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Brian Ngo, Teja Tetala, Gabe Marques

Professor Barbara Presnell

UWRT 1104

February 14th 2019

How Does Social Media Positively Impact Businesses?

Social media is one of the pivotal factors in today’s progressing society. From

networking to marketing, social media is used vastly across the globe, hitting approximately 2.46

billion social media users in 2017. Although, the influences of social media on society is a

widely controversial topic to many. Many see the benefits from the usage and contribution to

social media whereas others seem to hold a strong distaste for it. Some argue that social media

helps others be more connected, while others say the opposite; social media pushes us further

apart and makes us disconnect. A large sum would state that social media provides a fantastic

opportunity for people to reach out to others and network for their career, while others strongly

believe that social media is addictive and leads to more self destructive attributes compared to

helpful attributes. The debates regarding social media are quite vast, and many attempt to

identify the overarching principle of social media’s influence. There is one particular subject

which draws the attention of many adults in this day and age: economy. More specifically, how

businesses adapt and utilize social media to grow.

Our inquiry question is “How Does Social Media Positively Impact Businesses?”. I came

to choose this inquiry question because I am very fascinated with both business and the art of

connecting with others. Since a young kid, I have loved using the internet. It allowed me to

explore a world I could not fathom right at my own house. Soon after school began progressing,
email became prevalent for us. Although I had a cell phone, I had to pay for texts, so I spent

more time using email. Days on days, we would use gmail to chat with friends about random

things. Middle school came along, where we were introduced to more advanced social media,

such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. Now we came to college, and the lifelong mystery

of what my purpose or goal in life is hit us hard. For me, I admired business, and the idea that

many could make it in this day and age pushed me to change to a business major. Knowing the

uses of social media, I figured it would be helpful to delve further into how social media can be

utilized to help me progress in my plans of starting my own business.

For this assignment, we began by searching for relevant peer evaluated articles using the

Atkins Library search engine. We had to make sure the article was related to our subject, and we

made sure we found modern articles to best represent the current status of how social media

affects businesses. As we searched through the thousands of articles, we made sure we selected

articles which complimented each other for the sake of consistency in our research. At the same

time, however, we did not want to repeat information, so each of us picked a specific topic which

fell under the same idea. We found several articles regarding our inquiry question, however, we

only selected three articles. The first article is called “Capitalize on the Opportunity economy”,

written by Jay Baer, a social media strategy consultant, and Amber Naslund, the vice president of

strategy at Radian6. The article explains how social media enables people to deliver their just in

time marketing to their audience, as well as making sure the message is relevant for others and

authentic to the creator. The article also talked about many opportunities that social media

provides in terms of location, inquiry, and context. The second article is called “Making a Living

Before Making It Big on Youtube”, by Taylor Lorenz. This article focussed on Youtube, which
has approximately 2 billion monthly active users and is continuously developing. The article

makes note of many persons who have used social media to jumpstart their goals, such as

PewDiePie, Jake Paul, Logan Paul, Lele Pons, and many others. The article also explains how

many young entrepreneurs partner up with other apps or companies to reach out to a larger

audience, promoting their channels. There are many risk factors involved, but that goes with any

investment made. The biggest investment is time, which needs to be applied in exchange of

opportunities, parties, and homework. Another worry is the possibility of the apps shutting down,

ceasing the partnership and progression. However, the advantages brought by a successful start

are immense, such as being able to make $500 in just 3 hours. The article concludes that

although the process of chasing a social media career and building requires many risks and

sacrifices, the trade off is worth the overall gain. The third and last article we looked into is

called “How Small Business can Benefit from Social Media/Networking Sites”, written by David

Wallace, CEO and founder of SearchRank. The article describes 11 main benefits which social

media brings to businessmen. What stood out the most to me is that the article was written by a

CEO, which helps establish credibility. The benefits listed may be implemented by anyone. The

main focus was on Twitter, which was useful considering most sites have targeted YouTube or

Instagram. Another thing that makes this article unique is that it focuses on how businesses can

utilize social media rather than providing a story to explain how the author used the advice given

to work on his own business. I was able to use this article to better understand the how

businesses use social media to enhance creation, attraction, connection, time efficiency.

In order to investigate the effects of social media, we formed a survey for others to

complete with regards to social media. We developed 10 questions associated with the inquiry
question at hand. We received a total of 55 responses. We primarily targeted the younger

population. For convenience sake, we created an online survey using Google forms and

distributed it via Snapchat. As a result, only those who have us on snapchat were able to answer

the question. Approximately 60% of the responses came from 17-19 year olds while about 30%

of the responses were from 20-22 year olds. All 55 members use social media, and a majority of

the participants spend approximately 2-3 hours on social media daily. These questions were used

to evaluate the responses from the following weightier questions regarding the presence of

business advertisements. When asked if the participant had ever seen or used a post that has

promoted a sale, promotional code, or any type of special deal through social media, 83.6% of

the respondents stated yes. When asked if they had ever seen or read about another person’s

review on a product, approximately 91% said yes, and when asked to rank the amount of

advertisements that one comes across on social media, 71% of the respondents claimed they saw

advertisements quite frequently. This shows how often businesses utilize social media by paying

for advertisements to display on a given platform. There may be slight bias in the survey for it

was done through convenience for time sake. It was also accessible through our own social

medias, which only those who do use social media are able to see. Considering we are college

students, the data was more focused around students our age from other schools and students at

our campus. Nonetheless, the results still speak for this sample, showing that a vast majority of

the participants have come across the items spoken of above.

