Using the capabilities of modern social media sites expands the scope of business interaction and allows exploring new areas of communication. By analyzing the situation in the IT market, it is possible to find valuable resources where members of certain communities discuss various topics and share experiences that can be important when searching for strategic solutions. In addition, social media sites are the accessible and convenient means of interaction, which eliminates the need to involve third parties to establish productive dialogues and negotiate transactions.
Nevertheless, despite the advantages that such platforms have, there are some problems that often arise. In particular, it is hard enough to count on comprehensive privacy because the information that passes on social media sites does not always have adequate protection, which creates difficulties for ensuring secrecy. Also, the influence of public opinion can manifest itself as a negative factor since third-party users may have an impact on the decision-making process. Finally, in relation to business research, the process of data collection can also be complicated due to controversy regarding the accuracy of information.
These difficulties need to be considered in order to achieve productive interaction with partners and colleagues and to prevent the intervention of third parties. Despite the measures that IT developers take to improve social media sites, such issues remain and give rise to doubts about the convenience of business communication through the Internet. Moreover, when much electronic information should be transferred, various platforms are convenient carriers that can reduce the time for searching for alternative ways of exchanging data. The analysis of the aforementioned challenges may provide an opportunity to eliminate the occurrence of unforeseen situations and help to establish effective online communication.
Privacy Management on Social Media Sites
Since today, large information flows pass through social media, one of the most pressing issues is privacy management on these virtual platforms. According to Vitak et al., if users do not have certainty about the administration of personal information transmitted via the Internet, this creates concern for the reputation of certain sites (1487). In addition, the risk of the theft of private data arises, which is unacceptable in the process of business communication.
The advancement of technologies in the field of the protection of message transfer channels is noticeable, for instance, in the form of creating special cloud storage and client authentication systems. However, despite the progress, the threat of theft exists if the administration of social media sites does not put enough effort to ensure the safety of private data.
In order to achieve the comprehensive security of information on social media sites, it is essential to create a reliable system where different stakeholders should be involved. As Zurbriggen et al. note, the participation of the representatives of technological, legal, social, and individual spheres is necessary to ensure control over the secrecy of data transmitted online (248). Also, security issues may arise if specific platforms do not provide appropriate protocols, indicating that work is done to preserve the rights of users to anonymity.
In case no actions are taken timely, this is fraught with the loss of user confidence and in the status of a particular platform as a reliable social media site. Therefore, addressing issues related to the security of information flows is a significant task in the administration and promotion of online resources that specialize in the transmission of user information.
Impact of Mass Effect on the Decision-Making Process
Business communication on social media sites, as a rule, has a clearly oriented background and goals. Nevertheless, when analyzing the tendency of the Internet users’ interaction, it can be noted that personal opinions often depend on outside influences.
One of these factors is the mass effect, which is the role of third parties in the decision-making process. Despite the clear focus of topics maintained in the business environment, there is a rather strong base of third-party users who may have alternative opinions on certain positions, thereby affecting the direct participants in the dialogue. According to Valentini, public relations are largely dependent on the principles of interaction on social media sites due to the wide distribution of such platforms (170). As a result, the nature of business communication may change, which is not always positive.
The perception of social positions and the role of third parties in decision-making are subjective. At the same time, the dogmas and principles of interaction are often based on those theses that are supported in the social media environment and serve as the tools for assessing certain situations and phenomena. As a result, the personal assessment of specific situations or decisions may become the result of too a strong mass effect, and rational arguments and judgments may be influenced by others.
Jang and Kim remark that perceptual bias is a problem because the sides of business communication can rely not on effective decisions and strategies but generally accepted hypotheses, which, in turn, may be false (299). Thus, opposition to public opinions is a crucial step in the process of establishing business interaction and decision-making practice.
Data Collection Challenges
For business communication and maintaining a high level of interaction through social media sites, it is crucial to have reliable data regarding such aspects as customer interest, current trends, and other significant factors of business practice. Accordingly, in order to analyze these areas, it is necessary to approach carefully the data collection process, which, in turn, can be a problem. Despite the availability of information and the variability of methods for evaluating certain sales criteria, difficulties may arise with the relevance of the findings.
As Stieglitz et al. argue, “both businesses and non-profit organisations seek to collect the data produced by the crowd” (157). However, when utilizing special assessment mechanisms, researchers may encounter some challenges that have a negative impact on the outcomes of evaluation work.
The methods of evaluating certain factors by using social media sites can be credible if only stakeholders take part in surveys and studies. Nonetheless, it is rather difficult to ensure that each member of the research process has a clear idea of the goals of a particular project and its benefits. As a result, as Stieglitz et al. remark, the phases of collecting and preparing information depend on a number of conventions, and the reliability of the facts may be controversial (160).
Interventions aimed at interacting with the target audience of a particular business cannot be based on assumptions and ambiguous data obtained in the process of ineffective surveys, analyzes, and the compilation of correlations. Accordingly, this problem is relevant for different market participants, including both the representatives of the selling sphere and consumers.
