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28 August 2014

Social Media

Social Networking’s Flexibility Now Affects Everything, But Is That A Good Thing?

As you may already know, if you’re on a social networking site, specifically Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or others of this ilk; one thing you will notice is that anything considered being ‘big news’ is immediately put onto the site, and with the hundreds of millions of users throughout our social media platforms it is hardly surprising this happens.

Even on the news, a reporter may refer to something that happens on Twitter; when something significant happens in the world, the tweets from people concerned may be reported on. Similarly, if a famous person was to tweet about the occurrence, it may also be reported on. This shows how quick news can travel through social media.

So it is growing ever present that social media is becoming a force to be reckoned with when it comes to news getting out, if nothing else, there is certainly power in numbers that much is clear. So much more than hearing about significant happenings is occurring on these social networks, and the aim of this article is to seek these out, expose them, and see how we really are affected by social media.

Is this a negative?

It is important that whilst these social media platforms must do what they can to allow you to remain privatised and safe, they must also allow you to completely personalise your own page, whatever the site. Otherwise, what is the point in making an account if it’s the same as everyone else’s?

This at first might seem like a great aspect; being able to do whatever you please whilst personalising your page.  This absolutely achieves the sentimental or materialistic vote, which has proven to be a vocal point over the years.

In most cases nowadays the first scent of originality or creativeness is scuppered through people’s eagerness to comment upon it; and in the most part, for whatever reason, it is negative comments. This has proven catastrophic recently; the most heard about incident being that of Ask.fm and how being anonymous on that particular site meant you could say anything you liked to anyone you liked and seemingly would get away with it.

The underlining and wrongly prevalent aspect of social media is that of bullying, or cyber bullying as it is now known. Another recent case is that of Stan Collymore; this included racist comments, and death threats. This was something that was severely dealt with, but it showed clearly how once behind a keyboard and a screen, some people get a falsified feeling of power and invincibility.

How does this relate to businesses?

Just like people can receive negative comments on social media; businesses can also receive negative comments and feedback via wall posts, status updates, reviews etc. Negative comments aren’t all doom and gloom; as the business can learn from these and therefore make sure another customer doesn't have the same issue. Yes, whilst they may not look great to your other fans and followers, as long as you acknowledge the post and deal with it effectively you will be seen a good light once again. At the end of the day, we are all human, mistakes happen, all businesses have to do is apologise and respond to the customer. This will turn a disgruntled customer into a satisfied one and prevent your business image taking a battering!

So what good does the flexibility bring?

This offers a great opportunity, as stated above, to be original. If you had said to a businessman 10-15 years ago that a lot of their works would be on social networking perhaps they would have found this somewhat amusing. However, this is just what is happening throughout social media today.

Moreover, many companies, without their social media presence, would struggle to have the audience/ customers they have now. Therefore, this means social media has become a great source of expansion and constant growth for companies, and this can only continue to increase.

There are also many people who have decided to start up a company through social media platforms; using the opportunity to their advantage. Perhaps not a traditional business-like structure, but the Facebook page and Twitter account named ‘LADbible’ is one example in which it uses advertisement as a source for funding. This particular account has just under a million followers and has received verification on twitter; a now well recognised establishment designed to entertain. Overall, the flexibility throughout social media makes for great chances for all kinds of companies, chances that would otherwise not be available to them.

To conclude

What we can gain from the flexibility, sometimes, is the misuse of something that offers great opportunity to establish yourself. Cyber bullying is something which will have its day and since the reports came out in the news there have been a much less amount throughout social networking.

Conversely, what will not halt are the businesses that are run throughout social media; this is a great way, as stated above, to really showcase your company; but it is extremely hard to do, if you want to be successful through it, so therefore, it is always advisable to not do it alone and to seek help.

FDC specialises in many things, one being social media, so we’d be more than happy to help. For more information please click here or ring us on this number: 0800 131 0707

(Photo courtesy of: bizjournals)

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