Communities and Social Media
One way to tie together the power that a crowd has is through social media. With social media, one can raise or initiate debates props to local issues with transparency. Here, one provides a conduit that people can use and encourage their civic or community issues. This solution is also applicable in business. Social media gives room for businesses to provide their products or services to a larger crowd. It facilitates businesses in communicating their messages regarding products or services in innovative and creative approaches that pull crowds to try them. This is what ties together the power that a crowd has means.
Today, we live in a digital world. Social media forms one of the powerful emergent tools that popularise or defame public issues. Besides, many people indicate having an interest in giving their opinion on different matters or getting involved in practices that will result in reforms. For any person or institution interested in developing online communities, social media takes the leading role. This is because social media provides a universal platform that all target participants can utilise. For instance, community forums require engaging thousands of individuals. A social media group can accommodate thousands, whereas physical boardrooms hold a dozen or few dozens. Social media thus allows collecting the opinion of a majority within a single platform. It guides understanding the greater perspective.
How to describe a community in reference to social media
A community refers to any online property that allows members to speak about universal experiences or interests (Gearey, 2015). The presence of numerous platforms allows one to belong where they feel like part of. In general, social media aims to help individuals connect, fit into a place, or interact. One might argue that social media imitates the existent world courses of action props to building relationships. This feature makes it natural for users to join the communities to talk and brainstorm issues with others.
Borrowing from the description above, one could argue that social media is different from the community. Social media is a tool that helps in connecting several people, whereas community refers to an ordinary observable fact, a mindset, or an approach to engagement. One might also refer to the fundamental nature of social business as a community (Vinfotech, 2018). All individuals have someone they talk to. It could be family members, friends or acquaintances, people they work at the same place with, or several other categories of people. Many talk to these individuals who are part of their lives daily (Vinfotech, 2018). Social media presents a way of connecting these individuals through an approach called social networking.
Using the networking platforms that social media provides, one connects with various people they are familiar with. However, in a social community, one can interact with other people besides the one they are familiar with. Here, the suggestion implies that social media allows one to meet both the known and the unknown in one place. This is what constitutes a community. In essence, the primal distinction of communities from social media is that communities comprise groups. Each of these groups comprises of several individuals having diverse backgrounds or history about others in the same group with whom they have by no means met yet (Vinfotech, 2018). The people in these groups, however, have similar interests.
Social media, Communities, and Business
The best approach to growing any business to a place of earning supernormal profits is marketing. A business can benefit from a fanatical or enthusiastic community about purchasing its products or services by interacting with them using marketing approaches (Stelzner, 2019). Every marketer has the primary goal of bringing additional people to their product and, in other cases, service. If possible, this process should involve the lowest possible cost. This is where communities come in. A marketerr will reach many individuals with a community in one instance at a considerably low cost (Stelzner, 2019). The process is also quicker. This explains why it matters for any marketer where they build their community.
Some argue that a business that builds a community with a generalised view, using social platforms with a one-size-fits-all nature, only builds an audience (Stelzner, 2019). In a platform with a one-size-fits-all nature, the business does not gain value in the followers’ eyes as it gets new followers. The proponents of this thought suggest that creating a space that allows individuals to meet in a platform that appears natural and standard will be extra valuable to a business since it is also fast (Stelzner, 2019). These followers will gain value from one another. In such an approach, the community gains a networking effect.
The first component a marketer should think about before adopting social media is how to bring about a networking effect effectively. In this, the marketer builds on the relationships that people have towards each other. Because of this, people become more appreciative of the product the marketer is endorsing. They hence start purchasing more of it and informing others about it. Following this, the cost for marketing reduces in an amount worth mentioning. This explains why it is essential that a business and a marketer understand both their product or service and the target audience.
To demonstrate the importance of understanding the business niche, consider the case of healthcare-related businesses, digital services businesses, and businesses that bear an education element. These businesses will benefit more from constructing a community that is disconnect from the clamour or clutter that comes with social media (Stelzner, 2019). Instead of struggling to gain voice together with all other competitors or the users’ friends, these businesses can focus on putting together a relationship between their fans or followers. To understand the importance of these moves, consider Facebook. Many users of Facebook can declare that they have friends in hundreds of their networks. Despite this, the users can barely mention a dozen individuals by name, which they know in person, or have met within their home neighbourhood (Stelzner, 2019).
