the case, everything must be handled with utmost care to ensure the site runs smoothly. It should be noted that some people are all about hating and will criticize even the right thing. Such comments should be ignored as the company works at improving its services.

Social media is the way to go for businesses, as the common saying goes,’ if you can’t beat them, then join them.’ If a company cannot make clients to physically visit them, watch their advertisements, go to the shops and buy their goods, then they can simplify their work by ensuring that all they want is at the click of the mouse. By this, everybody benefits, and together, the economy grows. As long as the right procedures are taken in learning, and following up, the social network will be the future market place for all generations.

Reference list

Bradley, A. & McDonald, M. (2011). The Social Organization: How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective Genius of Your Customers and Employees. London: Harvard Business Press.

Qualman, E. (2012). Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Safko, L. (2010). The social media bible: tactics, tools, and strategies for business success. N ew York: John Wiley & Sons.

Weber, L. (2009). Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Weinberg, T. (2009). The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web. London: O’Reilly Media, Inc