As a group, we decided to interview some people to get input on our inquiry question;

perhaps, reach out to one with another perspective, whether it’s one who challenges our beliefs

and encourages us to think deeper or one who resonates with our hypothesis. We interviewed 3
people since we did not have much time available, and those we interviewed were friends of

ours. We asked a total of 5 questions to each of the interviewees. Our first two interview

questions asked “When you think about making money off of social media, what social media

platforms come to mind?” and “Why did you choose that social media platform?”, respectively.

All 3 persons chose instagram, and explained that they see several advertisements and

promotions while scrolling through their feed. They also noticed celebrities and influencers

wearing certain products and promoting certain services, which sparks a lot of attention to many

followers. The third question asked “What kind of advertisements do you tend to see on that

social media platform and how would you describe the amount at which you tend to see them?”.

We heard all sorts of answers, such as food, because it is often trendy, clothing and makeup,

because it is fashion, and various other promotion advertisements. As for the amount at which

they tend to see the advertisements, they saw them plenty of times. Any time they scroll through

their feed they would come across an advertisement or product promoted either by instagram’s

advertisement service or an individual. Instagram uses an algorithm to tailor your feed based on

your likes and searches. This enables businesses to reach their intended audience with ease, and

helps customers discover businesses that provide products they want which they may never have

came across on their own. The fourth question we asked is “Have you seen social media

influencers promote a product? And has this sparked any reaction or response?”. Each of the

interviews said that they had seen social influencers promote a product, and it has sparked a

reaction or response to many. One individual talked about Rihanna’s makeup line. Rihanna is a

very popular celebrity and singer with currently 67.6 million followers on instagram. Some of

her posts advertised her own makeup line, and many of her fans were inclined to purchase her
products. The fifth and final question we asked our interviews is “Can you describe or list one

way you think social media will change or adapt in the future, in terms of being a business or

making money?”. They all believe that social media will grow heavily in the future and believe

that it will continue to grow exponentially. Social media has evolved tremendously, from

MySpace to Facebook, and other sites such as YouTube is constantly being upgraded to fit

today’s standards. When instagram was released back in 2019, there was not much advertising

placed on the app. However, as it drew more attention and more funding, companies began

investing and utilizing this app to promote the growth of their own businesses. One believes that

in the future, social media will be the primary mode of advertising.

From our analysis of the articles, interviews, and survey, we concluded that social media

is very useful and provides several benefits for businesses, which was our initial hypothesis.

Social media provides an outlook, reaching out to audiences around the world instead of being

restricted to a small area. Although the industry initially began as a source of communication and

entertainment, it developed as a base for many entrepreneurs, influencers, and businesses. The

results are as we expected: several students use social media in their everyday life, and many

have either implemented or noticed other implement social media for their businesses or for

profit, which agrees which our initial thoughts that social media is quite impactful in

communicating products and services. From our research, we learned that social media is widely

used among many persons and businesses. Our opinion of social media had not changed, but was

rather strengthened by supporting that social media has plentiful benefits to offer. If you are still

doubtful of the effects social media brings about, I would suggest looking into the articles we

read, and perhaps consider making a survey at your own place too. After all, more research helps
maximize our society's understanding of social media. As a society, we can encourage the use of

social media in order to promote networking and they key component of all social media:

socializing. Of course, we must ensure the the counterproductive components of social media,

such as addictions, distractions, and self esteem be minimized, but that should be a goal knowing

that social media brings about benefits. Social media provides immense benefits for both starting

and existing businesses through various ways, including time efficiency, cost, and customer

attraction. Although many argue that social media is more damaging to one’s productivity than

not, businesses have shown to profit tremendously from the services and opportunities provided.

As shown in the articles, not only are there numerous applications for using social media, but

they have proven to provide successful results. From CEOs to start up businessman, connecting

with customers through Twitter to creating content with Youtube, the range from who can

benefit from using different platforms is boundless.

Brian Ngo, Teja Tetala, Gabe Marques

Professor Barbara Presnell

UWRT 1104

February 14th 2019

Works Cited

Naslund, Amber and Baer, Jay. “Capitalize on "the Opportunity Economy.” Communication

World, vol. 29, no. 1, International Association of Business Communicators, Jan. 2012.

Lorenz, Taylor. “Making a Living Before Making It Big on YouTube.” The Atlantic, Atlantic

Media Company, 28 Aug. 2018, www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/08/how-


Wallace, David. “How Small Business Can Benefit from Social Media/Networking Sites.”

Agency Sales, vol. 42, no. 8, Manufacturers’ Agents National Association, Aug. 2012,

pp. 16–20, http://search.proquest.com/docview/1151389378/.