The Research if to Rely on the Social Media or Not
Nowadays it is hard to underestimate the role of social media in the informational support of human life. They have become the main source of information resources and the means of communication and integration of the certain social groups of the world society. Lao, they create the additional advertising opportunities for organizations. Nevertheless, economic and social changes in the developing countries have made the amendments to their activities in social media that are already not very reliable partners as it was intended. There are the pitfalls of using social media in the business activities by the organizations of informational and communication sector that should be soberly considered. The circumstances of social media actions do not gain a favour with their use in personal and business purposes. Also there are a lot of facts that the social media is used to manipulate the audience, making its reliance to be vanished. The person should not rely on the social media owing to the following consequences and the impact on the behavior.
The disadvantages of the social media are hidden behind the obvious advantages of their use. The high popularity and widespread development of social media is explained by the number of facilities and opportunities they create for generating, transmitting, and storing the information, as well as the execution of the communication function. In this case, the authors and readers of the message’s content is a community. This manifestation of the democratized development of the communication of society is accompanied by the positive and negative consequences. Placing personal and corporate blogs on the Internet, representation of a physical or legal entity in the social networks, publishing the personal or public opinion on the forums, demonstration photos and videos, and sending them via e-mail are the prime examples of the social media usage. For geographically distant audience, such method of communication in personal and business purposes is convenient enough. For example, online courses conducted by the tutor from the Stanford University, which uses the social communicators with the students from Tokyo. However, it applies to the most socially active population of a country or the world, not humanity in general. Such broad appeal should be the reason to doubt the confidence in social communication.
The fact that the social media is open forces not to rely on it. It should be taken into account that personal information and the business data can also be used by other persons, who have the opened access to it. Moreover, the nature of social media is based on the idea that every user is a potential reader of any posted information material, so the data confidentiality in the social media environment is extremely low and highly depends on the unpretentious settings of the electronic system. Therefore, when a person transmits the data via email or in the message through the social network, people should be aware that information, once uploaded to the server and/or later removed by the user from his/her account, is still available in the Internet. The importance of this information for the person should doubt his/her trust in the social media confidentiality.
The significance of the social media for business is also questionable and relatively ineffective. In terms of the development of modern communication technology, enterprises are adopting new marketing strategy aimed at active usage of social media services, which makes doubt about the sources reliability. This strategy may be eligible for the financial support. The very popular tactical move of the company is the use of social media for marketing. The available communication capabilities attract the company due to the chance of getting the online followers and real consumers. Thus, social media represents this opportunity as free of charge. All large and well-known brands have already been represented in social media. It stimulates the demand, but they do not receive the feedback and cannot estimate the efficiency of their advertising that limit the reliability of the social media as the means for the advertisement. In this way, the business should not rely on the social media.
The social media is not reliable for bringing the information, especially for a long term. The functioning of social communication is carried out by the firms that, like all economic entities, aimed at obtaining the specific benefit and have an interest in the content and users that create additional doubts about the reliability of such information. The long-term business relationship with social media has to be based on the economic reciprocity. For instance, Google Inc. was experienced to promote the brand through the social media while it was free service. Not long after, this social network offered the payment for the location of the created business pages owing to the popularity of the Google Inc. products and a huge number of consumers in the Internet. The further dissemination of posts and demonstration of the wider audience has already been done by one of the popular social networking sites and have practiced by forums and hosting for a long time. This is due to the fact that the active promotion of the certain advertising posts replaces other free promotion posts. Thus, placing the post about its activities, the company, as a user, can face with the fact that this post will be removed due to the placement of other paid posts. It reduces the reliability of social media.
The poor reliability of the social media generates the costs and waste for the company. The price for the post activation and placement may vary depending on the data scale. However, companies are not able to control the concentration of their advertising in social media and the effectiveness of the payments for such marketing measures. Some disadvantages concern with the social media interface that does not allow immediately identify some locations and note favorite places or positions. The practical experience of many different developing entrepreneurs has shown, the business availability (business presence) in a social network, forum, and video hosting makes it dependent on the technical and technological support of social media. A huge online audience is the potential consumers for the business that can encourage the revenue growth. However, since the publication of the advertising in social media even with its great popularity by itself is not guarantee the success of an entrepreneur, and the effectiveness of the economic usage of this communication tools will also be disputed. It should be understood that the visitors of different sites, forums, social networks, and e-mail are the consumers of these services, not the clients of the entrepreneur, so the excessive expectancies should not be laid on social media with the purpose to expand the market niche. The successful entrepreneurs may develop their own websites or marketing activities, but they should not be only the followers of social media. Since it makes the firm weak, then it should not rely on the social media.
The obtained incorrect information may be caused by the unreliability of the data in the social media. Some employers use the database of the users of social networks and sites for the market research; however, as often the information about the users is artificial, the data obtained by such research cannot be reliable. Therefore, it is not only paid, but also irrelevant information. This happens due to the fact that users can consciously or unconsciously distort personal data. Thus, this research information, provided by social media, should not be reliable for the serious forecasting activities concerning the market. Yet, some specific information recorded by online counters of sites is relatively accurate. It may be important as the object of statistical calculations. However, the figures can be too manipulated with subjective aim. Such circumstances of its action uncover the social media as the irrelevant informational source.
