Media is an important tool of communication or instrument of passing round significant information. Some examples of media that comes to mind anytime one mentions the word are radio and newspaper, however there are other mediums of communication that pass for media such as the magazines, supplementary, guides, flyers, banners and catalogues among others. Of late there has emerged a rampant use of social media as a tool of communication.
Social media can be viewed as a social or shared instrument which enables communication from one person to another, exchange between individuals or groups and most significantly interactivity between/among the concerned groups or persons (about.com, 2011). Today, we have a good number of people running into millions of them who are registered as members of several social media communities and they rely on them heavily for communication since they have e very well established online social network with which they share information and lots of time just for fun and company.
Technological advancements go in tandem with the evolution of social media, with each passing day bringing it advancement in technology and consequently better and easier ways of interaction via social media. As the web designers get better with the advancing technology, so is the advancement of more user friendly modes of interaction. The social media is not only about the sharing of information but has also utilized the ICT greatly and has a provision for sharing pictures and videos. The ICT has turned virtually anyone with a camera phone into a photo journalist. Events that are captured on phone can easily be circulated all over the world via the social media. It is amazing that in this respect, even the main stream media like CNN, Aljazeera, CBN, BBC and the list is endless with their journalist spread all over the world still have to rely on the social media to get some invaluable videos or photos that could be circulated by the social media.
The most recent versions of social media will not only act as a podium for information collection but also a platform to participate as well as interact with other users on the same website. The advancement is so high that one can participate in web contributions to an issue or topic in real time as a result of latest versions of social media avenues.
There is a variety of ICT companies that deal with the social media in a bid to enable the user of the service to enjoy the comfort of being able to communicate with others. Bearing the interactivity of the recent ICT and the social media, there are various social media that specialize in dealing with Bookmarking which is handled mainly by Simpy, del.icio.us and Blinklist among several other smaller social networks.
When it comes to social news that both gives the user the information needed as well as a chance to comment on the news then it can be found in reddit, dig and properller as the major players in this area of concentration.
Social Networking and connecting people on various ends of the universe is aptly provided by Twitter, Hi5, Neighborhood America, facebook, yahoo messenger and Last.FM.
Due to the increasing need for photo and video sharing, there those websites that are well-known and dedicated to making this possible. Among the well-known ones are Flickr and YouTube, Wikis like wikia and Wikipedia. The above serves to indicate how diverse the social media is and can be. However the categorization is not indelible since most of them will transcend the boundaries more often than not. There are others that are difficult to categorize since they serve more than two or three social media functions at the same time. One good example of the is the Skype service that integrates speaking to each other, with seeing each other and even sending texts to each other. It is therefore worth noting that the categorization is quite superficial and not final and categorical in itself but attempts to bunch the various social media according to what they offer.
There are several other small scale players in the social media sphere some growing fast though not frequently mentioned throughout the world. These include KickApps, Sparta Social Network, Metro Mojo, Small World lab, Select minds, Igloo Software, Community Servers, Ramius, Corespeed, IHype, Phpizabi, Elgg, Boonex, Hivelive, Lithium, Clearspace, Intronetworks, Onesite, Awareness Networks, Mzinga, Blogtronix, Wordframe, Bluepulse, Ideastrom among several others used in the U.S.A. And across the world.
The social media under study here is facebook which has become the most popular social media so far in the history of social media. It is said to have in excess of 800 million fans so far and there is still a wide subscription trend that is experienced and expected to grow over the few coming months (Michael B. Sauter, 2011).
Overview of McDonald's Worldwide
The McDonald's corporation is noted to be the largest fast food otherwise known as quick service restaurant chain. It has branches spread throughout more than 100 countries with an average of 50 million customers on a daily basis across their 30,000 McDonald's restaurants. It traces its history from 1955 in Illinois where the first restaurant was established in Des Plaines with an investment of around $366 on the commencement of the business. This has been highly increased as it now rakes in billions annually in their worldwide sales (McDonald's Singapore, 2008). In 2011 McDonald's made a net profit of $6.91 billion, which was a 16% increase in the profits from the previous year where they made $5.95 billion within that year even with the rise in food price inflation (The BBC, 2011).
The chain dishes out a wide variety of products some of which are burgers, chicken, fish, pork, salads, muffins, various beverages, assorted deserts among others. It is worth noting that all these are repacked with various accompanying complementary so as to cater for the wide customer taste that the chain has.
With such a deep history and a wide variety of foods that it offers to the vast number of customers, the above mentioned number of members in their facebook account is justifiable. On their page, they provide various resources and activities to their fans. One prominent feature is that they provide the members with the information on the quality of the products that they use to make their food.
Investigation and analysis of the McDonald's Facebook
The focus of the paper will be on McDonald's and the way it has used the social media to enhance its businesses across the U.S.A. And promote its brand across the globe. McDonald's is observed to have 18,534,858 members up from 11 million in 2011. With this, it is ranked as the most recognized restaurant in the world. Sauter indicates that the company has widely utilized the popular annual "Monopoly" contest to usher fans to their facebook and their website. This has worked very well since the fan base has been increasing at the rate of 50,000 fans each day which is a big advantage to the company.
On their page they have also assembled the new events or products that may be expected to be rolled out by the company. They have also dedicated space for the members to view the various career vacancies that they may have from time to time.
The page also gives the members a chance to comment on the post that the company puts up in that manner getting the views of the public about their foods and services. The McDonald's has also used their page to advertise the activities that they engage in or have engaged in especially the PR activities and the CSR activities that the company has either participated in or contributed to the success in one way or the other. Apart from the products that they intend to make available to customers in a given area or during a given event, the company has also hugely utilized the facebook page to advertise their range of products that they have on their various chain restaurants.
It is noted that the company sells its products through this social media in that it advertises the products that it has in the numerous restaurants and does not use facebook for socializing alone with customers/members alone.
Consumer trust, market and media fragmentation and connection via the facebook page
Through the comments that the members are allowed to leave on the page, there is gathering of consumer generated content. This is very useful information to the company as it is the easiest way to know the grievances of the customers. It is also a way of knowing the major changes that the consumer would like to see implemented within the company for a better service delivery. This is also another way of addressing the complains that the clients may have since the person responsible for updating the facebook page of the company can promptly reply to some pressing issues that the customers may raise on their…