THE FACTORS AFFECTING SOCIAL MEDIA

THE FACTORS AFFECTING SOCIAL MEDIA

EXAMINING THE FACTORS AFFECTING SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY OF UK BUSINESSES OPERATING ON BOTH GLOBAL AND LOCAL LEVELS

Introduction

In the current world mostly driven by technology, social media and social sites are platforms where business people can extend their marketing activities. Hence, there is an ability to reach as many customers as possible (Saravanakumar, 2012). There are more than six hundred million users of Facebook and Twitter which has enhanced the interaction of people and boosted the performance of businesses. Campbell (2011, p. 87) has defined marketing as the existence of relationship amidst a certain brand inclusive of the consumer which provides an opportunity to reach out to each other. Various tools used in communication with customers in the United Kingdom have changed upon the rise of social media. Businesses have therefore learned to make use of social media in ways which go along with the adopted business plan. It mostly applies to companies whose aim is to gain competitive advantage. As a manager, it’s crucial to assess elements bringing influence on social media as a strategy adopted by organizations in the United Kingdom which operate globally and locally.

Preliminary Literature Review

Defining social media

For a manager to utilize social media as a means of marketing, understanding the important aspects which are involved should be a priority. Social media is defined as Internet-based applications which facilitate the creation of foundations built on ideologies (Bampo, 2008). It gives a chance for creating and exchanging content which is user-generated. Social media is widely used to describe software tools utilized in creating user-generated content. For instance, in the United Kingdom, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the most popular forms of social media. They enable integration and coordinated communication between customers and the companies. For a website, there exist necessary basic features that should be present for it to be a social networking platform. Part of the website should include user profiles, information, comments section and virtual section. Noting that the term social media highly differs from networking is of vitality since it enables participants to come together. It ensures that they generate personal information in their profiles and are in a position to invite a friend (Belch, 2004, p. 52). Social media, therefore, may be termed as a platform for social networking where consumers acquire information and make decisions on their purchases. The attitude a consumer has towards marketing is a factor which researchers put into consideration when measuring the level of perception consumers hold towards social media marketing. Consumer attitude towards marketing is defined as the emotions consumers express towards the marketplace and market environment. The perception held by an individual towards the marketplace is a determinant of their consumption (Saravankumar 2012, p. 4449). For a successful social media marketing campaign, the consumer must have access to technology.

The advancement of social media has facilitated communication between friends and families. Consumers can learn about their favourite products and the best-performing companies. Companies can advertise their products and services and efficiently communicate with their clients by use of social media (Chi, 2011. P. 47).

Virtual Brand Community

Virtual Brand Community as a means of marketing refers to the internet integration of consumers based on product interest. According to Akar and Topcu, brand community refers to people who have a similar interest in a product (Akar and Topçu 2011, p. 36). Virtual brand communities are platforms for creating brand meanings and consumption efforts. Members who trust the virtual brand communities often are major participants and often have their loyalty on a particular item (Hassanein 2005 & Milena Head, p. 50).

For operation and survival of the virtual brand communities, there has to be trust, loyalty, and security. These factors are initiated by the community brand identification, participation, and commitment to the community which affect the opinion a consumer has towards a certain networking site. Virtual brand communities are highly dependent on the participation of the user and therefore the unity and awareness of a group often strengthen the satisfaction of a user.  The virtual brand communities highly influence the buying behaviour of a consumer (Chi, 2011, p. 44).

There are also new forms of interaction which take place within the virtual brand community. A good illustration of these interactions is the Electronic consumer to consumer interaction. The opportunity to come together and interact with people is viewed as a major element of the customer experience. Social networking sites have enhanced integration among different consumers. For instance, in the Electronic consumer interactions, clients highly influence each other in the consumption decisions they make towards a certain product. According to Georgi, there exist seven factors which have a great contribution towards the success of Electronic consumer to consumer interactions (Georgi 2012, p. 3). They include the availability of security, emotional connection of the consumer to a product, quality of products, the efficiency of the environment, customer suitability and social aspects and perspectives.

An instance where electronic consumer interaction is relevant is where a consumer asks a query concerning the color of a certain product on display and a certain consumer answers the query.  The electronic consumer interaction is considered of high quality if the response to the question is done promptly, correctly and in a friendly manner, Therefore, this aspect is based on the seven factors under quality, the social aspect, and customer convenience.

Most of the consumers are satisfied by products and services if they are provided in platforms where they can give their feedback (Kotler 2007, p. 11). It is therefore important for a seller to beware of their presence in social media as much as they have consumers marketing their products. ompanies should know the factors affecting their presence in social media, for instance, the identification of a consumer online. It should be a major concern to the company since it will be a major influence on the operations of a business.

Consumer Attitudes/Motives

Knowledge of the various elements that highly influence the way consumers view a product and motives is of significance to brand promoters. There has been an examination of aspects affecting the attitudes and aims of consumers by social media sites. Chi (2011, p. 55) was able to examine the link that existed between participation in Facebook-related groups, responses for advertisements, factors of psychology aimed at revealing disclosure of oneself and attitudes in Facebook members and non-Facebook group members. Facebook users who belong to a certain Facebook group are in a position to disclose data which is personal when compared to members who do not belong to a certain group. It is because of being a group participant and being part of online advertisements need information which is personal. The reason behind this is that most of the users give open revelations on the connections they have with the groups on Facebook and engage in brand promotion by passing the information to their friends.

