The act of conveying a message through a commonly understood means between a sender and a receiver is called communication (Merriam-Webster, n.d.). When marketing, companies must utilize effective communication to build and maintain relationships with their customers. Social media continues to revolutionize the way we communicate; in fact, many companies have adopted it as its medium choice in the way that they advertise to customers in existing and new markets.
The evolution of social media in the context of online media where users submit comments, photos, and videos, was first recognized in 1997, when Six Degrees established a platform where users could upload a profile and connect with others (Kerin & Hartley, 2020). Social media has grown in popularity very quickly over the past few years, because of its ability to allow users to connect and share ideas and interest with likeminded people through an array of free and user friendly services. The second stage of development of the World Wide Web, which is called Web 2.0 has also contributed to the surge in popularity through its functionalities permitting users to share and collaborate information online (Kerin & Hartley, 2020).
The leading social media sites are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube; although there are some similarities, each platform offers different services unique to them which attract distinct subscribers. In the terms of marketing services, Facebook and Twitter are leaders in driving traffic, although Facebook is a place to share photos, updates and general news, Twitter capitalizes on Hash Tags as their main tool to reach a wider audience to engage in existing conversation beyond just followers. (Davenport et al., 2014). In contrast, there is less direct conversation on LinkedIn; it is designed specifically for businesses and professionals (Kim et al., 2013). Like the previously mentioned sites, YouTube can direct links from content that are posted; however, it stands as the ground breaker of information being shared through video content.
A hash tag is a hash symbol followed by a word or phrase which is designed to tag or group content of a common topic. When clicked on, the hash tag becomes a hyperlink directing the user to a search results page. It connects users who desire to share their common interests with others on social media. Companies can scale their brand by successfully using hash tags to connect and gain customer insights by sharing in their customer experiences (Kerin & Hartley, 2020). Companies can track their marketing success through social media.
Romans teaches us not to be overcome with evil, but instead overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21, NIV). With the rise of social media and the ability for individuals to share their opinions, it can appear that social media has become another form of gossiping. As Christians we are to flee such actions that are described in I Timothy 5:13. Christian men and women can use social media for business use by overcoming the evil with the good.
Communication. (n.d). In Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communication
Davenport, S. W., Bergman, S. M., Bergman, J. Z., & Fearrington, M. E. (2014). Twitter versus Facebook: Exploring the role of narcissism in the motives and usage of different social media platforms. Computers in Human Behavior, 32, 212–220. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2013.12.011
Kerin, RA., & Hartley, S.W. (2020). Marketing: the core (8th ed.).
Kim, D., Kim, J.-H., & Nam, Y. (2013). How does industry use social networking sites? An analysis of corporate dialogic uses of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn by industry type. Quality & Quantity, 48(5), 2605–2614. doi: 10.1007/s11135-013-9910-9
In this discussion, the author describes social media, the different platforms of social media, and the many uses of social media.
Social media began in 1997 with the first social media platform being recognized called Six Degrees. This platform “enabled users to upload a profile and make friends with other users” (Hendricks, 2019). Shortly after this, in 1999, blogging sites started to become popular. At the turn of the century is when social media began to grow. MySpace and LinkedIn started gaining popularity in the early 2000s, followed by YouTube in 2005, Facebook, and Twitter in 2006. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are among the most popular social networks today and allow for cross-posting covering all social media platforms at once. Social media has rapidly grown in popularity since the early 2000s. Esteban Ortiz-Ospina (2019) reports the data for social media stating, “the percentage of US adults who use social media increased from 5% in 2005 to 79% in 2019” (Ortiz-Ospina, 2019). Social media platforms allow users to connect without actually being together. These platforms allow for information, news, videos, photos, and messages to be sent instantly all over the globe, enabling people to be connected and communicate about anything and everything.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms, with over 2.38 billion users as of April 2019 and is used for business use as well as personal use (Egan, 2017). Facebook allows users to share personal comments, pictures, videos, articles, and other items. Facebook also allows for businesses to promote their business through marketing.
