Social media for mass communication

From a marketing point of view, social media is the latest medium that has been introduced in mass communication (Shelly & Frydenberg, 2010). As a result, we can connect with our customers on individual level by using social media; this point is missing in the conventional mass media. So, it can be said that social media applies the main beliefs of sociology whereas Web 2.0 is concerned with technological codes. In the post Web 2.0 era, several developments have occurred which were not there before.
This precise technological innovation has permitted the masses to enjoy a costless, fast and trustworthy medium to communicate with one another; plus the strangers, people whom you do not know personally. And these unfamiliar people have turned out to be the major players in this phenomenon. According to (Constantinides and Fountain) these unknown people can be generally classified into two separate groups’content consumers and content generators (Constantinides and Fountain, 2008). Li and Bernoff recognize this new movement and explain it as;
‘An unprompted drive of people by means of online tools to communicate, take control of their own involvement, and acquire what they want- information, support, ideas, products, and bargaining power from one another somewhat than from conventional boodie.’ (Li & Bernoff, 2008)
As stated by these authors, the phenomenon is self-evolving and holds the strong possibility for long-lasting growth (Li & Bernoff, 2008). Some other researchers have also worked on this domain and they came up with some of the very interesting and attention grabbing results. According to Drury one of the major reason of worldwide acceptance of social media is its ability to allow users to generate and produce ‘dialogues’; that is a two way communication, in place of ‘monologues’; which is one way communication (Drury, 2008). Drury further says that now marketers are communicating with their target audience in more efficient and effective manner and engaging audiences to gain very useful information in this manner (Drury, 2008). Contrariwise, marketers’ job was only limited to advertise the product, solution or ideas which does not provide marketers with any info regarding consumers behavioral and purchasing patterns (Drury, 2008). In this regard social media proved to be the perfect tool to engage audiences rather than just educating your consumers’, other than this social media is a very simple yet very powerful tool to reach out to masses and also very cost effective too. As social media sites allow two way communication so that marketers can instantly get feedback and very useful recommendations from the consumers’ and further on use it to review their strategies. These arguments proposes two main features; most importantly, now companies can observe the effectiveness and efficiency of their marketing actions to attract consumers in reality (Drury, 2008). Moreover, customers are now allowed to freely express their feelings and can give out what so ever suggestions they want to give regarding about brands and companies; this phenomenon can greatly influence other peoples’ behavior (Drury, 2008).
Constantinides and Fountain discusses that there are following five diverse types of SMP (social media property) (Constantinides & Fountain, 2008):
‘ Blogs- short online journals. Examples:, etc.
‘ Social networks- applications which let users to connect with each other and interchange information via personalized webpages. Examples:, etc.
‘ Content communities- is a type of websites which permits users’ to store, collect and disseminate particular type of material like videos, article or pictures. Examples:,, etc.
‘ Forums- such type of websites which allow their users to communicate thoughts and what they feel about a specific concern. Examples:, etc.
‘ Content aggregators- applications that permit users to outlook personalized subjects of internet conferring to their interest. These kind of apps are generally known as RSS feeds. Example:
In crux, these SMP can be considered as diverse podiums via which social media users can converse and form a bond with each other (Constantinides & Fountain, 2008). And because of these five types of SMP any business unit can also connect and converse with thousands and thousands of internet users worldwide.
Various researchers are of the view that, with the passing time, numerous internet users and the large number of online users; are increasing day by day. According to (Forrester Research Inc., 2008) that an internet user will start his journey from the being an ‘inactive’ and after a certain point he will move to become a ‘spectator’ and so on so forth (Forrester Research Inc., 2008). And eventually he will become a ‘creator’ (Forrester Research Inc., 2008). A similar shift can be noticed in Pakistani environment as well as the social media web sites are gaining popularity. Web 2.0 sites such as Facebook, BlogSpot, Wikipedia, Blogger, Word Press and Twitter are amongst the most visited websites (, 2013).

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