Business and Social Media Mixed!

Running a business means a lot of work. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small or large business, profit or non-profit, personal or official. There are still loads of work to be done. Let’s take small and large businesses as an example. Both aims to make profits, manage day-to-day sales, update marketing details and techniques, and most importantly keep the door open for more customers.

Small Business

In a small business, commonly there’s a manager and a few employees. Of course, we all know how who is responsible for what and such. But to get to the point of involving social media, that is where the challenge begins. Loads of studies have been done on how small businesses adapt to the new marketing trend via social media. Results came showing that most small businesses don’t have the time to keep up with social media. They might have a Facebook page and a few followers, but the there is no time to be spent on Facebook. Like I said, running day-to-day sales is not easy.

I did an interview with a local car dismantlers shop here in Palmerston North to gather more evidence on my theory. I discovered that there are only 4 employees, a bunch of parts, and an email address for customers to get in touch. They do their marketing mostly by the traditional social media. They have newspaper ads, brochures, and a few radio ads. Even me I found this place by asking around, so I guess that’s the word of mouth helping. During my visit, it is obvious that a dedicated employee to promote the business via social media is not available. They will also need equipment if they would consider upgrading their marketing techniques. so in the concept of B2B, I’d say that they’re doing pretty good so far because other shops already have contacts with them. But for a BSC, there are more improvements to be made. The other day I had to email them for a parts inquiry and I had to wait couple days later for a response.

Risks

In addition, businesses are all about the flow of revenue and customer satisfaction. Involving social media in work hours may lead to employees misusing time. Also, there are risks of business reputation, wasting company hours, security issues based on business information, and the opening to world criticism.

Large Businesses 

In many of the common large businesses, social media is very popular and widely used due to its ability to provide instant B2C engagement. Companies have, say Facebook pages, where they post new merchandise, announcements, and attract customers. Social media also give the ability for businesses to follow potential customers, listen to their needs, get to know them well so in return they can sell exactly what customers are after. It is also a way of getting instant feedback on the business performance.

Take the Warehouse as an example. They have an amazing Facebook page where you can find almost anything. It’s like going to the store itself but instead, you are just browsing through their page. And once a customer asks about something, there is always someone on the other end giving out instant responses. So obviously, there is an employee whose responsibility is to stay on the page and follow customers, assist them in any way needed, and provide updated product details to the page. I think this is social media very well used by a business and everyone can see the success in terms of performance and service.

 

World Wide Web Evolution

Like any other thing in this world, the internet started out small and grew into what we know today as a virtual world so popular, so irresistible, and a major part of our everyday lives. It was first introduced as a simply a set of web pages joined together by hyperlinks. Generally, the internet back then was just a collection of static websites that were not able to support interactive content. It was then later evolved into a new era, a time of possibilities; a time where it all became more interactive and renamed into Web 2.0.

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is the second generation in the development of the World Wide Web, often characterized especially by its changes from static to dynamic web pages. It was conceived as a combination of concepts, trends, and technologies that focus on user collaboration, sharing of user-generated content, and social networking. In a simpler approach, web 2.0 encourages communication and collaboration between users in exciting new ways.

Web 3.0 

Web 3.0 is the third version of the web. It is likely to be able to express a kind of intelligence by combining new ideas from artificial intelligence, natural language processing and data mining strategies. Web 3.0 is currently under development and there are no definite explanations yet to how and what changes compared to previous versions. However, the most commonly known aspects of web 3.0 are internet of things and semantic web.

Semantic web is a proposed development of the World Wide Web in which computers are able to interpret and act on natural language. The idea behind semantic web is that it is chasing a goal in which computers will take some roles of what we users do on the web. For example, instead of me manually filling out a survey form, the computer will do it on my behalf, which will make the web a “machine-processable” environment.

Internet of things, on the other hand,  is a network of devices, appliances, and other objects equipped with computer chips and sensors that can collect and transmit data throughout the internet. Think of technology as an example, specifically the new gadgets and portable devices. We’re talking about smartphones, GPS, portable computers, automobiles, office machines, and countless more.

So with all the connections and devices all set-up, there has to be some kind of a backbone to all of this. This is where Information Architecture comes in.  Information Architecture is the design, style, feeling, functionality, and organization of an online resource usually with regards to usability. It is the idea which deals with what and how a website should present itself in a way that suits and communicates with users and still deliver the intended purpose.

In relation to Web 1.0 through Web 3.0, information architecture supplies the foundation behind all. In Web 1.0, the structure is mostly flat and basic, offering a readable data service. In Web 2.0, it became writable which brings in interactivity on applications like Wiki, Youtube, Facebook and so on. Looking ahead, Web 3.0 will be most likely an executable “machine to machine” interaction. One good example is Tivo.

To be more creative and look further ahead, we may soon have a Web 4.0 and a Web 5.0, which are both still ideas that people are putting together. But judging from how the web evolves from readable to writable , then executable, the world will be probably moving towards a more mobile and machine interacting environment. Here machines will have almost or equal traits as humans. Scary isn’t it..