When evaluating the problems from the standpoint of the possibility of solving them during the time allotted for preparing the course project, the issue of data collection on social media sites man be addressed satisfactorily. Since this procedure involves analyzing specific information on the basis of the comprehensive assessment of a single topic, it is possible to pick up reliable sources and find well-documented facts. The two remaining problems are difficult to resolve in a relatively short period because both ensuring the privacy of communication and searching for the methods of avoiding mass effect requires additional efforts. The process of data collection is the mechanism that implies utilizing competent approaches to the assessment of available resources, and a corresponding safe algorithm may be developed.
All of the aforementioned problems are real and may cause inconvenience in the process of business communication. Based on the cited evidence taken from academic literature, it can be noted that social media sites are popular but not well-studied platforms for sharing information. As a result, the preservation of privacy, the mass effect, and the complexity of data collection are those issues that take place in contemporary realities. Accordingly, to overcome them, it is crucial to look for relevant strategic solutions. Neglecting the rules for assessing the limitations arising in the process of online business interaction can make it difficult to maintain a productive dialogue and cause incorrect data to appear.
When assessing the importance of the problems considered from the standpoint of the necessity of their research, they all deserve particular attention. Nevertheless, based on the timing and the possibilities of the solution, the most significant of them are the issues associated with managing privacy and opposing the mass effect. The process of adjusting data collection may be less lengthy and difficult. The previous two problems, on the contrary, require additional resources.
For instance, in order to create an appropriate security system for the exchange of information on social media sites, technological developments in the field of cybersecurity are to be involved. Countering the mass effect requires a long search for evidence of the relevance of specific theories and their independence in the general information field. Therefore, these two issues are important enough to be worth researching carefully.
The problems discussed are narrow enough to examine each of them separately. These issues have different intervention strategies and are based on distinctive analysis methodologies. For example, it is essential to study the process of ensuring the privacy of communication on social media sites and the process of collecting data simultaneously. For each of the problems, it is necessary to select the individual principle of research and find appropriate sources that could be effective tools. Otherwise, a comprehensive review is fraught with insufficiently quality and productive assessment. Accordingly, the uniqueness and depth of each topic are the significant aspects of interventions for finding effective solutions and ensuring normal business communication.
The proposed research may be useful and valuable for different stakeholders. Also, as the performers who are able to implement appropriate changes and choose the best intervention strategies, specialists of different profiles may be involved. Professional IT professionals can develop the necessary software designed to ensure the privacy of data sharing on social media sites. Social specialists are able to create effective communication mechanisms while taking into account the significance of each individual opinion that is not based on general trends and not subject to the mass effect. Finally, professional researchers and scholars can introduce optimal data collection mechanisms on the sites in question to prevent the analysis of incredible or false facts.
It is possible to find adequate resources to create sound solutions for all the problems listed. IT specialists have wide access to the information field and modern security mechanisms. Accordingly, involving competent employees may be a guarantee for creating a reliable and secure system for sharing data on social media sites. Resources for effective decisions regarding countering the mass effect can also be found, for example, through engaging sociologists and their developments in the field of assessing the aspects of third-party influence on the decision-making process. For the problem of collecting data on social media sites, it is possible to involve the existing methodologies aimed at identifying reliable mechanisms for evaluating available information. In general, adequate resources for each of the issues may be found.
The possibility of maintaining stable and effective business communication on social media sites is an essential task for high-quality interaction. In this case, such problems should be addressed as ensuring the privacy of information sharing, countering the mass effect in the decision-making process, and making credible data collection tools. Resources for addressing all these issues may be found by engaging specialists and developing productive intervention mechanisms. All the problems considered are narrow enough, and searching for interventions to solve them requires individual researching and finding optimal methodologies based on unique strategic principles and introducing relevant practical solutions.
Jang, S. Mo, and Joon K. Kim. “Third Person Effects of Fake News: Fake News Regulation and Media Literacy Interventions.” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 80, 2018, pp. 295-302.
Stieglitz, Stefan, et al. “Social Media Analytics – Challenges in Topic Discovery, Data Collection, and Data Preparation.” International Journal of Information Management, vol. 39, 2018, pp. 156-168.
Valentini, Chiara. “Is Using Social Media “Good” for the Public Relations Profession? A Critical Reflection.” Public Relations Review, vol. 41, no. 2, 2015, pp. 170-177.
Vitak, Jessica, et al. “Balancing Audience and Privacy Tensions on Social Network Sites: Strategies of Highly Engaged Users.” International Journal of Communication, vol. 9, 2015, pp. 1485-1504.
Zurbriggen, Eileen L., et al. “Negotiating Privacy and Intimacy on Social Media: Review and Recommendations.” Translational Issues in Psychological Science, vol. 2, no. 3, 2016, pp. 248-260.