Groups on Facebook come up with platforms that consumers consider to be of use when they are looking for status in a certain category of a product and when they are transferring content which is viral on various brands.  Members of groups on Facebook also have an attitude which is favourable towards advertisement and social media.  Users whose attitude towards advertising is positive have a high likelihood of joining brands or groups on Facebook to receive messages of promotion. As a result, a conclusion is made on the existence of a link between the use and engagement of consumers in sites of social media.

Research Question(S)

  1. What elements affect the use of media which is social as a strategy for business operation of UK globally and locally?
  2. What are the major contributors to these factors?

Proposed Research Method(S)

The study is research which is descriptive because it aims at looking into the factors that affect social media strategy of UK business operating on local and global levels and major influences on the factor. There exist two elements of methods of research. These are one based on aspects of quality and quantitative. Currently, I will make use of quantitative research method since it is quick and observes high levels of accuracy. A research method carried out for academics are often limited to a certain period hence the quantitative method.

Ethical issues

Marketing of media which is social is an avenue of global and local awareness and promotion for businesses in the United Kingdom is a major step for consumers and the public. It is therefore important to ensure that ethical practices are adhered to achieve large market share.  Part of ensuring that ethics are observed is in being able to know the audience of a product. The business people should seek to know preferences and have an overview based on demographics and psychographics. The audience on target will, therefore, be refined.  Audience segmentation will also be achieved, making audiences engaged.

People in business and marketing should keep off biases by avoiding any form of political, religious or cultural form of biases that people may claim to be controversial. Otherwise, this may bring about poor public relations, and in other cases, jobs may be lost.

Marketers should be in a position where they value privacy since it is a very sensitive aspect. Rules on privacy should never be violated at any time. Marketers of social media are also often faced with the challenge of transparency during their operations. In cases where they are trying to endorse a product or an idea, it is important to give disclosure as to why the product is being endorsed. The marketer or business person should be keen to mention the kind of relationship they share with the product.

Marketers should acquire the virtue of honesty. If one feels that they have interest or affiliation to something under discussion, it is important to communicate in a manner which is polite. Explaining one’s interest may not be as important as telling why they are in support of a particular item. It is important to be true to oneself as well as the audience. The internet is a platform where several pieces of information are unauthentic. As a result, the job of businessmen and marketers has become more complicated.

Marketers should be in a position to verify what they may be willing to share before releasing out to prospects. An error may cause embarrassment and lead to a poor perception of a brand. In cases where information is being shared through a social channel gotten from a third party, it is important to ensure that one gives disclaimers which are clear to ensure that suspicions on conflicts of interest are avoided (Andreason 2001, P. 73). How the public perceives certain brand matters. For instance, one may tweet what a politician has said as a means of spreading news, but there are people who may view it as offering support to that person. The brand might be at risk as a result of this.

Timetable/Plan for the Research:

Activity Timeframe
Come up with objectives for research One day
Designing protocol for research Two days
Adapting research instruments One week
Data collection One week
Translation and analysis of data Three days
Preparation for presentation One day
Preparing the report One week

References

Akar, E. and Topçu, B., 2011. An examination of the factors influencing consumers’ attitudes toward social media marketing.Journal of Internet Commerce, 10(1), pp.35-67.

Andreasen, A.R. ed., 2001.Ethics in social marketing.Georgetown University Press.

Bampo, Mauro, Michael T. Ewing, Dineli R. Mather, David Stewart, and Mark Wallace. 2008. “The Effects of the Social Structure of Digital Networks on Viral Marketing Performance.” Information Systems Research 19: 273-290.

Belch, G.E., and Belch, M.A., 2004. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective,(6 Th. New York: NY: McGraw-Hill.

Campbell, Colin, Leyland F. Pitt, Michael Parent, and Pierre R. Berthon. 2011. “Understanding Consumer Conversations around Ads in a Web 2.0 World.” Journal of Advertising 40:87-102.

Chi, Hsu-Hsien. 2011. “Interactive Digital Advertising VS. Virtual Brand Community: Exploratory Study of User Motivation and Social Media Marketing Responses in Taiwan.” Journal of Interactive Advertising12: 44-61.

Georgi, Dominik, and Moritz Mink. 2012. “eCCIq: The quality of electronic customer-to-customer interaction,” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Serviceshttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2012.08.002

Hassanein, Khaled and Milena Head. 2005-6. “The Impact ofInfusing Social Presence in the Web Interface: An Investigation of Product Types.” Interactive Journal of Electronic Commerce10: 31-55.

Kotler, P. and Zaltman, G., 2007. Social marketing: an approach to planned social change. The Journal of Marketing, pp.3-12.

Saravanakumar, M. and SuganthaLakshmi, T., 2012.Social media marketing.Life Science Journal, 9(4), pp.4444-4451.

 

Place this order or similar order and get an amazing discount. USE Discount code “GWEXDDSRGCF10” for 10% discount