Social communication

Social communication
The term social communication refers to using the so-called social media. However there is no standardised definition yet recognised. Generally communication requires a social nexus of at least two entities in a social relation, whether in a technical environment or not. Recent publications adopt the term for discussing the informal communication in open societies. Other definition of social communication is that of a field of study that primarily explores the ways information can be perceived, transmitted and understood, and the impact those ways will have on a society. Thus, the study of social communication is more politically and socially involved than the study of communication.
Social communication is of two type formal and informal. Formal social communication is when an organization or a firm organize to communicate their plans or ideas in a casual way. Here the subject is one and more people talk about same subject. In informal social communication people join in a group they start their conversation in and pour their views about any subject which they might like or be interested in share their views about. Here people basically enjoy their participation and are not forced to communicate with others. Social communication basically takes place by means of social media but apart from that the face-to-face group meeting or gettogather is best and more effective than in social media.
There are many advantages to social communication, such as enjoying the conversation itself, sharing one's information and views, and learning new things and getting fresh information.
Best way to communicate in a social conversation is to both talk and allow others to talk while paying attention to them. When sharing one's views one must be aware of the word use, tone and emotions. Even people with good communication skills can fail to communicate well in a social environment. Potential problems in their social communication can include:

  • Confusing communication.
  • Giving too little or too much information.
  • Repetitive communication.
  • Speaking out of the box.
  • Talking too slowly.

To improve social communication, the above problems need to be overcome.
Communication planning
Is the art and science of reaching target audiences using marketing communication channels such as advertising, public relations, experiences or direct mail for example. It is concerned with deciding who to target, when, with what message and how. The communication plan serves as a guide to the communication and sponsorship efforts throughout the duration of the project. It is a living and working document and is updated periodically as audience needs change. It explains how to convey the right message, from the right communicator, to the right audience, through the right channel, at the right time. It addresses the six basic elements of communications: communicator, message, communication channel, feedback mechanism, receiver/audience, and time frame.
A communication plan includes:

  •  “Who” - the target audiences
  • “What” – the key messages that are trying to be articulated
  • “When” – timing, it will specify the appropriate time of delivery for each message
  • “Why” – the desired outcomes
  • “How” - the communication vehicle (how the message will be delivered)
  • “By whom” - the sender (determining who will deliver the information and how he or she is chosen)

Many agencies, PR, advertising and media alike, claim to have this capability.
Social media includes web-based and mobile based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue among organizations, communities, and individuals. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content." Social media is ubiquitously accessible, and enabled by scalable communication techniques.
Social media
Social media technologies take on many different forms including magazines, Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, podcasts, photographs or pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking. By applying a set of theories in the field of media research (social presence, media richness) and social processes (self-presentation, self-disclosure) Kaplan and Haenlein created a classification scheme for different social media types in their Business Horizons article published in 2010. According to Kaplan and Haenlein there are six different types of social media: collaborative projects (e.g., Wikipedia), blogs and microblogs (e.g., Twitter), content communities (e.g., YouTube), social networking sites (e.g., Facebook), virtual game worlds (e.g., World of Warcraft), and virtual social worlds (e.g. Second Life). Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing and voice over IP, to name a few. Many of these social media services can be integrated via social network aggregation platforms. Social media network websites include sites like Facebook, Twitter, Bebo and MySpace. The honeycomb framework defines how social media services focus on some or all of seven functional building blocks (identity, conversations, sharing, presence, relationships, reputation, and groups). These building blocks help understand the engagement needs of the social media audience. For instance, LinkedIn users care mostly about identity, reputation and relationships, whereas YouTube’s primary building blocks are sharing, conversations, groups and reputation. Many companies build their own social containers that attempt to link the seven functional building blocks around their brands. These are private communities that engage people around a more narrow theme, as in around a particular brand, vocation or hobby, than social media containers such as Google+ or Facebook.
There has been rapid growth in the number of US patent applications that cover new technologies related to social media. The number of published applications has been growing rapidly over the past five years. There are now over 250 published applications.Only about 10 of these applications have issued as patents, however, largely due to the multi-year backlog in examination of business method patents.
Distinction from industrial media
Businesses may refer to social media as consumer-generated media (CGM). A common thread running through all definitions of social media is a blending of technology and social interaction for the co-creation of value. People obtain information, education, news and other data from electronic media and print media. Social media are distinct from industrial or traditional media, such as newspapers, television, and film. They are relatively inexpensive and accessible to enable anyone (even private individuals) to publish or access information, compared to industrial media, which generally require significant resources to publish information. One characteristic shared by both social media and industrial media is the capability to reach small or large audiences; for example, either a blog post or a television show may reach no people or millions of people. Some of the properties that help describe the differences between social media and industrial media are:

