Amplification: The Evolution of ICTs

(IMAGE: COURTESY OF PIXABAY.COM)

(IMAGE: COURTESY OF PIXABAY.COM)

It’s pretty remarkable, especially considering the rapidity of it all, just how sophisticated our technology has become. It is estimated that, nowadays, a week’s worth of the New York Times contains more information than the average person would have stumbled upon in all of his or her life in the eighteenth century. Surely it comes as no surprise that the accelerating innovation of ICTs is responsible for such progress. (Jungwirth, 1)

It wasn't always this way, however. In the context of our contemporary information age, we were borderline blind once. So what exactly was it that inspired such radical growth? What was the facilitating force of the frameworks necessary for them to become what they are?

If you note all of the most successful technology today (smartphones, personal computers, iPods, et cetera), you can find an interesting commonality: they all build upon the momentum of technology successful in the past. Amplification is the societal theme here that we should be mindful of. The basic premise is that new technology is amplified in its use in relation to its older counterpart. Instead of technological progress being revolutionary – something novel is seemingly suddenly released – it is evolutionary, instead building upon what’s worked in the past.

ICTs foster an advanced ability to manipulate and communicate information, so let us understand how this ability evolved. By far the most innovatory, mind-blowing technology ever invented (in spite of its comical primitivism by today’s standard) was the telegram. This is as simple as telecommunication gets: one sender, one receiver; point-to-point communication.

Amplifying this, the next trend elaborated on this principle of point-to-point for a more effective agent: the telephone. Instead of deciphering dots and dashes, one could now verbally communicate. The next major innovation challenged the idea of point-to-point, augmenting the receiving end: broadcasting. The radio, still having one sending signal, could now have multiple listeners tune into it. Implementing a point-to-mass system changed everything within the realms of marketing, entertainment, news, and so forth. Amplify that even further and you get television. Again, note the framework: still point-to-mass, however now executed through a more expressive medium. (Pavrin)

With the introduction of PCs and the internet, what makes ICTs so adept is that they have redefined the dynamic of sharing information. Amplify a point-to-point system, and you have a point-to-mass system. Analogous to this is the idea of a family tree: technology branches out, becoming better, more resourceful, yet still affording the functionality of its predecessors. Information is no longer a one-way street… Amplify a point-to-mass system and you achieve a mass-to-mass system: ICTs. As opposed to being a lecture, information has now become a discussion.

This is why it’s interesting to note things like 3D televisions. Notice how they aren’t as hyped as they once were? What happened to all their popularity? Were they just a fad? Perhaps. Perhaps not. However, the central reasoning is for their straying of the amplification process. Never had a framework existed for personal 3D machines. (Cass, 1) Where is the connection between old and new? There was no technological momentum to begin with, nothing to expand on. Not only did this result in relatively poor designs, but it also sought to create a market we were not ready for. (Pavrin)

What might be most inspiring, perhaps even frightening, about the idea of amplification, is its “learning curve,” the exponential nature. Its accelerated returns, if you will. We need to grasp the reality that within our students’ lifetimes, the rapidity will transcend expectation. For example, try to spot any patterns within these stats...

In reaching a market audience of fifty million, radio broadcasting took thirty-eight years to do so. Television did it in thirteen. In broadcasting alone, amplification sped up the process nearly three-fold. With the introduction of preliminary ICTs, the internet amassed fifty million users in just four years. Amplifying both telecommunication and these preliminary ICTs, the iPhone reached that same number in only three years after its launch. Instagram did it in two years. Angry Birds Space… in thirty-five days

In adopting this mass-to-mass system, one can only wonder how much further we can go. If a handheld device is now capable of doing everything its predecessors once did, what could possibly come next? What is the next game-changer? One thing is for certain: society and technology is no longer one-sided. (Pavrin) Whatever is amplified next will not only amplify the hardware and software, but also the auxiliary threats and opportunities, the issues and developments we try to be aware of now.

