Social Networking and Social Media Comparisons

Social Networking and Social Media Comparisons

Michael A. Brown Sr. (Florida International University, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1963-8.ch001


Organizations, researchers and academicians now have a new source for social networking methodology through Social Networking and Individual Performance (SNIP). This book will provide a scored survey instrument that, combined with research findings, relevant discovery and discussion will bring social networking into focus. The body of work focuses on the end state of social networking activities rather than the social media platform. This is an important distinction. This book addresses how to set an end state and devise a strategic approach to emphasize expectation, value, and return (EVR) in social networking. This approach is important because there are not enough references that have a similar approach to help those engaged in social networking and social media activities. In fact, there are none that focus on the current approach. SNIP addresses that limitation.
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Social Networking Analysis

We start our discussion of social media measurement and performance with an analysis of Social Capital Theory, which suggests that the efficiency of society can be improved by facilitating coordinated actions (Putnam 1993). Social networking provides a vital source of information and numerous opportunities for all participants to build social capital. Social media tools are increasingly provided by organizations to improve business processes, create new business, and enhance the lives of employees. The new and innovative ways to stay in touch with the environment and peers through social networking make for dynamic communication with internal and external audiences. Organizations that commit to social networking also commit to allowing employees to spend an unspecified number of hours making connections and joining communities. Many companies have embraced the fact that there are available benefits in terms of improved communication and morale, and in terms of connecting people on related projects or responsibilities (Madden and Jones 2008). The Pew Internet & American Life Project (2008) found that “Wired and Ready Workers” have improved their work lives through information and communications technology (ICT). According to the Pew Research Center, Wired and Ready Workers are the 96% of employed adults who are in some way making use of new communications technologies—either by going online, using email or owning a cell phone (Madden and Jones 2008). More information appears below:

  • 80% say these technologies have improved their ability to do their job.

  • 73% say these technologies have improved their ability to share ideas with co-workers.

  • 58% say these tools have allowed them more flexibility in the hours they work.

The Wired and Ready Workers also note negative impacts of ICTs in the study:

  • 46% say ICTs increase demands that they work more hours.

  • 49% say ICTs increase the level of stress in their job.

  • 49% say ICTs make it harder for them to disconnect from their work when they are at home and on the weekends.

Organizations need to find ways to encourage participation on a higher level, address any issues with acceptance of social networking policies, and address any negative perceptions that stand in the way of people “getting social” to their fullest capabilities. How can organizational leadership address social networking participation? The foundation provided through relevant theories in this book can help to define ways to create a decision matrix, which could lead to an active, lasting participation in an organization’s chosen social networking activity. The decision matrix would provide a framework identifying determinants and opportunities that affect participation. As social capital builds in an effective social networking environment, the density of social networking activity should increase.


Important Social Comparisons

The distinction between social networking and social media must be made clear before introducing a new focus. Social media refers to communication interactions which create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. If regular media is a one-way street, then social media is a two-way street that delivers unlimited ability to comment and discuss and offers a fast way to read the newspaper or digest a TV report.

Social networking is about getting people to collaborate and share experiences and get advice that may improve their lives or help them make better decisions. If we explore employee participation from a social information processing perspective, social interactions can be demonstrated in terms of the influences of actors, as in social exchange theory (Shetzer 1993). It is also important to consider how information relating to social interaction is cognitively organized and processed. This approach is informative for three reasons. First, it enables individuals to efficiently determine their relative influence in a workplace situation. Second, it allows individuals to respond efficiently to the situation on an emotional level. Third, it allows individuals to call upon scripted sequences of appropriate behavior.

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