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Social Media Effects on Business

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Social Media Effects on Business

Contemporary Business – Dr. Professor
March 10, 2010

Social media is a popularity tool for individuals and business. As an experiment in the infancy of globalization it has outgrown its original hypothesis’. If sites such as Facebook were their own countries, they would be placed in the podium of power internationally. (Divol, R., Edelman, D., & Sarrazin, H. 2012) So, it would be safe to assume that star power is worth its time spent creating. By publishing high quality work and building a massive amount of followers; your audience will share your information with their audience. (Gunelius, Susan. 2013) However, from a marketing stand point business can’t rely on social media alone. “If you spend all your time on the social Web directly promoting your products and services, people will stop listening. You must add value to the conversation. Focus less on conversions and more on creating amazing content and developing relationships with online influencers. In time, those people will become a powerful catalyst for word-of-mouth marketing for your business.” (Gunelius, Susan. 2013)
Gaining popularity in the business landscape of the twenty first century is quite different than that of the past century, and adversely more evolved than the nineteenth century. Prior to the industrial revolution consumers learned of new products and services by word of mouth, the occasional publication, and pounding the ground beneath their soles. The everyday Jack and Jill would head to the corner store for most things that could not be obtained by their own hard work and diligence. Occasionally close knit neighborhoods would practice the art of bartering; hence the language of trade. In order to become popular in trade an entrepreneur whether blue or white collar would have to practice what they preached. If any conflict in sales occurred, most often than not it was due to irresponsible actions on the part of the business person.
It is my hypothetical view, yet one that is worth discussing that social media has existed before the twenty first century. As inventions such as the industrial printing press pumped out larger amounts of advertising to supplement reader subscription, the consumer was officially created. Products that were once exclusive to mail order catalogs, exclusive boutiques, and handcrafted artisans and cultured by high society could now be seen more than talked about. Increasing the public’s ability to monitor trends and respond would only be disabled by economic fallout. At the same time, purchasing of raw materials to create goods and improve services was amplified due to popularization of marketing. Essentially the social media tool of the nineteenth century could be the industrial printing press.
Personal acquaintances have noted that the speed of media in the twentieth century ideas of marketing truly embraced what aspects being social would constitute. Technological evolution, the growth of communication, and the breaking down of social class structure in the continental United States converged with media. The children of these impetuses would grow to be giants. The birth of the automobile allowed people to travel distances to purchase product that were once only obtainable in weeks, within a matter of days. Due to this, social interaction would be greatly affected. More people talking about business outside of boundaries once difficult would grow business that could afford to advertise in publications that were able to grow their distribution beyond the local market. As sales dollars for businesses grew beyond local and mail order distribution, so would the publications that solicited their offerings.
The mass introduction of the telephone into popular culture took communication through paper and pen, typewriter, and the communication wire allowed culture to talk even more than before. Conversation which once would be limited to travel now could be carried out without ever leaving the living room. This form of media grew employment, grew income, and allowed for ordering systems to be grown. Job creation at the effect of technological innovation increased distribution channels. Trade would become career fields as the entrepreneur could access larger pools of potential business. The consumer could have conflicts on service appealed faster than before. Just the same being able to complement or complain to neighbors and business’ about business faster than ever before would popularize public opinion. Business of all sizes would be affected by this “media.” Making something public would compromise moralities. As society was able to discuss and interact with merchants daily instead of periodically from all walks of life through multiple regions, business was forced to monitor, respond, and lead customer behavior.
The next big change to customer behavior would be the invention and culture incubated through the radio and television. Broadcasting would need financial backing, and like journalism it would need advertising dollars. Increasing the market of a business would now have the ability to travel at the speed of sound. Telegraph lines used for telegraph systems in the nineteenth century that were expanded through telecommunication were now becoming everyday consumer technology. Business could now go even further than the telephone. Through the science of carrying sound and image through radio waves cut the umbilical cord of client and business. It was now replaced by antennae. A wireless world would break some of the inhibition associated with the wired public. Twenty year cycles were first observed due to this technology.
Twenty years prior to the industrial printing press, consumer demand was based off local supply. Two decades after media was widely accessible to society, the telephone and automobile took the place of the horse and telegraph. In 1922, the first radio advertisement hit the airwaves. (McDonough, John. 2012) The same cycle produced radio and television. The ability to connect, disconnect, and repeat were now only limited by how long a person was willing to accept information sitting down or stopping their routine.
The radio and television could inform, misinform, create, fabricate, and be the shepherd to the slaughterhouse. Reading, writing, publishing, criticizing, and building social consciousness once regarded as a private matter until it was agreed to take public would now be broken down. Walls of class could be turned into curtains to be pulled back for the public. Entertainment was now something available any day of the week. Every broadcast station would be sponsored by a business. In order to “sponsor” a broadcast, the business would provide advertising dollars to the funding and maintenance of the media outlet. The average household who enjoyed programming would make purchasing decisions based off of being programmed. This process would evolve into the term “branding.”
A brand was originally a way of marking a product; such as livestock for sale by the owner in order to track it when misplaced or stolen. Agriculturally developed, industrially implemented, and consumer driven a brand becomes a namesake. It is something that has a name beyond its creator. It carries a life cycle and is only as good as the popular success or failure within a market. Raw product, fabricated goods, and services offered take on an image. This image is what society advertises. Essentially brand identification is the child of social media. Before a product is sold it is given an image. This image is based off of what media outlets a business wants to advertise within. Within the media enterprise used to market a brand lays a “social economic” class. The brand is created to target a demographic based on size equal to that of the supply of product generated. As the brand grows, so does the market. This in turn makes the media socially based. It may be safe to make the assumption that social media could not have occurred without the practice of branding.
