Gauging the Power of Social Media

11 Apr

As the business world continues to evolve, social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are becoming more popular and more complex.  Companies worldwide are still struggling to master this social media movement, which has become somewhat of an art form in the digital media world.  This art form has yet to be mastered, likely because most companies view social media in one of two straightforward, unimaginative ways:

  1. A complete waste of time.
  2. A cure all for their marketing struggles

Currently, the true fault of businesses is the failure to grasp how powerful social media can be if managed correctly.

An Amplification Tool

Many businesses make the mistake of believing that social media can single-handedly turn their marketing strategy and in turn, their business around.  Instead, social media acts more as an amplifier.  Whether a company is performing well or poorly, social media will highlight and boost that success or failure.

Common Social Media Mistakes

The multitude of digital media “consultants” is making social media a risky venture for businesses.  Under qualified individuals are getting too many opportunities to spearhead social media campaigns that end up having poor structure, weak content, and unproductive results.

A lack of social media knowledge also tends to plague businesses in the digital media world, which is a mistake that is easily avoidable.  Companies need to start being proactive when it comes to educating themselves in social media.  The information is out there and easily obtainable through case studies and essays compiled by various universities and companies.  Involvement in social media is inevitable for businesses worldwide, so an effort to become educated in this field is necessary to gage the power of social media.

Netflix’s Social Media Blunder

When Netflix was attempting to launch Qwikster, an additional service of Netflix, consumer interest was expected.  However, when users tried to follow @Qwikster on Twitter, they saw tweets from a user who discussed drugs and used vulgar language.  Netflix could have spared themselves this embarrassment and backlash by simply checking the social media accounts prior to advertising this new branch.  This series of events looked very irresponsible on Netflix’s behalf and was a prime example of a social media gaffe. 

Moving Forward

The age of social media has just begun and therefore has much room for improvement.  A desire for companies to value social media is in order.  Clearly, the mastering of the digital media world will not happen overnight; however, those companies that avoid social media gaffes and find ways to educate themselves on social media will establish just how far social media can take business.

by Eric Daginella



One Response to “Gauging the Power of Social Media”

  1. seanfeng April 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    Your emphasis on how companies can mismanage their social media image is definitely warranted. Earlier this year, McDonald’s launched its twitter campaign #McDStories with the best of intentions; it failed completely. Instead of sharing positive stories about McDonald’s, twitter users shared their negative, albeit exaggerated, experiences with the food and service. Though McDonald’s pulled the campaign after only two hours, the negative messages already went viral, resulting in a diminished public image.

    -Sean Feng

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