The difficulties and opportunities of Social media websites

Collaborative projects Collaborative projects enable the joint and simultaneous creation of content by a lot of end-users and so are, o...

Collaborative projects

Collaborative projects enable the joint and simultaneous creation of content by a lot of end-users and so are, on this sense, one of the most democratic manifestation of UGC. Within collaborative projects, one differentiates between wikis that is, websites which permit users to incorporate, remove, and alter text-based content and social bookmark creating applications which encourage the group-based collection and rating of Internet links or media content. Exemplary applications on this category include the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, a wiki available today in than 230 different languages, as well as the social bookmarking web service Delicious, which allows the storage and sharing of web bookmarks. The principle idea underlying collaborative projects is the joint effort of numerous actors’ creates a better outcome than any actor could achieve individually; that is like the efficient-market hypothesis in behavioral finance. From the corporate perspective, firms should be aware that collaborative projects are trending toward becoming the primary source of information for a lot of consumers. Therefore, while not everything written on Wikipedia could actually be true, it really is thought to be true by increasingly more Online users. This may be particularly crucial in regards to corporate crises. By way of example, when online book retailer Amazon started to test the thought of dynamic pricing, comments declaring this type of practice as unfair appeared instantaneously underneath the Wikipedia entry on ‘‘time-based pricing.’’ Yet, collaborative projects in addition provide some unique opportunities for firms. Finnish handset manufacturer Nokia, as an example, uses internal wikis to update employees on project status and trade ideas, that happen to be employed by about 20% of the company's 68,000 employees. Likewise, American software applications company Adobe Systems looks after a set of bookmarks to company-related websites and conversations on Delicious.

Blogs

Blogs, which represent the primary form of Social media marketing, are special kinds of websites very often display date-stamped entries back chronological order. These are the Social networking same as personal webpages and can appear in a multitude of different variations, from personal diaries describing the author’s life to summaries of most relevant information in a single specific content area. Blogs are often managed by a single person only, and still provide the potential of interaction web-sites with the addition of comments. This can historical roots, text-based blogs are nevertheless the most common. Nevertheless, blogs have started to take different media formats. As an example, San Francisco-based Justin.tv allows users to generate personalized television stations via that they can can broadcast images from other webcam in real time with users. Many companies already are using blogs to update employees, customers, and shareholders on developments they say is important. Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems, keeps a personal blog to further improve the transparency of his company; the same is true automotive giant General Motors. Yet, as they are true with collaborative projects, blogs do not come without risks. These generally contained in two fashions. First, customers who for just one reason and other turn into dissatisfied with or disappointed by the company’s offerings should participate in virtual complaints as protest websites or blogs, which results in the production of potentially damaging information in online space. Second, once firms encourage employees to be active on blogs, they will often need to live with the results of personnel writing negatively concerning the firm. Microsoft’s former ‘‘technical evangelist’’ Robert Scoble, by way of example, a tendency to fiercely criticize the merchandise of his employer before he made a decision to leave the Redmond-based software company in 2006.

Content communities

The principle objective of content communities could be the sharing of media content between users. Content communities exist for a variety of different media types, including text (e.g., Book Crossing, via which 750,000+ people from over 130 countries share books), photos (e.g., Flickr), videos (e.g., YouTube), and PowerPoint presentations (e.g., Slideshare). Users on content communities are certainly not needed to develop a personal profile page; if they do, these pages usually only contain basic information, like the date they joined the community and also the variety of videos shared. From the corporate viewpoint, content communities carry the risk of used as platforms for the sharing of copyright protected materials. While major content communities have rules in position to ban and remove such illegal content, it is difficult to prevent popular videos for example recent episodes of comedy dramas being uploaded to YouTube only hours as soon as they are actually aired in the news. On the positive side, our prime popularity of content communities means they are an extremely attractive contact channel for several firms; this is an easy task to believe when one considers that YouTube serves over 100 million videos every day. In 2007, Procter & Gamble organized a tournament for its over-the-counter drug Pepto-Bismol, whereby users were inspired to upload to YouTube 1-minute videos of themselves singing about the ailments Pepto Bismol counteracts, including heartburn and nausea. In the similar spirit, washing machines manufacturer Blendtec came into common use for its bevy of cheap ‘‘Will it blend?’’ videos, which has been watched by lots of people. Other firms, for example Cisco and Google, count on content communities to express recruiting videos, as well as keynote speeches and press announcements, with their employees and investors.