 

Works Cited:

Spencer Cass (January 7th, 2014). “3D TV is officially dead (For Now) and this is why it failed” IEEE Spectrum.

Vera Pavri, Understanding Cyberspace professor, interview by Dennis Bayazitov, November 13th 2015.

Bernard Jungwirth, (February, 2002). “Information Overload: Threat or Opportunity?” Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy

The Birth of an Idea

iMAGE CURTESY OF FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET

According to the OED, research isdefined as, “ The systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions” (OED.com).

Now, as a professional writing major, research is not a new concept to me. In fact, research has become part of almost every course I have taken. Research essays involving in-depth analysis of literary journals and scholarly papers on Shakespeare, George Orwell, Jane Austen and Alexander Pope (to name a few); have maintained a large role throughout my university career. This research may not seem the liveliest to most, but for me, it is whatI am accustomed to.

But as I sat in lecture on the first day of WRIT 1004 Research for Professional Writers and was told that the entire course would be based off of one, single, research assignment, (amazing how this information was unexpected given the course name), I cringed, I groaned, I experienced some anxiety, and then I had an idea, (not necessarily in that order).

Some time between the anxiety and the light bulb going off in my head, our professor explained to us what an ICT is. Now I shall do the same for you. An Information and Communications Technology, or ICT, if you may is, as defined by Wikipedia, as: stressing “the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications, computers as well as necessary, enterprise software, middleware, storage, and audio-visual systems, which enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information” (Wikipedia).

Given the definition, you can assume that a slue of ideas sped through my mind on a conveyor belt ready for the taking, right? Wrong. Back to confused and anxious I went. But then we were given two examples: travel sites and exercise-tracking jewelry. After being given some concrete examples, as well as performing some quick Google searches, I had a better idea of the topic to be researched.

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When researching an idea one must first come up with said idea, that they wish to further explore; that they can ask questions about on a grand, universal level; that they can, in the words of our professor, “Be worked on all year while hating it, and loving it at the same time” (Professor Bell). And so as someone who uses technology about as far as her iPhone, social media apps, Google, and Netflix – more so, as someone who rejects technology as simple as the common printer – my options were not endless.

Then my mind drifted, as it often did in the months of September to the present date, of my two weeks spent road tripping through California at the end of this past summer. And I recalled a certain situation that occurred in San Francisco involving Yelp.com. Now before I get into my run-in with this particular ICT, I must first tell you that I am a very picky eater, and so sites such as Yelp.com, with their highly advanced search engines, should bring nothing but warmth and butterflies to my stomach, right? Wrong again.

We had been on the road for more than 6 hours and by the time we had arrived at our “Airbnb” – an ICT website that I actually get along with – we were tired, cranky, and starving. As this was the second-last stop on our journey, and my boyfriend and I had spent the most time we had in such close quarters, may I just tell you that patience was neither of our virtues at the time. I might also tell you that no matter where we were in California, everyone we met seemed to emphasize that San Francisco had the best food and that we should have no problem finding something that would blow our taste buds out of the water. No pressure.

Given our lack of time there, we figured our quickest option would be to Yelp restaurants close by. We had become quite the “Yelpers,” this trip, although not the reviewing kind, just the kind who selfishly uses the site for their own personal ventures. Seeing as I was the picky one (his words) I took the matters of Yelping into my own hands. What was I in the mood for? Italian? Greek? Asian? American? What hadn’t I had since we left? Oh, a hot, steaming, plate of fresh pasta – no, not just any pasta, I wanted gnocchi! Yes. *Search Yelp: gnocchi with alfredo sauce *(because is there really any other way it’s worth being had?) And I was left with 10+ pages of results. Now he will deny this until his dying day, but I may be picky in what I eat, but my boyfriend is the pickiest when it comes to *where *he eats. So naturally, every review had to be read!

