|Type of paper:||Book review|
|Categories:||Strategic marketing Business strategy Social media marketing|
In his book, "We First: How brands and consumers use social media to build a better world," Mainwaring, who is a social media expert, offers the new visionary business practice to achieve business success. He provides a case where various brands use the media to earn the goodwill, profit, and loyalty of the customers and at the same time creating a third pillar of social change through the various contributions from the purchases made by the customers (Mainwaring, 2011).
This innovative practice in the private business and partnerships substantially answers much of the issues that the globally face businesses. Mainwaring had worked for several biggest brands over the world, including Toyota, Motorola-Simon, and Nike. He has also provided several case studies for successful companies that have made good use of the social media to earn the social goodwill of the customers, and they include Pepsi, Walmart, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Nestle, P&G and whole Foods (Mainwaring, 2011).
Mainwaring is one of the authors that have alluded to the fact that there is a clear and positive linkage between digital social media and social change. For instance, he believes that digital media can genuinely lead to changes in society (Mainwaring, 2011). In this sense, Mainwaring notes that the 'We Fist' refers to the need for any corporation to recognize that they are part and parcels of the society and that they need to do more to the community rather than only to gain profit. He records that the consumers also understand that they have immense roles in the preservation of the earth, thus championing for better capitalism. The customers, as stakeholders in business operations often undertake to ensure that they are responsible corporate citizens (Mainwaring, 2011).
The 'We First' plan for building a better world is described in two folds. For instance, Mainwaring describes the first method of making a better world as contributory capitalism. In this method, any single transaction by the consumer through the purchase of global products and services involves the inclusion of a given percentage in building a better world (Mainwaring, 2011). Therefore, in the event of purchasing the global goods and services, there is a deduction of some percentage of the payments for creating a better world.
The second method as described by Mainwaring is the Global band initiative where there is the mobilization of the over thousands of Global leading brands to put together their collective resources and power in solving some of the global problems (Mainwaring, 2011). Although it is difficult to imagine these initiatives becoming a reality, they could be better ways of solving the world's problems through corporate business.
Mainwaring, in his books, acknowledges that there are certain limitations in the use of social media in changing the world by various brands. For example, he describes Slacker activism as the significant limitation-a situation where a person may quickly sign up on a digital fan page for a particular cause but ultimately do almost nothing regarding the agreed course (Mainwaring, 2011). However, he says in his book that the future will be much complex and gives the various reasons that would create social media with rich and sophisticated infrastructure.
The outlines would be more complicated for the social transformation processes of the Activists. Good news is that there would be a positive social transformation, although some forms of media would be employed to deprive the desirable social outcomes (Mainwaring, 2011). He notes that unless the consumers change their behaviors to the cause, not all these will be achieved. However, but he goes on to acknowledge the fact that we should not underestimate the involvement of the consumers with both the technology and their commitment to positively changing the world in whatever way they want.
The relevance of the Book to the Social Worker and Community Member(S)
From the book, I have learned that corporate brands can form the primary ground for solving some of the world's challenging problems through contributory capitalism and the Global Band Initiative. These initiatives could only be achieved through enhanced communication between and among corporate brands and consumers (Mainwaring, 2011). The social, digital media form the platform for sharing information and interactions between customers and the brands. Communication, which is the core dimension of social media, is one of the suitable objectives of the success of any business.
I have also learned that the purpose of social media is to ensure communication, thus promoting the exchange of information and ideas among the various sectors. However, the major drawback that various companies are facing is controlling or taming the communication within the social media in a bid to protect the brand image of the product. Again, I have learned that a true social media platform should ensure that the members are given a sense of ownership to the particular brand and that there is an alignment of the brand to the internal policies and business objectives.
Roles of the Book in Enhancing Our Social Work Practice
From this book, we learn to enhance our social practice through recognizing that we are part of the society and can do something in whatever way to contribute in building a better world. For example, consumers can allow and support the deduction of some percentage of their payments for goods and services in changing the world. The corporate brands and other prominent organizations could also pull resources and power in finding the solutions to some of the challenges that the world faces. Furthermore, we can make this happen through the adoption of digital social media. Mainwaring appreciates that fact that media could be used to change the world through business, personal, and corporate responsibility.
Role of the Members of the Community
The book shows us as members of the community to be the drivers of the change that we hope for in the word. This can be achieved even through small ways such as little deductions from purchases, and the cumulative effect of such deductions could help in solving some of the challenges that the world is facing such as inadequate food for the growing population, poor healthcare, and lack of access to education facilities in developing countries among others.
In conclusion, "We First: How brands and consumers use social media to build a better world" by Mainwaring clearly outlines ways in which the consumers and the corporate brands can build a better world using the social media. However, the initiative should involve joint efforts and responsibilities of various people such as the consumers, corporate brands, and the general communities.
Mainwaring, S. (2011). We first: How brands and consumers use social media to build a better world. St. Martin's Press.
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