Social media impacts and emerging trends

How social technology is changing how businesses operate

Seventy-two percent of companies are using at least one social technology (Bughin, Byers, & Chui, 2011). There have been observed changes in how the business operates.  Previously the role of human resource (HR) is to allay legal risks, but they are also now responsible for fostering a supportive corporate culture, and social technologies are facilitating this (Lauby, 2010).  Social technology can include social networking, video sharing, blogs, microblogging, etc. (Bughin et al., 2011).

However, the power of a negative tweet (a social networking platform) can severely impact a company.  This was the case when then President-elect Trump criticized both Boeing and Lockheed Martin, sending their stocks to plummet within minutes from that tweet (Kilgore, 2016; Lauby, 2010; Li, 2010).  Thus, mitigation of negative sentiment is becoming more prevalent for how a business that is operating in a world with social technology. Bughin et al. (2011), reported that social technology for customer purposes had increased effective marketing, customer satisfaction, and increased marketing cost savings.

Other companies like the H&M retail, had created an H&M alumni group, which allows them to track their previous talent for future rehiring, but also maintain an eye on keeping proprietary data proprietary (Lauby, 2010).   Even though social technology makes it more difficult to keep proprietary data proprietary, it has helped companies to search social technology to generate new ideas, pivoting in projects, etc. (Bughin et al. 2011).

Additionally, Bughin et al. (2011), reported that social technology internally had been used to increase knowledge access, reduce communication costs, increase network connect to internal subject matter experts.  This can help improve employee engagement with the business. Calvin College uses their Facebook page to showcase their employee involvement per their social business strategy, and this gives them the reputation of being more engaged with their employees (Lauby, 2010).

Emerging social technology trends

  • Li (2010), stated that curating consists of spending hours in ensuring well-organized content for their customers/employees as well as participating in discussions with them. Thus, a trend moving forward is to have fewer and improved, but well-curated posts (DeMers, 2016). Taking a page from minimalistic living is consumers of social technology like to be seeing less content from a content provider, but are also starting to expect that the quality of that content should be higher than their corporate competitors. When companies begin to curate high-quality content, they will set themselves apart because they are developing a social brand that is engaging (Li, 2010).
  • Social media platform dynamics are increasing, where Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn had similar tools, goals, and applications but serving small differences in niches; but Instagram, Snapchat, Vine are starting to serve a new niche (DeMers, 2016). Thus, this is where a social business strategy is known as a living document, to meet the demands of an ever-changing field of social media (Cohen, 2011).  This strategy should be growing and adjusting to consider the benefits of new platforms and analyzing the current business strategy to maximize these new platforms (Wollan, Smith, & Zhou, 2010).  Each of these niches also means different ways of engaging/curating materials and reaching to potential new employees, new customers, or retain talent (Wollan et al., 2010).