Reflection About the Power of Social Media
My name is LM, and I work in a retail company. Currently, I am undertaking an MBA in Entrepreneurship. As one of the demands of the modern work environment is competence in social media, I took an online course, titled “The Power of Social Media.” The training was issued by University of Southampton at its website. The first session of this course commenced on 21st November, 2016 while the second one began on 28th November, 2016.Various professors from University of Southampton administered the online course. The website contained videos for instructing the trainees on different aspects of the social media.
The course lasted for two weeks. My role involved downloading the materials from the university’s website, including the videos. I read, watched, listened to the materials, and completed exercises at the end of each session. I learned that the social media continued to play critical role in enhancing connectivity at the workplace. Consequently, it continues evolving. The course challenged me to think about the ways various companies would build their networks without social media. The media does not only assist companies in connecting internally and externally, but also enables them to perform digital marketing, for instance through Twitter’s Periscope. The core objective of the training was to give me the competence in the capabilities of the social media, its evolution, and challenges of its use in organizations. Week one was an introduction to the social networks while week two taught about the professional uses of the social media. Whereas organizations and individuals use the social media for marketing, responding to crises, and building professional profiles, I realized that it is tricky to measure the success of such activities.
My previous understanding of the social media usage was that it was used for building networks with friends. I did not understand the clear ways in which organizations use the social media for purposes such as marketing and responding to crises. Moreover, I lacked the appreciation of the challenges that businesses face while fulfilling their various needs through the media. However, I learned that despite performing their functions on social media, companies also utilize the data they get from the various platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc to make significant decisions. I gained a fresh perspective on the relevance of the social media and understood why many enterprises have turned to social media to market their products. The course turned me into a better user of Facebook and other networks for personal and organizational benefits.
Analysis of Learning
The course’s introduction taught me that the social media have been present during the last decade. However, many people do not understand the social media and its right usage (Millard & Harris 2016). A lot of information about the various networks focuses on the negative sides, for example, people losing their jobs, improper behavior, and trolling (Millard & Harris 2016). The authors’ video explained that little information on the positive professional utilization of the social media is available. Therefore, the real focus of the course was to appreciate the ways people and organizations use the social media (Millard & Harris 2016).
In addition, I learned about the evolution of the social media. According to Professor Dame Wendy Hall’s video interview, the development of Twitter has created a video function, called Periscope. The users of Twitter and Facebook can broadcast live functions and perform digital marketing using it (Hall 2016). Hall’s material also emphasized that there were numerous reasons for Twitter and other platforms surviving for the next several years, especially because of their continuous innovations that benefit their customers.
Furthermore, I discovered the link between network thinking and web science. Data mining is an example of a powerful analysis that people can conduct through web science. Although it threatens our privacy, it has its vital benefits. For instance, unwanted people can access confidential health data, but the advantage is that it promotes transparency on the basis of the ways the government uses such records (Shadbolt & Hall 2016). Promoting sales (marketing) and developing professional abilities are the main powerful capabilities of the social networks. Companies improve their understanding of their clientele and the ways they relate with the brands (Futurelearn 2016). The social media have empowered businesses to track their communities at a great speed. The firms also know the most influential members of the networks who become their main targets when they propagate marketing information (Futurelearn 2016). Consequently, the course gave me new knowledge that is different from the common negative sentiments about social media.
Application in Context
My interest in computer technology and its application in networking are related to the online course about the strength of the social media. I learned in class that computers have internet connectivity that allows people to communicate fast. The knowledge from the course demonstrates one of the major areas of the connectivity application. It is evident that the computer technology through the social media development created a global online community which shares important information, e.g. marketing data. My career entails applying the Internet in different business functions. For instance, the course showed how executives market their products on social media. It has also emphasized the essence of the data on the social media to businesses. Using the social media in business is an endeavor to introduce e-commerce into the organization, and it is an idea that is apparent in my career. Consequently, the ideas that I have studied during the program will assist my career in the future.
I learned that companies can stream and analyze data on the ways their audiences respond to their goods and services. The businesses can also study the networks to identify the most influential members, for example, among the number of followers. Such people have a lot of influence on the other system users, and targeting them during social media advertisement is a strategic way of persuading many people (Futurelearn 2016). My initial perspective lacked the knowledge of how to utilize the statistics on social media. Nevertheless, I have gained a deeper understanding of the ways I can apply the social media to improve the marketing of my organization’s products.
Reconstruction of Self-Concept
I plan to apply the social media in the retail company according to the information from the course. The ideas that the course taught challenged me to think about the possible shortcomings of my organization. I thought that the company might not have used the social media correctly because the management did not understand its strengths. Millard & Harris (2016) advise individuals and corporations to use the social media correctly in order to enjoy the benefits. Therefore, my plan is to enlighten the retail business about the proper uses of the media, so that it can become more competitive in the market.
Despite increasing social media awareness in the organization, I plan to start a blog where I will write about the advantages that people and organizations can benefit from using the social media effectively. It is necessary for me to document the information I got from the course. Also, I will utilize my skills in the web science to propagate the information to the entire society, and the blog will help me do it. My training of new entrepreneurs will also include teaching them about the values of social media.
Futurelearn 2016. What value can the data on social media provide?, viewed 2
January, 2017, <https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/social-media/2/steps/116130>.
Hall, D.W. 2016. How are the social media platforms evolving?, viewed 2 January, 2017,
Shadbolt, N., & Hall, D.W. 2016. Network thinking and web science, viewed 2 January,
Millard, D., & Harris, L. 2016. Welcome to the course, viewed 2 January, 2017,