The Impact of Social Media on Brands in 2018

Brands
People need genuine and authentic communication on social media. Brands need to have a conversation with their followers and relate to their issues. “In order to get closer to your target audience, you need to do what they do” says Jacob Haney our guest author. His blog post is below. I used Artflow for the above sketch and is open for interpretation. 

The contemporary business model is formed by social media trends. There was never a time when public opinion was as important as it is now – every move businesses make is a part of a strategy and it’s mostly based on information gathered on social media.

Therefore, if you’re an aspiring business leader who strives towards expansion and growth, you need to keep yourself updated on the subject and keep track of the most influential trends.

Temporary Content

As you might have noticed, temporary content is quite popular right now. Social media platforms are all about stories – there’s something very tempting about vanishing content. Snapchat is responsible for this trend, and it doesn’t seem that it will disappear anytime soon – ironically enough.

Considering the fact that vanishing content is considered to be less filtered and more authentic, you should use this to your advantage and build ads based on this principle.

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How to protect teenagers from the dark side of social media

Protecting teenagers from the dark side of social media

Everyone knows the brighter side of social media platforms, where users can interact with the people of different cultures and ethnicities. Long distance relationships are enabled to communicate with each other with the help of text messages, audio, and video calling by using different instant messengers such as Facebook, Tinder, Line, Vine, Yahoo, Snapchat, WhatsApp and plenty of others alike.

These social media tools are the best for online communication. People make friends online even whom they don’t know in real life. People use these platforms free of cost, without paying a single penny to these digital media services.

People have cell phone devices in their hands and they can get access to instant messaging apps. Having the brighter side of the online media, there is also having the darker side which is continuously influencing on the positive side.

The negative side of the digital media is progressing no time ever before and young kids and teens that are very fond of social apps are facing nightmares. Let’s take a look on the darker side of the social messaging apps.

The Dark Side of Social Media

Everything has its dark side, so the technological creatures are not pretty different. Young kids and teens use the social media apps without the consent of their parents. On the other hand, if parents are totally non-tech savvy, then there huge chances that young kids and teens get harm online by using the social media apps.  All the social media mighty messengers have become the safe havens for evils. Young kids and teens sometimes adopt these evils and most of the time becomes the victim of these evils.

Cyber Bullying

We all know about bullies and bullying, cyberbullying means bullies present in the digital world and bullied online to others by using technology. The technology can be used devices such as laptops, computers, and gadgets such as cell phones, tabs, and pads. It further added communication tools such as social messaging apps and websites, chats and text messages. Cyberbullies chase young teens online on different social media platforms and bullied them by using sexual language and by using sexual explicit photos and videos, with racist sentences and with many others. Once teens got bullied online, the results could be long lasted and swear such as depression, anxiety, and stress.

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The computer says ‘yes’, but can AI really drive happy accidents and social collaboration?

AI

David Byrne is a musician and a writer and lives in New York City. An extract from one of his articles appeared on the MIT Technology Review.  The article talks about the ubiquitous presence of Artificial Intelligence embedded in the  social interaction software and networks that we meddle with, day in and day out relentlessly.  We take it so granted, that I was compelled to write about his unique perspective on the effects of AI (Artificial intelligence) on our social life. You can find the article here.

Here, in the following paragraphs, you will find my perspectives (my 5 cents to it) on ‘Can AI really drive happy accidents leading to social interaction’ riding on David Byrne’s arguments.

We are swayed by the AI networks for social interaction

We as humans are so preset with the current way of life using all kinds’ of smart devices for communication and interaction that we have often forgotten to realize what it means to have a real human-to-human interaction.  In fact, would like to appreciate MIT Technology Review for giving such a clever title as “Eliminating the Human” in the article.

David argues that we are swayed by the artificial cues and matches thrown by AI (Artificial intelligence) that we have failed to recognize our natural instincts as social animals to trust our own intuition for social interaction and collaboration that consumes us.

There is a generalization, and the pattern is obvious.  We are entering into a world, which increasingly does not favor human interaction.  For example, if we go to the ever popular Amazon.com, the site acts and behaves like a machine and gives us recommendations on what to buy based on our past interests and even the review conversations are machine like.

