In this digital, data-driven age, we’ve seen technology radically change the landscape of work. In particular, social media has had a big impact on the way people work and the results achieved throughout careers.
Social networking and information sharing sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram have changed the way businesses can find and interact with their current or potential customers. Companies can also source, interview and recruit talent in a new way, while job hunters can utilise the sites to build their personal brand.
Social media has even affected the way governments disperse information and get feedback from constituents. Graduates completing a degree in Public Administration and Policy, for example, can now work closely with the public and have the chance to see substantial social and governmental change happen quickly through social media.
As a result, it’s important not just to use some or all of these game-changing sites, but also to keep up to date with how best to utilize them in your current job and throughout your career. Read on for some of the biggest ways that social media might affect your working life.
1. Changing the Way Business Is Done
Social media has definitely changed the ways that businesses and employees go about day to day work. Social networking sites have introduced new ways to conduct research, market to customers, establish a brand, interact with clients, launch new products, receive customer feedback, and more. A company’s market value can even be affected by how many Twitter followers it has, or a contractor’s rate influenced by the number of Facebook shares their posts receive.
Now, rather than having to spend thousands or even millions of dollars on expensive ad campaigns, businesses can target specific customer groups or voter groups for a fraction of the cost. It’s also much easier for marketers to test different sales messages and adjust marketing documentation mid campaign.
2. Utilizing Fans
Similarly, social-media savvy companies or campaigns can easily find out who their most loyal customers are, and leverage their passion. Brand ambassadors like this can give honest feedback into product development and design ideas, as well as opinions on newly launched products and services.
Not only does this involvement help businesses to develop better, more targeted products or services for their ideal customer, but it also has a big impact on word of mouth brand awareness and sales. In this day and age, a company’s “raving fans” can spread the word about the business much more quickly and effectively than intrusive advertising ever can.
3. Employee Interaction
Apart from the massive impact on marketing and sales in particular, social media has also changed the way workers interact with each other. Social networking sites facilitate collaboration, no matter where team members may be located. Staff and contractors in offices around the globe can now communicate in real time to brainstorm and discuss ideas, finalise designs, share industry trends, and much more.
4. Finding a New Job
Social media has also had a huge impact on the recruitment process. Hiring managers now take advantage of the large amounts of information posted on social networking sites to locate and evaluate talent. In fact, according to the 2014 edition of the Jobvite annual Social Recruiting Survey, 93 percent of recruiters intend to review a job applicant’s social profile before making a hiring decision.
Sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are examined to understand a person’s personal brand, their beliefs, work ethic, connections and presentation. This is therefore a very important factor for job seekers to take into consideration — not just when searching for a new role, but before any new information or comments are posted publicly online.
After all, even though you might have forgotten about a drunken photo posted on Facebook two years ago, the Internet hasn’t!
5. Changing Policy
With the invention of social media, governments have also had to change the way they run. Now, the immediacy of information means that public sector decisions, projects or screw-ups are widely known by the general public within a very short space of time. Citizens can collectively have their say on matters, as well as contribute ideas and feedback to help cities and countries run more effectively. This keeps government organizations transparent, and drives them to increase efficiency.
Citizens can now even help to solve public problems or implement change. Third-party web developers (whether citizens, private sector companies, or government groups) can tap into public data in order to create useful applications. In San Francisco, for example, locals and tourists can utilize mobile apps such as AnyStop or Routesy to find out when the next train or bus arrives at a particular stop.
You might be new to social networking sites, or you might have been using them for years. No matter which end of the scale you’re at, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in social media if you want to further your career.