  1. Reach – both industrial and social media technologies provide scale and are capable of reaching a global audience. Industrial media, however, typically use a centralized framework for organization, production, and dissemination, whereas social media are by their very nature more decentralized, less hierarchical, and distinguished by multiple points of production and utility.
  2. Accessibility – the means of production for industrial media are typically government and/or privately owned; social media tools are generally available to the public at little or no cost.
  3. Usability – industrial media production typically requires specialized skills and training. Conversely, most social media production does not require specialized skills and training, or requires only modest reinterpretation of existing skills; in theory, anyone with access can operate the means of social media production.
  4. Immediacy – the time lag between communications produced by industrial media can be long (days, weeks, or even months) compared to social media (which can be capable of virtually instantaneous responses; only the participants determine any delay in response). However, as industrial media begins adopting aspects of production normally associated with social media tools, this feature may not prove distinctive over time.
  5. Permanence – industrial media, once created, cannot be altered (once a magazine article is printed and distributed changes cannot be made to that same article) whereas social media can be altered almost instantaneously by comments or editing.

Community media
Community media constitute a hybrid of industrial and social media. Though community-owned, some community radio, TV and newspapers are run by professionals and some by amateurs. They use both social and industrial media frameworks. Social media has also been recognized for the way in which it has changed how public relations professionals conduct their jobs. It has provided an open arena where people are free to exchange ideas on companies, brands and products. As stated by Doc Searls and David Wagner, two authorities on the effects of Internet on marketing, advertising, and PR, "the best of the people in PR are not PR Types at all. They understand that there aren't censors, they're the company's best conversationalists." Social media provides an environment where users and PR professionals can engage in conversation, where PR professionals can promote their brand and improve their company's image, be listening and responding to what the public is saying about their product.
Managing social media
Kietzmann et al. (2011) contend that social media presents an enormous challenge for firms, as many established management methods are ill-suited to deal with customers who no longer want to be talked at but who want firms to listen and engage. The authors explain that each of the seven functional building blocks has important implications for how firms should engage with social media. By analyzing identity, conversations, sharing, presence, relationships, reputation, and groups, firms can monitor and understand how social media activities vary in terms of their function and impact, so as to develop a congruent social media strategy based on the appropriate balance of building blocks for their community. Increasingly, the term "social business" is being used to try and suggest that engagement with social media is important to more than just marketing and PR departments, and should also affect those working in sales, human resource management and R&D. It is through this process of "building social authority" that social media becomes effective. That is why one of the foundational concepts in social media has become that you cannot completely control your message through social media but rather you can simply begin to participate in the "conversation" expecting that you can achieve a significant influence in that conversation. However, this conversation participation must be cleverly executed because while people are resistant to marketing in general, they are even more resistant to direct or overt marketing through social media platforms. This may seem counter-intuitive but is the main reason building social authority with credibility is so important. A marketer can generally not expect people to be receptive to a marketing message in and of itself. In the Edelman Trust Barometer report in 2008, the majority (58%) of the respondents reported they most trusted company or product information coming from "people like me" inferred to be information from someone they trusted. In the 2010 Trust Report, the majority switched to 64% preferring their information from industry experts and academics. According to Inc. Technology's Brent Leary, "This loss of trust, and the accompanying turn towards experts and authorities, seems to be coinciding with the rise of social media and networks."
Internet usage effects
An increasing number of scholars have sought to study and measure the impact of social media (such as the Museum of Social Media). A study by the University of Marylandsuggested that social media services may be addictive, and that using social media services may lead to a "fear of missing out," also known as the phrase "FOMO" by many students. It has been observed that Facebook is now the primary method for communication by college students in the U.S. Several colleges have even introduced classes on best social media practices, preparing students for potential careers as digital strategists. There are various statistics that account for social media usage and effectiveness for individuals worldwide. Some of the most recent statistics are as follows:

