Trainee Manager With the Jones-Atherton Partnership Ltd Essay

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trainee manager with the Jones-Atherton Partnership Ltd. (JA). JA began life as a small building firm started by two partners on a small industrial estate in the north-east of England. It has grown and now employs 20 people full-time. It has moved to a once derelict lot on the outskirts of a university town. It is now one of the largest independent building companies in the area.

The last five years have not been good for construction companies in the UK; however, JA has been more successful than most as it has concentrated on high-quality, sustainable construction, relying on skilled craftspeople. As a consequence, it has a full order book and is looking to grow further.

Hamad O'Reilly

Communications Manager

James-Atherton Partnership

Mob: 07910 241703

Office: 01267 551134

ISSUE: Social Networking

BACKGROUND

Social networking is a relatively new business tool, but it is simply a more sophisticated means of communication than we have had hitherto. New uses for SN are being made all the time; however, the basics of communication remain the same. JS has grown and we have been lucky in being able to keep our feet in these harsh economic times, if not thrive somewhat. Nonetheless, experience and research has shown me that social media is the way to go and is the path of the future. Social media (i.e. social networking) enables our business to grow in so many directions: not only does it afford us venue for communicating, but it enables us to publicize and market our business, network amongst an infinite pool of people, retain our supporters, and accomplish so much more that this brief will describe. The BRANDFog 2012 CEO Survey says more than 82% of respondents are likely or much more likely to trust a company whose CEO and team engage in social media. The study also reports that 77% of respondents are likely or much more willing to buy from a company whose mission and values are defined through their leaderships' involvement in social media.

That's enough reason to carry on reading this brief.

What Social Network is

We are all acquainted with the most popular types of SN such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, but actually there are hundreds more. Friendster and Tribe.net as well as MySpace are three others. They can be defined by the following characteristics:

They allow users to connect with others of a similar interest

They allow users to establish a public or semi-public profile within a certain bounded system

They allow users to network with one another

Each of these conditions may be ideally used for business purposes.

One of the best things of SNs is that they allow users to articulate and publicize their offerings, and make connections with people that they would otherwise not come into contact with (Haythornthwaite, 2005). Social networking also enables people to maintain and retain their connections with latent contacts. Indeed, as Haythornthwaite, 2005 points out "On many of the large SNSs, participants are not necessarily "networking" or looking to meet new people; instead, they are primarily communicating with people who are already a part of their extended social network. To emphasize this articulated social network as a critical organizing feature of these sites, we label them "social network sites."

Another characteristic of SNs is their use of profiles by which users can become acquainted with the characteristics of the person or organization running that particular site. What you have as offline appearance where one meets the person (or organization) face-to-face is duplicated in an online replication where the person posts his likes and dislikes, describes himself, and presents a brief resume of his life, so that you can decide whether you wish to link up with him or not. This, in a way, is actually better than real life since you receive a 'snapshot' of the person.

A dominant characteristic of the SNs is the Friend application where viewers connect with one another.

Some (lesser known) SNS started in other ways. QQ started as a Chinese instant messaging service, LunarStorm as a community site, Cyworld as a Korean discussion forum tool, and Skyrock (once Skyblog) was a French blogging service before adding SNS features. AsianAvenue, MiGente, and BlackPlanet, too, were ethnic community sites before adding SNS features in 2005-2006. Classmates.com incorporated SNS features around the same time.

Social networks share the commonality of Profiles and Friends features, but otherwise many of them differ in their applications and use. Some have photo-sharing or video-sharing capabilities; others have built-in blogging and instant messaging technology. There are mobile-specific SNSs (e.g., Dodgeball), but some web-based SNS (e.g., Facebook, MySpace, and Cyworld) also have some mobile element. Some sites are designed with specific ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, political, or other identity in mind. There are even sites for dogs (Dogster) and cats (Catser) with the owners posting their profiles.

The above referred to public SNs. Other Social Networking Functions include:

-- Blogs; vendors include Six Apart, Google's ( GOOG - news - people ) Blogger and Automattic's WordPress

-- Microblogs (Twitter)

-- Wikis; vendors include MediaWiki (the foundation of Wikipedia), Atlassian, MindTouch and Socialtext)

-- Project tracking/participation software

-- Multimedia (video/audio, internal or external, including YouTube)

-- Information ranking/filtering--voting

-- Discussion forums

-- Presence/instant messaging (IM) (Paul, 2009)

Each of these applications has its own use, strengths, and weaknesses that are too complex for us to summarize in this brief.

Suffice it to say that Social networks are becoming a popular choice of marketing and communication for both small and large businesses. They seem to be the voice of the future.

Why SN should be used by JS.

Social networking is becoming a viable option for businesses of all types. It is my recommendation that JS should jump on the bandwagon.

Social Networks, as we saw, can be defined by the following characteristics:

They allow users to connect with others of a similar interest

They allow users to establish a public or semi-public profile within a certain bounded system

They allow users to network with one another

These are all reasons why JS should use them.

Social Networking can afford JS the following characteristics:

JS can maintain connection with clients, shareholders, suppliers, distributors, and staff as well as all involved with its business. JS is no longer a small business. SN makes it far easier to communicate with its large pool of people in one medium at one moment than doing so offline.

JS can establish a public or semi-public profile within a certain targeted market marketing its construction business

JS can network with others outside of their circle expanding their circle of acquaintances thereby possibly finding potential for future expansion, cheaper resources, recruiting employees, and so forth.

There are five other reasons why JS should use SN:

1. JS can build its brand via SN. There is no reason why it has to construct a campaign to do so. It can create its culture and build and promote a brand via SN so that people can pithily sum it up via the image that it creates and disseminates for itself via these channels

2. JS can track success of its company and that of competitors. In fact, JS can track virtually anything about its field and market including current and future trends and consumers need, likes, and dislikes. It can predict patterns in the construction world thus planning further growth. Start a blog and link it to Twitter and Facebook via a goo.gl or su.pr link and JS can check how many people click on their blog all the time. set up Google Alerts, too, to monitor discussion on the company.

3. Make valuable business connections: JS can make valuable business connection in a few days that it would otherwise take them years to make. Through these connections, they can double if not triple and more customers who would readily hire them. And they can find these customers more cheaply, painlessly, and rapidly than they otherwise would.

4. Publicize the Company. JS can make their company go viral viva a bevy of tools that include helping them get their information of the company shared, digged, retweeted, and stumbled

5. More effectively serve your current clients: Well-known names such as Dell, Southwest Airlines, and Zappos have used social networking sites to more effectively listen to and respond to their customers. Customer service is the oil of businesses -- particularly in our competitive 21st century. We need to use it, and SN enables us to do so particularly since so many consumers use SN sites.

In short, Companies use social networking to gain credibility, foster employee relationships, build a forum for communication with customers, and in most cases, boost sales. Company recruiters are even going to sites like LinkedIn to get access to the almost 25 million resumes posted. (Resource Nation http://www.resourcenation.com/blog/companies-using-social-networking-to-boost-sales/)

Let's see some pieces of statistics and credible research that was conducted by none other than Harvard Business School.:

The recent report by CEO.com and business intelligence firm DOMO fortune 500 CEOs…[continue]

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