Social media usage and business operations are now inseparable concepts. The title of digital marketing has become one of the most sought after in the business world. The utilization of the internet to create a dependency on social media apps has become a controversial debate. Some support it, while others are starting to believe that it poses a threat.
The award-winning documentary series, The Social Dilemma, discuss this topic at length. Not only that, many of the sources in this documentary are people working behind the social media companies. From there, it is clear that there are certain drawbacks to the virality of social media usage. Some examples are its effect on the length of an attention span to the lack of privacy.
If seen from the perspective of social development, the dependency on social media is terrifying. However, from the perspective of entrepreneurs and businesses, it is a great tool. According to smartinsights, almost 60% of the world’s population uses social media. On average, the time spent on social media is roughly about 2 hours and 30 minutes. That is more than one-eighth of a day’s waking time. In other words, a business may garner an estimated 4.5 million audience.
Social Media Usage in Business
Social media usage has caused a high dependency. It has become a powerful platform for advertising a product, service, or even a social cause. Today, social networking is both a communication tool and a powerful marketing tool. It gives birth to various job positions and career options that depend on social networking applications. Some examples are Instagram celebrities, digital marketers, and social media managers.
Those positions and career options are now essential tools for businesses to gain an online presence. Not only social networking applications but online market places too are also game-changing. Before them, people need physical shops to acquire goods and services. Today, with the presence of online marketplaces and the development of internet platforms, everything is becoming online. To compete with online marketplaces, social media platforms have also incorporated online shopping features.
Nonetheless, due to the easy market entry into the online platform business competition becomes fierce. Social media and online advertisements become essential to win brand awareness. To further aid businesses, websites and social media applications provide advertisement spaces for businesses. This advertisement site proves to be effective. Today, having a website and social media page is part of the basics of setting up a business.
More reads: MESO Virtual Office for Business in Indonesia
The Business Dilemma
As the dependency on online advertisement grows, social media companies also develop. The development of analytical tools further increases business dependency on online platforms. This tool compiles all of the behavioural data and social media usage on their platforms. Businesses can acquire this data and use it to plan their marketing strategies. In certain situations, online platforms can track the movements of users across websites.
For businesses, the analytical tool allows them to know their potential customers. From buying behaviour, demography, home address, their political views, to the hobbies of their potential customer. This way they will know the best time and place for their online advertisements. However, to internet users, this is a violation of privacy. The internet platforms can track their every movement on the internet. They can also save sensitive information like personal data and credit card details. Most times, these data will be put on sale for businesses to acquire.
The risk of these data falling into the wrong hands can be severe. For example, if a person decides to acquire personal data to commit a crime. Thus, to ensure user safety, several governments require online platforms to provide a consent page. This way, if the users do not consent to be tracked online, they can choose to decline. Nonetheless, some platforms require these tracking cookies to be approved for the website to work. Thus, forcing users to comply.