Social network sites

Social media sites are applications that enable users to connect by creating personal data profiles, inviting colleagues and friends to have access to those profiles, and sending e-mails and messages between each other. These personal profiles may include any sort of information, including photos, video, audio recordings, and blogs. According to Wikipedia, the biggest social networking sites are U.S. based Facebook (initially founded by Mark Zuckerberg to remain in touch regarding his fellow students from Harvard University) and MySpace (with 1,500 employees and most 250 million new registered users). Social networking sites are for these high popularity, specifically among younger Online users, that this term ‘‘Facebook addict’’ has been within the Urban Dictionary, a collaborative project devoted to developing a slang dictionary for that English language. Several companies already are using social network sites to support the creation of brand communities and marketing research poor netnography. To promote the movie ‘‘Fred Claus,’’ a 2007 Christmas comedy film, Warner Brothers developed a Facebook profile via which visitors could watch trailers, download graphics, and play games. Likewise, the Adidas custom soccer community on MySpace allows individuals to associate themselves with one of two brands of elite soccer cleats made by the German sports apparel manufacturer, and access testimonials and knowledge on professional soccer players who play using ‘‘their’’ shoes. Some firms even go one step further and employ Facebook as a distribution channel. Consider U.S.-based florist 1-800-Flowers.com, which provides a widget on Facebook called ‘‘Gimme Love’’ whereby users can send ‘‘virtual bouquets’’ to friends or, using a click of the mouse, be directly transferred to the company’s website to send real flowers.

Virtual game worlds

Virtual worlds are platforms that replicate a three dimensional environment where users can be shown in the form of personalized avatars and communicate with one another as they would in real life. In this sense, virtual worlds are probably the ultimate indication of Social Media, while they supply the highest amount of social presence and media richness coming from all applications discussed up to now. Virtual worlds come in two forms. The initial, virtual game worlds, require their users to behave according to strict rules negative credit a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). These applications have became popular in recent years, as standard game consoles including Microsoft’s X-Box and Sony’s Play Station are now allowing simultaneous play among a variety of users world wide. Samples of virtual game worlds include the cod-medieval ‘‘World of Warcraft,’’ which counts around 8.5 million subscribers who explore the virtual planet of Azeroth by means of humans, dwarves, orcs, or night elves, to fight monsters or look for treasure; and Sony’s EverQuest, through which 16 different races of players (e.g., wizards, clerics) travel the fantasy arena of Norrath. The policies of such games usually limit the quality of self-presentation and self-disclosure possible; although some people might users spend a lot time using these applications that their character whether it's a warrior, a wizard, or a dragon hunter sets out to more and more bear resemblance to their real world personality. Besides their use for ingame advertising (similar in idea to product placement in blockbuster movies), the high availability of virtual game worlds may also be leveraged in traditional communication campaigns. Japanese automotive giant Toyota, by way of example, used pictures and mechanics from the World of Warcraft application in the latest Tundra commercial to arrive at the two.5 million players inside U.S. alone.

Virtual social worlds

The other number of virtual worlds, also known as virtual social worlds, allows inhabitants to pick their behavior more freely and essentially live a virtual life comparable to their true to life. As in virtual game worlds, virtual social world users can be found in the sort of avatars and interact in a three-dimensional virtual environment; however, on this realm, there aren't any rules restricting all the different possible interactions, with the exception of basic physical laws such as gravity. This enables on an unlimited variety of self-presentation strategies, and possesses been proven by investing in increasing usage intensity and consumption experience, users of virtual social worlds or ‘‘residents,’’ while they choose to be called show behavior that more and more closely mirrors the main one seen in actual life settings. Arguably, one of the most prominent illustration of virtual social worlds could be the Second Life application, founded and managed with the San Francisco-based company Linden Research Inc. Besides doing precisely what is possible in real life (e.g., speaking to other avatars, taking a walk, experiencing and enjoying the virtual sunshine), Second Life also allows users to produce content (e.g., to create virtual clothing or furniture items) and to sell the information to others to acquire Linden Dollars, an online currency traded against the U.S. Dollar on the Second Life Exchange. Some residents are very successful within this task that this virtual money earned doing this complements their true to life income. Virtual social worlds give a plethora of opportunities for companies in marketing (advertising/communication, virtual product sales/v-Commerce, marketing research), and human resource and internal process management.

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