Social Media Essay

  • Last Edited: November 19, 2017
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social media essay

Social media is a big boom when it comes to business, entertainment, and media. It has crossed over from something the youth use to something everyone uses. Many people do not understand how much of an impact social media has on people from their employability to how the public views them. This example essay will show social media’s influence and how it has come to be what it is today.

Titles

Social Media: Then and Now

Social Media and it’s Impact on Business

Social Media as a Social Movement

Social Media and it’s influence on our Lives

Social Media: Changing the Way People Communicate

Topics

Social Media Platforms

The Impact of Twitter and Facebook on Business

The Rise of YouTube

Difference Between Social Media Platforms

How Social Media is used to Communicate

Social Media Effects on Society

Outline

I.  Introduction

a.  Social media has transformed the ways people communicate and do business.

b.  However, social media has also become a useful tool for sociologists, politicians, and law enforcement.

c.  Different social media platforms have different strengths and weaknesses, based on their security or privacy settings, their algorithms, and their user interfaces.

II.  Various Social Media Platforms?

a. Facebook

1. The most popular. As of June 2017, Facebook has 2 billion monthly users (https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/27/facebook-2-billion-users/)

2. Facebook is a global social media platform.

b.  Instagram

1. Image-driven, with 800 million active users each month (https://www.statista.com/statistics/253577/number-of-monthly-active-instagram-users/)

2. Interfaces well with other social media like Twitter

c.  LinkedIn

1. Designed specifically for career development, human resources.

2. Different from the other social media. Active monthly users is 500 million (http://fortune.com/2017/04/24/linkedin-users/)

d.  Twitter

1. 328 Million active monthly users (https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/27/facebook-2-billion-users/)

2. Less personal than Facebook, better for media and marketing

e.  Snapchat

1. 255 million monthly users (https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/27/facebook-2-billion-users/)

2. Opportunities for branding (http://www.newsweek.com/5-reasons-use-snapchat-besides-reason-337485)

III. Differences Between Social Media Platforms

a.  As Marketing Tools

1. No one social media is “better” than the others; they are different, and users interact differently.

2. Therefore, companies and government agencies need to diversify their social media platform and communication strategy to use different media.

b.  As influencing the ways people communicate or socialize

1. Some social media is for interpersonal relations, and others are for information sharing, yet others for professional networking.

2. Facebook is still used for friendship development more than other platforms like Twitter, but all social media offers opportunities for businesses and media organizations.

c.  Uses for law enforcement

d.  Privacy and security

IV.  Conclusion

a.  Different social media platforms need to be used differently and strategically by organizations.

b.  Ideally, organizations use multiple social media platforms in a comprehensive marketing strategy.

c.  While social media presents some threats to privacy and security, users still appreciate these tools and will continue to use them.

Thesis Statement

Part of what makes social media addicting is that people can communicate to the world in an easy and convenient way; this therefore produces a relationship of the user to the social media platform that can be used by companies for advertising, and even serve as a networking tool that can allow businesses or even law enforcement to gain critical information about specific people, making social media a hugely successful aspect to online culture.

Essay Hook

There are so many facets to social media, that most people can see why it has become the entertainment outlet, the main way for some to communicate, thus leading businesses to try to cash in on the craze.

Introduction

Social media has transformed the ways people communicate and do business. People from across the world use social media to network and talk to family and friends. There are networking sites like LinkedIn, where users can post their resumes and contact employers. Employers can do the same and incorporate in their recruitment strategies, use of LinkedIn to find worthwhile, high-quality recruits. Aside from networking, Facebook offers global access to users for advertising and promotion of products and services. Businesses can even use Facebook tools to generate an ad in one language that can then be translated to multiple languages for worldwide visibility.

However, social media has also become a useful tool for sociologists, politicians, and law enforcement. They can use social media to track constituent behavior and trends that may direct one to understand what is popular and relevant in society. Police and FBI can track potential threats on social media as well and gain access to where they live due to identifiable information on their social media profiles. Sociologists can gain the knowledge of how people work and act in the current age by examining posts and images popular in these social media sites/apps.

Different social media platforms have different strengths and weaknesses, based on their security or privacy settings, their algorithms, and their user interfaces. For example, YouTube gets new algorithms all the time that make certain videos popular and others fade away into obscurity. Instagram has a new algorithm that favors engagement, therefore promoting users with the highest engagement. These things are what separate social media platforms and make them useful for different occasions. This is why it is important to understand what these various social media platforms are and what can be done on them as a business and understand what is being done with them concerning law enforcement.