  • Social networking now accounts for 22% of all time spent online in the US.
  • A total of 234 million people age 13 and older in the U.S. used mobile devices in December 2009.
  • Twitter processed more than one billion tweets in December 2009 and averages almost 40 million tweets per day.
  • Over 25% of U.S. internet page views occurred at one of the top social networking sites in December 2009, up from 13.8% a year before.
  • Australia has some of the highest social media usage in the world. In usage of Facebook, Australia ranks highest, with over 9 million users spending almost 9 hours per month on the site.
  • The number of social media users age 65 and older grew 100 percent throughout 2010, so that one in four people in that age group are now part of a social networking site.
  • As of June 2011 Facebook has 750 Million users.
  • Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.
  • Social Media has overtaken pornography as the No. 1 activity on the web.
  • iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months, and Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months.
  • If Facebook were a country it would be the world's 3rd largest in terms of population, that's above the US.
  • U.S. Department of Education study revealed that online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction.
  • YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world.
  • In four minutes and 26 seconds 100+ hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube.
  • 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media.
  • 1 in 6 higher education students are enrolled in online curriculum.
  • Indians spend more time on social media than on any other activity on the Internet. According to a report by Nielson

“In the U.S. alone, total minutes spent on social networking sites has increased 83 percent year-over-year. In fact, total minutes spent on Facebook increased nearly 700 percent year-over-year, growing from 1.7 billion minutes in April 2008 to 13.9 billion in April 2009, making it the No. 1 social networking site for the month.” The main increase in social media has been Facebook. It was ranked as the number one social networking site. Approximately 100 million users access this site through their mobile phone. According to Nielsen, global consumers spend more than 6 hours on social networking sites. "Social Media Revolution" produced by Socialnomics author Erik Qualman contains numerous statistics on Social Media including the fact that 93% of businesses use it for marketing and that if Facebook were a country it would be the third largest. In an effort to supplant Facebook's dominance, Google launched Google+ in the summer of 2011.
News media and television journalism
News media and television journalism have been instrumental in the shaping of American collective memory for much of the twentieth century. Indeed, since the United States’ colonial era, public images and news media influenced collective memory and discourse about national development and national trauma. Journalistic influence is growing less important however, as social networking sites like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter provide a constant source of alternative news sources for users. In many ways, mainstream journalists have maintained an authoritative voice as the storytellers of the American past. Their documentary style narratives, detailed exposes, and their positions in the present make them prime sources for public memory. Specifically, news media journalists have shaped collective memory on nearly every major national event – from the deaths of social and political figures, to the progression of political hopefuls. Journalists provide elaborate descriptions of commemorative events in U.S. history and contemporary popular cultural sensations. Many Americans learn the significance of historical events and political issues through news media, as they are presented on popular news stations. The recent controversy surrounding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) struggles to secure marital rights figures prominently in news media, which has helped educated many Americans on the contemporary progression of LGBT civil rights struggles, as well as it has provided them with means for supporting or rejecting political gains for LGBT citizens. Nonetheless, as social networking becomes more popular among older and younger generations, sites like Facebook and Youtube gradually undermine the traditionally authoritative voices of news media. American citizens, for example, contest media coverage of various social and political events as they see fit, inserting their voices into the narratives about America’s past and present, and shaping their own collective memories. One example of this is the public explosion of the Trayvon Martin shooting in Sanford Florida. News media coverage of the incident was minimal until social media users made the story recognizable through their constant discussion of the case. In some ways, the spread of this tragic event through alternative news sources parallels that of the Emmitt Till - whose murder became a national story after it circulated African American and Communists news papers. Approximately one month after the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, its online coverage by everyday Americans garnered national attention from mainstream media journalists. Social Media was also influential in the widespread attention given to