Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media.

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Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog!

For now, this blog would mostly relate to social media marketing to fulfill the requirements of the course I am currently taking. I would also be giving out advise on how to use social media as a marketing tool that you can use for yourself, and maybe for your company or business. I am hoping that it would help!

Also, please stay tuned because once I finished this course, there is a probability that I would be using this blog to talk about my life as a NAIT student – if ever you are interested to know what its like to be a college student in Canada.

For my first blog, I would like to talk about the article by Kaplan and Haenlein called “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media” (2009). The authors of the article talks about six different types of Social Media, but before I give them to you, I would first like to define social media. According to the article, “It is 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” (p. 61). For most, Web 2.0 and User Generated Content (UGC) might sound unfamiliar, but let me define it here to save you time googling it.

Web 2.0 – “A platform whereby content and applications are no longer created and published by individuals, but instead are continuously modified by all users in a participatory and collaborative fashion.” (p. 62). This are sites that have functions that includes, but not limited to: Adobe Flash Player, RSS(Really Simple Syndication), and AJAX((Asynchronous Java Script).

UGC – Are all the ways people can use web 2.0.

Now that we are good with the definitions, here are the 6 different types of social media:

  1. Collaborative projects – A joint creation of content by the people, or as the tech people refers to as end-users. A very well-known example that I can of is Wikipedia. The site is very helpful because it give you the gist of what you are usually looking for. The downside on this is reliability. Since it is free for everyone to edit, everyone can just put their own biases, and distorted knowledge of the subject.
  2.  Blogs – Sites that are managed (usually) by one person. I am pretty sure I don’t have to explain to you guys what a blog is. If you don’t know what a blog is at this point, then I believe you are living in the wrong era.
  3. Content Communities – Websites that allows you to share videos, pictures, and audios. An example that I can think of is YouTube, Flickr, and Soundwave.
  4. Social Networking Sites – These are websites that allows you to connect with people that you know through instant messaging, and also by sharing personal information. Examples are Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter.
  5. Virtual Game Worlds – Online 3-D games that allows users to personalized a character and interact with other player just like in real life. An example would be League of Legends, World of Warcraft, and Counter-Strike.
  6. Virtual Social Worlds – Similar to Virtual Game World, but in this realm the rules of interactions are more free. “There are many possible interactions, except for basic physical laws, such as the law of gravity”

Now that I have explained to you the different types of social media, I hope that this will, in any way, be of benefit to you or your business. Business and people have access to all of this social media. When the authors did the research, they found that 75% of internet surfers uses social media – and that is 7 years ago. Imagine the amount today. Since almost everyone uses social media, businesses can greatly benefit on using it to generate more business, and get more exposure as long as the content of their social media gives valuable information to their followers.

I also wanted to give you this table because it classifies the six types of social media based on social presence, media richness, self-presentation and disclosure. I thought that it will help you out more to understand each one of them:

Six types of social media

Source: Kaplan and Haenlein (2009)

If you would ask me what is the most important thing I learned by reading this article, I would say that in order for you to be successful in using social media, you must be active and interactive. You must always engage and reply to your followers in a timely manner, and that you must have interesting content that is of value to your followers.  What good is it, if you have all this social media but you do not have a strong relationship with your followers?

Social media is not just about gaining more exposure, but more importantly, it’s about building relationships.

References

Kaplan, A., Haenlein, M. (2009). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons, 53, 59-68.