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Social Media impact on Economy

What role does Social Media play
in the global economy?
We use Social Media in our everyday lives, it is so embedded in our routine that
we often overlook the degree of dependance we have on it for most of our tasks.
Social networks foster communication, global communication leads to dialogue,
dialogue leads to opinions and opinions are what we, as consumers of the
products of our local economies, base our decisions on. A consumer’s decision
lays the foundation for any economy. It is the root from which, the most basic of
transactions sprout to create a network of inter-related and inter-dependant
markets that create our economy.
We depend on social networks to look for jobs, to make our buying decisions, to
advertise and to respond to advertisements, to market and to be marketed to, to
review and to read reviews and to do so much more. Each minute more than 30
million IMs are exchanged on Facebook, 350,000 tweets are posted, 7610
LinkedIn profiles are searched and 2 million Youtube videos are viewed.
Social media fosters collaboration and communication on an unfathomable level.
From such instant collaboration rise interest groups. Interest group formation has
been revolutionary for every industry. Be it people with similar health issues
recommending courses of action to one another, or people with similar taste in
food recommending restaurants. It has furthered the formation of a unified global
A simple example of this could be the tourism industry. Various travel blogs,
pages on Facebook or Instagram accounts have provided travel inspiration to
thousands of travelers, boosting tourism of the respective countries. Would we
have known to visit the rare collectibles shop in the corner of the street in Venice,
had we not read about it on that blog? Or, would we have visited that quaint
cafeteria for some delicious authentic Italian pasta had we not watched a video
review on Youtube?
Social media is also helping us become better citizens by providing an open
platform to put forth our ideas, plans and initiatives in an easier way than ever
before. Online platforms have strengthened our connections to the political
leaders, who are no longer unreachable as one can simply tweet to their accounts
and receive instant replies in most cases.
Project Insight, likely to be launched by the Government of India in 2018, will use
data analytics to match information from social media platforms to analyze
discrepancies between spending pattern and income declaration. This move will
help the Income Tax Department of India to monitor transactions and also curb
black money while collecting detailed information for improving tax compliance.
This shows an example of how Governments are integrating their policies with
this shift towards the digital era, and are potentially reaping benefits from the
Social media is changing the way we do business at a breakneck speed. It is no
longer an area for only the PR team to be skilled in, every department from
product creation to customer feedback has grown deeply intertwined with social
Not only is social media an inexpensive method of advertising, but also a means
for businesses to offer transparent service to their customers. It has enabled twoway communication between the brands and the customers. If a consumer faces
a problem, he or she has the power to instantly let the brand manager as well as
other potential consumers know about the experience.
Targeted and customised advertisements are another breakthrough made
possible through the advent of social media. Marketers can tailor their adverts to
their target audience and thereby achieve much higher response than is possible
through any traditional means of advertising. Detailed customer analytics enable
marketers to get information about their consumers they didn't have access to
earlier. This has propelled E-commerce to an entirely new level today.
A study conducted by Deloitte suggests that Facebook has created 4.5 million
jobs around the world and added $227 billion to the global economy in 2014.
These jobs are widespread, reaching countries such as India, Brazil, and Australia.
One might dismiss such a study as debatable, considering the fact that it was
sponsored by Facebook itself, however, Deloitte states that it has used robust
methodology and an approach based on recognized economic methods.
Undoubtedly, social media has been critical to job creation globally, not only by
effectively linking job seekers to job givers, but also by enhancing several
industries and developing the need for new positions and skills that weren't
present before. Social media has spawned the “App Economy”, leading to the
creation of thousands of jobs worldwide in Application creation, development,
and marketing. Apart from apps, social media has invented jobs under search
engine optimisation (SEO), web development, online customer relationship
management, content creation and much more.
There’s no denying that there can be many down-sides to Social Media. However,
if used effectively and by employing reasonable practices, it can definitely prove
to be a boon for the global economy in the years to come.