All in all, we spent close to 3 hours (mind you we were both exhausted, which probably had a role in this) on the site and finally found a place. So we take off and go, and we get there. Or so we think, but Yelp made a teensy tiny mistake. The location of that restaurant had since changed. Cue the fireworks, and not the good kind. Finally, we located the current whereabouts of the quaint little Italian restaurant, which happened to be a hidden gem concealing itself in a sliver of a San Francisco street, and I had the best plate of gnocchi with alfredo sauce I had ever had – at 11:00 o clock at night.

IMAGE CURTESY OF FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET

IMAGE CURTESY OF FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET

So this was Yelp for me. This was an information and communications technology that was designed to make people’s lives easier, as many are, but instead assisted in the stress and exhaustion of an otherwise seamless trip. Whether it was an overwhelming amount of information to take in, or as Michael Luca would call it, “too much noise!” (Refer to podcast), there was something about the site that seemed questionable. This was my idea. And so I asked myself a few questions: Why would anyone care about my views of Yelp? Am I the only one who struggles with this site? Is anyone else asking questions about how the site works? And has this site played a role in altering the way we interact with each other and the world around us?

Enter: le recherché.

References

Buchachon, Nokhoog. Light Bulb Head Business Man. 13 May 2012. Freedigitalphotos.net. Web. 7 Jan. 2016.

Images, Master Isolated. Figure Doing Meditation. 23 May 2013. Freedigitalphotos.net. Web. 7 Jan. 2016.

Information and Communications Technology. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved October 22, 2015.

Miles, Stuart. Idea Computer Keys. 12 April 2012. FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Web. 07 Jan. 2016.

Research. Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press, n.d. Web. 07 January 2016.

The Research Process

- James cascio. IMAGE CREATED BY MYSELF AT BRAINYQUOTES.COM

- James cascio. IMAGE CREATED BY MYSELF AT BRAINYQUOTES.COM

As difficult as it may be for some to come up with an idea that they can twist and turn through the corners of the research process, the real task is finding adequate research to support your idea and help you to create an argument.

I use the word adequate, but that does not necessarily mean that all research is non-beneficial. Everything you read on a topic of interest can only help you further decide on how you want to approach your paper, your theory, or in this case, your podcast. No information is bad information, just as they say no question is a stupid one. And this is ideally what you are doing when you conduct your research: you are asking a question, or you have a question in the back of your mind that you will be uncovering an answer for in your work. These types of questions are similar to the ones I asked at the end of my blog post, “To Research or Not to Research: The Birth of an Idea.”

As R.S. Wurman once said, “What we need to know is how to ask the questions. Most of us are surrounded by answers and solutions in our lives. Our adeptness at asking questions will determine how we reach the solutions” (Wurman, 152). Formulating questions helps you to narrow down the endless information that you are most likely to find. Before I move on, I would like to mention that if you are unable to find a lot of information on your topic, or if it hasn’t been talked about recently, unless you are writing a research paper on Canadian (or other) history, you may want to reconsider your topic. Now this does not necessarily mean you have to change the idea completely, it could be a matter of narrowing it down and refining it to a specific point of interest. Broader topics will get you lots of information, but it is coming down to the nitty-gritty that will spark your audience’s interest.

Topic refinement does not have to be done at the beginning of your research process, in fact, as I found while researching materialfor my podcast, “You Are Who You Eat,” that it was only after I conducted some wide searches on my interests, that I was able to formulate a plan and narrow down my topic.

IMAGE CREATED BY MYSELF AT BRAINYQUOTES.COM

IMAGE CREATED BY MYSELF AT BRAINYQUOTES.COM

This is called finding your angle. Research helps immensely to find your angle because you are able to see what other people in the world are saying about the very thing that caught your attention. In a way, research is allowing you to enter into a conversation with the rest of the world on this topic. While at the same time it will provide you with the ability to formulate a response educated and stimulating enough, so that you may then bring others into that conversation with your own work.

