Social media has become part of everyday life. In school, in the office, in different TV shows, everywhere, social media has affected our way of life.
Authors Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein defined social media as €œa 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.
The authors classified social media into collaborative projects (e.g. Wikipedia), blogs and microblogs (e.g. Twitter), content communities (e.g. YouTube, DailyMotion), social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, Bebo, and MySpace), virtual game worlds (e.g. World of Warcraft), and virtual social worlds (Second Life).
Interactive, collaborative, immediate, updatable, and has wider reach €“ these are some of the most noticeable characteristics of social media that will be expounded later on.
The Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) in partnership with Effective Measures conducted a study entitled €œSocial to Purchase: The Survey Audience.
- Data results from IMMAP
Unsurprisingly, the results of the study showed that social networks remain the type of social media that have been used by the respondents in the previous months.
As shown in the bar graph, social media (Facebook and Google+) received a whopping 98%, followed by Video (YouTube, Vimeo) with 70%, and conversation apps (YM, Skype, chikka) with 59%. Furthermore, the study showed how social media is potentially changing the way marketing is done.
One of the results of the study is that 83% of respondents are influenced to buy products after engaging with a brand online via its Facebook business page. Social Media Optimization is a new tool for a modern marketing man. Companies, big and small, are joining the social media customization bandwagon. This posts a good opportunity for marketing firms who offer Facebook, Twitter and YouTube page customization.
Social Media and Marketing
One of the most radical changes that happened during the start of the New Economy is the digitalization of processes including marketing. The introduction of several technological advances resulted to changes in the behavior of consumers. Countless studies have been made to prove one thing: people are spending a considerable amount of time on social media. And these changes in the behavior of consumers caused marketers to revolutionize their approach to marketing.
In one of Matt Cutts Web Master Questions, one company asked if Google uses Twitter and Facebook links as ranking signal. Google, through the head of webspam, confirmed that it uses links from the said websites as ranking signals in their Web Search Rankings. Cutt pointed out the importance of the quality of links and reputation of the author or creator of contents.
Marketing is made so much easier nowadays. With the use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter as well as YouTube, a brand can be made well-known around the world with just a few clicks. However, the challenge for brand managers is to maintain a good online reputation all the time. The ability of social media to reach a greater range of audience instantly also poses a challenge. How? Just imagine making one wrong move on the cyberspace and your brand gets the instant publicity you never wanted it to receive. Netizens can be very reactive to a single post. Be cautious in posting data online to avoid hurting any group of people due to religious belief or political views. Surely, you want to gain popularity in a positive manner.
Social Media and Politics
US President Barrack Obama is a perfect example of the broad potential of social media. One data collected by social media analytics platform Facebakers showed Obama on top of the list followed by Sarah Palin and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. Aquino, who happened to have the third most liked Facebook page of any politician in the world, and Obama occupied the highest position in their respective countries and analysts say that social media played a vital role in their successes.
However, the use of social media in politics is something that entails a lot of careful study. Legislations related to the use of such new medium are still being ratified in most countries. One Filipino lawmaker explained that the use of social media as a medium for campaigning is a €œnew terrain€ and the Philippine law is not yet upgraded to suit the digital world perfectly.
Social media has indeed affected marketing in particular. Social networking sites provide a venue rich in opportunities to reach a spectrum of demographics in easy means. Politics, a formal field, is also being affected by the revolutionary media. Politicians are maximizing the fondness of people from all walks of life in using social media. Social media has affected a great deal of humanity. Watch out for the Part 2 of the analysis on the effects of social media in different aspects of life.