Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Social Media for Consumers

How beneficial can social media be for individuals as a consumer? I have some general ideas theoretically but I did not think about this kind of question attentively before and I don’t know how effective it is in practice. But when my wife recount me her experiences in social media world, I noticed that how being a serious user of it can be useful for certain people. She is a dedicated follower of women type of blogs, Pinterest and Instagram accounts. Maybe this kind of things are commonly practiced in USA or some other countries but in Turkey I have to admit that I was surprised, considering the corporations’ previous reputation there in terms of customer relations. According to her firms are regularly send their products as gifts to account holders those who are intensively followed. Then they mention and show them in their blogs or accounts. After a quick search I learned that this is not a commercial or paid relation but a public relation approach and a different kind of free advertising. In spite of there are laws or regulation on the issue, for some reasons like finding ways to go around them, firms are very reluctant to do something about the items they sold. It requires costly, annoying and time consuming efforts to get them to do something. But seemingly social media has its own unique power and influence on them. Maybe it is because of very high penetration rates among mid/upper mid classes and young peoples in the country. My wife gave a tangible example of this approach. An account named Devletsah, she is also a blogger for the last ten years and have more than 11K followers. The day before yesterday she shared a minor problem about her kindle and yesterday the company send her a brand new one. I’m pretty sure that she could solve this problem through traditional old ways in months if she was lucky enough.

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