Social networks are engineered predominantly by male software engineers

So are the other modern outlets like music stores, driver-less cars, online ordering and home delivery, speech recognition and personal assistants, big data and even popular social networks.  Though social networks have the social interaction part, they are less real.  They are the simulated version of our interactions.  The entire interaction happens from a software engineer’s point of view.  Partly because, the software engineering crowd is predominantly male and they do seem to share the feeling that human interaction is all noise and has less simplicity and efficiency.

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Adopting social media in workplaces – Best practice approaches 2017

Adopting social media in workplaces

Adopting social media in workplaces is both an art and a science and they both go hand in hand together. For that matter, conducting business analysis also has shades of both art and science and not much relevance is given to the ‘art’ portion of it these days.Conducting Business Analysis is a mandatory precursor and a must do exercise even before we attempt to carry out and adopt enterprise tools in workplaces.

For the benefit of some of us, the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) a much-recognized body in this field, defines Business Analysis as a ‘practice to bring in a change in an organizational context by defining the needs and recommending solutions to the stakeholders’.

Fair enough! but then in the recent years, the implementation and adoption of social media tools in organizations has brought the ‘art’ portion of business analysis to the forefront. This is not to say that logical analysis and methodological rules are no less important either.

There is much written about the logical analysis and rules of implementation.  What I attempt to write below is my natural understanding of how ‘adopting social media in workplaces’ can be taken up.From a business analysis perspective and to bring in a positive productive change and intended benefits there are three approaches to adopting social media in workplaces. They are:-

  1. The all at once together approach.
  2. Phased approach.
  3. The bottoms up approach.

There are myriad tools which run inside workplaces and not all of them have the connecting power nor the acceptance among employees, as social media tools. Once they are implemented, they become a way of life inside the organization subject to their usage and popularity among the employees. Its usage builds social capital.Having said this, there are ample opportunities for people in the HR function. 

People who work as HR Generalists, HR business analysts and OD (Organizational development) consultants can intervene and learn from these exercises. Even to the extent that they can glean for information and conduct the organizational scan, which they do regularly as part of their jobs for measuring employee satisfaction levels.

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Garbage in garbage out, can social media in the workplace change that?

garbage in garbage out; social media in the workplace

Garbage in garbage out (GIGO) is a popular computing jargon used in enterprise computing and IT applications in large corporations across the world. Social media in the workplace has the influence to change all that with the introduction of Web 3.0.

Computer applications are designed by logical processes for transaction entry. If there is a poor data entry and the data is nonsensical, the output would also be poor and non-sensical.  Such poor and flawed data have huge implications. People believe what they see on the computers and they rely on the data for decision making.

Owing to the speed, urgency and not much care taken during the data entry in large organizations, such garbage in, garbage out is a common phenomenon. Well, social media in the workplace is set to change all of that. A more recent statement ‘Garbage in, gospel out’ might be a reality in the future.

The introduction of Web 3.0

Web 2.0 enabled us to make connections, create content and share it with our friends. It allowed us to interact with each other through multiple devices. Now with Web 3.0, the internet has become much smarter. We now call it the intelligent internet. It allows us to not just publish content on the internet in a democratized way but also mine data to suit the user’s requirements. Social media in the workplace with Web 3.0 might know the user’s preferences, analyze the meaning, and serve only pages and data which is highly relevant to the users.

You can also read out blog post article on “The global brain and graph theory”.

This affects the way, employees will create and use knowledge. Knowledge and data become more precious and they will be mined democratically where needed and when needed. Social media in the workplace will be more context dependent and context based. There will be smart interconnections among colleagues. People will start realizing the benefits and make an effort to enter the right and relevant information for future use.

Even in the consumer space, there are a number of social media tools in use. We see vandalized information all the time on some social media sites. Even the most popular ones are not left out.

Keeping this mind, the future models of social media sites with Web 3.0 would bring in more contextual information in the likes of ‘Siri’ and ‘Google’ says Cormac Reynolds from the Online marketer, a London-based digital marketing firm. You can find his website here.

‘Siri’ is a computer program for the IOS, macOS and tvOS operating systems from Apple Inc.  What appears to be the future, ‘Siri’  works as a digital personal assistant and makes recommendations and requests to other web services. Interesting !

Within large organizations, the introduction of Web 3.0 will change the ‘garbage in garbage out’ phenomenon. Knowledge generation and usage will be more dynamic, relevant and competitive within the organization. The organization becomes a ‘truly learning organization’. Learners will accelerate.

