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The Impact of Social Media on Contemporary Business Communication

Updated: Aug 26


Impact of Social Media


Introduction


Impact of Social Media - Business communication has changed over the years tremendously with the innovation of new technologies and new methods of communication. Earlier, when we talk about 15 to 20 years back, the effective communication used to lie in the fact that the two persons meet, talk, express and exchange their views with proper body language and pitch of voice. But, today the things are entirely different and people do not have time to meet each other. The world is busy and so is the business.


In this busy era, technology has played an important role to let people meet each other, although virtually. This is the new way of communication called as ‘Virtual communication’ (Getvoip.com, 2017) where the participants are not available physically but communicating with each other on the grounds of special aids like video conferencing, tele conferencing, chats, emails, video calls and through social media (Getvoip.com, 2017).


Yes, the new age communication lies in the heart of ‘Social Media’. Social media unites the people across the world and has made the world closer. Within seconds or in just few clicks one can respond and get engaged in a conversation with a person or a group of persons sitting at the other end of the globe. This is the power of the social media. And, businesses have well extracted a lot in terms of business communication out of this platform in terms of marketing, promotion and forming a large customer base etc.


In this report, the researcher will discuss about the emergence of social media and its impact on the business communications taking into fact the challenges the business and the resources have faced while adopting these innovative ways of communication. This report will be supported by a business case study that has incorporated social media as its communication or a marketing platform as an example while stating the challenges and implications of social media on the business and its profits.


Communication Process


Communication involves two or more parties where there should be at least one sender and at least one receiver (Notesdesk.com, 2017). The sender sends the message to the receiver which is then interpreted and necessary feedback as well as response is given in turn. The communication process is affected by the internal and external environment (Notesdesk.com, 2017) and could affect its implication and depth.


Traditional Vs. Modern Communication: There is a strong difference between the traditional as well as the modern communication. Traditional communication was the basic communication that involved people communicating face to face (Notesdesk.com, 2017) and with proper grammar, sentences and body language. But, today the scenario is completely changed with respect to the way of communication as described below:


- The sentences becoming shorter (Reider, 2017).

- Excessive use of jargons and short forms

- Slangs are in extensive use and is considered modern.

- Most of the ideas, thoughts and feelings are described through emoji’s and animated pictures (Reider, 2017).

- Communication is getting faster with all the latest gadgets being handy and easily accessible.


Apart from all these, Social media has totally dominated the business communication. The use of social media platforms as the main source of business communication and marketing has changed the whole process of communication and marketing in any business. Earlier business communications were restricted to face to face meetings, letters, fax, telephone calls etc. But, today through social media the business communications (Millennial CEO, 2017) could be fostered through video calls, chats, web posts, emails and through watsapp. The social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Watsapp share an infinite platform that addresses the customer base globally at just one click (Millennial CEO, 2017). And most important factor of it being cost effective that undertakes no or a very less cost (Reider, 2017).

Therefore, this is how modern business communication is far better than the traditional one.


Impact of Social Media on Business Communication

Social media has a long lasting and indefinite impact on the business communication as mentioned below:

- The business communication gets faster with just few clicks.

- The use of internet has increased while communication.

- One can attend or start meeting from any part of the world and without any time or working hour’s constraints (Reider, 2017).

- The world has got closer and the business can address the international and global issues at much faster pace and positioning.

- The business can expand its customer base (Reider, 2017) by posting deals, offers, product or service attributes, new product or service launch at its social networking account without incurring any cost thereof.

- The business can address the queries and solve the customer problems (Communications, 2017)in just few seconds, thus maintaining good relationships with the customers.

- The business can also start up the brand loyalty programs online through social media while asking its customers to share the products and offers with their friends while providing extra offer to its existing customers.

- The business can also keep a close watch on its competitors (Communications, 2017) and can enhance its sales through mitigating the risks from its competitors.

There are many such positive impacts of social media on business communication, but stated few for reference.


Challenges- New communication methods brought along with it


In order to get something, one has to pay something in lieu of that. New innovation in communication and the social media has brought some challenges along with it, which is discussed as following:

- Many people find it difficult to adapt to the changed or new technology and so is the case with the social media. The previous generation posed difficulty in learning the technology and its aspects when came to social media communication. This is a major challenge as it involves adaptation issue that plays hindrance to effective communication.

- The cross- culture and language barriers pose a big challenge as people have to respect each other’s culture and have to understand the language also. This barrier affects the effectiveness of communication and has raised a big question on the social media communication method.

- As every individual uses internet, there is a threat to one’s privacy as the hackers can hack the data and spoil the privacy of one’s conversation that can lead to high risks for the business.

