I know I am probably speaking to the converted in this article, but it still amazes me that there are companies who do not recognise the benefits of social media.
If anything, you will need to be living under a rock to ignore how differently people access information. It has evolved to such a point that there is a strong case for an extra option to be added to the base of the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs pyramid which puts wifi below physiological needs (which are the basic needs which we need to live).
Access to success
Because information is accessed differently, it makes sense that the way that we communicate with each other also changes. Social Media has evolved from its basic function of connecting people to being a platform where people access news, interact with friends and at times conduct business deals.
What benefits does social media offer companies? I read a very interesting article on hootsuite.com which highlights the benefits social media can offer to companies.
Technology has really changed the way we relate to our world.
I still remember the days when if you needed to know something, you would need to look it up in an encyclopaedia. Now, there is no piece of information that Google, or Wikipedia, cannot find. This is now being felt in the television space. If you have DSTV, or any satellite television network for that matter, you will realise they are famous for something else other than bringing you quality entertainment. The repeats these networks are relentless.
Because of this, people are now starting to stream their television viewing over the internet. The way we access information in EVERY aspect of our lives is fundamentally changing. Therefore, the way we market our products, and the platforms we use to do this, also need to change.
An article on Forbes.com realises this and discusses the advantages of social media marketing in detail. I will only look at two of these advantages:
The other side
While the praises that we can sing about social media are many, disadvantages do exist and cannot be ignored. These were highlighted in an article on rootsofaction.com.
According to teenagers, the demographic that accesses social media the most, the following disadvantages of social media includes:
These are serious challenges. Business marketing relies a lot on emotion and feeling connected to the product that you are trying to sell. If social media lacks an emotional connection or causes face-to-face interactions to feel disconnected, then one must be careful on how much emphasis they place on social media marketing.
Most certainly, South Africans are very aware of how social media can be used for abuse and a platform to publicise vitriol. One most certainly does not want to become associated with that.
There are some concerns that we need to be aware of, some of these are highlighted in an article on techmaish.com.
Hacking is a major concern when it comes to social media as there is a lot that is at stake. Personal data and privacy can easily be hacked and shared on the Internet. This can be detrimental to a company, especially those who handle sensitive client information. This can result in financial losses and losses to privacy.
Similarly, identity theft is another issue that can give financial losses to anyone by hacking personal accounts. Several personal twitter and Facebook accounts have been hacked in the past and the hacker had posted materials that have affected the individuals personal lives. This is one of the dangerous disadvantages of the social media and every user is advised to keep their personal data and accounts safe to avoid such accidents.
Fraud and Scams is the next concern to be dealt with. Several examples are available where individuals have scammed and commited fraud through social media. The perpetrators of this fraud are often untraceable and they can find a weak spot in most firewall, so even if security is tightened, the risk exists.
Security Issues is the last concern I will look at. In the age of technology, security agencies have access to peoples personal accounts. This makes privacy almost very compromised. You never know when you are visited by any investigation officer regarding any issue that you mistakenly or unknowingly discussed over the internet.
At the end of the day, the benefits to having a social media presence, and engaging in social media marketing far outweighs the disadvantages the medium has. At the end of the day, the world is changing. Klaus Schwab is not a deranged lunatic, he thought long and hard about the concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution based on what he was witnessing unfolding before his very eyes.