This is ultimately your goal whenconducting a research paper (or other) – you do not want to reiterate the ideas discussed by professors, or news reporters, or the person on your timeline who posts highly opinionated Facebook statuses – no what you want to do is blend their ideas in with your own, uncovering a truth for yourself which you may then present to others in the form of a question. Your research work will guide them to the answer that you’ve reached, while at the same time leave room for them to come to their own conclusion based off of the information you’ve presented them with.

In my very first professional writing course I learned the word* intertextuality*, and this generally means that everything written is intertext. This doesn’t mean that no ideas are original, but it does mean that texts are constantly in conversation with one anotherand whether we notice it or not, everything we read, everything we see on T.V., or read on Facebook and Twitter, is research. Wernher von Braun once said, “Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”It may not be us actively seeking out information, as the definition of research suggests, but we are attaining new information that influences our opinions and ideas. J.L. Lemke writes, “Every text, the discourse of every occasion, makes its social meanings against the background of other texts, and the discourses of other occasions. This is the principle I have called *general intertextuality*” (Lemke, 257).

He then goes on to say, “In much of educational research today, the data record is in the form of texts... Many research agendas require that we construct patterns of relationships among texts... [And] The identification, classification, and interpretation of intertextual relationships is at the heart of much of the best educational research being done today” (Lemke, 258). He upholds the idea that intertextuality is the basis of educational research, and that the discourses we conduct with one another in everyday situations all enhance the research process.

IMAGE CURTESY OF FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET

IMAGE CURTESY OF FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET

An idea like this helps one immensely whileresearching a topic such as an information and communications technology. This is interface technology: we are communicating with it as it is in use. What better way to research communication technology than to see how the research itself communicates with the surrounding world and us? The goal of our podcasts is to see how this technology is affecting the world on a grander scale. My podcast specifically, as I can only speak for myself, looks at the way it is altering human nature as I touch upon the psychology behind how these ICT’s are affecting the ways in which we make choices.

Seeing as I’ve fast tracked a little, let us go back to the actual part of the research process, where you... actually do the research. Scholarly works will benefit your work, and often are a requirement. Google Scholar is my preferred choice as it offers a large variety of scholarly works that mention (either briefly or whole-heartedly) your topic. Universities also offer online databases of scholarly works and of course, let us not forget the good ol’ fashioned library.

Although they are helpful, you do not want to dull your work and drown your audience with scholarly information (as fascinating as you yourself may find it to be). Magazine articles – from the New Yorker to Buzzfeed.com – have copious amounts of information on a wide range of topics, and you will be sure to find something both entertaining and educational. Primary data will also help to liven up your work. Your audience will appreciate the researcher who took their topic to the field, asking hard-hitting questions in an interview, or collecting statistics through a survey. As I had used both methods for my podcast, I will share that I found the survey to be more helpful, as sometimes it is hard to get a life-altering response out of an interview. Although someone’s first-hand experience can be an eye-opener.

IMAGE CURTESY OF FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET

IMAGE CURTESY OF FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET

The fun part about research is that Aha! moment. The moment where you come across a paper that discusses exactly what you were looking for, and this time, the conveyor belt of ideas is running, on high speed. Piecing together information from different scholarly texts, creating a puzzle – or a map (depending on how your mind works) – is, for myself, the most interesting part of the research process. This can be done while looking each piece over individually, but I find that the picture gains clarity by setting up headings of interest and jotting down pieces of information from each work that falls under these headings. This part of the process is how I was able to subset my podcast into three categories: Yelp as the consumer, Yelp as the business owner and Yelp as the reviewer.

The research process may appear gruelling and intense, and I too fall victim to the belief that it will be difficult and boring. That is until I have 12+ windows open on my Safari page, all of which hold key information that I will be using for my final product. In the end, you’ll find that cuts have to be made, for the sake of the work, but that is knowledge you have now gained and taken away from an assignment, and a topic, that you dedicated an entire semester to researching.