Various Social Media Platforms

Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media platform as of June 2017, with an estimated 2 billion monthly users (Constine, 2017). What it is, is a place to set up a profile, upload pictures and videos, and connect with the world. Users can create fan pages, business pages, and personal pages where people can come and see what users have to offer. Some celebrities for example, have Facebook fan pages with hundreds of thousands of likes. Facebook is a site where people establish community and communicate with each other through liking each other’s posts, replying to comments, making posts, and instant messaging.

Facebook is also a place where people can connect with people they already know. Many users often connect with old school friends, teachers, and distant relatives. It has an easy to use interface with advertising displayed for businesses to promote their products and services. Being the most popular social media platform, it has generated ways to keep reinventing itself. For example, now Facebook has enabled monetized views similar to YouTube (Griffith, 2015).

Facebook is a global social media platform.

Facebook exists as an international powerhouse when it comes to its reach. That is why businesses have grown to use Facebook as one of their main ways to promote and advertise. With new tools for such use, Facebook has continued its innovative path towards ongoing success. “Through a new feature called dynamic language optimization, brands can configure single campaign that features text in multiple languages, and Facebook will automatically show the version that corresponds to each audience member’s preferred language as set in their Facebook profile” (Peterson, 2017). This success comes from the ability for people to communicate and connect from all over the world and for businesses to come and introduce new customers to their products and services.

Instagram

Image-driven, with 800 million active users each month (Statista, 2017), Instagram provides users with one minute or less videos, images, and chances to comment, reply, and direct message so users can interact with the world. Some celebrities have stated they can earn upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars per Instagram post. “The Keeping Up with the Kardashians stars’ names are so valuable that brand executives shell out six figures for a social media endorsement, Michael Heller, CEO of digital marketing firm Talent Resources” (Ergas, 2017). That kind of money is what makes businesses and organizations reach out to the most popular social media influencers on Instagram. The Kardashians and Jenners are the most notable Instagram users with Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian being some of the most popular users amassing millions of like within hours of posting a new picture.

Interfaces well with other social media like Twitter

Because Instagram is mainly for images and videos, Twitter is a perfect match for Instagram as Twitter is mainly known for its 140-character (now 280-character) word limit posts known as ‘tweets’. Like Instagram, a tweet can be a way social media influencer can make money as companies may pay an influencer to promote a product. Businesses also place ads on Twitter along with Instagram and can create accounts to promote brand awareness for their business. People often follow Twitter users for what they say and if they post interesting images or videos, it could make its way to Instagram as a screenshot or repost.

LinkedIn

Designed specifically for career development, and human resources, LinkedIn is the ‘Facebook’ for professionals. For people looking for a job or looking to hire someone, LinkedIn provides access to resumes, experience anecdotes, and a personal means of communication with prospective employees or employers. Many people often site LinkedIn as a good networking tool that can sometimes parlay into getting a job or generating a collaborative effort with someone. Companies have noted that recruitment using LinkedIn has led to successful employment of qualified employees. “According to LinkedIn’s own research, these sites (one of which is LinkedIn) have seen a 73% increase in job recruitment usage, compared to a 15% increase for internet job boards and a 16% decrease for staffing agencies” (DeMers, 2015).

Different from the other social media. Active monthly users are 500 million, a number expected to grow in upcoming years (Darrow, 2017). Along with the ability to post one’s resume and contact prospective employees or employers, there is also a chance to see what kind of skills one may need to attract employment. By connecting with successful people in one’s own desired fields, a person can see what kind of experience and skill sets are needed to achieve the kind of job they seek. Think of LinkedIn as a more professional Facebook.

Twitter

Twitter is one of the lesser popular social media sites with 328 Million active monthly users (Constine, 2017). However, it is one of the sites that provides businesses with a way to create a connection to their customer base that may not be so genuine in other social media platforms. For example, Wendy the fast food chain, has gained notoriety and internet fame for their sassy Twitter account. This account makes consistent viral posts that make users laugh, generating increased brand awareness for the company.

Wendy’s fast food chain might be named after a sweet little girl, but don’t be fooled by that seemingly innocent exterior. Beneath that sign lurks a world of sass, as Twitter users everywhere have recently been discovering. The fast food restaurant is well known for its hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, but they’ve also started to serve up double helpings of shut the hell up to anybody brave enough to take them on via Twitter (Gould-Bourn, 2017).

While less personal than Facebook, Twitter has become the better choice for media and marketing with retweets going as high as one million and users engaging with Twitter accounts in the form of thousands of likes within seconds of posting. Twitter has a long way to go before reaching the popularity of Facebook. Nonetheless, it is the kind of website that has remained popular after all these years alongside Facebook. Businesses love Twitter and so do its loyal users.