Therefore to sum up, here is a table of the common differences and similarities between the different versions of the World Wide Web:

Web-1-2-3

 

References: 

Web 1.0 vs Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0 vs Web 4.0 vs Web 5.0 – A bird’s eye on the evolution and definition. (2010). Flat World Business. Retrieved 24 March 2016, from https://flatworldbusiness.wordpress.com/flat-education/previously/web-1-0-vs-web-2-0-vs-web-3-0-a-bird-eye-on-the-definition/

O’Reilly, T. (2016). What Is Web 2.0Oreilly.com. Retrieved 20 March 2016, from http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a//web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html

What is Web 1.0? – Definition from Techopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.techopedia.com/definition/27960/web-10

What are the major differences among Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0? (2012). Retrieved from https://wittycookie.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/what-are-the-major-differences-among-web-1-0-2-0-and-3-0/

Learning Ecosystems. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.calvin.edu/~dsc8/learning_ecosystems.htm

Blogging

What is a blog?
A blog is a website where any individual or group of users record and share opinions, information, experiences, or thoughts on a daily basis. Blogs are commonly written in an informal or conversational style. It is meant to be discrete and have the ability to illustrate a mental picture in the readers’ mind of what the writer is conveying in the message with what sort of personality.

Brief history of blog: 

Links.net was generally known as the first blog, created by Justin Hall in 1994, which he referred to as his personal homepage. From then until 1997 was when the term “weblog” came in by Jorn Barger. A year later, blogs were introduced to the public as a news site when Jonathan Dube blogged about a major hurricane that tragically hit North Carolina. The following year was when the word “blog” was born. Renamed from “Weblog” into “Blog” by Peter Merholz. Afterwards, new platforms were invented, different names were assigned, and the blog began its growth into what we all know today. These days, blogs contribute a great amount of news media, entertainment, hobbies, personal writings, and company reviews to the online world.

So why do we blog?  

If we take a moment to think about it and ask ourselves why do we blog, I believe that the most common reasons will be in these ten ideas that I’ve thought about.

10 reasons to blog:

 When we blog, it is all about the moment. Expressing ourselves over a topic of interest and exploring the freedom to speak from our hearts is just the mixture we all desire. Blogs don’t come with fancy editors or strict publishers that will be making changes to your posts and telling you what to do, what not to do. No. A blog is all about giving yourself a voice, a right to be heard, and a right to express yourself to your own limit. With such freedom of expression, other great traits are also developed. Blogging gives you a sense of connection with people. Posts published will be read by anyone online and this gives writers a chance to make a stand, make a difference, become an expert, gain more knowledge, and most importantly, help the people. Sure most people these days would say that the main reason they blog is for money and popularity. But why should this be the case? Why shouldn’t we go beyond the borders and make the most if it? For those that  blog just for the creativity and fun of it, I salute you! I strongly believe that the true motivation must be structured on creativity and fun. In that way, the whole world will have a taste of what it’s like and know the true intentions of why we blog.

Since we now have a clue of why people blog, why don’t we look at some reasons from a social media point of view? Blogging has a set of roles when it comes to social media. What I would like to share is the roles of  promotion, market, and connection. As an example, I will use one of my favorite blogs called “Top Gear“. This is a blog for car fans. Here fans have access to series of episodes, latest news on upcoming events, a list of products for purchase, and many sorts of things. There are also links to share any material you like on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and etc.. So here is the idea of connecting. Once someone decides to share and the next person does the same, before you know it, the material has gone viral. In a way, this is also promoting the company, Top Gear, on millions of pages over the net. I also mentioned about sales of products which is a common marketing strategy companies used to promote themselves and achieve the connection among the people. These products include phone cases, key chains, stickers and many more. Top Gear, as my example, has done an amazing job.

So in terms of social media, blogs play the roles of connection, promotion, and marketing which are very crucial to have in order to be successful.

Thank you…stay tuned!

Social Media from my viewpoint

The world we live in today is involved with so many things. We have new technologies coming in every year, our daily routines changing continually, and life being positively affected by the choices we make. These days, one common habit among all is the need for Social Media. Social media is one of the leading, most powerful ways of information exchange online. From kids to adults, Social Media is everywhere. It is used almost every second and is now, without any doubt, a huge domination in our ways. I can say that it can be considered as one of the most powerful tools yet on the net. But what is social media? Why is it so important?

Social Media can be defined in many ways. It can be referred to as countless activities or ways in which we live in today’s virtual world. I mean everyone knows about it. I’m sure even my 10-year-old niece can tell me what it is. But looking at social media in context, it can be described as a set of tools or equipment available to assist or help better enhance our abilities to carry out communication, cooperation, collaboration, and connection throughout the world. These are also known as the primary functions of social software. This idea began with a social networking site called SixDegrees.com in 1997 which gave people a “connection” online. Since then, changes were made, a couple of components added, and improvements took place, which led to the possibility of what we have today as Social Media. However social media does not refer to one thing. It involves other areas on the internet which can be addressed as sites. The idea of having connections, communications, cooperation, and collaborations, exists in forms such as blogs, wiki, discussion forums, micro blog, podcasts, social networking sites, and web conferencing. These are well-known types of social media. Of course, some of them might seem less interactive to be considered a part of social media, but the important concept is that it does provide a way to make the 4 C’s (connection, communication, cooperation, collaboration) possible.

So why does it matter to us? If we try to simplify the services that social media provides, it might be easier to understand. Let us look at social media in just basic input output communication. For example, if there are two islands, separated by a vast amount of ocean with all kinds of creatures, and I have been instructed to deliver a message to the king on the other island. If I were to sail across, I might not make it. But the message has to be delivered. It is a matter of life or death. Oh no! What do I do?..If I cross the ocean, my life is in danger, but if I don’t, the other person is in danger. So what do I do?..Referring back to why Social Media matters to us, and thinking about the idea behind this short example, I can say that it is now obvious. It is the need, the necessity, and the simplicity it provides us that makes us who we are today. Without cooperation, communication, connection, and collaboration among us, what will become of us? Have a think about it and ask yourself.. What does Social Media mean to me?.

Stay “Connected” for more to come…

Thank you.