The ultimate change to how society conducts business has only recently occurred. The introduction of the personal computer and the convenience it provides has taken the largest leap in company to consumer relations. The personal touch that computing has opened up for business allows for multiple processes to work together more efficiently than in the past. This in turn has opened up the avenue for what we now know as networking. Networking brings the business unit in all of its facets into one setting, and opens true dialogue with the consumer.
The internet was originally established as a means to communicate information from computer to computer over a network based off of one main computing center. As the internet grew into the World Wide Web social networking sites enabled the consumer to connect with business’ in completely new arenas. The general public now could complement, as well as, complain publicly in a global environment. New and established companies could track the information, respond to it, and drive customer behavior.
Social media marketing is now an emerging strategy based on leveraging power. Establishing a hierarchy where the consumer feels as if they are at the top rung of the ladder is very important. In order to do so there are ten laws of marketing every business should follow. Listening is more important than talking. The marketing leader should only join in the online audience’s discussion in order to serve the customer. Secondly, the team should focus on building and maintaining brand loyalty. As always quality is the number one priority. Patience in the campaign is vital. Commitment to building the audience through indirect influence, acting as a moderator, and establishing value will retain new consumers. Acknowledging the influence of the community, keeping lines of communication open, and reciprocation of returns will make the investment in social media marketing strategy a well carried out campaign. After all branding the customer, as well as, the product line will sustain the bottom line. (Gunelius, Susan. 2013)
According to the Chicago Daily Herald an investment in social media technology benefits every size of business. (Paddock, 2009) However in order to make the investment a worthwhile venture, first having the right strategy going into the web for returns are essential. Applying the right social tools, keeping up to date on the most recent developments, and applying them will not waste precious time. Time is money, and even though social media marketing is cost effective as a set of tools, people still have to earn something for their time spent socializing in the web based marketplace.
Two of the most successful brands in the history of marketing their products to the public are Pepsi and Coke. What other companies can learn from these two soft drink giants is that branding a product takes more than offering something delicious to the public taste, but also making the product fun. Marketing reaches it goal by touching points of interest enough that it directly influences purchasing behavior.
Pepsi is notorious for hyping new product launches. Product lines such as Mountain Dew and Gatorade have brought in big name celebrities, endorsement of major sporting events, and being involved in popular culture (Erickson, J. 2009). Such events such as the “Dew tour” incorporate trends in alternative sports, music industry iconography, and even delve into environmental awareness. This tour has grown in popularity through online advertising campaigns that have included consumers voting on emerging product varieties. By incorporating public opinion on taste, look, and geographic location of distribution Pepsi has taken the lead in product development (Hardy, Quentin 2011).
Pepsi has gained customer insight in the building of community based projects as well. The Pepsi Refresh Project of 2010 was a marketing initiative by the company to dump funding into community development campaigns. It allowed the general public to vote on public assistance programs that applied to be a part of the refresh project. Pepsi benefited from this in tax breaks, and the winning campaigns benefited by receiving funding that normally would’ve taken months to apply for traditionally ( Hatch, David 2013) . The use of the website was established as a social media marketing portal to gain information on causes that were worthy of investing in. This cut out much of the research time that it would take traditionally to fins such information. Enabling others to contribute data, build upon it, and eventually decide on a winner was a philanthropological breakthrough.
Coca Cola (Coke) has built its success on social media marketing also. To this day, one of the hottest antique collectibles is Coca Cola advertising signage. Cable television shows such as American Pickers, has shown the trend has not slowed down. This is due to the company building customer loyalty through past behaviors. Many people around the continental United States have fond memories of purchasing Coke products as children. In turn, the marketing of the time period collective made the brand family oriented. During the 1980s Coke even made it trendy to wear clothing that bore the brand’s logo. By integrating itself into the average American household through food product, clothing, and home décor it became social. Through brand marketing in such a way, and accessing several types of media, Coke has truly accessed and utilized the social aspects of multiple forms of advertising media.
Marketing is a necessary component of every size of business. No matter what a company is selling, it has to be brought to market. Merchants have deployed many forms of advertising since the birth of civilization. The entrepreneur of this age shares similar trials as their forefathers. The process of communicating to the public a good or service, and making it readily available to people who need or want it comes in many forms. The power of suggestion can only go so far. Inevitably the purchaser has to make a decision to be a bystander or a buyer. It is up to the merchant to tap into what controls purchasing, observe it, and respond accordingly.
Creating an audience of interested buyers has changed with the evolution of communication. How and when people congregate will never stay the same. Trends in how cultures respond to the changes of communication will always follow the behaviors that never change. One thing that will always be a constant is people always will want something they can’t have. Another thing is supply and demands remain coexistent. No matter how people communicate, they will always want to be heard (Paddock, 2004). As long as the merchant of today can be a part of the audience they serve, they will always have an opportunity to direct the social behavior of the goods and services they peddle.

Divol, R., Edelman, D., & Sarrazin, H. (2012). Demystifying social media. Mckinsey Quarterly, (2), 66-77
ERICKSON, J. (2009). THE (NEW) PEPSI GENERATION. Successful Promotions, 42(6), 40-44.
“Four ways to invest in social media, technology.” Chicago Daily Herald (Paddock). 04 Feb. 2013: 26.
Hardy, Quentin. (2011). Pepsico’s Social Media Transformation. Forbes
Retrieved from
Hatch, David.(2013). Pepsi Measures Online Pulse with Social Media Strategy. US News and World Report.
Retrieved from
Gunelius, Susan. (2013). 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing.
Retrieved from
McDonough, John, (2012). First Radio Commercial Hit Airwaves 90 Years Ago. NPR News. Retrieved from

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