Psychology of Social Networking
Social media are websites and tools on the internet that enables people to communicate with friends and companies. It allows people to socialize online, form online communities based on common interests. All in all, to stay connected online. Social media takes on different forms including social networking sites that I will be focusing on in this essay. Social networking sites (SNSs) allow people to create profiles and interact with people online. Popular social networking sites include Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, blogs can also be used as a social networking site. According to Megat Ishak, the Director of Licensing Department of SKMM, social networking can bring about both positive and negative impacts on both the individual and business corporations. Variety of true and false information as well as business opportunities to name a few. In this essay, I will be focusing on why people are inclined to use social networking sites for business opportunities, and how has the variety of information in these social networking sites affected human behavior. Businesses are looking into using social networking sites to advertise for their products and projects. This is because social networking sites have already proved itself that it is a lucrative site to generate more sales, and this is what businesses are looking for. According to the statistics put together by Cara Pring, 65% of the world’s top companies have active Twitter accounts and 93% of marketers rate social tools as ‘important’. The use of social networking sites have also increased traffic and brand exposure of businesses. According to the Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2012, 85% of the marketers felt that using social networking sites have increased their brand exposure and 74% felt that traffic to their official site increased as well. There are numerous success stories of using social networking sites to bump up sales. One excellent example is of the blender company, Blendtec. Blendtec created a series of simple and low cost, yet engaging YouTube videos. The videos are centralized around the theme of “Will It Blend”. Some of the items that are thrown into the blender are an iPhone 3G, an iPad and three tennis balls. All of which are blended successfully at the end of the video. This campaign engages the audiences by inviting them to request for the net item to be blended in the next video. According to ConceptBakery: Marketing Across Media, sales of Blendtec blenders increased by 700%. Till date, Blendtec has 425,442 subscribers in YouTube and the videos have been watched over 1 million times. This shows that social sites are great avenues to increase awareness and exposure of products. If done right, it has the ability to greatly increase sales of the company. Another successful use of social networking sites to increase sales comes from Dunkin’ Donuts. They created a Facebook fan page and invited customers to upload photos of them and their Dunkin’ Donuts products. This will give customers a chance to enter a daily giveaway from Dunkin’ Donuts. This attracted many customers and now, their fan page has more than 7.1 million “Likes”. Evidently, product exposure has been achieved. This campaign was engaging and creative. By inviting customers to pose with their products and sharing it on Facebook, this created widespread “promotion” of Dunkin’ Donuts products hence increasing sales. Inevitably, there will always be companies who failed to increase sales using social networking sites. Take the McDonalds Twitter campaign for example. In January 2012, McDonalds launched a Twitter campaign called the #McDstory. McDonalds’ intention was for consumers reminisce the times they had with McDonalds Happy Meals. However, the campaign was turned against them when consumers started to use the hashtag to post stories that put McDonalds in a negative light. This goes to show that there is still a substantial amount of risks in using...
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