Safer Social Media

Cyber bullying has become a common occurrence online these days. Social media makes online communication easy and fast. Although these are positive attributes and reasons as to why social media is so popular to begin with, just as easy as it is to communicate with people about your day-to-day life, it is just as easy to bully and attack someone online. In recent years as the popularity of social media has increased and more teenagers join social networks, the amount of cyber bullying has risen along also. Last year, in a study conducted in the U.S., one million children admitted to being harassed, threatened or exposed to some form of cyber bullying on Facebook. To some it may not seem like a big deal because as reflected in the study 90% of these social media users ignored this behavior. However, more than ever this negative behavior is leading to an increase in fatal consequences. Until recently, there has been no full-proof way to manage online bullying.

In 2015 the app My Social Sitter was develop. The purpose of the app is to stop cyber bullying and ensure a safer and negative free social media environment. Using a four step process the app, which is connected to the social media platform of the user: detects, shields, informs, educates and rewards. The initial detection step has the ability uncover any harmful communication being received, and even harmful communication being sent out by the user. This is followed by the shield of protection, which prevents the negative message from advancing to the intended recipient. From there the user is informed whether a message has been posted or rejected within seconds and if they themselves are sending out a negative message they have the opportunity to edit their post. Along with the informing process is the apps ability to detect very serious messages surrounding depression or suicide. In this case the users parents are automatically informed. The final step is education and rewards. From the shielding step users are taught what is appropriate and what isn’t and the end they receive rewards for every positive post, such as tokens or gift cards.

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The newly developed app has many positive attributes with the first being its quick response rate whenever a message has been sent or rejected makes it easy to keep track with what is taking place on your social media. Another point is that the app is able to detect slang and sentiment in six languages, which increases chances of preventing cyber bullying because youngsters don’t usually write in formal English when they’re on social media. Another is the reward, which is a great motivation for kids and teenagers as they’re usually would not pay attention to ideas like this, but in this case they get something out of it. Finally, it keeps users’ social media profiles private from their parents with the exception of the notifications regarding harmful messages.

Personally I think it is about time an app like this was developed. Some social media sites have put regulations in place to try and hinder cyber bullying as much as possible, but it has not been the most effective. For that reason, I think social media sites like Facebook need to begin advertising the product in order to inform more people. Social media use is continuously rising and it is necessary to make it a safe environment because there is no reason bullying should take place. The app gives individual control to users, its fast and creates a more enjoyable online environment.

Resources

Facebook’s Takeover Explained

As we have established, Facebook is the most dominant social media site currently, with over 1 billion active users as of early October this year. However, despite this milestone more and more statistics are highlighting Facebook’s decline in popularity. In a recent survey it was determined that about one third of Facebook users had updated their status in recent weeks and 37% of participants said they shared photos on the site. Each of these figures is significantly lower than they were at the same time in 2014. In 2014 half of participants updated their Facebook status and 59% were sharing their photos. Not only, but in comparison to last year the number of social networks people were part of has also increased from 2.5 to 4.3. This hardly comes as a surprise considering the rising popularity of Instagram where people tend to prefer posting their pictures nowadays. Snapchat is another social media platform where people are able to send pictures and videos, along with alternative competitive social platforms Twitter and YouTube. On top of that, despite Facebook’s strong most recent quarter three earnings, the majority of it came from growth in Instagram and Whatsapp, which the company owns.

After reading these statistics it gives an indication as to why Facebook is continuously trying to push itself into other markets. Within the last year Facebook has broadened its reach by focusing on other features like their messaging app, videos, media and their most recent shopping feature. One way or another for Facebook to remain at the top it of course needs to be innovative and expand its outreach, which finally gives a partial explanation to its behavior in recent years.

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However, before you begin to assume that the end of Facebook is near, it’s not. Facebook is still the most used social media platform in the world by a large margin with a user gap of roughly 15% between second place social media app, Instagram. Its overall monthly user rate is 1.39 billion in comparison to Whatsapp’s 700 million and Instagram’s 300 million user count.

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As Facebook remains successful at present, it is unlikely that its popularity will diminish anytime soon. At the moment a reasonable explanation is given to understand its recent actions, which personally I think are wise because although it bothers me now that Facebook wants to be everywhere and that it potentially could be. Just like most things there is tends to be an end, and it will be interesting to see where Facebook will go from here. Will its identity as the leading social media hub remain? Will it transition into a leader of another sector? Or will it end all together?

Resources

  • Facebook has a sharing problem. (2015, November 3). Retrieved November 5, 2015. http://money.cnn.com/2015/11/03/technology/facebook-sharing-down/index.html
  • O’Reilly, L. (2015, November 5). Here’s what analysts are saying about Facebook’s strong 3rd-quarter earnings. http://uk.businessinsider.com/analyst-notes-on-facebook-q3-earnings-2015-11

Facebook vs. Amazon

As of recently Facebook has introduced a new e-commerce feature to their social media platform. Their strategy involves turning your News Feed into an online store by creating a Shopping tab that can be found alongside the Messages and Events tabs. This new feature is Facebook’s attempt at entering new markets and competing with e-commerce giant Amazon. The project is mainly aimed at big brands and gives them the ability to catalogue their merchandise on the social media platform and have customers buy their products directly from the site rather than clicking on an advertisement and being redirected to their own company website. It also provides the opportunity for customers to contact brands and track their packages through messenger, in a similar way that can be done on brand websites.
Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 2.42.18 PMThere are a number of strengths and weaknesses to this new feature with the first strength being that it allows brands to extend their number of selling platforms, and since Facebook has already established themselves as an effective platform for online communicating and advertising, it makes it very appealing for businesses. Secondly, the feature is free for companies; therefore they are paying nothing for something that will most likely increase their profits. User experience on the mobile application will also improve because unlike traditional advertisements the Shopping feature will have products managed in the same way as photos, which will make them easily accessible and more user friendly. As for Facebook, it means that people will be spending more time on their site rather than users transferring to other websites and; in a positive for Facebook, it will mean that they have greater data collection on their users than anyone else.