These are the major challenges faced by the businesses while adopting new communication methods and social media as the mode of communication.


A case of SAAB Automobile AB


The case in this discussion that we will use is of the automobile manufacturer or a car manufacturer who is in to the business since 1949. (Fridolf, M & Arnautovic, A, 2011)SAAB which is also known as Saab has its presence in almost 50 countries like The United States, German, Australia, France and Norway etc. The company got acquired by the wholly owned subsidiary of General motors i.e. Spyker cars NV. Earlier, Saab was into traditional marketing or communication forum and was reluctant to adopt social media platform for business communications and marketing.


But, after its restructuring of debt and high need of its presence globally, social media platform was adopted where the company has built its own platform called as ‘Newsroom’. Saab mostly preferred Facebook (Fridolf, M & Arnautovic, A, 2011) as the social media communication platform as in Facebook one can post pictures, movies and texts that serves as the better platform than YouTube and Twitter.


As per Saab, YouTube is successful or resourceful only with the Facebook and in Twitter only 140 characters could be typed and posted at one single time which serves no purpose or very limited purpose. Also, Saab has to find out the platform that takes into account larger population and greater coverage that could only be possible with the Facebook.


Being social media platform, extra care (Fridolf, M & Arnautovic, A, 2011) was incorporated with respect to messages and pictures being posted as the company itself are accountable and responsible for any mistake while posting anything on social media. Also, Saab was benefitted with the fact that the social media marketing is free and is very cost effective whereas the traditional marketing used to be a huge burden on the pockets of the company.


Challenges faced by SAAB while implementing social media communication


It was not a cake walk for SAAB to implement social media communication and marketing. The company has faced many challenges for the incorporation of social media communication and marketing in its business. These challenges are listed below:

- The main challenge was of Language problem (Fridolf, M & Arnautovic, A, 2011) that has occurred globally. Facebook has no such tool to convert the page into a local language and thus, the people across the world couldn’t understand other languages that pose risks and challenge for the company.


- The social media marketing is so local that the company found it hard to get the tool (Fridolf, M & Arnautovic, A, 2011) to measure its communication performance and effect of social media on its profits.

- Another challenge faced by SAAB was to be open and transparent (Fridolf, M & Arnautovic, A, 2011) at all aspects. Later SAAB found that the positivity can turn into openness and transparency. Also, negativity would automatically be handled by the loyal customers.


Current Perspectives


SAAB is all set to adopt social media communication as the only source of communication for its business perspectives and marketing. The current perspectives of the company include:

- Using YouTube (Fridolf, M & Arnautovic, A, 2011) as the platform for broadcasting commercials instead of the traditional approach of televisions.

- Using meltwater and Google analytics (Fridolf, M & Arnautovic, A, 2011) to listen their customers talks about the products and to work accordingly about its marketing in future.

- To check the responses of the customers at different sites and platforms (Fridolf, M & Arnautovic, A, 2011) and to frame its communication strategy accordingly.

Therefore, SAAB has adopted social media as the medium of its business communication whole heartedly and making customers and sales endlessly through this new type of communication.


Conclusion


In nutshell, Social media marketing has a long-lasting impact on the company’s profits and sales. Also, the communication is fast, clear, effective and targets mass population at just one click. Being cost effective, thereby involving no cost, it serves as the most desirable and easily approachable platform for businesses to create their customer base and increase their profits and sales.


References


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Fridolf, M & Arnautovic, A (2011). Social Media Marketing- A case study of Saab Automobile AB. Department of Economics and Informatics, University West, pp.37-44.

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Getvoip.com. (2017). 10 Modern Business Communication Methods That Customers Love | GetVoIP. [online] Available at: https://getvoip.com/blog/2015/04/21/modern-business-communication/ [Accessed 25 Apr. 2017].

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Millennial CEO. (2017). How Social Media Has Changed How We Communicate. [online] Available at: http://millennialceo.com/social-media-changed-communicate/ [Accessed 25 Apr. 2017].

Reider, C. (2017). How Is Social Media Affecting Our Communication?. [online] Nrmedia.biz. Available at: https://www.nrmedia.biz/blog/how-is-social-media-affecting-our-communication [Accessed 25 Apr. 2017].

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Techstars. (2017). How Social Media is Changing the World of Business Communications - Techstars. [online] Available at: http://www.techstars.com/content/entrepreneur-resources/how-social-media-is-changing-the-world-of-business-communications/ [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017].

Parrott4223159 (2017). Social Networking and Its Effect on Business Communication. [online] Slideshare.net. Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/Parrott4223159/social-networking-and-its-effect-on-business-communication [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017].

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