the revolutionary outbreaks in the Middle East and North Africa during 2011. As one Egyptianactivist succinctly put it. However, there is some debate about the extent to which social media facilitated this kind of change. Yet another example of this shift is in the on-going Kony 2012 campaign, which surfaced first on Youtube and later garnered a great amount of attention from mainstream news media journalists, who now monitor social media sites to inform their reports on the movement. In short, the growing social media trend is allowing greater American participation in telling the stories of America’s past and present, and certainly, shaping its future. Although social media networking sites may be short-lived, they prove highly effective in helping the American public remember historic events and in shaping the meanings inscribed in those events.
Andrew Keen criticizes social media in his book The Cult of the Amateur, writing, "Out of this anarchy, it suddenly became clear that what was governing the infinite monkeys now inputting away on the Internet was the law of digital Darwinism, the survival of the loudest and most opinionated. Under these rules, the only way to intellectually prevail is by infinite filibustering." Tim Berners-Lee contends that the danger of social networking sites is that most are silos and do not allow users to port data from one site to another. He also cautions against social networks that grow too big and become a monopoly as this tends to limit innovation.Eric Ehrmann contends that social media in the form of public diplomacy creates a patina of inclusiveness that covers traditional economic interests that are structured to ensure that wealth is pumped up to the top of the economic pyramid, perpetuating the digital divide and post Marxian class conflict. He also voices concern over the trend that finds social utilities operating in a quasi-libertarian global environment of oligopoly that requires users in economically challenged nations to spend high percentages of annual income to pay for devices and services to participate in the social media lifestyle. Matthew Auer casts doubt on the conventional wisdom that social media are open and participatory. He also speculates on the emergence of "anti-social media" used as "instruments of pure control". Facebook Detox claims that social networking is actually asocial networking, which causes people not only to stagnate in life, but stagnate in the function of creating and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Social networking, according to the website, is an obsession that has a massive negative net effect on society as a whole.
Ownership of social media content
Social media content is generated through social media interactions done by the users through the site. There has always been a huge debate on the ownership of the content on social media platforms since it is generated by the users and hosted by the company. Critics contend that the companies are making a huge amount of money by using the content that does not belong to them. Hence the challenge for ownership is lesser with the communicated content, but with the personal data disclosed by the subscribed writers and readers and the correlation to chosen types of content. The security danger beyond is the parasitic conveying, diffunding or leaking of agglomerated data to third parties with certain economic interest.
Social networking service
A social networking service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on facilitating the building of social networks or social relations among people who, for example, share interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections. A social network service consists of a representation of each user (often a profile), his/her social links, and a variety of additional services. Most social network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the Internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging. Online community services are sometimes considered as a social network service, though in a broader sense, social network service usually means an individual-centered service whereasonline community services are group-centered. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, activities, events, and interests within their individual networks. The main types of social networking services are those that contain category places (such as former school year or classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages), and a recommendation system linked to trust. Popular methods now combine many of these, with Facebook, Google+ and Twitter widely used worldwide, The Sphere (luxury network), Nexopia (mostly in Canada);Bebo, VKontakte, Hi5, Hyves (mostly in The Netherlands), (mostly in Latvia), Ask-a-peer (career oriented),StudiVZ (mostly in Germany), iWiW (mostly in Hungary), Tuenti (mostly in Spain), Nasza-Klasa (mostly in Poland), Tagged, XING, Badoo and Skyrock in parts of Europe;Orkut and Hi5 in South America and Central America; and Mixi, Orkut, Wretch, renren and Cyworld in Asia and the Pacific Islands and Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedInare very popular in India and Pinterest is also a social networking site which is used in India. There have been attempts to standardize these services to avoid the need to duplicate entries of friends and interests (see the FOAF standard and the Open Source Initiative). A 2011 survey found that 47% of American adults use a social network.