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Audience: The New Prod”u”cers

     

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1st picture source: Times Higher Education

My first blog post discussed how social media allowed more consumer input in society, the second one discussed how that consumer input affected businesses and this blog post looks at how consumers they use social media to be their own content creators and as a tool for building a successful life.

These can be shown through aspects such as;

Crowdfunding

A public-funded project or venture which offers individuals a chance of success as it is a great way to gain customers for your business or an audience for your story. It serves as a way to present your idea and create a community that support your vision. Each campaign has a certain amount of money that needs to be earned in a certain number of days. Donators are given a certain reward based on the amount of money they donate.

Example

One crowdfunding campaign on Pozible, an Australia-based crowdfunding platform, is a short film, Drastic Measures. A film about mental illness and how it affects families. This campaign has outlined what the story is, why they are doing it and what they need the money for. One example of a reward to a donator is a hard copy of the film if they donate $85 or more. Crowd-funding campaigns are useful as it allows a member of the public to share their story with the rest of the world.

The Creation of New Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship, the set-up of a business that takes financial risks to gain profit, which like crowd-funding relies on social media as a way to be successful. Two social media facts that benefit aspiring entrepreneurs is that: social media expands your reach to your target market. Social media also establishes expertise because even by posting content relating to your work, you are further establishing yourself as an expert.

Example

Brandon Stanton used social media to share his love of photography. Humans of New York now has 12 million likes on Facebook allowing him to launch into a full-time photography and media career.

Citizen Journalism

Consumer engagement with social media has affected the distribution of news. Citizen journalism, a type of journalism, practised by everyday people, has allowed more user-generated content to be distributed. This makes consumers more aware of what’s going on and can affect the reputation of companies. 

United-Beating

2nd picture source: Gomerblog

Example

United Airlines, an airline, was the subject of great outrage when they brutally dragged an asian man off the plane for refusing to give up his seat. This incident was video-recorded and posted on Twitter by passenger and cross-fit trainer, Jayse D.Anspach and a Facebook post was done by Audra D. Bridges, another passenger. This content creation sparked much hate from other consumers towards the airline.

Although different aspects were discussed they all addressed the same thing; how social media has turned the consumer into a producer as they are now their own content creators and are able to use social media to build a successful life. So, how will you use social media in your life, after all you can’t spell producer without you?

The “Pros” and the “Cons”umers

FINAL blog picture

Source: Mark Olasek

My previous blog post discussed how social media provided consumers with more power and influence in society. This post will take a deeper look at how social media affects businesses.

Pros

-Understanding Customers

Social media is a versatile way in attracting customers. This is because the customers have an easier time to connect with you and, unlike standard advertising, there is a personal touch. Some methods which you can attract customers is: look at social media platforms your target audience uses, devise a strategy for using social media in your business, listen and respond to feedback and use a tone that is appropriate to the platform.

-Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty is a vital thing to have in a successful business. By applying that personal touch, there is a better chance of a stronger consumer-producer connection. A study conducted by the Social Habit shows that 53% of Americans who follow brands on social media are more loyal to the brands. The customers, in turn, can use social media to promote the product to their friends and achieve a wider market.

-More profit

The amount of advertising done in one-way communication is expensive, risky and not as personal making it hard for the consumers to connect with. Social media not only allows businesses to have that consumer connection but is absolutely free!

Using social media in business sounds like a great idea but unfortunately it’s not that glamorous.

Facebook BLOG pic

Source: Vince Bank- On Culture & Education

Cons

-Negative reviews

An effective way to ruin a business.  Social media has allowed consumer views to be more public and wide-spread and they are able to do more research on what they use and where they go which is why its important to connect with customers. For example, one of the popular bars in Maroochydore got horribly reviewed recently. I had been there a few times and found it reasonable but after reading those reviews I felt unsettled so it’s understandable that potential customers can get discouraged. 

-Employee misconduct

Another big factor is how employee misconduct can affect the reputation of a business. For example, back in 2013, InterActive Corp, a New York based internet company known for owning apps such as Tinder and Match. com, faced a huge backlash when Justine Sacco, a former PR leader, posted an ignorant and very offensive tweet:

“Going to South Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” The social media outrage was so huge and so strong that it lead to her becoming globally ostracised. After that incident, IAC assured the public of her instant dismissal and that they don’t tolerate that behaviour and managed to save face.

-Social media apps

Social media, itself, is having a negative effect on businesses. The dating app, Tinder, is ruining the nightlife scene as it provides people with an easier and more effective way to find hook-ups rather than going out to meet someone. In this case, it is not because of the consumer involvement but rather a lack of it because people go to technology for a social life.

After looking at the effects of social media on businesses, you can now use these tips to go out and be the entrepreneur you’ve always dreamed of.

Common Consumer to Socialite

I'm social!

Source: Mark Olasek

Lights, Camera, Action! A term commonly found in the entertainment industry and usually associated with fame. Now I bet you have wondered at some point in your life; what if I was famous. Well, thanks to social media, you can be.

Due to social media usage being on the rise, consumer input has never been more valuable and now the consumers are the ones doing the advertising. Some features of how social media has impacted consumerism is that consumers have been given a bigger voice and, therefore, have more power. Social media has allowed better connection with businesses and it’s their opinion that helps promote their business or damage it, new information is readily available and more research can be done. Originally, the business would provide very one-sided information about what they offered and as a consumer, you would be expected to follow and believe what they told you, but because there is more consumer interaction people can now get their information from a variety of different sources. Social media has now become one of the most prominent ways to communicate, a real social hub, and all you need to do to become well known is use of a social media app. Don’t believe me? Ask Zoe Foster Blake.

Zoe Foster Blake, blogger and common consumer turned socialite, and HER FRIDGE OF DREAMS, have made news headlines and caught attention of Media Watch, a news conglomerate, through an Instagram post. This post benefits businesses such as youfoodz, the company that made the food, and shows how social media can be used as a promotional tool by anyone, I’m not even joking. This puts pressure on corporate bodies as they have less influence on their people and  have to be less corporate and more human in order to attract business. I, myself, have been strongly affected by consumer input. Once I was looking for places to go out for dinner with friends and there was this place on Ocean Street, Macchu Picchu, that I had never been too before in my life and was kind of skeptical of. However, a few of my friends had been there before and had a great time, so I went and I had some of the best food I ever had in my life. It’s not always positive though, I was looking at going to this place that looked well advertised but had been horribly trashed by Facebook reviews from previous customers and so that place lost my business. This goes to show that anyone can have an impact on your decisions and they don’t have to be qualified. Even the journalism profession is taking a hit due to the amount of consumers that can share their opinions and stories and contribute to the media, this is known as citizen journalism. So, as a consumer, you have the opportunity to influence others with your opinions, promote businesses or damage them and share your story to the world and you can become a Zoe Foster Blake. However, in order to be a socialite, you need to use a social media site.