Twitter allows users to make comments and pass information and photos in less than 140 characters. This limitation is one thing that some of the other social media platforms do not have. Egan says, “while Twitter is a great way to share quick thoughts and generate traffic to your website and offers, it’s important to make sure you’re also building relationships with followers” (Egan, 2017). Twitter is not as versatile as Facebook is, and as a result, is not as popular, with only 310 million registers users.
LinkedIn is a social media platform specifically for businesses and professionals. This platform is where users can display their job experience and professional thoughts. Businesses can share their company and industry news. One of the main aspects of LinkedIn is to network in business relations as well as for users seeking employment.
YouTube is the leading video-sharing platform in the world (Egan, 2017). This platform allows users to share videos, prompt discussions, and create playlists. Users can share informative and entertaining videos and can subscribe to other users being alerted when a video is posted. Additionally, YouTube is a vast marketing platform as it plays lots and lots of ads if a user doesn’t pay for their premium service.
The “#hashtag” has had several different meanings throughout history, starting as the Latin abbreviation for “pound” back in the 14th century. The “#hashtag” has also been know as the pound symbol and was utilized on telephone keypads. It wasn’t called “#hashtage” until its usage became popular on social media (Anderson, 2018). The “#hashtag” is used as a way to find posts about a common topic, and it received its start in 2007 on Twitter. The “#hashtag” allows for user's posts to get more exposure as it connects the posts to a common discussion. “#Hashtags” are used now across multiple social media platforms
Hashtags allow businesses to build their brand by engaging with customers and joining the conversation about what’s trending (MacDonald, 2017). Hashtagging enables participants to discover trending topics in high-traffic conversation and gain visibility to a business. Hashtagging allows businesses to advertise by putting hashtags on products or services as well as customers posting with hashtags on social media about a service or product they have used.
A business can measure the effectiveness of its social media advertising effort in several different ways. One way to measure is through link clicks. Link clicks tell the level of engagement an ad or post generates among users. Another measure is reach and impression metrics. This shows the total number of people who see the advertisement or post whether it was clicked or not (Pulvino, 2019). Platform engagement is another measure of effectiveness by allowing the business to see likes, tweets, ratings, comments, shares, and follows. This tool enables the business to learn how people are engaging with the brand.
“Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies …” 1 Tim 5:13 (ESV).
Social media is becoming a form of gossiping as users pass on the information and make fun of or “roast” people. Christians should not use social media platforms to gossip but build one another up. The bible has many verses about gossiping. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what helps build others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those how to listen.” Christians must use wisdom and guidance from God. Social media can be a fantastic tool to promote a business, but it should be used for only that and not gossiping or tearing down other businesses.
Anderson, I. (2018, February 15). Everything You Need to Know About Hashtags. Retrieved from Social Media Today: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-hashtags/517028/
Egan, K. (2017, February 10). The difference between Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, & Pinterest [Updated for 2020]. Retrieved from Impact: https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/the-difference-between-facebook-twitter-linkedin-google-youtube-pinterest
Hendricks, D. (2019, November 25). Complete History of Social Media: then and now. Retrieved from Small Business Trends: https://smallbiztrends.com/2013/05/the-complete-history-of-social-media-infographic.html
Kerin, R. A., & Hartley, S. W. (n.d.). Marketing: The Core. McGraw Hill Education.
MacDonald, J. (2017, May 5). The Importance of Hashtags: know where, why, and how to use them. Retrieved from Business 2 Community: https://www.business2community.com/social-media/importance-hashtags-know-use-01837644
Ortiz-Ospina, E. (2019, September 18). The rise of social media. Retrieved from Our World in Data: https://ourworldindata.org/rise-of-social-media#note-5
Pulvino, J. (2019, February 18). How to Measure the Success of Your Social Media Campaign. Retrieved from Business 2 Community: https://www.business2community.com/social-media/how-to-measure-the-success-of-your-social-media-campaign-02170136
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