Here is a link to a site that shares many resources designed to assist a student in the research and writing process: https://faculty.washington.edu/krumme/readings/res+writ.html

References

"Albert Szent-Gyorgyi." BrainyQuote.com. Xplore Inc, 2016. 8 January 2016.

Anamwong, Sira. Human Head with Gear. 25 September 2015. Freedigitalphotos.net. Web. 8 Jan. 2016.

"Jamais Cascio." *BrainyQuote.com. *Xplore Inc, 2016. 8 January 2016.

J.L. Lemke, “Intertextuality and Educational Research.” *Linguistics and Education*. Volume 4. Issues 3–4. 1992. 257-58. Web. 8 Jan. 2016.

Miles, Stuart. Interface Definition Magnifier. 27 June 2012. Freedigitalphotos.net. Web. 8 Jan. 2016.

"S." Student Research & Writing Guide. Washington Edu., n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2016.

"Wernher von Braun." BrainyQuote.com. Xplore Inc, 2016. 8 January 2016.

Wurman, Richard Saul. Information Anxiety. New York: Doubleday, 1989. 152. Web. 8 Jan. 2016.

Commerce: From Door-to-Door Canvasing to Social Media Marketing

(Image: facebook courtesy of pixabay.com)

(Image: facebook courtesy of pixabay.com)

Melissa Jones, Contributor

The Internet has transformed society, with its far-reaching powers; we now function from a technological realm and ICT’s (information communication technologies) are at the head of our daily lives. Weather we are conscious users or not, ICT’s are everywhere-in food production, education, entertainment, health care, mobility, gadgets and gizmos, and in commerce.

Melissa: About two decades ago, before the Internet of course, I can remember my many childhood adventures as a 10-year-old kid during the summer months, when school was out.  Getting up in the morning thinking up great ideas with my best friend, Kevin, to some how convince these adults that we were good business people and they should share their money with us.  With confidence in hand and smiles on our faces we went from door to door offering our services for money; weather it was cleaning houses, pets, cars, boats, shoveling snow, mowing lawns, or selling home made cookies, our interest was to make money, the best way we knew how. 

But gone are the days of door-to-door canvasing.

The Internet has transformed society, with its far-reaching powers; we now function from a technological realm and ICT’s (information communication technologies) are at the head of our daily lives. Weather we are conscious users or not, ICT’s are everywhere-in food production, education, entertainment, health care, mobility, gadgets and gizmos, and in commerce.

Melissa: About two decades ago, before the Internet of course, I can remember my many childhood adventures as a 10-year-old kid during the summer months, when school was out. Getting up in the morning thinking up great ideas with my best friend, Kevin, to some how convince these adults that we were good business people and they should share their money with us. With confidence in hand and smiles on our faces we went from door to door offering our services for money; weather it was cleaning houses, pets, cars, boats, shoveling snow, mowing lawns, or making home made cookies, our interest was to make money, the best way we knew how.

But gone are the days of door-to-door canvasing.

Hello and welcome to Inquery, I’m your host Melissa Jones and on today's episode we will discuss: Commerce: From Door-to-Door Canvasing to Social Media Marketing, with my guests Beth Adamson and Maurice Alexander.

Melissa: In today’s technologically driven world…online social networking and social media is king. This entire Social media exchange has given a new face to people since modernity has transformed the way we act as social beings. It has changed the way we see each other and the way communicate.

According to Hopkins in the article, Can Facebook be an effective mechanism for generating growth and value in small businesses? He says, online Social networks “are Internet sites that host and support a network of users profiles and relationships, where content can be exchanged, created and consumed between related registered users”.

And these online social communities where individuals exchange messages, and share information began with the introduction of the Internet to the world in 1991, when the web went live; this gave way to the first social media network site, LinkedIn in 2003, followed by both MySpace and Facebook in 2004.

These network sites caught on and have raised the bar for our online technological appetite.

