Since its inception, social media has developed and crossed all the bounds and leaps. With this social media revolution, it is quite obvious for the organizations to utilize this strategy for expanding their business. The increased usage of social media among the customers has eventually caused a huge adaption of social media tactics for several businesses to reach their customers. The sudden rise of social media over past few years has increased the communication pace as there is not only a single social networking site, but also wide range of social networking sites such as forums, blogs, podcasts, search engine marketing, blogging sites along with facebook, instagram, twitter etc (Aral, Dellarocas. and Godes 2013). There are several businesses which are being set up on such social networking sites in pursuit of more customers. From the recent drive of using social media at different aspects of the businesses have indicated that it has helped forging a entirely new era which is embedded with increasing business engagement and transparency. Fuchs (2017) has indicated that the inclusion of social media has created both opportunities and challenges for the organizations. Therefore, this report has triggered the issue of changing aspects of business after including social media within the business operations. Three international organizations, Ford, Amazon and Apple have been taken into consideration for this report.
Those days are gone when the organizations used to craft flashy advertisement campaigns or press releases for communicating with their consumers with the attempt of convincing people that they are offering an outstanding service for the customers. However, within the social media age, the rules have started changing radically; therefore customers are also claiming the organizations to become more honest and transparent along with having a direct relationship with the organizations (Rauniar et al. 2014). Therefore there are two clear choices for the companies, whether they have to confine and hide themselves within four walls or utilize social media for getting in touch with the customers. Within the business communication arena, it is very important to manage the social media as it is now offering a wide range of service, especially the after sales service to the customers.
Social media has transformed all the aspects of business, even if it was considered to be a mere trend in the initial stage, but now social media is playing a crucial part in the success of any business.
Part 1 argument:
Amazon is B2B and B2C business organization which has reshaped its business activities with the help of social media. Amazon has utilized the popular social media sites and created their social media strategy in a way which helped the organization to get a competitive edge in the market. Amazon uses the social networking sites such as facebook, twitter or pitnterest for reaching to their customers. The current facebook page of Amazon has around twenty three million likes. Therefore reaching to the customers with any product has been much easier than before (Ngai, Tao and Moon 2015). The page has been quite popular all over the world as the management of the organization tends to connect to as much as possible audience through this medium. If any of the customers has any query or they want to share their review about the product or the service of the company, they can share their views on the page and the management immediately responds to them. The company has also started loyalty programs through the page by creating offer coupons for increasing the sales. The brand offers special coupons for special occasions such as Mothers’ day, Christmas etc. The brand also connects to its customers through twitter as he customers can add any product they have seen on Twitter, to their Amazon cart after replying through a hash tag (Fernie and Sparks 2014). The twitter account of Amazon has 108 million followers; therefore the brand does not leave any opportunity to seek attention of the customers through innovative ideas. Pinterest is also a great place for the brand to sell the products as the company has the chance of posting sensational and vibrant pictures. Amazon has made its social media strategies for the purpose of consumer engagement with the brand. Thus the inclusion on social media has shaped this business in a positive way and added to the success of the brand.
Part 2 argument:
Ford is a decade old car manufacturing company which is one of the largest companies all around the world. However, the organization has also adopted the social media strategies and still became engaged and relevant, even in this digital era. It may seem like a fictional novel, but this company has done brilliant job by utilizing the social media channels and connected to the general audience of the entire world. Ford has utilized the social media sites such as Tumblr, instagram for creating its competitive edge within the car industry all over the world. Tumblr is a platform where the companies can reach their target audience through digital content marketing, especially when they make attractive and eye-catching contents. Within this micro-blogger platform, the organization can make memes, GIFs, infographics or photos for engaging the consumers with the brand (Laudon and Laudon 2016). The company is on this platform with the name ‘And is Better’ and promote all their campaigns with this name. The Tunmlr audience has loved the campaigns which can be seen the online reviews as well. This platform works as same as Pinterest, therefore even if the brand does not have much content, sharing and posting pictures has also helped the brand to reach the audience and build a unique identity. Ford has also reached its customers through instagram page where pictures of different cars of the brand are posted with their entire historical developments. Moreover, the brand always shapes its contents according to the needs of the customers and takes advantage of the filters provided by instagram to create a brilliant picture.
