Perks Of Social Media And The Impact On Industry: A Study

Introduction to Social Media

Social media refers to the mean of communication between diversified people of the world to create or share information in virtual mode all over the globe. According to Van Dijck, (2013), Social media came into existence in the early 20th century which shook the world and gathered popularity in no time. This paper will focus on the facts about the perks of social media and how it has affected the industry regarding organizing and sharing information to the audiences. This essay also aims to find out the media theories of Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs and Magic bullet / Hypodermic needle model for better understanding of the traditional media in terms of new age or present media which mainly focuses on social media and it will also find out the reasons on the traditional media theories not being applied on the new media with some recommendations to the traditional media for betterment.

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Before the invention of the social media, mass media was the popular mode of communication among the audiences. Mass media is a vast collection of media technologies via physical objects like magazines, books, newspapers and many more (Baran & Baran, 2014). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Magic bullet / Hypodermic needle model is discussed below for better understanding of the media theories.

According to Einstein, Addams & Roosevelt (2016), this theory was developed in 1943 by Abraham Harold Maslow in “A Theory of Human Motivation” in Psychological Review.” This theory has been applied in a variety of genres for various purposes like education, business and behavioural psychology. It is a five-stage model, and every stage is crucial in every aspect.

(Survival)

The most important part of any media company is to be present in the social media platform to be able to build a community of audience by introducing the main topics of interest that can help in building a strong presence across the platform (Boettcher & Conrad, 2016). A definite goal is required which includes active and exciting content for the audience to mark the presence of the company. Once the post or the tweet of the content gets noticed by the people, the stage is fulfilled. There are lots of media companies thriving to get to the top of the industry like Fairfax Media, News Corporation, Consolidated Media Holdings, SBS Online, APN News & Media, MCM Entertainment Group, Nine Entertainment Company and many more. Very few of them has any online presence as most of them still prefer the offline mode of media or digital media on television only. SBS Online is among very few companies present in the social media platform which denies the Maslow’s hierarchy law of survival.

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Magic Bullet / Hypodermic Needle Model

(Safety)

After announcing the presence in the platform and gaining popularity, the company needs to maintain the intensity or increase the rate of production to remain competitive in the market with the other companies and also gain more profit with the increase of audience and its popularity. The content in different platform should be handled differently, for example, content in the Instagram can be more casual comparing to the content in the LinkedIn due to the differences in the community of audience. According to Rokka, Karlsson  & Tienari  (2014), preparing unique and eye catchy content can bring more popularity to the content. Most of the media companies fail to bring the uniqueness in the content due to the lack of change in the medium of the media for communication with the audiences like newspapers, magazines bring out the same old pattern of content (Wimmer & Dominick, 2013).

Social media engagement:

(Belonging)

In recent times, engaging with the audience has been a trend in the social media based industry to keep the audience interested and also to attract new followers. According to Dijkmans, Kerkhof & Beukeboom (2015), addressing the negative and positive feedbacks and comments are utmost important in the social media platform for having a satisfied and content set of audiences. The traditional model of the media industry are reluctant to engage with the audiences as they focus on a broader group of people and content.

(Esteem)

With the rise of popularity, brand ambassadors emerge from different communities or groups who promote the content in various other platforms by sharing with others. Companies tend to reward this gesture of promoting by recognizing them or with monetary rewards. Traditional media companies do not manage to follow these rewarding techniques; instead they depend upon the marketing strategies and distributors of the company. According to Bellotti et al. (2015), motivating the ambassadors is necessary for improving the brand recognition and image of the company.

(Self-actualization)

This stage is self-imposed on the companies to actually know the impact of the content on the audience (Parsons, 2013). By comparing the number of followers increased or decreased in a particular span of time can give a particular insight into the facts. The companies present in the social media tend to compare with the likes, shares and comments on their content whereas the traditional methods following companies compare the sales of their products in a particular span of time.

This theory is based on the assumptions that the receiver entirely accepts the message from the speaker and also implements it in the desired field. According to Neuendorf & Jeffres (2017), this theory came into existence in 1930-1940 in America. It was assumed that mass media could influence a large group of people by providing influencing and desired messages to trigger desired responses from the audience.  For an instance, on 1938 one evening in America witnessed a radio broadcast in which it stated that ‘Martians have landed in the city and attacking humans’, although the announcement was a part of a novel which was purely fictional, people panicked and started fleeing from homes, calling police, friends relatives which proved that media has the power to influence people (Kenechukwu, 2015). Traditional media industry which heavily relies on the popularity of televisions advertisements, newspapers, magazine, covers the majority of the population of the world regardless of age, gender and background. The information provided by these medium has been able to influence the audience’s reaction towards the content or the situation. The new media which targets specific age groups, gender, background have particular audiences which have a lesser impact on the audience falling behind the traditional media.  

