A social media platform is the technological infrastructure, platform, and software that allows a company or a person to produce and share content either internally to a selected group of people or externally to the entire world (Wollan, Smith, & Zhou, 2010). Social media platforms primarily help increase the interaction and collaboration of people (Rose, 2013). Some of the common social platforms are Vine, Snapchat, Wanelo, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc. (eMedical Media, n.d.; Rose, 2013; Wollan et al., 2010).
The main role of a social media platform is to be the voice of people through those sites that are owned and not owned by their company (Wollan et al., 2010). eMedical Media (n.d.) stated that social media platform is effective for marketing while keeping customers and peers regularly informed because companies are creating a community of similar interests. Social media platforms can help filtering all data accumulated by the platform to derive hidden knowledge and patterns that allow for actionable data-driven decisions (Li, 2010; Wollan et al., 2010).
There are six components of good social media platform, and they provide (Wollan et al., 2010):
- Community services like blogs, ratings and reviews, referrals and sharing, forums, user-created content management, social networking, and idea management
- Integration with external social media channel like: a reusable social application framework, application backbone that is agnostic to operating systems or web browsers, parsing algorithms to analyze different data types
- Workflow optimization: defining and acting on social media events
- Text analytics: classify data, extract information, understand sentiments of the communications
- Measurements and analysis: buzz analysis, influence profiling, identity profiling, cross-platform identity management, business value attribution
- Integration with the existing customer relationship management: customer front end, social dashboard, centralized moderation of content, auditing
Depending on the needs of a company a social media platform can be acquired in its entirety or could be built virtually from scratch, or somewhere in-between. Obviously, a company has more control over a platform that they build from scratch and the data held within it. However, the company can save time, energy, and development & maintenance costs to go with a platform that is acquired (eMedical Media, n.d.; Rose, 2013; Wollan et al., 2010). Then there is a middle of the road solution, a purchase of software as a service, where the company can purchase the infrastructure, platform, and software while still having a private internal social platform where they control the data (Ruffolo, 2016).
- eMedical Media (n.d.). Social media strategy & implementations. Retrieved from http://emedicalmedia.com/our-services/social-media-marketing-strategy-implementation/
- Li, C. (2010). Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead, (1st). Vital book file.
- Rose, M. (2013). Implementing three new social media platforms for business. Retrieved from http://www.mojomedialabs.com/
- Ruffolo, B. (2016). The ten must-have SaaS marketing tools & platforms. Retrieved from https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/the-10-must-have-saas-marketing-tools-platforms
- Wollan, R., Smith, N., & Zhou, C. (2010). The Social Media Management Handbook: Everything You Need To Know To Get Social Media Working In Your Business. John Wiley & Sons P&T. VitalBook file.