Like. Comment. Share. Repeat. These are the most commonly used features in social media. Shortly after the World Wide Web was invented in 1991, Web 2.0 came and took the Internet by storm (Dijick, 2013). In time, social media became the new norm for communication, creating a new and unique way for users to collaborate with one another all without having to leave their homes. The greatest part about it was everyone seemed to be on it, this meant great business to the company as well as to the consumer. Social media is a powerful tool in this society. It is a method of self-expression, provoking conversations, shared information, the capability to leave a mark, forming networks, making a reputation, and forming communities (Kietzmann, 2011). Each social media site focuses on three main topics but at the same time attempts to incorporates all of them as all seven concepts are important. Social media has revolutionized through acquiring market share, rising manufacturers, and their ability to produce money.
In order to pinpoint what markets social media targets, two groups must be considered: the enterprise and the consumer (Radicati, 2012). Both categories involve the collaboration of people but each cater to a different audience. The enterprise is mainly composed of social media sites designed to incorporate the inner and outer workings of an organization. Microsoft and IBM are two of the most well-known companies among enterprises. Consumer, on the other hand are social media sites designed to create an environment where users can directly put forth their opinions and interests. Popular consumer sites include Facebook and LinkedIn. Out of the two, the consumer market is the easiest market to cater to. Enterprises have started to analyze it in hopes of penetrating it. A 2012 report of the Social Media Market predicted that by 2016, the expected amount of total accounts should be 4.9 billion with 2.3 billion users online (Radicati, 2012). With every new user and account made, the market share of social media is rapidly expanding. Every year it is reaching new horizons and the market share of all social media sites is steadily increasing. Collectively, as the market share increases the company's net worth increases as well.
The social media market can also be measured in terms of ROI or return on investments. The way to measure it would require investments by the user (Hoffman, 2010). Quite an odd way to think of it, but it should not be odd at all since users are what make social media sites what they are today. If businesses were to invest in the user or consumer rather than the social media itself they would retrieve a much higher return on investment (Hoffman, 2010). This idea matches well with how the advancement of social media is currently progressing. It is always important to consider who the audience is in any given situation when wanting to advance. There should be no surprise that social media depends on users and that every change results with some on board and some in total disagreement. Henceforth, social media places emphasize on user-friendly, accessible platforms. The top four manufacturers are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
When users talk about social media, it's no doubt that Facebook is at the forefront. It has been, ever since it first arrived in 2004 and made available in 2006 (Smith, 2016). Boasting a massive database of users, Facebook easily comes out on top. Facebook owes its success to its popular features of posting status updates, liking, commenting, messaging, and ultimately sharing. Providing a means to share with others is by far the best feature for a social media site to have. The more shares a post gets, the more views it collects, the higher likelihood the post will trend. Realistically, it may take a while to get started but once it passes a couple hundred shares it's usually set forward in a direction that benefits the original poster and the cause they are advocating for. In other words, it's a great way to advertise and promote. Facebook by far has the best market share in the social media market. According to Brandwatch, Facebook's market value is approximately $321 billion and its net worth is $48.9 billion (Smith, 2016). Video-based social media YouTube is right behind Facebook in market value and net worth followed by status-based social media Twitter and then coming in fourth is LinkedIn, a professional networking-based social media site. In the first quarter of 2016, Twitter collected $595 million in revenue (Smith, 2016). This should come as no surprise considering how successful all these social medias are.
There's clear evidence of liking, commenting, and sharing in all forms of social media. This goes to show that what makes social media so popular is the familiarity of it. In a personal perspective, these features stand out as more of a popularity contest. But in a business perspective, these features can enhance the business experience itself drawing in more interest, attention, and users. In both perspectives though, it is a way to promote oneself or one's company. It's all a matter of presentation and what users want to put out there for themselves ultimately.
"If you're not paying for the product, the product is you" explained McFarlane (2014). How exactly do these companies make money if their services are free? They promote a lot. The key in making money when it comes to social media, is knowing how to effectively target users. Ads are predominately what social media sites use to make their money. However, each social media site has its unique take on how they choose to advertise. Take Facebook's dedicated system of ad management for example. Facebook's been finding creative ways to connect its users to businesses for a while now. However, ads on Facebook were not like how they are today. Today with the help of Facebook, businesses are able to pinpoint user's interests and cater the right products to them in hopes they will purchase something and share about it. It is quite common to see social media icons popping up after a user has purchased items. It is all about sharing. Twitter, a status-based social media site also partakes in a similar curated ad management called tailored ads. They take the form of promoted tweets; which business pay to have there.
