Friday, 22 January 2010
Social Media Opportunities
Since starting a master's in PR I have learnt more about the role of social media within communication strategies. Before I looked at Facebook as a communcation tool for a person rather than for a business, but now I understand how powerful social media can be in influencing and informing people. As social media platforms are used worldwide, there are great opportunities for companies which operate globally.
Companies can now communicate to a worldwide audience via platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. A company such as Next use both these social networking sites in order to let their customers know of new the styles on offer and they upload pictures of these styles.
Video sharing sites such as YouTube have allowed companies to share videos of adverts and videos of how to use their products. Marks and Spencer adverts are widely available on YouTube, this enables people in other countries to view English adverts which wouldn’t be aired on television in their country.
Blogging allows companies to share information regarding their brand with people. This allows for two-way communication as people can post their comments and converse with the author of the blog as well as other people who comment on it.
While there are many opportunities for global brands using social media platforms, there are also threats. An example is the recent blogging backlash that Eurostar were faced with when some of their trains were trapped inside the tunnel. Many passengers used Twitter to talk of their experiences and the poor communication from Eurostar. Consequently, their reputation has been seriously damaged.
Any threats of social media to global companies are severely outweighed by the opportunities. The amount of users signed up to social networking sites is ever increasing and this allows for companies to expand on their existing communication strategies and reach a wider audience than ever before.
I know if I ever start up my own business I will definately take advantage of the use of social media.