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Does the internet make you smarter? Can Social media too?

Does the internet make you smarter?

Does the Internet make you smarter? to be honest, is a popular search term on Google shared by millions of people around the globe. Going by the  Search engines parlance, this is a long keyword and the search trend for this keyword is rising.

After all, all of us, if not some of us have spent half of our lives surfing on the internet. My 8-year-old daughter is no newcomer either to the internet. Just like other eight-year-olds on this planet, she spends about 3-4 hours a week watching Youtube and playing games on the internet. Well, I decided to gather some information.

Does the Internet make you smarter? the straight answer is, Yes.

Logging on could spark a little bit of genius in all of us.  When you bounce your thoughts and share your knowledge with others, there is every chance that new ideas can come into this world.

Thinking is not solo anymore

But there still exists some contradictions on this subject around the world. Probably in the past, thinking alone and gazing at the stars would result in a sudden epiphany of sorts, a flash, a spark or a light bulb moment. Well, that was the past. A popular belief that emerged partly from passed on stories and life histories of some of the inventors.

Increasingly, there is research pointing out that new ideas and innovations do not stem from a single moment of euphoric thought but from bouncing and successive iteration of ideas over a period of time.

It all starts with a slow hunch says Steven Johnson, the author of the best-selling book  “Where do good ideas com from”, you can find his TED talk show here. And still Clive Thomson, the author of the popular book  “Smarter than you think” is very optimistic on the use of social media. A good review on the book can be found here from Newyork Times.

You can also read our blog post:  The age of social media: Our participation makes it a way of life

The current trend of using social media for mere trivia and gossip would change. Instead, people would find interesting and creative ways to spend their time on the internet. This includes thinking differently and solving new problems by sharing and bouncing ideas with each other.

There is nothing to fear from Facebook and Twitter.

Associate trails of the web is analogous to the human brain

Tim Berners-Lee created the internet architecture. The simplicity and the beauty of the Web lie in its interconnected hypertext Webpages. The web pages are connected through a primary channel called the link.

Lee, however, drew some of his ideas for the web from the Memex. The Memex was an information storage system that was first described by the inventor, Vannevar Bush. The system works analogously to how the human brain works.

Just as how the human brain indexes new ideas and information through associative memory for later use,  the internet system connects information web pages through certain cues (Hypertext links) thereby creating associative trails for ease of access and for later use. This brings us to understand a bit on how ideas pop up in our brain.

The human brain network is as complex as the internet

As Steve Johnson talks about it in his book, any idea that pops out of our consciousness is a work of millions of neurons in our brain all firing in sync with each other to produce an idea.

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Social media in the workplace: Intel, a case study in a nutshell

Intel social media check list

Intel is the world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturing company. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, Intel is a global company with its employees spread all over the world.  All the employees work together to make Intel, the world’s largest and a highly valued silicon chip maker company. Intel, the name stands for Integrated Electronics.

True to its name, the company has a commendable and highly integrated social media computing infrastructure and tools for use for its employees. It does not stop just at that, the important thing is social media collaboration is quite successful here.

In fact, Intel is one of the early adopters of social media which is extensively used by its employees successfully in all the functional domains of the company. From recruiting, talent management to product engineering, social media collaboration at Intel has set benchmark standards in business performance and scores high in employee satisfaction rankings.

Intel is a trailblazer in this sphere and is all set to make effective use of social media in the future.

An example business challenge at Intel

Before I jump to write about a social media collaboration example at Intel or rather a specific challenge faced by Intel Engineers, I would like to thank the authors of the book “Social media at work” who have done extensive studies and interviewing executives at world-class organizations.

The author’s study, research, and findings have culminated in writing this book.

I have referenced content from this book to write about best practices in social media usage at Intel. The book is available at Amazon. It can be found here at this link.

At Intel, solving engineering problems has been a regular challenge. The engineers use the ‘follow the sun’ model. Through this model, work gets passed on from one geographical region to another and work happens 24 hours a day.

The real challenge is the absence of asynchronous communication. An instant two-way communication which can help the engineers was missing.

This communication bottleneck had to be sorted out and they introduced social computing tools like ‘Wiki’s’ and Forum for social media collaboration. This facilitated the engineers to capture their ideas, talk in real time, record backlog history, build trust with each other and above all collaborate without hindrance.

