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The Social Media Era Essay

1260 words - 6 pages

Welcome to 2015: enter social media. It is rare today to engage in any type of commerce without seeing the use of social media. No matter how big or small a business, “Follow us on Facebook” is everywhere. The larger social media forums such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, even track your internet use based on search engines and provide advertisements specific to your most recent searches. It is inevitable to try to engage even in everyday life without seeing the importance and the power that social media has to reach a diverse group of people. With the growing use of social media it would be impossible to assume that this would not affect business: daily commerce now has different ...view middle of the document...

It is imperative to provide leaders with the tools they need to use social media to their advantage. Today it gives both employees and customers a voice where they perhaps thought they were not being heard. Social media is an outlet where employees can control the information they post about the companies they work at. This gives employees a much bigger responsibility within the workplace as they are now also responsible for how their employer can be viewed. Nothing will stand out more than a negative comment from an employee, there is no more positive influence than an employee speaking highly of their place of employment. Social media also provides customers with a bigger stake as they too now can control more of their commerce, be it by reviewing or posting reviews on websites such as Yelp. Or engaging in activities where a product or service is earned for providing reviews or posting. “Whatever we call them, through their own media, stakeholder groups increase the urgency of their demands for management and other stakeholders” (Lee Hunter, Van Wassenhove, Besiou & Van Halderen, 2013, p. 27).
Given the accessibility of social media from virtually anywhere, it becomes a platform for all users to openly discuss a business. It is no longer necessary to be sitting at a desk to be up to date on the day to day operations of a business. It is imperative for business leaders to engage with their public on what is posted and how it is posted. This widespread availability is further discussed by Weiguo & Gordon (2014):
Ubiquitous smartphones and other mobile devices, Facebook and YouTube channels devoted to companies and products, and hashtags that make it easy to share experiences instantly combine to create a social media landscape that is quickly becoming part of the fabric of everyday business operations. As the number of users on social media sites continues to grow, so does the need for businesses to monitor and use them to their advantage. (p. 74)

Today no one is without a phone attached to their hands to monitor what their friends or favorite celebrities are posting. Employees can now be on vacation and still be in tune with what is happening within their organization. Emails, posts and tweets are available at the touch of a button, even on the shores of a Caribbean island.
Perhaps those who can benefit the most from communications through social media are those in the small business realm. As noted in Schaupp & Belanger (2014) social media provides a broad platform with limited effort and minimal financial burden. Social media gives small business an easy way to rapidly communicate with its employees but it also delivers a way to both cater to the existing clientele with always being exposed to new business. Perhaps setting up a Facebook...

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