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October 2017
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Have you ever thought about the role of social media in organizations?

We all know that social media is always available. This can be done through your smartphone, tablet or computer. However have you ever thought about the role of social media in organizations? Did you know the fact social media plays such an important role? Did you know that social media is useful for business? Did you know that non-profit organization also uses social media? Were you being able to answer one of these questions? If not, it is wise to keep reading my article beneath. Even if you managed to answer all of them keep reading because you never know that you might get enlightened.

Last week when I went to see my parents and I interviewed my father about social media usage in his company. He works for Hitachi construction as an engineer. He talked about his colleagues who work in the department of communication and media. They are responsible for managing social media, mainly focusing on Facebook. Basically the company has its own website on Facebook. Their job is to promote products which are mostly excavators. Excavators are machines which are crucial for construction. From their Facebook page one of sentences I got attracted was “We hope you’re enjoying the weekend!” As you can already see from the sentence, it gives friendly and warm welcoming atmosphere which attracts readers’ attention. Moreover there was also a sentence like “Time to test your knowledge!” One thing I realized about their blog was that they really try to engage with their customers and fans by being open minded and generous attitude. They could simply write what they are doing what they have achieved and those practical facts but this does not help. The reason why they are using Facebook is to get as many “Likes” as possible and let more people know about their company such as their working progress, environment even working spirit.

I found another organization which also uses social media. On 28th of November in 2014, I went to visit the ministry of foreign affair in Den Haag through since my university organized several field trips. There were four people who were from communication department and gave presentation about their work. One of them mentioned that the most frequent social media they utilize is Twitter. This is because she said “Twitter allows fast response and flexible correspondence in terms of notification”. Basically they can save a lot more time by using social media than traditional media such as e-mail, telephone and instant messages. Most of traditional media function as a-synchronicity meaning communication occurring at different times whereas together with social media makes possible to interact simultaneously even with more than two people which are the most innovative point like group chat. Another employee described about the use of six different screens which were placed at the centre of office. One screen showed mainstream news such as BBC and CNN. Another one showed social news from different news websites. One displayed some graphs from Google Analytics. The reason why they have so many screens is to react quickly and set up the channel where Dutch government communicates with foreign governments and international organizations. There was also an interesting topic which was about Dutch ministry of foreign affairs learning efficient and effective social media usage from KLM which is one of the most popular Dutch airlines. Based on this experience, the ministry used Facebook to encourage several politicians for experience and get used to it. One of politicians successfully managed to utilize the advantageous points of Facebook and attracted many followers and his supporters. What he did was sharing his personal life such as favourite music, books and even movies. Not only did he talk about entertainment but also he explained and informed about the situation of the ministry as well as its goals. One of colleagues believed that this is a new way of increasing political interest in public. For most people with smartphones, social media is integrated in their life some may even think as part of their own body. Thus it is a smart way to attract more people through social media because they can gain information and start having interest on certain topics which they had never looked up before.

So far we have looked up two kinds of organizations which were conventional for profit-business and government. How about another organization? Is there even such an organization other those two? Of course there is. Do not forget about the presence of non-profit organizations such as popular ones are Greenpeace, UNICEF and etc. Curtis (2010) conducted a survey about different types of media use within non-profit organization. Respondents had three choices and they could choose more than two choices if they want to. The results showed that the most popular media was e-mail 97.8%. Next one was social networks with the number of 51.1%. The last one was both microblogs and blogs with 48.4%. As you can see, their main goal is to get as many as supporters as possible in order to raise more funds and raise awareness of people who do not know about issues. Although E-mail is a traditional media it was the highest because it is the most cost effective way and meanwhile it is possible to reach many people compared to other two social media. Both social network sites and blogs were used about the same.

More and more people relying on social media for obtaining news and information which is totally fine. If you just consume media without thinking you are just being lazy and a passive audience. However if you want to be an active audience and understand the world we live now better, it is crucial to be aware that how different types of organizations are actually using social media in order to grab our attention, lead us to certain direction or even manipulate. Don’t you think you can make your life more meaningful being little bit more critical about the world?



Curtis, L., Edwards, C., Fraser, K. L., Gudelsky, S., Holmquist, J., Thornton, K., & Sweetser, K.(2010).  Adoption of social media for public relations by nonprofit organizations. Public Relations Review36(1), 90-92. doi:10.1016/j.pubrev.2009.10.003


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