The social media of choice is Facebook as a massive number of its active users from almost all corners of the word exceeds 700 million people. Another reason is because there are no limiting factors like the number of characters and the ability of one to create custom pages that can reflect the service or goods that one is selling.
1. Components of a legally astute social media marketing manager who utilizes social media outlets for consumer transactions and how each component can mitigate the risk involved in doing business in cyberspace.
A social media marketer is expected to have many characteristics. Being able to possess current and relevant information is at the top of this list. A marketer, well-informed and technically aware of the market, client, product, and the overall platform in which he or she is operating, is important for any success to be achieved in social media sales and marketing. A manager must understand the agency platform and any form of vulnerability that may arise in the course of a transaction. A manager must also be up to date with the current and trending information on potential risk and how to mitigate them. A social media manager, just like all other managers, is more than called upon to be ahead of a situation before it happens. This will help him or her stay ahead of criminals and hence mitigate potential risks (Oxley, 2011).
A person must show a level of initiative that is above board. This is because if a person seeks to remain ahead, they engage in initiatives that put them ahead of any situation. Social media marketing is dynamic and therefore rules and procedure sometimes may not be sufficient; thus, discretion and creativity are highly regarded since they make relationships in cyber transactions and exchanges smooth and without external help. For a social media manager to stay in touch with the market trends and marketing relevant information, he/she must have persistent curiosity so as to be more useful and influential.
To effectively manage social media, the concept of time is very significant. Timely and astute decisions go hand in hand. This is because even a good but late decision may be irrelevant to the well-being of a company. Hence, it is recommended that decisions and actions must be timely and effective. Time puts ahead or behind a potentially crucial decision or action. This decision could be to transact or to communicate with an aggrieved party. Timely information is always considered genuine and reliable (Oxley, 2011).
d. Engaging and Risk Tolerant
Social media requires a manager whose astuteness extends to the way they engage and absorb certain levels of risks without panicking. When transactions go wrong and a client demands an explanation, involvement of a client in the explanation makes them feel part of the situation and hence catered for rather than those who keep assuring a client how they are doing their best to rectify the situation. This means that stakeholders feel valued and appreciated.
2. Methods of alternative dispute resolution and their effectiveness in resolving genuine disputes that arise with consumers who may make purchases from businesses that provide links via social media.
Apart from dispute resolution in courts of law, disputes can be resolved through mainly prevention, internal systems or through consensual online dispute resolution.
a. Internal Systems
They involve an in-built system based mechanism, for example, client refund for an overcharge, timely delivery, replacement of breakages or damages, observance of general ethical business practices, information sharing and technical assistance. Internal systems can be preventive or curative depending on how and why they are implemented.
b. Disputes Prevention
The best dispute resolution method is knowing how to prevent and the actual prevention of a dispute from occurring in the first place. Good managers are supposed to be able to spot the potential dispute and act decisively to prevent or quell the dispute. To do this, information and decisiveness are key elements to such success. Managers can study past trends or learn from other organizations that face similar market structures and devise a plan for it based on that information. Prevention of a recurrent problem is also an important task that is entrusted with a manager for any direction or position (Oxley, 2011). This is the most effective since it anticipates damage or breach before they happen thereby making it cheaper and less time-consuming. It can happen in two ways:
i. Respect of third party terms of service
Different companies have different terms of service and engagement. Most disputes arise out of misrepresentation and breach of contractual terms of engagement. Any media representative must adhere to these customer specific rules and modalities of exchange. Adherence to third party terms and conditions reduces the potential for actions that may violate principles that a firm subscribes to and may require an arbitrator. This acts as a preventive measure rather than a curative one in dispute resolution.
ii. Privacy respect
It is one of the methods with the help of which disputes can be prevented. Information is shared extensively through social media. Criminals and other unauthorized persons are lured by the amount of information that is accessible through social media. Because of this, social media outlets, especially those that engage in online transactions and those that collect personalized information, must adhere to strict privacy policies so that information does not get in the wrong hands. Personalized information must be protected at all costs.
c. Consensual online dispute resolution
One major dispute resolution method that is currently being used in the social media today is the consensual online dispute resolution. This method is well presented by Cortes (2010), and it employs an exchange forum between the parties involved and a method of compensation or responsibility taking agreed upon without stigmatization or exploitation. There are currently forums where this can be done in a moderated setting such that all parties can achieve an amicable conclusion of the matter. There are set rules and legislative frameworks that can be employed either at this level or in the arbitration courts. Although this method uses a legal premise, there is little or no interference whatsoever to the affairs of the other parties.
