Social networks have penetrated so deeply into the life of a modern person that they have become an integral part of it. We receive news from there, view photos, listen to music, watch videos, express our opinions, and communicate with people, being separated by huge distances. When you wake up, you firstly update FB news feed, read your followers’ comments on Instagram or chat with your friends in WhatsApp, so you may find it engaging to read here all the secrets of building a profitable social media app.

It is very clear that online platforms are affecting society and our minds. But what exactly are social networks? A means of communication, a new stage in the development of social relations, platforms for advertising and promoting goods and services, or global systems for manipulating and controlling people?

Targeted Ads and Brand Placement Strategies

Social networks store and process data about millions of users, helping marketers set up targeted ads and businesses drive sales. At the same time, the income of online platforms is also growing. Many users still find it hard to believe that social networks are not just a communication tool, but a powerful platform that not only collects data on preferences but also forms the opinion of the consumer about goods and services. For this, for example, viral advertising is launched, which increases user spending on goods that they may not have planned to purchase before they appeared on social networks. Besides, personal data, likes, reposts, uploading photos and videos, joining groups, and other activities are collected in social media, helping marketers to increase sales.

Collection of Data about Users

In turn, marketers use this insight to develop and timely change brand placement strategies on social platforms. Previously, such data could only be obtained from specialized companies that provided a small sample, and it was almost impossible to determine demographics. With the help of thematic data, social networks can collect and group information for marketers in narrow areas, while removing the personal data of users. The collected data about users is used to display personalized ads: everyone sees those ads that, based on the analytics of the social network, allow them to guess the interests of the target audience as correctly as possible. In relation to business, this approach to advertising is more useful and many times more effective than television advertising, where everyone is shown the same pads, toothpaste, and diapers. Social networks have allowed businesses to reach out directly to a potential buyer and it is on these virtual platforms that people reveal their secrets, and a subtle analytical mechanism tracks their preferences.

Impact on HRM

Over the past decade, the impact of social media on recruiting has become quite serious. Firstly, thanks to social networks, it became possible to remotely hire employees and freelancers, and a company team does not have to sit in the same office under the supervision of a manager. People can work on the same project from different countries and time zones. This is especially popular in IT companies and Internet projects. Secondly, the emergence of social networks has led to the emergence of new professions such as SMM, blogger, internet marketer, who earn on such platforms as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, because promotion and advertising goods moved from the real sector to the Internet and social networks. Also, new skills were added for already existing professions such as web developers, content creators, PR, for whom social networks have become a new springboard for their activities.

A Source of Control and Monitoring

Social networks became a source of information to control employees. Large companies monitor their corporate reputation and will not tolerate a negative impact on their image from employees who demonstrate something contradictory on social networks. Besides, using social networks, companies can reveal dishonesty of employees, when, having asked for time off for health reasons, a “sick” employee posts photos or stories from the beach or a party.

Banks, insurance companies, and tech sellers use social media scoring to decide whether to approve a loan or perform other transactions for a person. For example, using social media profiles, a robot can look at who you follow and what you share to understand your interests and track your emails and subscriptions to see how you spend your money. Besides, robots can check if you’ve told the truth about your employment history or education. Using a mobile application, the bank or insurance company will have access to the geolocation and track places you visit, live, or work to create your image. Moreover, the app also has access to your contacts and advises you to store creditworthy friends.

Social networks have gradually evolved from a means of communication into an instrument of massive influence on people’s choices and decisions. If earlier, before the beginning of the Internet era, this task lay mainly on television, then with the advent of social networks, opportunities opened up for the influence on the broad masses.