Impact on Industry and Communication with the Audience

Conclusion:

Social media is a very popular medium of communication across the globe targets a specific audience for specific media content which limits the number of audiences. Traditional media focuses on the general audiences that create a significant impact on the audiences helping the company in gaining profits. Although social media have some advantages over the traditional media yet the media theories support the traditional media for its overall impact on the audiences. The traditional media should be able to focus on trendy and new contents to attract a number of audiences. The traditional media should be more precise and specific regarding content. Better use of technology like printing of different and attractive templates for newspapers. Presence in social media is also necessary due to the rapid increase in the popularity of social media.

References:

Baran, S. J., & Baran, S. (2014). Introduction to mass communication: Media literacy and culture, updated edition. McGraw-Hill Education.

Bellotti, V., Ambard, A., Turner, D., Gossmann, C., Demkova, K., & Carroll, J. M. (2015, April). A muddle of models of motivation for using peer-to-peer economy systems. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1085-1094). ACM.

Berry, D. (Ed.). (2013). Revisiting the Frankfurt School: Essays on culture, media and theory. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. M. (2016). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. John Wiley & Sons.

Dijkmans, C., Kerkhof, P., & Beukeboom, C. J. (2015). A stage to engage: Social media use and corporate reputation. Tourism Management, 47, 58-67.

Einstein, A., Addams, J., & Roosevelt, E. (2016). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Kenechukwu, S. (2015). Understanding media effect: a study of how studies in perception nailed the coffin on magic bullet theory. International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Review, 5(2).

Neuendorf, K. A., & Jeffres, L. W. (2017). Media Effects: Accounts, Nature, and History of. Rössler, Patrick/Hoffner, Cynthia A,/van Zoonen, Liesbet (Hg.)(2017): International Encyclopedia of Media Effects. Chichester, UK.

Parsons, A. (2013). Using social media to reach consumers: A content analysis of official Facebook pages. Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, 17(2).

Pooley, J. D., & Socolow, M. J. (2013). Critical Communication History| Checking Up on The Invasion from Mars: Hadley Cantril, Paul Lazarsfeld, and the Making of a Misremembered Classic. International Journal of Communication, 7, 29.

Rokka, J., Karlsson, K., & Tienari, J. (2014). Balancing acts: Managing employees and reputation in social media. Journal of Marketing Management, 30(7-8), 802-827.

Van Dijck, J. (2013). The culture of connectivity: A critical history of social media. Oxford University Press.

Engagement with the Audience and the Role of Brand Ambassadors

Wimmer, R. D., & Dominick, J. R. (2013). Mass media research. Cengage learning

This study aims find out the ways that how social media will have an impact on media and communication with the people in the next 50 years. Technology will have an important role in the media and communication industry, which will ultimately make it easier for the company and the audience or the consumers as well. This study will focus on the roles of technology in the path of media and communications and how the technology will impact the media industry in 50 years from the present time. According to Ruths, & Pfeffer (2014), Artificial intelligence, Chatbots, Social listing tools, Stories in social media, Augmented-Reality & Face Filters and many more features presented by the technology in the field of social media can affect the experience of the audience of a company. This study will also see suggestion in the improvement of the technology and the impacts of that in the daily lives of the audience, and it will also include two different media and communication theories namely Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and Magic bullet / Hypodermic needle model.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Magic bullet / Hypodermic needle model is discussed below for better understanding of the media theories in the future. To compete with the social media, traditional media will focus on some factors given below.

 It contains five stages of the media industry which are required for every industry to maintain balance and hierarchy in doing business (Cao, 2013). The five stages are given below;

(Survival)

By the year 2050, most of the companies in the media industry will be present in the social media as the number of users of the social media has been growing exponentially from the early years of existence and it continues to grow in terms of users daily. Every company should have a specific goal and specific targeted audiences to create traffic and influence from their content. Every content of the company should provide a strong platform for competition among the companies.

(Safety)

According to Oh & Syn (2015), the sole online presence of the company would not be able to able to bring profitability or monetary gains due to the competitive market in the future. Creating fun and trending contents would be a key factor for any company to be popular in the media industry. For example, creating memes of the content can be fun for the audience, and it can bring more traffic to the content. Creativity and uniqueness with adequate time intervals are also required to be able to compete in the future market.

