Topic 4: Reflective Summary

The Ethics surrounding Social Media for Marketing from the perspective of a Business remains a grey area. Previous to this topic I hadn’t considered the implications, or the use of Social Media in regards to Education, but to avoid this post being an explanation of how this works I will instead focus on its use by Businesses.

Namat shows the problems that arise for a company when a fake account is set up. In his post the example of the fake Emirates account on Instagram, it amassed 10,000 followers who shared an image thinking they were being entered into a competition for free flights. I’ve seen these fake accounts in my use of Instagram. I think we have to remember that if it seems to good to be true, then it probably is!

Sarah’s post highlighted the instant nature of twitter, everything is happening in real time, which can have really negative consequences if people respond with off the cuff comments. As the video she linked to pointed out, no one is going to stop eating Skittles because they didn’t post about 9/11. But when such a sensitive topic is up for discussion, trivialising it by making a tedious link to Skittles isn’t going to endear you to the consumer.

I thought the quote with which Leigh started her blog post put all of this in perspective, “Social-Media-Ad spending is expected to reach a total of $4.8 Billion at the end of 2012 and $9.8 Billion by 2016”. Essentially it’s a big money area, and so everyone is going to want a slice of that pie. Whether they’re actually qualified or doing it in a successful way remains to be seen.

It was Tatiana’s post that made me think of the Ethical Implications of the public ‘persona’ that Katie Hopkins portrays. Katie makes her living from making ill-timed, ill-though out and deeply offensive comments in the media and on her Social Media accounts. However, she is paid to this, and people pay her to appear on chat shows etc. and thus encourage her to continue to make her living in this way.

Ethically there has to be more of an issue here than when a celebrity endorses a car manufacturer after being given a free car. If you’re deciding your next car purchase on the basis of what a member of the TOWIE cast is driving then it’s probably time to re-evaluate your priorities in life.

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