However, there are also a number of weaknesses to the feature with the first continuing on from the last point made in the previous paragraph. Facebook will have a significant sized data storage of millions of users, which to everyone else is seen as a major privacy concern. As the feature continues to grow Facebook could also begin to start charging brands for the service and subjecting them to all kinds of rules that could prove to be less beneficial for the companies.

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An interesting question though is what does this mean for amazon? At the moment the feature seems promising and Facebook is clearly a well-established business with a large community, giving it a good starting advantage. However, there are also several other competitors that have moderately successful similar features, but have not come close to taking over amazon, including Google, Twitter and Pinterest. As well as that Facebook has had several failed attempts at entering foreign markets for instance, when they tried to compete with LinkedIn as a professional networking service.

Personally, I do not like the idea, not because it is not a good one, but if Facebook becomes a leader in eCommerce, what’s to stop it from entering other markets. Although there was a failed attempt at competing with LinkedIn as a professional networking site it does not mean it will hinder any plans of Facebook to correct issues and try again. Even then there are many ways Facebook are trying to keep people on their sites for longer, even by introducing hot topic articles. Who is to say that Facebook won’t be the place where you can connect with friends and connect with work or potential employers, shop for clothes, groceries, appliances, catch up on news, internet banking, eventually start doing everything in one place. Where are the boundaries?

Facebook is a business and although I am only one user out of a billion. The idea that everything I need will be in one location; which in theory is convenient. The fact that there is no longer a separation between these different parts of my life is unsettling.

References

  • Facebook introduces new shopping features. (2015, October 12). http://money.cnn.com/2015/10/12/technology/facebook-shopping-feed/index.html
  • Facebook is taking on Amazon with shopping pages. (2015, July 16). http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/16/technology/facebook-buy/index.html?iid=EL
  • Parker, R. (2015, September 22). Facebook’s New Shopping Features, and What They Mean For Your Brand | Return On Digital.

    http://www.returnondigital.com/blog/facebooks-new-shopping-features-and-what-they-mean-for-your-brand

  • Yoffie, D., Slind, M., & Achsaf, N. (2009). LinkedIn Corp., 2008. Harvard Business Review, 1-19.

The Social Media Era of Advertising

Social media is the latest platform for advertising, but it does not provide clear data regarding return on investments (ROI), a matter that marketers appear to be fixated on. However, is ROI really worth worrying about when using social media for marketing?

Until recently, the main forms of marketing were television, print, and radio. These are the traditional approaches. Up until now they have been the preferred marketing mediums because firms can predict the outcome using these methods and are able to rely on it more heavily because of its consistent past, but most importantly because firms are able to determine their ROI (Weinberg, 2011). However, social media is not able to generate ROI in dollar form, making way for uncertainty and generally leaving marketers uneasy because they do not know how well their campaign strategy is working; in comparison to what they are familiar with and what marketing budget to set for the future.

What Weinberg chooses to point out is that although the ROI for social media does not come in the form of dollars, it can be generated by social currency, which occurs from the relationship investment made by the company with its consumer. Unlike traditional methods, this can create long-term benefits rather than short, drastically saving costs since consumers on their platform comment, share, like brands’ social media posts, which all their friends will be able to see, giving the company exposure without them having to really work for it.

At the end of the day though, it falls down to how well the company markets itself (social mix), as different social media platforms are needed depending on the purpose and objective of the company (Weinberg, 2011). Not only, but in order to maintain this effective standard, mission control centers need to be set up to allow marketers to monitor activity on their social platforms, engage with customers, collect and analyze data received from these interactions and apply them to their business and improve. Therefore, if they wish to continue to grow, their customer activity must be noted and applied.

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(Social Media Mix)

Hoffman shared very similar ideas in regards to firms needing to stop fixating on the traditional ROI, and instead measures customer’s social media investments because that is where the long-term benefits will come from (Hoffman, 2013). Hoffman focused on the 4 c’s: connections, creation, control and consumption, which are all coordinated by the consumer. It is up to the firm to ensure they stay up to date based on these four principles because it is the consumer that is exposing the brand to new audiences and most of all, the value of posting one simple tweet could prove to be of great worth to the company (Hoffman, 2010).

In 2008, technology company Cisco proved just how useful social media marketing has become. Instead of advertising their upcoming product launch on traditional platforms, they chose to solely focus on using social media. As a result, Cisco saved over $100,000, ninety times more people show up to the event than ever before, one thousand blog posts were published along with forty million other online comments and the event resulted in an award for Best Marketing (Hibbard, 2010).

References

  • Hibbard, C. 2010. Social Media Launch Saves Cisco $100,000.
  • Hoffman, D. L., and Fodor, M. 2010. Can you measure the ROI of your social media marketing? MIT Sloan Management Review 52(1) 41-49.
  • Weinberg, B. D., and Pehlivan, E. 2011. Social spending: Managing the social media mix. Business Horizons 54(3) 275–282.