Social media are websites where individuals communicate unhampered, spreading and talking about details of one another and their experiences, utilizing a multi-media mix of individual words, images, audio and visual files. At these internet sites persons or entire groups generate and share content and participate in one-to-one as well as many-to-many interactions. They turn up in quite a few varieties such as social networking, weblogs, wikis, podcasts, virtual worlds and instant messaging. Let us briefly examine the history of these technologies, pointing out the milestone events in their development.
According to Curtis (2011), the earliest electronic message was sent in 1971. In 1978 a couple of Chicago computer enthusiasts developed the "Bulletin Board System" to notify associates of appointments, make notices and also exchange important information by means of posts. It appeared to be the initiation of a little virtual world. Beverly Hills Internet launched Geocities in 1994 , considered one of the earliest social networking websites, that permitted users to generate their personal internet sites designed after city areas. In 1997 the Web attained a million websites. Blogging set out. SixDegrees.com allowed users to produce profiles as well as post their friends. AOL Instant Messenger enabled web users to get involved in web chat. In 1999 Friends Reunited, considered the earliest internet social network to attain popularity, was launched in the United Kingdom to look for former school friends. In 2001 Wikipedia, the web-based encyclopaedia and globe's most well-known wiki, was launched (Curtis, 2011).
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In 2002 a social networking site Friendster was exposed to the general public in America. It expanded to 3 million members in 3 months. MySpace, one more social networking site, was introduced in the form of the cloned Friendster. Later on, Linden Lab started out the virtual world "Second Life". Then LinkedIn was launched as a business-focused social networking website for qualified personnel (Online Schools Visual Academy, 2011).
In 2004 Facebook, yet another social networking site, was initiated firstly only for Harvard College students. It was described back then as being a college adaptation of Friendster (Curtis, 2011). As time went on MySpace exceeded Friendster when it came to page views. During that time podcasting broke ground on the web. Bebo, a blogging web community, was launched in 2005. In 2006 MySpace appeared to be the most favorite social networking website in America. Nonetheless, according to unique visits per month, Facebook was going to steal that leadership later in 2008. Twitter was introduced as a micro-blogging website, allowing users to deliver and get 140-character texts referred to as "tweets". Facebook exceeded MySpace in the overall amount of unique visitors per month (Online Schools Visual Academy, 2011).
In 2009 Facebook was positioned as the most-utilized social network throughout the world with over 200 million users. The website's traffic was two times that of MySpace. Social media became reachable from practically any place and turned out to be an essential component of our everyday lives with over 550 million people on Facebook, and 2 billion Youtube video views and 65 million tweets delivered via Twitter on a daily basis in 2011(Curtis, 2011). LinkedIn featured 90 million industry specialists (Online Schools Visual Academy, 2011). Currently, business based on social media is becoming increasingly popular together with the use of mobile social networking via tablets and smartphones.
It was approximated that web users could double by 2015 to a worldwide total of about 4 billion users, or almost 60 % of the planet's human populace (Curtis, 2011). It could be suggested that in 10 years all kinds of social media may appear everywhere we wish and require it to appear (Barrett, 2012). We have already witnessed the development of this phenomenon during the previous five years, with Facebook Platform as well as APIs permitting social media functions along with content material to be inserted in virtually any application, in whatever mobile gadget program. The outcome will be that the authentic internet sites will transform into databases of all our social pursuits. I see the introduction of applications that will provide businesses with a chance to follow their clients, making use of their social media behavior channels and enabling them to obtain critical data from there. We may keep on feeling considerably more secure and positive about expressing all facets and facts of our everyday life. We may likewise become more watchful as we become experienced, thinking over what we share and benefiting from friend control configurations in publishing specific kinds of posts.
IT\IS in the Global Business Environment
Companies nowadays discover that social media usage is no more exclusive, yet instead principal. Business divisions including R&D, sales and marketing, HR and customer service are recognizing the perspective for employing social media instruments to promote development, produce brand recognition, engage and maintain workers, bring in income, and enhance customer contentment.
