Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

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Does Social Media Help or Hurt Minority Groups?

March 3, 2011

Social media can be both a positive and negative for any user. This is no different for diverse groups who can both benefit and be hurt by social media.  Do you think social media benefits diverse minority groups or hurts them?

Here are the positive and negatives I see.

Positives

  • Social media can bring together people from all walks of life that would have never connected otherwise. As social media is evolving it is becoming more niche oriented.  So, diverse groups can use their niche to let them connect with exactly who they want to.
  • Once these diverse groups have connected they can then discuss the issues they are encountering via social media. This gives the group chances to bounce ideas off their peers and come up with solutions to problems.
  • The last advantage is a single individual belonging to a diverse group may be the only member of their group in that area. This can leave the individual very feeling isolated and thinking they don’t fit in. With social media they can find comfort and safety with people like them.

Negatives

  • Social Media for the most part is an open forum. So, just because diverse groups, for example homosexuals, are connecting via a facebook page doesn’t mean someone with hate for homosexuals can’t write hate speech all over the advocacy page.
  • There are also groups that come together over social media who create their own pages with the sole purpose of spreading hate for groups they do not like. These people sometimes are even more blatant in their hate when using the social media platform because they can hide behind the screen and feel protected that way.
  • Lastly, just like one of the advantages diverse groups have are they connect with people in their niche worldwide so can hate advocates. Since the internet is such a global thing today it makes it a lot easier for hate groups to spread their message and reach a large number of people.

Are there any other positives you see as social media users?

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Twitter as a Corporate Tool

February 10, 2011

Twitter page for Southwest Airline

As future social media professionals our goal is to find ways to improve our companies via the various social media platforms. Southwest Airlines, who is known by its consumers for its excellent customer service is using twitter to continue to expand and improve this service.  Jennifer Laycock describes in her article entitled, “Great Examples of Corporate Twitter Use”, the different ways this company is using twitter and social media in general to improve and maintain customer relations.

In our capitalist society where companies try to make as much profit as they can, I think most of us would expect when interacting with a corporation via social media, to be bombarded by endless advertisements. Southwest on the other hand chooses to use social media to build its relations with consumers instead of trying to merely build consumers.  On Southwest’s twitter page every post is either a mention of some sort of community event they are sponsoring, or a direct response to anyone who mentions Southwest in their tweet, good or bad. I think it is very refreshing to see a company, especially one that prides itself on service, take this route to using twitter.

Another very cool and innovative way Southwest connects with their customers is by their corporate blog. Southwest is known as having one of the most engaging blogs of any corporation and uses it to directly have conversations with their core customers. They are in fact so dedicated to this that they will at times take their new business ideas to the blog and let customers comment on them before implementing them. I think this is social media at its finest. Businesses have always wanted feedback from customers, but where social media comes in is finding new and creative ways to get this information from customers. Businesses in today’s world need to find these ways to interact with customers to remain successful.

We as future social media professionals need to remember social media, in a corporate sense, is not always about increasing profits but a lot of the time is about improving the brand’s image. Are there any companies you see using this tactic or ones you think could benefit from this tactic?

Check out this video for more do’s and don’ts for corporate twitter!