Social media platforms can be a very useful tool if they are used correctly. This can be true for both your common Joe and your high end business professional. But you must also remember that social media can be a double edged sword. Helping you in some ways, but if used incorrectly, it can damage your brand just as fast as it can help it. That is why social media is such a key piece to our society. It has become infused with our culture and our way of life. There has been a whole generation that has grown up with the use of social media. Before social media took off in our society, mass marketing tools took business professionals away from conversing with the consumer. Larger than life ad campaigns took over the voice of the business world. But now that social media has become such a huge part of our lives it has brought the person to person conversation aspect back into the business world.
In this article “there are four distinct types of social media users: Bonders, Sharers, Professionals and Creators. All four groups use and experience the web differently, but collectively experience a sense of togetherness and excitement via the format” (N.A, 2012, ¶1). The way that I use social media resembles something that is similar to a “professionals” use. When I am using social media I’m using it to build a network for both personal and work issues. I try and maintain a professional demeanor while revealing some but not all personal information and opinions with others.
The way that I see most individuals using social media resembles more of a “bonder”. I believe in most cases that this is the type of person you encounter on a social media platform, especially on Facebook and Twitter. “Bonders love forming groups and building relationships with family, friends and colleagues. These consumers view themselves as fun, sociable and connected and like going online to catch up on what is happening in other people’s lives” (N.A, 2012, ¶3). These individuals use the social media website more for entertainment than for networking. They tend to also post anything and everything about what is happening in their lives.
When it comes down to social media there are many benefits that can come along with these platforms. For instance this article shows that “social media networks have had a transformative impact on organizations and there is a rapidly growing body of research on social media networks and business” (Aral et al., 2013, p.56). This means that research has been focused on consumer based networks like (Facebook and Twitter). The reason for this is that businesses are looking to see what factors are driving brand sentiment, consumer engagement and virility. But this type of research differs greatly from researching professional social media networks (like LinkedIn). This article shows “how firms use them to attract and retain employees and business partners” (Kacker, 2016, p. 226). But just as there are benefits to social media there can be harmful effects as well. Social media can be detrimental to our culture because it has fostered a sense of privacy when realistically it’s not private at all. Once you have posted something there is no real way of truly deleting it. This means that the post remains available indefinitely on the web.
Every company has a social media presence. Even when signing up for things online the page normally will ask you to sign in with using your Facebook account. This hasn’t always been the case. But as social media has become such an integrated part of our society our account has become an extension of us. Overall social media can be used differently by many different people. You have different people with different accounts all connected to each other. Businesses will use it differently than individuals and all individuals use it differently. But that’s what makes social media a great thing. But making sure you’re controlling this double edge sword will allow you to benefit the most from this integrated system.