Social media utilization has stopped being merely a choice for businesses that desire to be first in current organizational setting. Usage of social media influences brand recognition as well as organizational profits. It has grown to be an effective resource for companies around the world. In terms of Global Information Systems, a 2010 Burson-Marsteller research demonstrated that, “of the Fortune Global 100 companies, 65 per cent have active Twitter accounts, 54 per cent have Facebook fan pages, 50 per cent have YouTube video channels and 33 per cent have corporate blogs”( Burson-Marsteller, 2010, p.3).
The concept of Web-Enabled Business points to that businesses are utilizing social media in a lot of practical aspects of the business and also are experiencing many perceptible advantages including growing brand recognition, search engine optimization, product sales, website traffic, customer contentment and profits. Furthermore, quick comments and observations from customers offer a method for management to evaluate customer impression and utilize this data to make improvements to goods, customer support and company image. Businesses have likewise found out that they have the ability to keep track of the market, their competitors as well as consumers through social media channels. This enables interested companies to discover any adjustments that could be necessary and to preventively make proper changes to business approaches, goods or services (Burson-Marsteller, 2010).
The capacity to look for and connect with prospective workers is one more aspect that has observed remarkable development with the aid of sites like LinkedIn. Considering its user-friendliness and hassle-free way of measuring as well as its potential to access significant numbers of people nearly instantaneously, social media is turning into an effective catalyst in how companies contact, appeal to and involve their clients, workers and even potential stakeholders.
Marketing and Online Image Consultant for Hewlett-Packard
In my case I would choose to be a Marketing and Online Image Consultant for Hewlett-Packard. The primary function of mine would be to assist HP to realize how the company could solve the problems of their customers. My main concern would be the question of how HP products or services could help make the customers' lives less difficult, a lot quicker, more effective and more satisfying. Being familiar with the way to satisfy their needs, one could provide them with a better service and a better product. I suppose that it would be the most effective marketing I could do for HP business. Pleased customers will probably engage other people and, as a result, the business will develop. So why exactly HP? Because social media is transforming the manner in which brands should take care of and keep track of their brands. Hewlett Packard is reported to be the latest manufacturer to understand that any particular event of poor customer care could be an entire PR disaster (Ray, 2008). The cost of inadequate support, once assessed in individual customers, now can possess a rapid, major and profound influence on the business, because customers socialize in the web and share their opinions (Burson-Marsteller, 2010). Taking into account the speed of information travel across the social media by means of links or pasted texts and the access for many people at one and the same time, it can be suggested that the particular instance of poor customer support or inadequate functioning of a product will be made known to many people in a very short time. Therefore, if there is no one from HP to respond, the company will lose a lot of customers. To take advantage of social media is to have knowledge of issues and to tackle them prior to when they turn out to be PR catastrophes, since “on theWeb, targeting includes identifying the sites your audience frequently visits”(Ebook, p.300).
For me, as for an online image consultant, it would be essential to consider which of the primary social networks may be selected for use and how to deal with them. I would suggest that Twitter might be viewed as a quick-fire tool to provide pieces of the most up-to-date company announcements, individual insights from company representatives, the HP CEO, and reactions to customer questions. Instant messaging would be a great tool for a quick customer support as well. Facebook should be used for information exchange and customer engagement, placing links to special presentations, pictures of brand new gadgets, invitations to various events and asking consumers questions beneficial for the purposes of research and development. LinkedIn would be the place to display the comprehensive specialized qualifications of the business to a prospective consumer. The “old” way to communicate with customers via email would also be applied, specifically in proactive communication for scheduling service regular appointments, since “customers now demand not only prompt e-mail replies to their queries but also proactive alerts.”(Ebook, p.301)
Podcasts would be used as channels to deliver messages to the projected audience. People today do not always read all emails because of exceedingly hostile Spam filters. Likewise, they may not return and check out HP internet site or go through an e-newsletter. They basically have to take the time to study the content material. If HP has a podcast, it could essentially offer audio messages and make it play when people are working on various other things at their computer. The podcast may possibly reach 40 million of iTunes audience, if the company makes an RSS podcast compatible with ITunes. Blogs as well as message boards would be utilized for delivering emerging information, while Wikis could be used as a method to filter, store and arrange it for possible future reference. Thus, all kinds of social media could be used for the best practices of marketing and online image successful establishment.