1. Social capital: represents the extent to which social media affects firms' and organizations' relationships with society and the degree to which the organizations' ue of social media increases corporate social performance capabilities.
3. Social marketing: represents the extent to which social marketing resources (e.g., online conversations, sharing links, online presence, sending text messages) are used to increase a firm's financial capabilities (e.g., sales, acquisition of new customers) or a non-profit's voluntary sector goals.
4. Social corporate networking: Social corporate networking refers to the informal ties and linkages of corporate/organizational staff with other people from their field or industry, clients, customers, and other members of the public, which were formed through social networks. Social corporate networking can increase operational performance capabilities in many ways, as it can enable sales staff to find new clients; marketing staff to learn about client/customer needs and demand; and management can learn about the public perceptions of their strategy or approach.
• Marketing research: Mobile social media applications offer data about offline consumer movements at a level of detail heretofore limited to online companies. Any firm can know the exact time at which a customer entered one of its outlets, as well as know the social media comments made during the visit.
• Communication: Mobile social media communication takes two forms: company-to-consumer (in which a company may establish a connection to a consumer based on its location and provide reviews about locations nearby) and user-generated content. For example, McDonald's offered $5 and $10 gift-cards to 100 users randomly selected among those checking in at one of its restaurants. This promotion increased check-ins by 33% (from 2,146 to 2,865), resulted in over 50 articles and blog posts, and prompted several hundred thousand news feeds and Twitter messages.
• Sales promotions and discounts: Although customers have had to use printed coupons in the past, mobile social media allows companies to tailor promotions to specific users at specific times. For example, when launching its California-Cancun service, Virgin America offered users who checked in through Loopt at one of three designated Border Grill taco trucks in San Francisco and Los Angeles between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on August 31, 2010, two tacos for $1 and two flights to Mexico for the price of one. This special promotion was only available to people who were at a certain location and at a certain time.
• Relationship development and loyalty programs: In order to increase long-term relationships with customers, companies can develop loyalty programs that allow customers who check-in via social media regularly at a location to earn discounts or perks. For example, American Eagle Outfitters remunerates such customers with a tiered 10%, 15%, or 20% discount on their total purchase.
• e-Commerce: Social media sites are increasingly implementing marketing-friendly strategies, creating platforms that are mutually beneficial for users, businesses, and the networks themselves in the popularity and accessibility of e-commerce, or online purchases. The user who posts her or his comments about a company's product or service benefits because they are able to share their views with their online friends and acquaintances. The company benefits because it obtains insight (positive or negative) about how their product or service is viewed by consumers. Mobile social media applications such as Amazon.com and Pinterest have started to influence an upward trend in the popularity and accessibility of e-commerce, or online purchases.
E-commerce businesses may refer to social media as consumer-generated media (CGM). A common thread running through all definitions of social media is a blending of technology and social interaction for the co-creation of value for the business or organization that is using it. People obtain valuable information, education, news, and other data from electronic and print media. Social media are distinct from industrial or traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, and film as they are comparatively inexpensive and accessible (at least once a person has already acquired Internet access and a computer). They enable anyone (even private individuals) to publish or access information. Industrial media generally require significant resources to publish information as in most cases the articles go through many revisions before being published. This process adds to the cost and the resulting market price. Originally social media was only used by individuals but now it is used by businesses, charities and also in government and politics.
One characteristic shared by both social and industrial media is the capability to reach small or large audiences; for example, either a blog post or a television show may reach no people or millions of people. Some of the properties that help describe the differences between social and industrial media are:
1. Quality: In industrial (traditional) publishing—mediated by a publisher—the typical range of quality is substantially narrower (skewing to the high quality side) than in niche, unmediated markets like user-generated social media posts. The main challenge posed by content in social media sites is the fact that the distribution of quality has high variance: from very high-quality items to low-quality, sometimes even abusive or inappropriate content.
2. Reach: Both industrial and social media technologies provide scale and are capable of reaching a global audience. Industrial media, however, typically use a centralized framework for organization, production, and dissemination, whereas social media are by their very nature more decentralized, less hierarchical, and distinguished by multiple points of production and utility.
3. Frequency: The number of times users access a type of media per day. Heavy social media users, such as young people, check their social media account numerous times throughout the day.
4. Accessibility: The means of production for industrial media are typically government and/or corporate (privately owned); social media tools are generally available to the public at little or no cost, or they are supported by advertising revenue. While social media tools are available to anyone with access to Internet and a computer or mobile device, due to the digital divide, the poorest segment of the population lacks access to the Internet and computer. Low-income people may have more access to traditional media (TV, radio, etc.), as an inexpensive TV and aerial or radio costs much less than an inexpensive computer or mobile device. Moreover, in many regions, TV or radio owners can tune into free over the air programming; computer or mobile device owners need Internet access to go on social media sites.
5. Usability: Industrial media production typically requires specialized skills and training. For example, in the 1970s, to record a pop song, an aspiring singer would have to rent time in an expensive professional recording studio and hire an audio engineer. Conversely, most social media activities, such as posting a video of oneself singing a song require only modest reinterpretation of existing skills (assuming a person understands Web 2.0 technologies); in theory, anyone with access to the Internet can operate the means of social media production, and post digital pictures, videos or text online.
6. Immediacy: The time lag between communications produced by industrial media can be long (days, weeks, or even months, by the time the content has been reviewed by various editors and fact checkers) compared to social media (which can be capable of virtually instantaneous responses). The immediacy of social media can be seen as a strength, in that it enables regular people to instantly communicate their opinions and information. At the same time, the immediacy of social media can also be seen as a weakness, as the lack of fact checking and editorial "gatekeepers" facilitates the circulation of hoaxes and fake news.
7. Permanence: Industrial media, once created, cannot be altered (e.g., once a magazine article or paper book is printed and distributed, changes cannot be made to that same article in that print run) whereas social media posts can be altered almost instantaneously, when the user decides to edit their post or due to comments from other readers.
Community media constitute a hybrid of industrial and social media. Though community-owned, some community radio, TV, and newspapers are run by professionals and some by amateurs. They use both social and industrial media frameworks. Social media have also been recognized for the way they have changed how public relations professionals conduct their jobs. They have provided an open arena where people are free to exchange ideas on companies, brands, and products. Doc Searls and David Wagner state that the "...best of the people in PR are not PR types at all. They understand that there aren't censors, they're the company's best conversationalists." Social media provides an environment where users and PR professionals can converse, and where PR professionals can promote their brand and improve their company's image by listening and responding to what the public is saying about their product. Top Social Exchanges * Best List