Literature ReviewIntroductionThe recent popularity of various social media such as Facebook and Twitter and their influence in Middle East, has raised the need to understand the Medias’ background and their contents. Facebook and Twitter are new links that have recently transformed social media in a region where there is a high rate of illiteracy and oral communication which is vital to the culture of UAE countries. The research question in this study is to give the background knowledge of the influence of the social media in the region and how it has contributed to improved marketing.
To begin with, it is necessary to know about the history of the various social media as this will fully comprehend the various functions they perform. Development of social mediaResearch indicates that the lines between work and home life have quickly become blurred and social networks are prepared to keep up. Social networks have introduced ways of interacting with one another and therefore taking people to somewhere they never imagined though it is necessary to deal with the fading boundaries that the tools have left which means that the social rules will have to be rewritten.
The social networking services have expanded the pool of people where they have the opportunity of meeting various kinds of people who with different ideas and opinions. The society is therefore not restricted to rely on people within the neighbourhood, church or workplace to provide interaction. Benkler (2006) describes that the new concept is getting to know other people online which reflects back to the days of Bulletin Board Services (BBS), IRC and CompuServe. The difference between social networking and these services is that in social media people communicate via instant messaging for example through facebook walls and twitter replies.
More closely, social media mimic face to face communication and it is more efficient than email, forums or message boards (Shirky, 2008). Role of social media to the societyAccording to Shirky (2008) the way people access media in today’s world has changed dramatically over the past 20 years as people can access the latest information any time an event occurs. The internet has created more demand and has the latest information.
This is due to the incredible connective power, vast opportunity and unlocking potential in the society. People’s lives have been transformed as a result of social media. Facebook and Twitter started out as a way of keeping contact with friends and family but now their outreach is phenomenal. Research shows that governments that restrict social media risk being destabilised. This is because the media enables people to be open, more effective and more independent therefore improving the environment and political stability (Dheeraj, 2010). To maintain this, social media has changed the society as it allows people to gather for social interaction as well as expressing themselves in a simple and immediate fashion.
This has impacted change in the spread of ideas and spread news in a short time which would have taken days and weeks using the earlier methods of communication. Social media has also affected the way people used to do business for example the recent trending topic in online marketing is the increase in social media marketing. Most companies have been influenced to engage themselves in various social media channels.
Dheeraj (2010) puts it that if well planned it can be one of the cheapest and effective mode of online marketing and promotion of organisational products but if not well planned it can get a company into a disaster. The reason why companies need to turn around social media is due to certain reasons which include company profile, its products, customers etc (Li and Bernoff, 2008).