On Social Media

As we all know and hope for, in less than a year we, the seniors, will be graduating (hurrah!). But aside from all the stress that we get from the academic requirements that we have to accomplish, one of the biggest challenges this year is preparing for our graduation picture. Even if we have to endure sleepless nights due to studying doesn’t mean we also have to look like zombies. Who would want to look like that and have that particular picture published in the Aninag (UP yearbook) for eternity?

Sad to say, I’ve only invested a little effort in this graduation picture business. Although I already decided that I’ll probably be cosplaying some famous character from a book for the creative shot, the only thing I’ve really invested in are beauty soaps.

So where does Social Media come in?

“Social media is media that is created by the people. It is a treasure chest of information that is accessible to anyone who wishes to explore it. It is an extension of people’s lives. It is a place where people talk, inquire, share opinions and influence content. It is where we can build or destroy our reputation and image. It is our perspective of the world.” – Organizational Communication 152, a.m. class

Well, I know that preparing for the grad pic takes a lot of time and effort, especially skin care. So last semester, I was already browsing for an effective soap to make my skin a little bit fairer. Since I’m not an experienced buyer, I consulted forums and blogs before I decided on a brand.

Since social media is created by people, or in my case, other consumers, others (me) trust its content. In one of the forums that I’ve read, people were discussing soap x. From the discussion, I found out that soap x was too strong for those who have sensitive skin so people from the forum advised that people with highly sensitive skin should consider buying a different brand. Other consumers who’ve read this forum actually believe this and were posting “thank you” messages to those who shared the information.

And it’s not just when I was browsing for a whitening soap. Lately, I’ve also been reading different netbook reviews to help me decide which netbook to buy. For gadgets, I usually go Yugatech, a techie blog, and read about the products I’m interested in. Gadgets are really expensive so you have to know from other users if the product is really of high quality or not. Because of social media, I was able to know which products are good and worth buying.

Social media is a lot more than what I’ve written here. This was just a personal experience and insight about is. It is not limited to influencing us in our decision making, just like what happened to me. It can be an avenue for co-creation, where everyone can contribute information. It can be a venue for conversation, where anyone can talk about anything under the sun. And it can also be a path openness, community, and connectivity, where people can interact with others to share similar experiences and common interests. Anyone can do more with social media. We just have to maximize the resources that it gives us.

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8 thoughts on “On Social Media

  1. I believe social media plays an important role in our lives today. Forums, discussion boards, and chat boxes are archive responses so that ‘newbies’ will be able to trace the development of the discussion regarding a certain product, event, etc.

  2. I think that social media has gone a long way and has influenced our lives in a thousand different ways. Like you, I also browse the net to compare prices and features of some stuff that I like want to purchase. I guess most people do that anyway 🙂

    Having said that, I think that social media makes businesses more competitive. With just one click, consumers can compare products or services of competing businesses and then decide which one should they patronize. So they really have to put much effort in making their products stand out from other competitors.

  3. NSM makes us omniscient in a sense. Because of the rapid access to information it offers us, we are able to be more efficient and wiser consumers, not just of products sold or promoted online, but even of information itself. However, we should also be more careful. Not all posts online can be realible and credible. When people puts power in their hands, they can do everything, even to fool others just to make money. Now, here’s the underlying question, where should we put the line of truth in new social media?

    😀

  4. What better way of knowing a product than from consumers themselves. Yes, all kinds of advertising, no matter how you put it, is biased. See? New Social Media. No lies.You get the real score.

    Not to be rude by intruding on women’s secrets, but although this is cliche, beauty is only skin deep. Case in point, 007’s girl in the movie Quantum of Solace was tan, yet still, a beautiful woman.

  5. Holy chimichanga Diane! Thank you for letting the fact that we are seniors sink in! We’re all so stressed out with the piles of school work to do, I’m forgetting that I (should be) am graduating at the end of this school year. Anyway, the social media has empowered consumers and enabled them to become opinion leaders in their own right. However, there was a mention “online collectivism” in our Wikinomics reading. I believe it’s a limitation of the social media. Internet users tend to simply join the bandwagon, the popular opinion, the trend, that they tend to overlook some opinions worth taking note of. So I guess that brings us back to the principle of critical openness. O:)

  6. You spoke of maximizing the resources of social media. But before you do, shouldn’t you have maximized your people resources – us, your classmates. Surely you are aware that along with the benefits of social media, particularly the forums you visited, there will be biased posts from people who are simply marketing their own products or are paid to market the products, therefore faking a credibility. I won’t claim to have really good skin since I just came out of a harsh pimple week, but I suggest you take a look at my Tumblr, you’ll see reviews of skin care products which I’ve used complete with photos of before and after. 🙂 Tags: etude house, make-up . I swear, I wasn’t paid by anybody to advertise this.

  7. The help NSM provides indeed is very helpful for us consumers. We get to conduct our little researches before buying a certain product. And i think this also creates bigger competition for the companies producing these brands. They have this challenge of managing or responding appropriately to how they are being portrayed online to be able to convince consumers that they should stick to their product and not turn to other companies’ offers that are just a few clicks away.

  8. Hi Diane! May brands realize that we actually do this, that we consult one another online about what product to buy and what service to hire. This is the new dynamics of influence.

    Given all the tools the social media offers, consumers now hold the power to ask questions, give opinions, and to a large extent, influence one another on the choices we make. Now what do companies have to do? Ultimately, they have to know where exactly people gather and talk online and where conversations that concern their products happen. Likewise, they need to consider: Whose voices are loudest online? Who are emanating much influence? They can then get into the picture by conversing with the identified opinion leaders as well as the online communities that persistently talk about their brands (be it in a positive way or a negative one).

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