On BBC’s “World Have Your Way,” an interesting discussion has been sparked on the role of social media in protests.
The dominant online conversations surrounding social media and its role in recent global events have stirred both excitement and skepticism. What can we learn from varying opinions regarding social media’s impact on global events?
Some of the poignant benefits of social media:
- Social media can unite passionate opinions and, literally, prompt a revolution.
- Social media in closed societies provides the opportunity for access that may otherwise be unattainable.
- Social media doesn’t necessarily shift the social dynamic, but it can definitely accelerate it.
- Social media, when cause-oriented, can influence national and international opinions.
- Social media, in relation to mass communication, has become a primary source of information.
Some of the drawbacks of social media:
- Social media is only part of the process, not the essential catalyst.
The New Yorker sought to ground the hype over social media’s importance:
“People with a grievance will always find ways to communicate with each other. How they choose to do it is less interesting, in the end, than why they were driven to do it in the first place.”
Knowing both the hype and criticism of social media in relation to the global stage, how might you change your approach to using social media in your personal and professional lives? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
With retailers moving to facebook to launch fully transactional storefronts, it’s important to watch and learn from this major shift in the way customers engage with brands online.
Dove recently launched its facebook store, allowing consumers to make purchases directly on the social media site. With a third party partnership with Amazon, consumers can go directly from social networking and brand education to purchasing.
So, what can brands like Dove teach us?
- Social media is the key to social commerce: Engaging your target personally opens the door to eCommerce success.
- What might be impossible today will be a reality within a year: Purchases made directly through Facebook? That idea seemed intangible just a year ago, but today that’s how business transactions are happening.
- Social media change happens fast: As mentioned in the last point, brands like Dove are benefiting from an online feature that was simply an idea not too long ago. Be flexible. Be receptive. Be prepared for change.
- The fewer steps, the better: Facebook captures an audience and engages its target through word-of-mouth, but it’s only a matter of a click for curious consumers to reach a platform where purchase is possible. The fewer steps your audience must take to reach your desired goal, the better.
So, maybe your brand isn’t ready for a facebook storefront, but the changing landscape of eCommerce does offer up some challenging questions. Regarding your business, ask yourself these things:
- What can I do to reduce the steps my audience must take to reach our desired action?
- What changes in social media or digital marketing am I resisting and why?
- What potential online opportunities exist today that didn’t exist a year ago?
- How can I take advantage of these opportunities?