Snapchat

Snapchat is a recent addition to the social media platforms compared to its predecessors. With 255 million monthly users (Constine, 2017), the 2011 founded social media app allows users to send 10 second ‘snaps’ or videos/pictures to followers or their friends all over the world. They can instant message and also promote their merchandise if they happen to have an online business. Many major social media influencers like Shane Dawson, have Snapchat and snap for example, t-shirt lines, recently release books, and latest creative projects.

In fact, there are definite opportunities for branding and advertising on Snapchat because of the level of engagement. Users must touch the ad and companies, or users can see if the snap was played or not. This is a more direct and engaging way to promote a product and promote brand awareness. These kinds of snaps can be seen through Snapchat’s ‘Discover’ feature. “Discover is Snapchat’s boldest inclusion. Few social networks go the route of tailor-made professional content, but that’s what we have here. Think original content that “counts on editors and artists, not clicks and shares,” as the company puts it” (Harding, 2015).

Differences Between Social Media Platforms

Marketing Tools

No one social media is “better” than the others; they are different, and users interact differently. Facebook, being the most popular social media platform, has generated tools to allow businesses to take bigger steps towards digital marking.

Allowing people to connect with anybody, from their best friends to distant relatives, as well as share their personal thoughts, pictures, videos, blogs and links. The addition of Facebook Chatbots has also opened up a whole new world in customer service and digital marketing (Willis, 2017).

Twitter has a different approach, allowing the use of hashtags to generate interest and start trends within the platform. Instagram allows businesses to reach social media influencers to promote their product. All these avenues are different, but all these avenues can lead to success and profit for companies wishing to engage. Therefore, companies and government agencies need to diversify their social media platform and communication strategy to use different media.

Influencing the ways people communicate or socialize

Some social media is for interpersonal relations, and others are for information sharing, yet others for professional networking. As was mentioned before, LinkedIn can be used to connect and network as an employer or as an employee. However, other social media platforms like YouTube can also be used. YouTube recently has implemented new algorithms intended to promote advertiser-friendly users and discourage content from unfriendly users. However, this has led to some backlash from users and made YouTube attempt to finetune their algorithms. “New algorithm is supposed to accurately reflect YouTube’s guidelines for ad-friendly material. It will supposedly reduce the number of demonetized listings by 30 percent, so “millions more videos” will be able to make money off the full range of advertisements” (Robertson, 2017). Facebook is still used for friendship development more than other platforms like Twitter, but all social media offers opportunities for businesses and media organizations still exist and will continue to as social media diversifies and evolves.

Uses for law enforcement

Social media is a great way to catch criminals. As Facebook is the most popular social media platform, criminals often use it and in doing so, give clues to law enforcement to find them. They may make a post and their friends and family may interact, giving law enforcement access to potential witnesses or gain potential tips of crimes committed and whereabouts of suspects. “Facebook is helping to catch criminals. Sometimes, police are able to get tips from suspects’ “friends” after the suspect inevitably brags about his deviant behavior on the social networking site” (Roufa, 2017). Bragging about crimes is surprisingly common. What used to be done in person and in private, is now being done on social media to the joy of law enforcement that find it easier to track and catch criminals.

Sometimes criminals are so naïve they post their wanted photos as their profile pictures giving notification to police that they may have a warrant out for their arrest. “In 2016, Mack Yearwood decided to post his wanted photo as his Facebook profile picture. He was tracked down to his brother’s house and arrested for the warrants” (Bires, 2017). These kinds of mistakes make it easier and easier for police and the FBI to track down criminals. Furthermore, it makes it faster to spot potential problems like tweets suggesting a person is going to assassinate the President of the United States.

Privacy and security

Privacy and security are always going to be issues when it comes to the internet. Social media is a big part of the internet and users have shared their horror stories of hacked accounts and people finding their home address and contact information, even murders of popular social media influencers. However, what if, the actual social media website is compromising one’s data? Kashmir Hill made the discovery last year the Facebook uses users’ locations to suggest friends. “Kashmir Hill, over at Fusion, discovered Facebook had been using location to suggest friends. The social network even admitted to doing so, claiming to combine that data with other factors, such as work and education information or mutual friends” (Fox-Brewster, 2016). This may be suitable for Facebook to continue building their site, but if this has the potential to invade a person’s privacy and security, what should be allowed in these kinds of companies?