Watch: Social media marketing and how it effects your business

  • (Announcement) Here is how the encyclopaediabritannica.com describes social media, the demand of the new age:

    Maurice: A phenomenon involving the interconnection of ICT’s information and communications technologies, computer networks and media content. This is referring to platforms, and services that enable individuals to engage in communication from one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many. And is a direct consequence of the digitization of media content and the popularization of the Internet.

    (Announcement) Melissa: That’s Maurice Alexander an IT specialist and sociology student at York University.

    The rise of social media, he tells us, has transformed the way we communicate since the Internet has digitized information and media content.

    Maurice: So now with the expansion and high demand of the Internet, it has opened up new avenues of commerce, specifically, in the area of technology, where companies presently incorporate social media into their business plan.

    Melissa: In the article, Ten ways small businesses can use social media to generate leads Dovev Goldstein of The Globe and Mail discusses this technological development and how it has also dramatically changed the ways businesses market themselves, connect with customers, promote their brand, measure effectiveness, and conduct business; since traditional marketing has evolved to suit the vast online presence which has popularized social media marketing.

    Beth Adamson: Yes absolutely, social media has definitely influenced businesses and the way they market themselves. Businesses are now spending more money at a faster rate on social media than any other forms of online marketing. According to Lacho, in the article *How Small Business Owners can use Social Networking To Promote Their Business, studies showed that spending on social networking has increased from $455 million in 2008 to $3.1 billion in 2014, in contrast to traditional email marketing of $1.2 billion in 2009 to 2.1 billion in 2014.

 

(Announcement) Melissa: That’s Beth Adamson a student of Business at George Brown College focusing on social media marketing for small businesses.

Melissa: Wow. That is a huge increase, Beth. Can you tell us what Social media marketing is and how it works?

Beth: Absolutely. Social media marketing or (SMM) is a form of Internet marketing that utilizes social networking as a marketing tool. The goal of SMM is to produce content that users will share on their social networking platform(s) as a way of advertising to help a company increase brand exposure and broaden customer reach.

Watch: Social media marketing strategy

Melissa: That’s a big difference from the emails, flyers, electronic phone calls, and random life size puppet with a big sign and balloons posted outside of stores.

Beth: (Laughter)…Yeah, it sure is.

Melissa: But Maurice, what does this all mean?

Maurice: Well for one, Social media is on the rise and it is not going anywhere. Secondly, it is changing the way we do everything.

And this is a big thing since everyone or most people posses some form of a digital communication device, whether it is a computer, tablet, or smart phone, people are connected through the Internet and are using social media network sites in droves.

Melissa: That’s so right. From someone who experienced the revolution from its inception I must admit it did seem like a fad to me. But, as it took off and grew exponentially I realized it was anything but a fad as it become a new social norm. In fact according to statista.com and alexa.com the most visited social media network site is Facebook. And as of the third quarter of 2015, Facebook had 1.55 billion monthly active users worldwide that spend an average of 65 hours per year and 18 minutes per day on this platform.

Beth: And that is a huge accessible market for business owners. And with such a large consumer base the idea of using this platform to promote a business seems more than logical.

Especially, since there are fewer people reading newspapers or flipping threw magazines anymore. It is great way to advertise. Hands down it is a great place to introduce the world to your business.

(Announcement) Melissa: Beth Adamson is also a Self-employed Private Business Consultant who knows the inns and outs of running, building, and improving small businesses, using social media as a tool.

Melissa: What are the features or abilities of Facebook as a marketing tool?

Beth: Facebook allows small businesses to promote it’s self for FREE! And that is a great thing. However, for a small fee you can pick the exact market that you want to reach. It can be used to monitor the peak times your ideal clientele are online allowing you to prepare and manage information to capture them.

You can also promote your company’s website on Facebook. And in so doing you can find out metrics concerning where people are going as they visit your website, this information allows you to make time sensitive promotions and discounts to draw in customers, and by monetizing or putting promotions, purchase buttons, banners etc., on your Facebook page the customer’s social media experience is made easy and simple, since they can access your website directly, quickly, and safely from Facebook to purchase products.