Arguably, social networks play a considerable role in helping people meet others online with whom they are like-minded. However, these networks are limited in building up face-to-face contacts within communities. Today, social networks are revolutionising to gain a more influential role in creating communities or channelling neighbourhood co-operation or social action. A recent example of how social media can help people get involved with their community life is the Twitter posts rioting against the injustice committed against George Floyd dubbed “Black Lives Matter.” Social media, therefore, has the power to inspire how people react to an incident. Most businesses have posted a post regarding the BLM. This post helps these businesses show their consumer that they support BLM and be active in their community.
In its fundamental nature, the development of a social community involves processes where several community members meet, talk about a widespread problem, and brainstorm possible solutions. The term community could describe a small fraction of the audience with a bit of concern or outsized initiatives involving a considerable assemblage. Therefore, social networking is necessary for providing scenery for maintaining pre-established relationships. For instance, in many cases, people add into their groups’ people they are familiar with or people known by those within their friend circle. Things make it easy to share thoughts, distribute photos, or congratulate one another when a special occasion occurs. In a social network, there are people from different localities worldwide. Therefore, a social network creates a community where individuals share personal thoughts.
Importance of using social media for marketing a business and creating a community
Social media is an excellent way of improving brand awareness. It syndicates the content a business creates and facilitates increasing its visibility (Shervell, 2021). A business that implements a strategy that applies social media will dramatically increase its recognition as they engage with a larger audience. As the business owns profiles on social media, its employees, sponsors, or business partners get the chance to share or like the page. These efforts lead to a social media community emerging and growing with time. Awareness of the business and growth of the social media community occurs as individuals interact with the content that the business posts online. It also builds on the reputation that the business has.
With social media, all posts shared are introduced to all communities’ props to leading individuals to become credible customers. This explains the importance of communities since numerous people are familiarising themselves with the business’s products in a community. Furthermore, with social media, a marketer or a business-only requires spending some hours marketing their products instead of the traditional methods where the business has to engage long hours every day marketing products. Regular use of the platforms that a business holds on social media influences its social media community’s growth.
Social media communities increase the inbound traffic of a business to surpass the usual customers. Most people search for products using keywords. Communities help popularise products through regular mentions that occur in discussions as users provide personal opinions about products. This increases the word’s online traffic and makes it easier for people to find the business in question. In today’s society, evading social media for marketing a business’s products creates difficulties in reaching populations outside the business’s devoted customer circle. For instance, social media platforms provide an entryway to their website for a business with a website. People will learn about the business from social media and check their websites (Shervell, 2021).
All content that a business post on a social media platform is a chance to gain a fresh customer. Here, businesses must understand that social media is a collective pot for diverse individuals that hail from different backgrounds and engage in erratic behaviour. Where there are different people, there are also diverse needs. Furthermore, these individuals have their particular thinking patterns. Whenever a business syndicates its content on numerous platforms, it allows individuals to reach the business progressively. This describes how a community grows. For instance, a case involving differences in age demography of the clients will reveal differences in social media’s preferred platforms. The older generation will prefer searching for products on Facebook while millennials highly regard other platforms. Because of this, businesses should maintain diverse communities. This opens the business to the versatility of worldwide customers.
Community management can take place in four stages. The first stage is monitoring. Here the business should listen in on all conversations that relate to their brand. It should also track such conversations. The second stage is engaging. Here the business must keep discussions alive. It should engage with existing customers, prospective customers, along with influencers in a proactive way. The third stage is moderating. This stage involves weeding out every comment or conversation that does not increase value to the business. It also involves troubleshooting the complaints that the customers raise. The fourth stage is measuring. Here, the business will analyse how people perceive it and collect objective, unfiltered feedback.
Community management is essential considering the events that the recent past has been witnessing. For instance, more customers are today taking their complaints to social media. An angry customer could share screenshots or defame a business using word-of-mouth. Some could leave demeaning comments online. However, the same case applies to happy customers. Using community management, the business can influence numerous happy customers to leave online comments, thus outnumbering the negative ones (Corso, Giacobbe & Martini. 2009).
