Applications of Social Media Outside The Organization
In this course, we have studied the ways in which online marketing and social media can be used to promote the strategies and goals of an organization. We covered various themes which included:
- Media monitoring and measurement
- Building a social media strategy
- Internal communication and networking
These areas of concentration provided some best practices for how marketers should use digital platforms and tools to ensure success when it comes to social media strategies at an organizational level.
However, if we take into account the definition of social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content (Benkler, Yochai: 2006)” we can start thinking of other ways one might be able to use social media outside an organizational setting. Particularly, I wanted to highlight the last bit of the definition where it mentions social media as the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Bearing this in mind, I want to identify 3 unique and trending ways I see the common user utilize social media platforms. They are:
- For Activism:
In 2015 there was a great flood that occurred in South India. I heard about it on various news outlets and social media platforms. But, what was interesting to me was that local communities were using Whatsapp as a way to get the word out regarding rescue efforts. They had set up Whatsapp numbers just so people can find food, shelter and any provisions they needed. There have been other instances where social media brought forth movement, so much so that Governments have been known to block certain social media platforms during times of civil unrest and backlash.
- For Holding People and Companies Accountable:
In the last few years, I’ve noticed social media is used to call out the actions of people and organizations. For example, when a customer is not satisfied with a company’s service they can take to Twitter to vent their frustrations. It’s a way to hold them accountable as well. Similarly, people are holding others accountable for their discriminatory actions.
- As An Alternate Way To Earn An Income and Pursue Your Passion:
Social media is utilized by people to pursue their dreams and earn an income outside the typical 9-5. I know people who have taken up photography, baking, dancing and make up artistry after the rise of social media. On the other side, social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook have become the new YellowPage. If you need a cake for example, you can just search Facebook’s Marketplace or pages on IG for someone near you. The good thing about doing this is you can see their work and reviews as well. This is tied into using social media for your business, but it focuses more on the individual rather than the organization.
These three examples are a great way to understand social media outside of the box. It helps us highlight the ever evolving nature and application we are seeing when it comes to social media. One of the impacts social media has had on our lives, outside of online marketing, is that it has shrunk the world. Meaning, the user can now connect with and learn from strangers around the world. They also have more control over the news and content they consume. Social media can be used within organizations like we saw in this course, but it can also be used to collaborate and communicate in other ways as well.
What is the most interesting way you have used social media?
What are some pitfalls and advantages of social media?