Social Media Impact on Business

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1. Introduction2
2. Social Media and Business2
3. Types of Social Media and Their Importance for Companies4 4. Social Media Functionality Blocks and Their Implications for Companies7 5. Social Media and Information Half-life and Depth10
6. LinkedIn Poll12
7. Recruitment and Search for Talent13
8. Advertising and Brands Enhancement17
9. Customer Profiling and Customer Service and Realtionship Management21 10. The Future of Social Media25
11. Conslusion28
12. References29

1. Introduction

Before the invention of the Web, organizations had only two significant choices in order to attract attention: they could either buy expensive advertising or get third-party ink from the media. The old rules of marketing were focused only on advertising that needed to appeal to the masses and get them pay attention to a massage. Advertising was one-way communication from company to consumer and it was exclusively about pushing products to the public. However, the Web has changed the rules and today organizations are communicating directly with buyers. Blogs, online news releases, networking and corporate sites, as well as many other forms of Web content, all described with the term "social media", empowered the consumer and changed the way marketing is conducted . Participating in social media for marketers has to do with shifting their thinking from the old-fashioned marketing of pushing messages to the masses to more advanced strategies of profiling and targeting consumers based on behavior and exclusive customer service via communication within communities on social media. (David Scott, 2007)

2. Social Media and Business

Social media is an instrument of communication, like a newspaper, television or a radio. Think of the regular media as a one-way street, where you can read a newspaper or listen to a report on television, but you have a very limited ability to give your thoughts on the matter. Many people believe that they know what social media is, because it combines 'social' and 'media' - words that are familiar to everyone. On one hand, the word media, in the traditional meaning, is a tool to deliver information to the public like TV, newspapers and magazines. On the other hand, people are social beings and they tend to interact with each other and to influence and being influenced by one another. Thus, social media is a two-way street that gives you the ability to interact directly with other users and express your opinions. It is a conversation online. “Social media is the use of technology to co-create, know, like, and trust.”

Social media encompasses a wide range of online, word-of-mouth forums including blogs, company sponsored discussion boards and chat rooms, consumer-to-consumer e-mail, consumer product or service ratings websites and forums, Internet discussion boards and forums, moblogs (sites containing digital audio, images, movies, or photographs), and social networking websites, to name a few. Social media outlets are numerous and varied. The 21st century is witnessing an explosion of Internet-based messages transmitted through these media. They have become a major factor in influencing various aspects of consumer behavior including awareness, information acquisition, opinions, attitudes, purchase behavior, and post-purchase communication and evaluation. Unfortunately, the popular business press and academic literature offers marketing managers very little guidance for incorporating social media into their IMC strategies.

Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is the guiding principle organizations follow to communicate with their target markets and coordinate and control the various elements of the promotional mix - advertising, personal selling, public relations, publicity, direct marketing, and sales promotion – in order to produce a unified customer-focused message and, thus, achieve various organizational objectives (Boone & Kurtz, 2007, p....
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