Melissa: That sounds perfect. And is exactly what I wanted to talk about next, WESBSITES! Most of you might be wondering how to or when should a business create a website. This form of advertising or exposure is key for any business. A company should try and create a website as soon as they can, as it gives their company an edge. And there are many free web builder sites out there to help you with developing and creating your website. The bonus, you do not need to have a background in programming to do this. But depending on what you are looking for the price can vary. I’ve created a how to blog on developing a website https://stephanie-bell-m08b.squarespace.com/config#/%7C/blog-season1/a72fc35c-6744-4ebf-9e41-ac72cab1663d, be sure to check it out.

Beth: Yes, absolutely, a website is a must in order to stay relevant and take part in today's commerce, because it allows your products to be looked at from anywhere around the world at any given time.

Maurice: I agree fully. Considering that major business players are widely accessible, it is very important to keep up with technology as it creates space for your small business. And another way to do this is to create an App; this keeps both the business and the customer readily connected.

Melissa: Apps are a great addition to a business since they allow you to deliver existing goods and services in a more efficient means to you audience. I discuss the process of developing an App for you business in 12 steps https://stephanie-bell-m08b.squarespace.com/config#/%7C/blog-season1/4526158e-6a33-4e75-9f50-db6eb6699d27, be sure to check it out as well.

Beth: One of the most iconic images, aside from the Facebook logo itself, is the Facebook ‘Like’ button and this is a great marketing tool for your business; it can be included on your page and is another way to generate attention to your business.

Melissa: Of course! The Facebook like button with the thumbs up symbol, you see it everywhere, on Facebook pages and on other mediums. As Trattner and Kappe explain in their article, Social stream marketing on Facebook: a case study, since its debut more than 350, 000 sites installed the Like button and there are more than seven million websites integrated with Facebook. And many well-known company sites such as BestBuy.com, shoppersdrugmart.ca, TDbank.ca, and TMZ.com have all shifted their marketing strategies to incorporate Facebook’s eye catching and still popular image.

Melissa: What type of content should SB (small businesses) include when creating a FB (Facebook) page?

Beth: A small business should use lots of images and videos. They should post daily to keep the business relative. They should show products and promotions weekly. Also they should show events and highlight employees to create connections with pictures of staff/company functions.

Melissa: Beth, can you tell us how Facebook can be used as a tool to allow small businesses to create a place for themselves in the market place?

Beth: Well, Facebook allows Small Businesses to create a place for themselves because it increases traffic and awareness of the company. And it opens the door to millions of new and potential clients. This platform lets a company show its spunk while allowing it to stand uniquely. The use of Facebook lets small business owners receive direct feedback about their product(s), make improvements and/or changes, it also allows businesses to hone in on sharp customer service skills, and creates a foundation to build relationships with customers.

Melissa: I really like that aspect of it, it is very important that businesses create that relationship with their customers because for consumers it is essential that businesses listen to them. And thankfully social media makes it easier for customers to be heard instantly.

With both negative and positive comments, businesses can improve on their services, products and customer relations. Social media holds enormous potential for companies to get closer to customers, and by doing so, facilitate increased revenue, cost reduction and efficiency.

As Charity Pradiptarini points out in the article *Social Media Marketing: Measuring Its Effectiveness and Identifying the Target Market*, building trust and long-term relationship is done by effective two-way communication. By companies talking about things that customers are interested in, putting themselves in the customer’s shoes, and creating products that will solve customers’ problems, trust can be formed, and trust is the key factor in getting followers/fans to do something like purchase a product, change a buyer’s decision, or influence a peer or family member, which in turn increases revenue.