Productivity misconceptions

Intel did have its scary moments. For example, bosses do ask their employees “When would you finish your real job?” The mixed opinion is that social media usage does hurt productivity.

Intel learned it the hard way. To face such issues, Intel integrated business problems with social media collaboration and developed a proof of concept. Social media collaboration had to be built into its core processes.

Please do read our blog post on how  Corporate social network can be made successful.

Best practices for social media collaboration at Intel

Over the years, Intel, after many rigorous exercises and lessons learned, had compiled some of its best practices for implementing and using social media collaboration in workplaces. Please find them below.

The below best practices from Intel have been referenced from the book “Social media at work”.  My sincere thanks to Arthur Jue, Jackie Alcade Marr, Mary Ellen Kassotakis, the authors of the book.

  1. It is best to implement social media tools over integrated business processes. Standalone processes need to be integrated with the rest of the core processes. It would be futile and social media usage may be not be accepted well among users, prior to this integration.
  2. The consumer use of social media is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Employees are bound to bring in outside practices, inside the organization. Open source technology is freely available.There is every chance that employees will drive the IT function for implementing social media in workplaces. We have seen it already happening. There is a need for the democratizing the usage of social media.
  3. IT departments need to be quick to recognize changes in the social media usage otherwise they are bound to face more work in the future.
  4. Allow innovation to occur in a more natural way. Grass roots development need to take place. For mass adoption, “Executive buy-in” is necessary.
  5. It is good to allow employees to have their own blogs. Blogs give employees a voice and a means of contributing their knowledge, experience, and perspectives.
  6. To get work done from the grass roots level, it is good to integrate social media into the existing business processes of the company.
  7. It is good not to force anybody in the company to adopt social media usage. Social media usage needs to be encouraged only as a good option.

Finally, the important one – Social media should be easy to use

8. The important thing is to focus on the ‘Simplicity of the tool’. The simpler the tool, the easier it is to use it. It is good to involve all representative users for a user acceptance testing. It is good to take their feedback and make relevant changes.

Intel always sees social media usage as big contributor and a key enabler of business performance. As a company, Intel is committed to integrating social media into its key processes which make the greatest impact.

Cheers.

The pros and cons of social networking in a modern world

pros and cons of social networking

Social networking as we all know is the use of applications and websites to communicate with many other users or to find people with similar interests to one’s own. Social Networking is on a developing pace more than ever.

It is quite remarkable to think about it and how to use to target and make contact with potential clients over the world. A significant portion of the general population on the planet totally depend on the web where they make a living with the assistance of web-based social media.

The merits of Social Networking in Our Society

Just a few of years back, individuals have a tendency to convey utilizing wired contraptions, for example, phones or ham radios. Today, the web has reshaped our reality beyond our imaginations. Individuals now make use of desktop or smartphones only for work additionally for communication and fun too.

Some part of the perpetually growing popularity of the internet as another method for communication is the approach of long-range social networking sites. These are restrictive sites that can be utilized by everyday citizens to post individual profiles, pictures, recordings, music and messages. Clients of social networking websites can welcome other “companions” to join their system to have the capacity to view and share individual data with each other.

There are a few social networking destinations today, among the popular ones are Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Most people from these websites are young people who simply cherish the organization of companions and other individuals. Nonetheless, did you know how critical Social Networking sites are?

  1. When looking for a job

A few organizations in the US and Europe are exploiting social networking websites to get talented workers. Then again, work candidates make proper use of these sites to post their resume and certifications. It’s an incredible device one can use keeping in mind the end goal to make a decent impression to an organization.

  1. Closer to family and friends

By keeping up a profile on these websites, your friends and relatives don’t need to call you all the time. One can exploit posting messages, pictures and personal recordings of themselves for their friends and family to see again and again. It’s shabby, quick and constant innovation accessible to everybody.

  1. Crisis

Have you known about a few a great many people saved using social networking websites? Twitter has been an extraordinary apparatus for some to hand-off messages to a large number of concerned residents in a snap in times of catastrophe and natural disasters. Individuals who look for gathering pledges and gift can utilize Facebook or MySpace destinations to call unto liberal people.

 

Many individuals consider these destinations as a work of the fallen angel. It could be. In any case, one must understand that anything can turn out to be great or awful relying upon the individual’s expectations. Social Networking destinations have molded our reality in any case, and it will end up being an essential device if it’s utilized for useful purposes.