Measuring the Impact and Comparison with Traditional Media

(Belonging)

According to Yang & Li (2013), identifying user needs and engaging with the audience will be the vital factor for building a productive relationship with the audience for gaining loyalty and also to attract new followers of the company. Addressing negative and positive feedbacks or comments should be prompt for improving the content and the service provided by the company. Retention of the audiences will solely depend upon the engagement and the satisfaction of the audiences. Every company will have found a way for quick engagement for example; customizable chatbots will be able to address many queries and problems of the audiences and the customers of the company. For instance, Chatbots in the facebook messenger has become a vital service provider for many companies. Targeting specific genders, age, group and community will also be a factor for the company for strategic customer acquisition and engagement.

(Esteem)

Every company in the future will have paid or non-paid brand ambassadors who will be promoting the company in person and social media as well by sharing it with others for further reach. Paid brand ambassadors will be promoting the content or product of the company as the company will be paying the individual directly by a contract or indirectly by affiliate marketing. Non paid brand ambassadors are the followers from the audiences who share and comment and tag others for their interest. These ambassadors will play a huge role in the future from the economic point of view as it will increase the profit of the company. Rewarding and recognition of the non paid ambassadors will be a crucial role in motivating them and luring them for further input and efforts for the company.    

(Self-actualization)

This stage of self-imposed will be done on a regular basis to know the impact of the content or the product of the company. Comparing the number of shares, comments and likes against any content or product on the platform will ensure the impact and suggest effective measures to be taken for further improvement. This stage will be crucial for every company in the future for formulating effective marketing strategies for the company that will boost the popularity and revenue of the company. This can also be done by measuring the number of users of the chat-bots and the average number of engagements of the audiences with the company.

Magic bullet / Hypodermic needle model:

This model is based on the assumptions which came into existence in America in the years of 1930-1940. It states that any information provided by the media or speaker tends to reach the audience exactly in the same manner and it manipulates or influences the audiences to react or behave in the desired way. Although this model cannot be proved, yet a significant amount of facts can be gathered that about the media influence on the people. For example, violent television programs have a significant effect on the children and their behaviour towards their parents and siblings proves partially about the impact of media (Qayyum et al., 2013). The media industry in the next fifty years should be able to reach broad categories of audiences for a better impact of the content or the product. The selectivity of the audiences of social media content should be reduced for competing in the market. According to Dartnall (2013), artificial intelligence will play a vital role in delivering the desired and impactful content for the audiences whereas stories in the social media like Instagram, Facebook will also boost the audience engagement and retention with the company.

Recommendations for Traditional Media

 Artificial Intelligence and automation like Chat-bots and other self-regulating and self-communicating technology will be leading the media industry in the next 50 years (Michalski, Carbonell & Mitchell, 2013). The students of the year 2067 will be looking back at the timeline when the concept of AI and automation came into existence and the how it got through the history of humanity.  

 In the year 2067, every grandparent should advise their grandchildren or relatives’ children for better utilizing of technology and the internet. Proper and careful use of robots with AI will be necessary, as they will be able to self-educate themselves which can be dangerous for the humanity.

Conclusion:

With the increase of technology in every field, media industry will see a rise in the use of technology in the field of media like Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots or survey bots and many more which will make the content or the product very interesting and engaging for the audiences in the future. Maslow’s law and Magic Bullet theory explains how different the media industry will get in comparing with the present industry. It also contains some recommendations for the media industry in terms of media quality and content. Some comments about the result of improper use of technology have also been given to maintain a peaceful life.  

References:

Cao, H., Jiang, J., Oh, L. B., Li, H., Liao, X., & Chen, Z. (2013). A Maslow’s hierarchy of needs analysis of social networking services continuance. Journal of Service Management, 24(2), 170-190.

Dartnall, T. (Ed.). (2013). Artificial intelligence and creativity: An interdisciplinary approach (Vol. 17). Springer Science & Business Media.

Michalski, R. S., Carbonell, J. G., & Mitchell, T. M. (Eds.). (2013). Machine learning: An artificial intelligence approach. Springer Science & Business Media.

Ndonye, M. M., Kemunto, G., & Machini, S. (2014). Deconstructing Media and Communication Theories: Critical Assessment of the Advent of the New Media. International Journal of Marketing and Technology, 4(7), 164.

Oh, S., & Syn, S. Y. (2015). Motivations for sharing information and social support in social media: A comparative analysis of Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, YouTube, and Flickr. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 66(10), 2045-2060.

Qayyum, S., Malik, N., Iqbal, M. M. A., Haq, N. A., & Malik, M. S. (2013). Exposure to Violent Television Programs and its Effect on Siblings Aggressive Behavior: Parents’ Perceptions. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 4(7).

Ruths, D., & Pfeffer, J. (2014). Social media for large studies of behavior. Science, 346(6213), 1063-1064.

Yang, H., & Li, Y. (2013). Identifying user needs from social media. IBM Research Division, San Jose, 11.