3. Ways in which the federal government can best control online transactions.
Online transactions are the most vulnerable transactions. This is based on their virtual existence and potential of exposure of other related financial information. For example, if a client wants to shop for software, they visit the vendor online and give details of the mode of payment. A software company may be using a third part to get the money. According to Nelson and Simek (2011), if this is so, all the parties have exposed themselves to a potential target. Other monies that are not a party to this transaction are exposed. This means one transaction may be made so that it triggers many transactions and the criminal targets the vulnerable ones. The federal government has jurisdiction throughout the country and also commands respect and mutual understanding with other countries. Transactions can trespass boundaries and therefore, the need for federal government involvement. They can do so by:
i. Sponsoring and setting legislative framework
The federal government through its machinery has the obligation of conducting research and gathering information that is needed for such subjects. After doing so, they can sponsor bills and other legislative decrees that can make operations smooth and less risky. This can be done by other organizations, but the overall cost of each firm conducting such research may be wasteful yet it can do this with ease. Issuance of presidential decrees on how firms and individuals ought to conduct themselves is also very helpful. These legislative measures are based on rules of procedure and possible penalties for failure to adhere to them. This provides deterrence to criminality (Nelson & Simek, 2011).
ii. Education and training to the stakeholders
The government may educate the public on better and most secure methods and ways of conducting business online especially through social media. Through education, a customer is able to be vigilant about the methods that they are presented with by a seller. In addition, the seller is advised on the payment modes that adhere to the set codes. Such information can only be gathered by authorities while they punish those who are in contravention of the law including recalling trade licenses. The federal government is best placed to do these things.
iii. Providing a monitored payment clearance system
They can also provide a single point clearance system especially for offshore transaction to minimize the risk of interception of the transaction, although this might prove a little cumbersome.
4. Branches of government and their effectiveness in regulating consumer transactions via social media outlets.
This branch provides the rules of engagement and procedures together with penalties and authorities tasked with the law. This involves the assembly and congress mainly. Laws are needed to govern online transaction, which emerges each day. Bills are sponsored to address upcoming trends and options
The arm of government that is in charge of implementation of policies, safeguard of the law and order, and also provides service to citizens. The biggest branch of this arm is the civil service. It harbors the department of homeland security, transport among others.
The courts, the tribunals, and the commissions make up the judiciary. Their work is to interpret, inquire and arbitrate according to the law where the need arises. They depend on the legislature for guidance.
Because of the subject having little practical experience and its dynamism, legislative guidance is highly needed. Emerging trends in the business are new and cannot be arbitrated without a clear legislative guidance. The legislature is required to provide how information can be shared without compromising the privacy of the person or business and without becoming vulnerable. The other arms of government simply draw from whatever frameworks that are relayed by the legislature and not the other way round.
5. The agency relationship that exists between the social media Facebook and businesses that utilize it for advertising.
To conduct a business online, a number of parties are involved. An owner of goods or service, a social media network, for example, Facebook, and an agency that collects funds for the seller are the core players. There are other parties that may be involved in the deal, for instance, the bank and the transport of shipping agency. According to Boden (2009), the agency relationship must be based on mutual gains between the two. Social media get more hits and a business gets clients. The key relationship between the two is marketing strategy for both firms. The other one is operational strategy, where both firms enter into the relationship to make their operation easier. Mutual gains of both a platform for advertisement and information sharing with potential and actual customers determine this relationship and its potential strengthening. Social media is responsible for handling all communication between the client and the seller before the client is provided the contacts of the seller.