The importance of managing a social media community becomes evident as the customer base grows. Community management involves relationships and how a business seizes opportunities to interact with the community within communal online spaces. Any business that hopes to ensure its sustainability should consider investing in social media. Even though many consider the community to imply existing customers, the term also accommodates target audiences and everyone who interacts with the business online either directly or indirectly. Therefore, community management speaks to the events that take place after a business publishes its content. It involves amalgamating customer service with the message the internet produces and actively participating in discussions props to the business.
As seen in this paper, social media provides a way to tie together the crowd’s power. The paper demonstrates that a business can raise or initiate debate props to local issues with social media transparency. Using social media, a business makes available a conduit that people can use and encourage their civic or community issues. Two examples have emerged in the paper props to this. The example mention before is the Twitter posts rioting against the injustice committed against George Floyd dubbed “Black Lives Matter. Using the forum, people engage in conversations plus debates and later turn them into action. Therefore, the neighbourhood forums are beneficial to the community today and create room for communities collaborating in upcoming projects.
Corso, M., Giacobbe, A., & Martini, A. (2009). Designing and managing business communities of practice. Journal of Knowledge Management, 13(3), 73-89. http://dx.doi.org.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/10.1108/13673270910962888
Gearey, A. (2015). Welfare, Community and Solidarity. Law, Culture and the Humanities, 11(3), 340-348. https://doi.org/10.1177/1743872113481761
Shervell, J. (2021). How to use social media to build stronger community ties. Duct tape Marketing. https://ducttapemarketing.com/social-media-communities/
Stelzner, M. (2019). Building a community in a changing social media world. Social media examiner. https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/building-community-in-changing-social-media-world/
Vinfotech., (2018). The role of social media in community development. Vinfotech. https://blog.vinfotech.com/social-networks/role-of-social-media-in-community-development
Boczkowski, P. J., Mitchelstein, E., & Matassi, M. (2018). “News comes across when I’m in a moment of leisure”: Understanding the practices of incidental news consumption on social media. New Media & Society, 20(10), 3523–3539. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444817750396
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14 thoughts on “Businesses in the corner”
Thank you for a great read. Social media has revolutionized the way businesses operate these days. It impacts big and small business alike. Businesses take into consideration the large number of users using various social media platforms. Businesses resort to digital marketing to promote their products. While on one hand, social media can have a positive impact on businesses but on the other hand bad reviews can do great damage as well very easily with things going viral in minutes!
Thank you for leaving a comment. I do agree that bad review can damage the business reputation, but it can also create community for people that are interested with the business. That is why it is important for businesses to manage their social media page and strengthen their bond with the online community. Some businesses do face some bad review in the online platform, but with the online platform tools the businesses can clarify directly on certain review. for example Ciao Italia South Perth restaurant got some bad review from their customer, the boss of the restaurant act on it and reply on the review to manage their reputation. To clarify online platform could damage reputation from viral bad review but it also help the business to clarify their perspective. I hope this informtion help you.
Thank you for a very insightful and informative paper. You make a number of extremely important points regarding the uses of social media by businesses in todays’ economy and how vital these platforms have become in spreading by word-of-mouth through numerous diverse communities the products and/or services these businesses have to offer. As you very succinctly point out businesses of today place great emphasis on their online profile and fully engage with customers, listening to their feedback and acting accordingly. More importantly, as you point out, businesses communicate through these online communities in the hope of turning potential customers into actual sales, in turn enhancing their reputations and building on their good name.
One particular line in your paper brought a smile to my face when you referred to ‘the older generation will prefer searching for products on Facebook’. I am of an even older generation that searched for products in paper catalogues delivered to letterboxes then on eBay as the internet became more popular. I am still to get involved with much of the social media platforms but after reading your paper I will definitely do some further research.
Well done Christopher on a very interesting paper.
Thank you for leaving an insightful comment. I am glad that this information is help in anyway.
I found a lot of parallels between your paper and mine which looks at some businesses trying to co-opt social trends hypocritically (like Nike’s twitter sporting the #stopAsianHate hashtag while their historical and recent use of underpaid Chinese workers). One thing I am considering after reading your paper is what ramifications should businesses have for misusing social media. There are already laws that regulate things like false advertising, but is there or should there be a regulation on advertising false beliefs. For an extreme example: should BP or Shell be allowed to espouse their support of climate change reforms when they almost openly flout the current environmental laws?
