What is Social Media?

Social Media platforms have evolved the way people connect to each other, both on an informal and on a formal style. Social Media platforms allow people all over the world to give their opinion about a variety of topics, whether these are positive or negative. These platforms also allow people to share content with their friends and family, as well as with the whole world. That is, Social Media platforms let people get connected through digital channels, and devices such as computers, tablets and mobiles.

Principles of Social Media

As José van Dijck (@jvdijck) and Thomas Poell (@tpoell) explain in their article “Understanding Social Media Logic” (2013), Social Media logic is based on a variety of principles:

  • Programmability:

This concept refers to the possibility of scheduling contents, in order to “glue the audience to the screen from one segment to the next”. As the authors explain, programmability also allows a two-way traffic between user and programmers

  • Popularity:

This term refers to specific internet users who become influentials in a variety of ways. These influencers write and talk about different topics and give positive and negative evaluations of these topics. Therefore, different internet influencers gain more popularity, and influence users on a higher degree than other influencers

  • Connectivity:

This concept refers to the possibility of connecting users with advertisers as well as to connect contents to citizens. Thus, Social Media platforms let internet users connect on a more humanised way. Furthermore, connectivity allows “automated personalisation”, where users can connect with contents or products as to receive different recommendations to sell products or services. For instance, through the use of department stores loyalty cards or endorsement from friends and celebrities among others. Therefore, “this term refers to the calibration of content based on assumptions about individual user’s needs”.

  • Datafication:

Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger and Kenneth Cukier, cited by José van Dijck and Thomas Poell described the Datafication as the ability of online platforms to obtain a variety of data from internet users. For example, demographic data through surveys, users’ behaviours, location of the individual through mobile’s GPS apps, and interests of users such as music, books and videos among other type of data.

How to use Social Media as part of a Marketing Strategy

There are a variety of Social Media platforms that may be used for business purposes in order to connect a firm to its audience:

Facebook

Companies can create a business page, on one side to share photos, videos, company’s updates, etc., and on the other side, to connect with its audience. Firms could also create different advertisings as to create Brand Awareness through this platform.

Twitter

Businesses can use this platform to share updates in 140 characters or less as well as to share videos, images, links, surveys, etc. Firms can also use it to connect with its audience on a more direct and personalised way. Thus, this platform is perfectly used for customer service purposes.

Pinterest

Online individuals use this platform to “pin” recipes, photographs, etc., which they categorise and organise in different boards. For example, food boards. Therefore, businesses could use this platform to connect their products and services with its audience.

Instagram

This platform is based on photos and videos posts through the use of mobiles (although there is a basic use of this platform on the computer), which allow users to upload photo and videos about themselves, their hobbies such as music, food, travel, etc. For instance, many celebrities use their Instagram account to connect with their fans. Therefore, a business should analyse whether Instagram is actually a good platform for its social media strategy. Business should bear in mind the importance of high-quality photos and videos and try yo use proper hashtags.

Which other Social Media accounts do you think are suitable for a company’s social media strategy?

 

photo credit: Visual Content Social Media Butterfly – Facebook via photopin (license)