Uses and gratifications of advertising: Same tools. Different outcomes.

The power of “immediate connection” offered by social media is fascinating and terrifying at the same time. Is not it great to be able to spread the word about what you have just read online in a matter of seconds? Is not it sad to be disturbed while on holiday by instant updates coming from your colleagues via Twitter?

As Leslie Poston rightly argues, social media could be used for social change. Yes, Twittering about disasters is one of the most efficient ways for information dissemination. In a matter of hours if not minutes people are ready to help. But social media also could be used for other purposes as well.

Twitter is a great tool when it comes to customer services. IBM employees are “encouraged to become Twitter-holics” Mostly because, after starting a promotional campaign on YouTube, which everybody liked, because it was fun, IBM realized that the company needed to keep in touch with their clients in a more efficient and immediate way then it was before. If your company is to establish a nice customer service image – just open a Twitter account and constantly update it. It will serve your business well. Twitter could be used for mobilization purposes during demonstrations. It can be used to spread panic by manipulators during demonstrations as well.

Social media allowed people a possibility to be constantly connected with each other for good and/or…for bad. On the other hand, take a look at what Facebook could do to mend your relationship or to jeopardize your friendships. One more observation about Facebook: One in five divorces now involve it. At first the idea of nuclear energy fascinated the world. Have a look what happened to it.

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