Thank you for allowing us to read your paper and it was well done. Mine isn’t nearly as eloquent, but it’s here if you’re interested.
Thank you for leaving a comment. Your question is very interesting. I found out in the pass case where BP change their logo into the current logo that look like the sun. This action bring alot of drawback when BP is continuously mocked by netizen relating to the oil spill. Too answer you question, I don’t think BP or Shell should support those climate problem which can cause business drawback. They are allowed to and no law should forbid anyone to support climate change but it is not a wise move in term of business strategy. I hope this answer your question.
What an interesting paper! It really got me thinking about how much of an influence social media really has on us, especially the business aspect of things. In this day and age, social media has become such a huge part of our lives, especially now, which would urge businesses to promote and advertise their business online to gain extra exposure.
Do you think that businesses today are only successful because of their social media presence? I would assume that businesses without any social media presence would not be as successful due to the exposure and competition factor.
You’ve also mentioned how businesses have posted about the BLM movement, but do you think mixing business with political views is a good way of promoting themselves or raising awareness for the cause?
Thank you for leaving a comment. Too answer your question, there are soe businesses that succeed without having any online presence and rely on local community. But from what I comprehend, social media up more opportunity for businesses to widen their presence and way on handling problem such as negative feedback or competitor.
It is a good way on both promoting their own businesses and raising awareness for businesses to mix with political views. It can help business to leave a small footprint that they care on the political issues that are happening around the.
I hope this answer help you in any way.
As a small business owner myself, I totally agree with your statements regarding the importance of businesses having a social media presence. Businesses with large social media followings have incredible influence over their audiences. They have perfected the strategies that connect and empathize with their audiences by creating communities of people that are loyal and advocacies. These communities feel close to their favourite brands and feel empowered to comment (good or bad) on their experiences.
However, I do err on the side of caution when mixing my business content with political opinions. In your research regarding the #BLM movement, did those businesses that advertised their view on the matter, gain greater respect among the majority of their followers and experience increased sales because of the stance? Maybe ‘sales’ weren’t the motivation of the business’ stance but at the end of the day, they are businesses: there to make a profit. You mentioned that “Most businesses have posted a post regarding the BLM”. Do you know whether this was mostly large business or was this across the board as implied? I can think of Nike’s #BLM campaign as a stand out but must admit that I am pressed to remember any small business posts.
Thank you for leaving a comment here. I agree that businesses support political view not only because they care but it help them improve their reputation and sales. It is not a direct advertising but it shows how the businesses care about the political issues happening around the and leaving a small footprint. By the end of the day is a win-win situation for all parties. I hope this answer your question.
This is a very thorough and interesting paper! I was aware of the benefits that businesses could gain from managing their social media, but I didn’t realise just how much it can positively impact their business and the community that they can build.
In saying that, do you think that in this day and age it is essential for any type of business to use different forms of social media as a way of marketing? I know that I generally use Facebook to find a businesses open hours, menus, etc. In doing your research, did you find that businesses suffered greatly if they did not utilise social media in promoting themselves? Or did the community reach just increase when social media was used?
Interested to hear your reply!
Thank you for leaving a comment here. I certainly do agree that it is essential for businesses to manage their social media. By managing social media they can maintain their reputation by responding on negative review on them. Business that mange their social media can also keep an update on things they are doing to the online community that are build up around the business. to answer your second question, there are some business that don’t manage their social media and they still able to reach their community. but without using social media platform, they limit their business from opportunities that can be widen in online platform. I hope this answer your question.
I hadn’t thought of this aspect of social media.. as a business tool! I hope it’s overall a positive, it’s so easy to leave a devastating comment which is then hard to rebut without seeming petty.
Do you think most businesses monitor their mentions on social media?
thank you for leaving a comment on my paper. ton answer your question, from my experience doing internship in digital advertising agency, businesses does monitor their social media. They do monitor people who mention their business and if its a good review they might show an engagement on that and have their follower feel appreciated and valued. I hope this is helpful.