Social Media Essay

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Definition of social media …
The emergence and increasing usage of social media and other Web 2.0 tools has dramatically altered how companies interact with and gain intelligence on their customers. Social media gives companies a torrent of largely free and extremely valuable customer feedback on the organization, its brand and its offers through social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as customer forums and product review services. This can then supplement traditional sources of customer insight to connect more tightly with customers at lower cost and in a way that provides a real differentiation from competitors. Technologies and services such as web crawling, web scraping (or extracting data from websites), text mining and sentiment analysis help companies to mine that data available through all of these channels. For example companies can now use market intelligence gained through these social media networks to launch new products and services into the market place at greater speed and at significantly lower cost. Social media opens ways to conduct market research more quickly and cheaply than ever before, and to engage in a real-time dialogue with a wide range of customers, replicating the insights traditionally provided from direct customer feedback or expensive and time-consuming focus groups. Electronics retailer Best Buy, for instance, engages in about 5,000 customer dialogues per week through online forums, and has more than 1.3 million followers on Facebook, with whom it interacts regularly. This direct interaction can also help companies benchmark themselves against the competition and gather valuable input on what shoppers like about them—and what they don’t. Through social media channels (Blogs, Wikis, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, Twitter etc) companies can monitor whether online discussions are in line with their intended product positioning. They can see how users perceive features their product and competing products...
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