The Pros and Cons of Social Networking

Social Networking has turned out to be progressively well-known these days as there are a lot of destinations that offer this administration. MySpace and Friendster are the most widely known websites that plan to construct groups of individuals who share regular interests and exercises, or who are keen on investigating the premiums and exercises of others.

THE PROS

A long range interpersonal communication site resembles a virtual meeting place where individuals can hang out and talk about various subjects. Anything under the sun, truth be told. Some utilization these systems administration destinations to advance their web journals, to post releases and refreshes or to utilize them as an extension to a future love intrigue.

These are only a couple of the reasons why social networking is getting a considerable measure of consideration of late – it makes life additionally energizing for some individuals.

THE CONS

Nonetheless, it is best to ensure that well-being and security are the top priorities of the social networking site that you as of now make use of. Twitter is on account of the social networks sites require or give you the alternative to giving personal data, for example, your name, area, and email address. Unfortunately, a few people can accept this as an open door for data fraud or as we all know, identity fraud. They can duplicate your data and put on a show to be “you” when participating in illicit exercises. So be careful of what you enter on a social media website.

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The crowd effect: when crowds have a mind of their own even in social media

Crowd effect

Crowd effect happens all the time. Sometimes they are so mundane that we hardly take notice. Yes, we hardly take notice that there is a lot to learn from a humble fish. The fish under the spotlight is the Golden Shiner. For starters, making an effort to be selfless is one.

Crowd effect is a special state of fascination, where the ‘hypnotized individual falls into the hands of the hypnotizer’.

I borrowed the above line from the book titled “The crowd: the study of the popular mind” written by the French author Gustave le Bon, published in 1895.  Gustave le Bon was a French polymath and a gifted doctor.  He worked in diverse fields such as Sociology, Psychology, and Physics.

Computer technology never existed then nor was there any social media during his time.  But then, his study on the Psychology and Sociology of crowds led to the book. He is considered one of the pioneers in that area.  You can find the book here on Project Gutenberg.

His works on understanding crowds and their behavior ring so true in today’s social media usage. Understanding human nature is important. It has a considerable influence on individual and the crowds, social institutions, religion, education, work execution, office rumors, industry unions, trade associations,  fanaticism, celebrations, social mobilizations and much more.

The fact is Technology is secondary and it is an enabler.  Understanding human nature is primary within the context of social media and the crowd effect.

Perfectly sane individuals behave so differently in the midst of a crowd. They are swayed by the opinions and feelings of the crowd. Isn’t it.

We have seen it happening to ourselves. How many times have we stopped and looked at a construction site or a random event that happens on a busy road? We have stopped because we have seen other onlookers standing by on the roadside. They are puzzled, just as you are and they are eager to know what is the hustle all about. Being curious, huh?

 A busy construction site
A busy construction site

If you are looking at the above construction site picture and forming an opinion, then there are chances that hundreds of other people are also watching the same page, this very moment and forming opinions just as you.

Thoughts collide.

It is pretty much in the same way as how we behave and interact on the internet. It is one massive crowd (3.7 billion active users, at any given time, to be precise).  All of them swayed and influenced by each other’s opinions, thoughts, and feelings.

Crowd effect and the group mind theory

There are many theories surrounding this crowd behavior and the crowd effect. One such popular theory is the group mind theory.  The theory states that individuals are motivated by each other. Even though they (individuals) exist apart, they act as one group.

Individual thoughts and feelings are stimulated by each other’s thoughts and feelings.  The understanding is that when there is a common cause in a group, individual minds in that group co-operate towards that cause.

The group mind is not the sum of all the individual minds. In fact, the ‘crowd has a mind of its own’ distinct from the individual minds that constitute it.

Crowd effect: Answers from the animal world

There are numerous examples of such behavior in the animal world. Fish, bees, and ants are all good examples.

Iain couzin from Princeton University has spent a considerable part of his life studying animal behavior in swarms and flocks. His particular interest fell on a very tiny bland fish called the Golden Shiner.  The Golden Shiners swim in shoals and they prefer to swim in the shadier parts of the ocean which are darker than usual.

Both, the lab experiments as well as studying their (Golden Shiners) behavior in their natural environment and habitats, have shown remarkable patterns of intelligent crowd behavior and crowd effect.

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