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Social Networks and Use in Performance Improvement

Recently, online social networking sites have exploded in popularity. Numerous sites are dedicated to finding and maintaining contacts and to locating and sharing different types of content. Online social networks represent a new kind of information network that differs significantly from existing networks like the Web.

Explain the power of social networks and how to harness that power towards Performance Improvement. Think about the use of these site in organizations and what optimization opportunities are there, as well as integration.

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The Facebook Effect (Kirkpatrick, 2010) begins by illustrating the strength of social networking using an example of a provincial Colombian who starts a website against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) that grows to 8,000 members within two days, evolves into a march against FARC drawing 10 million people within a month, and results in the release of 14 hostages ultimately. The power of social networks involves growth through collaboration, which can result in performance improvement. Social media encourages the building of communities which then turn separate entities into powerful forces, utilizing common interests and unique talents to draw out better performance than single operators could exact working on their own.

Electronic and high-tech companies were among the first to globalize, recognizing that capitalizing on the strengths of outsiders can deliver significant benefits (Von Lewinski, Ovanessoff, and Bellin, 2011). Utilizing online social networking developed alliances, which delivered integrated service and product solutions at lower price points. Thomas Friedman reminds us that the world is flat; we can now communicate as easily with an online acquaintance in India as with our next-door neighbor. In fact, online social networks enable us to bond with companies and individuals with similar interests, allowing us to participate in global trade and commerce. Networking online leads to awareness of purchasing opportunities- Alibaba (http://www.alibaba.com/), an online B2B marketplace headquartered in China unites importers, exporters, wholesalers, and purchasers in 240 countries through a social network. This site enables each of the different businesses to interact themselves to one another. The company claims to have more than 65 million registered users (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alibaba_Group). The result is the ability for businesses around the world to introduce their wares and services, lowering the cost of searching for lower prices and better service since access is available through the social network and not by surfing the web or browsing trade magazines as in the past.

Debashis Sarkear points out that social networking is a way to connect with customers, "to collect their feedback, test out products and solutions" (Sarkear, 2010). This new way of forming relationships can be seen on social networking sites throughout the web- from Twitter posts bragging about getting the new Apple iCloud software download to busy housewives connecting to discuss laundry strategies on tough stains (http://middlegeorgia.momslikeme.com/members/JournalActions.aspx?g=437671&m=17258528&p=146) and recommending particular products, There is a veritable endless supply of social networks and formations of said social networks. There are social networks started by companies. Examples of this are company Facebook pages, where one can "friend" a brand or company, and Twitter feeds where one can learn the newest updates about their favorite brands. These options allow ...

Solution Summary

This detailed solution explains the power of social networks and how to harness that power towards performance improvements for organizations. It explains optimization opportunities as well as integration. It includes examples, links, and references in APA formatting.

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