When it comes to social media, there are just too many ways for the public to see and know what one does. Some people wishing to keep private and only reach out to people they know on social media suggest privating their profiles on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook so they know who they accept to see their pictures, videos, and content. Some suggest changing the passwords to their accounts every month to keep hackers out, even using a burner phone to thwart hacking through tw0-step verification. Whatever measures people want to take, it is important to understand that social media is vulnerable to online attacks.

Conclusion

Different social media platforms need to be used differently and strategically by organizations. For example, Instagram can be used to promote items more than services. Since it is an app used mainly for images, people want more visual than anything else. A good ad campaign may feature a model who has a strong social media following and that is often a great way to engage potential new customers and keep them engaged. That is why the Kardashian-Jenner clan are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote a product. Twitter on the other hand, users often look at written posts and therefore presents a great opportunity for businesses to connect to their customers through company twitter profiles like Wendy’s has done.

Ideally, organizations use multiple social media platforms in a comprehensive marketing strategy. For example, a business selling weight loss tea can have hire social media influencers to promote a slimming tea to their followers through a sexy fitness picture. Then the company can make a Facebook page and promote a community globally. They can also make a Twitter profile to not only entertain potential new customers, but also handle potential complaints they may have.

While social media presents some threats to privacy and security, users still appreciate these tools and will continue to use them. This is because it has become a main source of communication for many. More than a decade ago sites like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook existed as what some may call a ‘phase’ of the internet where youth talk to each other online. However, social media has become more than that. Especially when it comes to business, it can reach major demographics like never before. For companies to come and take a share of a huge profitable pie that is social media is to take on a great and lucrative opportunity to increase their customer base, gain quality recruits, and develop brand awareness like the world has never seen before. Social media’s grip is unparalleled and that is why, so many have decided to join the social media movement, especially businesses. It is the new form of communication.

References

Bires, M. (2017, February 13). Thinking outside the box: Police use of social media to catch criminals. Retrieved from https://www.policeone.com/police-products/investigation/Investigative-Software/articles/290047006-Thinking-outside-the-box-Police-use-of-social-media-to-catch-criminals/

Constine, J. (2017, June 27). Facebook now has 2 billion monthly users… and responsibility. Retrieved from https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/27/facebook-2-billion-users/

Darrow, B. (2017, April 24). LinkedIn Says It Broke the 500 Million-User Mark. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2017/04/24/linkedin-users/

DeMers, J. (2015, July 22). 10 Reasons Your Brand Needs to Be On LinkedIn. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/07/22/10-reasons-your-brand-needs-to-be-on-linkedin/#55f47c313aca

Ergas, T. (2017, March 16). Kardashian Sisters Make How Much for Instagram Ads? Retrieved from https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/kardashian-sisters-make-how-much-for-instagram-ads-w472080/

Fox-Brewster, T. (2016, June 29). Facebook Is Playing Games With Your Privacy And There’s Nothing You Can Do About It. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2016/06/29/facebook-location-tracking-friend-games/#6f0f859f35f9

Gould-Bourn, J. (2017). Wendy’s Is Roasting People On Twitter, And It’s Just Too Funny. Retrieved from https://www.boredpanda.com/funny-wendy-jokes/

Griffith, E. (2015, July 1). Finally, Video Creators Can Make Money on Facebook. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2015/07/01/facebook-video-monetization/

Harding, X. (2015). 5 Reasons to Use Snapchat Beside?That Reason. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/5-reasons-use-snapchat-besides-reason-337485

Peterson, T. (2017, November 14). Facebook makes it easier for advertisers to reach people internationally. Retrieved from https://marketingland.com/facebook-makes-easier-advertisers-reach-people-internationally-228470

Robertson, A. (2017, October 27). YouTube is fighting the ?adpocalypse? with a less trigger-happy flagging system. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/27/16557142/youtube-new-demonetization-algorithm-rollout-false-positive

Roufa, T. (2017, November 13). Are the Police Watching You on Social Media? Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/social-networking-and-law-enforcement-974548

Statista. (2017). Instagram: active users 2017 | Statista. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/253577/number-of-monthly-active-instagram-users/)

Willis, A. (2017, August 15). 6 Ways Social Media Changed the Way We Communicate. Retrieved from http://circaedu.com/hemj/how-social-media-changed-the-way-we-communicate/

Closing

Social media has expanded in recent years. What first started out as a simple way to customize profiles, post pictures, and chat online with people, has become a new way to make money and build a platform. Social media has not just become a means of earning money, but it has become a way to find relationships, forge new friendships and so forth. While there are some downsides to social media, this essay shows how these networks will be very popular for many years to come.

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