How is the use of social media contributing to digital transformations in the fabric of everyday life?
In this essay the impact of social media on peoples professional and work lives as well as how large companies use social media as a tool will be analysed. These points will be examined and explained throughout this essay.
Peoples lives are often directly effected by social media. A survey of 5,000 people showed that half of those who use social media every day said that digital media had improved their life both professionally and socially. The survey found that the most positive impact from social media was found to be in their work sphere. This was due to the fact that social media allowed people to carry out work, collaborate with colleagues and also helped to build relationships within the workplace showing that social media impacts peoples every day work lives in a positive way.
It was also shown to make education within the workplace easier as it created personal networks especially within sites such as linked in. According to the survey people reported that the least positive effects from social media were in their personal lives. one in ten reported negative effects relating to memory, attention, finding a partner, stress and health suggesting that social media may have the biggest impact on people every day working lives.
Large companies also use social in a lot of different ways to expand their business or product. Firstly, companies often pay social media companies to place advertisements for them among peoples social media feeds. This has been proven to be very effective for these companies as many more people are seeing these adverts as people spend a lot more time on social media throughout their day. Research has shown that many social media users trust advertisements that they see on social media apps more and have more positive attitudes towards companies that chose to advertise on these types of sites showing how social media has changed the way that certain companies advertise themselves and their products and how people see these differently compared to other forms of advertising.
Companies also often create their own social media accounts which allow customers to easily interact with the brand and keep updated with the company itself. Sites such as Tesco and Boohoo take complaints from some social media platforms such as twitter and this use of social media acts as an easy way for customers and companies to interact with each other making the customer experience a lot better, quicker and easier. Most social media sites are free so this is an easy and cheap way for companies to achieve better customer service and an easy way to interact with their customers.
Some companies have also been known to create and join in with certain internet memes, this generates talk around the company and is essentially a new, free way of advertising. This also shows that the company is relevant and many social media users find the company to be more human if they join in with memes online.
One company that uses social media well is Primark. Primark are a clothing brand based in the UK and around Europe and have recently opened up stores in the US. Primark have their own website which shows products and also posts outfit pictures that customers have put on social media wearing the companies clothing. They also have their own twitter, Instagram and Facebook where they post outfit and make up ideas as well as re posting customers own photos of their products which is a great way of interacting with their audience and essentially is free advertising as users are encouraged to tag Primark and use hashtags in their posts. The company do not have a YouTube channel, however there are many ‘Primark haul’ videos on the site which again is a new form of advertising as the people making the videos are just showing the things they bought from the shop and showing it to the audience which is again, free advertising. These types of videos generate a huge audience as customers like to see the kinds of things the brand is selling at the time.
Primark are very active on their Instagram account and often post inspiration photos using products from their own ranges, and re posting customers pictures. They also make use of the Instagram stories feature on the app and have ‘blogger take overs’. This is where well known bloggers talk about their favourite Primark products and also show followers new in items encouraging people to go out and look in primark for the products they are promoting.
Social media is an easy way for companies such as Primark to join in and interact with customers as well as it being a new form of advertising for them. This case study shows how social media effects the way in which companies and brand interact with an audience on an every day basis.
Social media is so impactful it is also possible to create whole careers online and on social media platforms (The next part of the essay is on YouTube)
News is also shared and spread differently now a days due to social media. News is arguably spread more effectively as news companies have their own apps and pages on phones. These give you the option to send notifications to your phone (such as ‘Sky Sports’) when there is breaking news allowing users to keep up to date and receive news straight away. Social media sites such as twitter have ‘highlights’ which show the most popular tweets relating to a trending topic making it easier for users to catch up and stay up to date on news. News companies also have their own accounts on social media platforms to keep followers updated an informed. This often is proven as a more effective way to spread news as users see these updates whilst scrolling through their feeds and keep up to date with news without seeking it. Two-thirds (64%) of U.S adults use the site ‘Facebook’ and half of those have said that they gather their news from the site. This correlates to 30% of the U.S population receiving their news off of one social media platform showing the radical changes that social media has made to the way we receive and consume news.
Users on social media platforms also share stories, images and videos on their accounts which they then discuss with other users and friends making it easier for the public to interact with news companies and discuss the stories amongst themselves. People have also been known to upload their own footage of news events onto social media. For example during the London riots (2011) many people uploaded videos and photos onto social media and this footage was often taken by bigger news companies and used during reports and stories showing the power of social media and the effect of it on our everyday lives.
In conclusion social media has had a huge impact on peoples every day professional life and also has changed the ways companies and brands interact with their customers.
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