An example of this is found in the article, 6 Tips To Help Small Businesses Conquer Social Media by Quentin Casey of the National Post, where he discusses Blo, a chain of blow dry bars that started in Vancouver in 2007. Blo now has 34 locations across Canada, United States, Asia, and Russia. Hilary Chan-Kent says the company grew without spending a dollar on traditional advertising because they used social media to build and promote. Blo used most of the big networks-Facebook being one to share photos, highlight promotions, and interact directly with clients. Blo also shared ‘third party’ information from style and hair trends to gift giving ideas. It was all done as Kent describes in a “cheeky voice” to ensure they didn’t come across as self-promoting corporate drones, and confined the company’s slogans to 140-character catchy phrases to draw in customers. For example: “No cuts, no color: Just WASH BLOW GO”.

Melissa: Although the way we do business has changed the idea of appeasing to the customer on every level is still the ruling concept. Remember, in the social media networking world truth, honestly, and customer consideration wins the race.

The present day means of production incorporates technology in order to dominate the competition and maximize profits in the world of commerce. Although, it might seem daunting to those unfamiliar with technology, social media as a marketing tool will bring your company to the forefront, and allow it to rise to the next level.

Melissa: With this episode, we have defined, provided examples, and given instructions on Facebook as a business tool.

Thank you to my guest Beth Anderson and Maurice Alexander for there time, and have a great day!

You’ve picked a great place to start your inquiry and with this knowledge we hope you can further your ambitious nature and embrace the future.

Works Cited

Lacho, J., Kenneth. “How Small Business Owners can use Social Networking To Promote Their Business.” *The Entrepreneurial Executive *15 (2010): 127-133. Allied Academies. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.

http://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/eevol15no12010.pdf

Hopkins, L., John. “Can Facebook be an effective mechanism for generating growth and value in small businesses?”. *Journal of Systems and Information Technology* 14. 2 (2012): 131-141. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.

http://www.seu.ac.lk/fac/research%20and%20thesis/Can%20Faceb ook%20be%20an%20effective%20mechanism%20for%20generating%20growth%20and%20value%20in%20small%20businesses.pdf

Kappe, Grank & Trattner, Christoph. “Social stream marketing on Facebook: a case study”. *The International Journal Of Social And Humanistic Computing. *2. 1/2 (2013): 86-103. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235821481SocialStreamMarketingonFacebookACaseStudy

Pradiptarini, Charity. “Social Media Marketing: Measuring its Effectiveness and Identifying the Target Market”. Journal of Undergraduate Research. XIV (2011): 1-11. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.

Statista.com. The Statistics Portal, 2015. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.

http://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/

Flew, Terry. EncyclopediaBritannica.com. 1 Aug. 2014. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.

http://www.britannica.com/topic/media-convergence#ref1179540

Goldstein, Dovev. “Ten ways small businesses can use social media to generate leads”. The Globe and Mail 12 Mar. 2015. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.

Casey, Quentin. “6 Tips To Help Small Businesses Conquer Social Media”. *National Post, Financial Post, Entrepreneur*. 23 Dec. 2013. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.

Additional Readings

Baird, Heller, Carolyn and Parasnis Gautam. “From social media to social customer relationship management.” Strategy & Leadership Journal 30. 5 (2011): 30-31 & 35-36. Wireless Communication Laboratory. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.

http://heuristic.kaist.ac.kr/cylee/xpolicy/TermProject/15/4.%20social%20media.pdf

Daley, Jason. “How Social Media is Changing Business, How social media is changing everything about the way we do business”. *Entrepreneur Magazine, Online*. Nov. 23 2010. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217507

Hayden, Tim & Webster, Tom. *The Mobile Commerce Revolution: Business Success in a Wireless World. *Indianapolis, Indiana: Que Publishing, 2014. Print. Chapter 14. Kerpen, Dave. Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (and Other Social Networks). United States of America: McGraw Hill Professional, 2011. Print. Chapters: 3, 11,12,13, &14. Shih, Clara. The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Market, Sell, and Innovate. United States of America: Pearson Education, 2010. Print. Chapter 16.

Soderlund, Amanda. “Small Business and Social Media in 2015: A Survey” Clutch Firms that deliver. 6 May 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015. https://clutch.co/agencies/resources/social-media-2015-small-business-survey