Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media

This blog post is intended to discuss a few interesting points made by the two authors; Andreas M. Kaplan and Michael Haenlein in their article “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media.”

The points that were interesting to me are; first, although social media websites would be characterized as web 2.0 and are in the same group of social networking sites, they differ significantly in terms of what they offer their users and also, how firms should carefully choose among social media sites because of the distinctive marketing opportunities each one offers.

It is important for a user to learn about the “Classification of Social Media” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010, pp. 62) because they teach us the degree social presence and media richness exist on social media sites. with different interests and goals users of social media have, it is important for them to choose what works best for them. for example, some users may not want to share too much information about themselves, but still want to use social media. so, blogging or Wikipedia may be a better choice. Moreover, companies too should choose carefully according to their marketing/business needs. Kaplan and Haenlein introduce us to “five points about using media and five points about being social” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010, pp. 65). choosing the right site is important because you want to reach your target market. for example, if a company’s target audience is youth-aged users, sites like Facebook and Twitter are a better choice than LinkedIn or GoodReads. In addition, Kaplan and Haenlein discuss the importance of recognizing the different features and tools provided by social media sites to best serve their marketing need, stating “certain features are necessary to ensure effective communication…” (pp. 65, para. 2). Allison Howen’s “10 Facebook Business Page Features You Should Be Using” article, published by Website Magazine, provides 10 great features that benefit businesses, which include; schedule posts, page moderation/profanity filter, and post types. Post types measure the average reach and engagement for each post like “status update, photo”. these are very important features because depending on the target audience of the company, we may want to be able to control profanity if they’re younger users. Also, being able to measure of the average reach and engagement, allows us to alter or adjust what and how we share. this feature leads us to “be active” and “be interesting” under “being social” (pp. 66, para. 3) which can easily be achieved using post types tool.

As a user of some of the most popular social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, I can relate to the importance of knowing the classification of Social Media. I have always been confused about the best social media sites and simply chose Facebook because of its popularity rather than what I actually wanted to achieve out of using these social media sites. now I realize that Instagram works best for me because it’s a content community where I don’t have to provide a high self-disclosure and share private information like where I go to school, my address, or my religious beliefs. However, I can still provide a medium level of media richness by posting photos and short videos, and socialize with my followers by commenting or sending a message using the Direct Messaging feature. learning this will benefit me in the future because depending on the levels of the different classifications mentioned, target audience I want to reach, and types of features, I can make a better decision regarding choosing the best social media site which will benefit me the most.


Howen, A. (2015, March 18). 10 Facebook business page features you should be using. Retrieved from Website Magazine:

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Retrieved from Science Direct:

Henderson, M. (2011, July 31) The art of sharing [Photo]. Retrieved from Flickr:

*Photo used is labeled for reuse with modification*


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