Part 3 argument:
Apple is another name in the business world that has shown aversion towards the social media and the networking sites. The brand has been in the market since 1976 and has faced many highs and lows in so many years, but has been one of the leading brand of computer technology, cloud service and electronics goods. The brand has shown immense reluctance for following the same social media paths for any other leading brands in the market, as the company believes that it is an immensely influential and extensive organization that is one of the leading brands in the world, but due to the financial customers base who have expressed their views about using the services all across the world, Apple has joined the social media in the year 2016 for promoting the launch of their new product Iphone 7 (Franklin 2014). The brand has running its official facebook and twitter accounts for quite some time. The pages have got millions of likes even if the brand does not have any specific social media strategy for specific audiences or particular services. Apple does not use its social media accounts in an extensive way like the other brands do, as the brand has entirely refused to turn their head to the social networking strategies as they believe more in utilizing the traditional marketing opportunity.
As shown by Chua and Banerjee (2013), with the rise of social media the companies are now facing both the challenges and opportunities. As there are numbers of opportunities such as building personal relationship with the customers, running the campaigns and targeting the segmented audience etc. However, the brands also face some negative aspect of the increasing usage of social media. As stated by Weinberg et al. (2013) the major issue with social media platforms is that it is quite difficult to measure the ROI from the campaigns. Therefore it is a difficult job to do. Also, within the social media platforms, the employees of any businesses tend to represent the brand however, it is very difficult for the management to track and monitor all the social media activities of the world. Therefore there is always a risk with the image of the company and how it is being portrayed in front of the entire world. According to Peppard and Ward (2016) using social media can also be associated with having less control on the contents that have been shared on the sites. As the contents have the probability of spreading to a huge rage of audience, it is very much possible that the brands can lose their control from the contents. Therefore this can act as a negative way for hindering the brand identity as well.
Summary of presented ideas:
From the previous discussion, it can be said that the impact of social media has shaped the business of the brands in two different ways. On one hand they have brought a huge opportunity of bringing the audience near to the brands and building more effective relationships through the social networking sites, but one the other hand, it has also made the brands vulnerable in front of the audience, as any of the customers can share their reviews on the brand and the service provided. There are several channels which have impacted so much by the social media strategies in a negative way; they have faced a huge turnover of customers. However, Fuchs (2017) says that the brands should utilize this medium, keeping this in mind that not all the sites are appropriate for the business. However, organizations should create a proper brand strategy and invest adequate energy, resources and time for creating an online identity of the brand in the market. Social media has already proven its worth in the past few years as there are several brands who have utilized this medium for creating a positive brand image and reach to the massive population all over the world. The brands should utilize the social media sites as a valuable asset. A recent study has indicated that around 64% of the customers have bought products that they have seen in the social media platforms such as Twitter.
This essay has also triggered few recommendations for the brand in such situation. Those are listed below:
- The brands should first have its online presence through the websites. The website can act as the cornerstone of any marketing program that is being managed online. The businesses can take part in the social media sites without any proper websites, but the recent studies have shown that it tends to reduce the customer engagement.
- The organizations should also have registered for the Google accounts such as Google reader, Google alerts and Google analytics.
- Within the social media sites, many of the companies have been seen to be more excited about the potential of social media and starts acting without a well-framed strategy. The past researches have shown that the organizations should do a primary research and general a social media strategy. The sites like Google reader can be very helpful for this job as it provides sufficient knowledge for reading information regarding the competitors in the marker, industry and several others.
- The organizations should also monitor their social media pages throughout, as if they fail to recognize the potential prospects, customers and the competitors, they can fail miserably in the market. The organizations should also try to build personal relationships with the customers through the social media sites.
In conclusion, it can be said that, the social media sites have impacted the business operations to a great extent. The rise of social media has changed the face of business communication and several other aspects of business operations. Through social media the organizations have been able to act immediately to thee grievances made by the individual customers and in such way they can be able to create a personal relationship with the customers. Therefore it is quite significant to manage an effective social media strategy for the brands. The social media has also given access to a wide range of customers which has changed the business functions and shaped its communications channels.
Reference list and Bibliography
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