Along with advertising, comes this idea of promoted trends and the usage of hashtags. Twitter, a status based social media is most known for hashtag usage and soon shortly Facebook began to follow the trend. Hashtags can be one or several keywords that are used to highlight an experience the user is expressing. Using hashtags instantly ties one (whether person or business) to a trend which helps them become known. Eventually, if the trend is promoted enough times this acknowledgement can lead to profit (Collins). Another way social media sites can make money is by opening up e-commerce. In a sense, social media sites such as Instagram has already forwarded this idea. The way Instagram works is that it allows users to post pictures where other users can like, comment, and share. Instagram's algorism enables it to link liked pictures or people followed to sponsored which essentially are paid advertisements that sell products right as a user browses on their social media sites. In addition, social media sites have the massive database of users for it, they even have the potential to be the next Amazon. It is all but a matter of consideration, positioning, and marketing. In order to make profit, social media sites must data mine. Social media data mining involves retransforming massive amounts of social media data into new tactics on how to assess it (Gundecha, 2012). This is crucial as the consumer's response is the most important decision to consider when social media sites decide which companies it does business with.
Another method to earning money is having people pay for access to certain special features this is called a premium subscription, LinkedIn is one of the few in the top that does this. For a company like Facebook to participate in premium subscriptions, there is no doubt that Facebook would start losing its well-earned database of users. It could also impede the influential power and growth that Facebook currently has (McFarlane, 2014).
The growth of their market share, advancing manufacturers, and their production of money will allow them to thrive in the technological environment for many years to come. Truly, the most convenient concept of social media is that it uses the Internet. This enables how accessible it can be. It is hard to believe that Facebook began in 2004 in the United States but has branched out to various countries around the world over the years as did many other social media sites. "Facebook continues to dominate the social network scene in major markets worldwide" (eMarketer, 2016). Likewise, many foreign markets have tried to create similar social media sites attempting to penetrate the US market but so far there haven't been any successes. In the next few years, social media sites are expected to find new ways to advertise and advance further to keep up with both internal and external competition.
Semantic markup is best defined as using the correct tags in order to depict content and meaning. This can be done by using markups (enclosed in a tag) such as: header: h1-h6, paragraph: p, lists: ol, ul, etc. Semantic markup is meant to define the content rather than toe uphold the appearance.
Section-508 Accessibility required technology to be accessible by all users, regardless of disability status. This was established in 1973 by the Rehabilitation Act. In addition, federal agencies were to provide additional services to those with disabilities.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of ensuring the site has enough elements on it, in order to be recognized by a search engine. This in turn brings traffic to the site. The more a site shows up on a search engine, the more likely it is to encounter more visitors.
Collins, C. Hashtags are the New Way to Make Money. (2014, August 8). Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140808094545-101772914-hashtags-are-the-new-way-tomake-money
Dijick, J. V. (2013). The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media.Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. 4-5.
eMarketer. Facebook Remains the Largest Social Network in Most Major Markets. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Facebook-Remains-Largest-Social-Network-Most-Major-Markets/1013798
Gundecha, P., Liu, H. (2012). Mining Social Media: A Brief Introduction. Tutorial in Operations Research. 2-4.
Hoffman, D.L., Fordor, M. (2010). Can You Measure the ROI of Your Social Media Marketing. MIT Sloan Management Review. 52.1, 41-49.http://search.proquest.com/docview/757349606?pq-origsite=gscholar
Kietzmann J.H., Hermkens K., McCarthy I.P. (2011). Social media? Get serious! Understanding the Functional Building Blocks of Social Media. Business Horizons, 54, 241-251. http://busandadmin.uwinnipeg.ca/silvestrepdfs/PDF06.pdf
McFarlane, G. How Facebook, Twitter, Social Media Make Money From You. (2014,March 21). Retrieved from http://www.investopedia.com/stock-analysis/032114/how-facebooktwitter-social-media-make-money-you-twtr-lnkd-fb-goog.aspx
Radicati, S. (2012). Social Media Market, 2012-2016. The Radicati Group, Inc. 1-4.
Smith, K. (2016). Marketing: 47 Facebook Statistics for 2016. Brandwatch. (2016, May 12). Retrieved from https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/47-facebook-statistics-2016
Smith, K. (2016). 44 Astonishing Twitter Statistics for 2016. Brandwatch. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/44-twitter-stats-2016
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