The various types of the social media provide the different level of irrelevant information. Social media is used for different purposes, and the result of their achievement depends on the credibility of the author on the Internet and the perception degree of readers, so such unclear perception of the author can create doubts about the truthfulness of the posted information. For instance, forums, social groups, the review system, the communication forms of sites may contain enough compelling information and, thereby, influence the subscribers or just casual readers. The influence power of the social media is admitted by the usage as the informational, especially news, source. Therefore, the certain communication tools have been the means for the covert promotion of political ideas, the marketing measures of companies, and other subjective information placed there to influence the human behavior. Therefore, people should not delude themselves that all social media shape public democratic unbiased opinion, worth enough to trust and rely on it. That is where the role of social media coincides with the functions of mass media, which sin by subjectivity and hidden political motives. Regarding to the responsibility of social media companies, it is somewhat vague issue, since the content is generated by the users. The registration form makes them responsible for the post content (text, photos, videos, links, digital data, etc.). However, the administrators of some social media monitor the compliance with copyright and censorship of the data supported by a law. Although a lot of conscious and responsible companies take care of the moral purity of their services, there are still some types of the social media with a high risk of invalidation. The true legal status of the social media can be hardly defined, so the informational risks for the business do not allow relying on the social media.
The novelty loss is the one of the reasons why people should not rely on the social media. Most of the news that arrives through the social media channels typically are not new and may be distorted by the intermediate transmission points. As the social studies shown, many users, especially young people aged 18 to 33, additionally use the Internet, especially social media, for the news consuming. The main part of the respondents (40%) devotes few hours per day for doing it. The high consumption of the information in the form of news is characteristic of the large cities and the developing countries. This trend is a significantly incentive for the new knowledge generating. Nevertheless, as it is well known, the global network loads different content for different purposes. It can be as the informative materials from the reputable scientific organization or the newswire that has already been published, as the fake ones. Since it is not easy to check the true source of the information due to the huge volume of data in social media, people should not have an inclination to rely on it.
The people reliability to the social media begun easily divest due to the character of news from, for example, social networking. The news placed in the social network can also be unreliable and represent just a rumor, so the level of trust for such sources and reputation of the company may be lowered. However, the social media are not always associated with the secondary use of news. Their active implementation in everyday life of people plays the primary role in selecting the source of the spread of the statements about any event or people. Despite this cognitive function, users can still understand the difference between the information on news portals and social media. Therefore, they prefer to receive the significant news from the more conventional news sites, but the entertainment and leisure information – from the social networks. Moreover, another aspect is the delivery of the news. If the related sites are maintained by editorial staff of journalists doing it professionally, then the creation of the information in the source of social media is more heuristic and personified and may not associate with a fact, but just a vision or/and opinion. Nevertheless, the interest in facts is much higher, so people unknowingly rely less on social media as the source of soft and serious news. On other hand, the probability of the involvement into the social network, host, or forum is much lower than the editions or publishers, which may be in private ownership. Therefore, the implication of people in social media to discuss and evaluate the news is very strong. Nevertheless, this does not provide the basis for confidence in them, since the authors of comments promote their subjective points of view.
Unfortunately, the appearance and popularity of the social media awake the professional interest, disregarding the informational quality. The relationship of mass media and social media has been provoked by the participation of journalists in the formation of social media. It originates from the own blogs of freelance journalist who continue the independent professional activity in the online environment. Blog keeping remains to be important for the knowledge formation and dissemination of news. This causes the additional repost, disputes that attracts the attention of the subscribers. Furthermore, social media are used to find the necessary materials for the job. At the same time, most of the journalists have also noted the unreliability as the major problem of the modern methods of online communication, and the subversion of the traditional and customary journalistic values. Many researchers come to this conclusion, noting the inappropriateness of using social media in the professional activities of journalists. The facts offering is mostly frustrated owing to the artificial information provided by the social media source. Thus, the journalistic report should not be based on such data.
The variety of the forms of social media allows each user of the Internet to participate in the multi-faceted communication process that ensures the fact that the reliability of information in the social media is low. Modern computer technology is easily implemented. The technical and technological platforms and the software of social media companies seek to attract more users to the active shaping of the web content of the site. Thus, firms can only represent the possibility to the clients to work by themselves. Voluntarily posted information may not attract the Internet user, but may become the subject of interest of other people. It gives the grounds to assume that the social media information could not any longer support the social security.
It is confirmed by the following facts. The uncertain inference can be made by the authorities due to the social media use. Particular attention to social media is paid by the law enforcement authorities of the country. The governance carries out the admonitory measures to prevent terrorism and the activities of the criminal grouping. Therefore, comprehensive communication, data sharing, and society mood are easier and more affordable traced via the Internet environment, where the online behavior of every user of social media is more relaxed. It causes a wave of discontent, as the personal data, blocked by the registration form, is not already so private. Thereby, there are many doubts about the security of the account. There are ample opportunities of authorities for the aggregation and search the information through the famous social networks, which cause people’s vulnerability to post the false information. Knowing that the account can be easily hacked and changed, not only by hackers, people doubt their usefulness and so try not to personalize them, thus, it increases the level of uncertainty of data. This is the reason why it is so hard to trust to social media.
To sum up, the attitude to social media can be controversial with the respect to their reliability and responsibility, so people should treat them according to their main basic functions – sociable and do not truly rely on them. Responsibility for the results of the use of social media lies on the users, who consciously choose these communication tools. A number of circumstances led social media to be very profitable, but the use of it for marketing purposes may be related to the payment for their services that cannot ensure the profit for the firm. Placing the business information, both personal and corporate, in the social media environment deprives the information of privacy and the reputation of reliability. Despite the fact that social media are very popular to all social groups, their reliability in the correct information giving is seen with the reasonable degree of doubt.