Social networks in the businesses are growing at a rapid pace for connecting with the target audience that spends their time in the popular social network sites. When businesses are linked to social media networks they generate more revenue and they are able to connect with the customers for serving them better. As stated by Turban et al (2017), the social network in the business places helps with the online marketing that is essential for the growth and development of the company. Businesses should use networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for keeping up with the growing pace of competition. According to the present reports, 2 million business use Facebook advertising for promoting their services and products. The social media platforms are able to provide data to the businesses about their customers and it is an easy way to reach the customers. As stated by Borgatti et al. (2018), the businesses can benefit from the social media sites by getting valuable information about their customers increases the loyalty and the brand awareness of the customers, helps in targeting the right audience, helps in the generation of high converting leads and provides rich experiences to the customers. On the other hand, the disadvantages of the social media in businesses are the loss of the business due to improper social media strategy, daily monitoring needs and inappropriate behaviour which involves harassment and bullying.
In this project, the different functions of social network in businesses will be discussed in details along with the advantages and disadvantages of using social networks in businesses. It is a part of the project planning that deals with determining the deliverables and goals of the project.
The role and importance of web based technologies are rapidly growing in the business environment and it is widely accepted by the academics and practitioners. As stated by Scott (2017), social media can be regarded as one of the most recently emerged web based technologies. Therefore, social media can be defined as the platform, media and online applications which aim to facilitate collaborations, sharing of content and interactions. Social media can also be used as the term “Web 2.0” and the following categories help in the identification of the social media:
· Blogs- This includes the online journals of the enterprises combined with video or audio podcasts.
· Social network- This can be termed as the application that helps the users to build personal websites that are used for the purpose of exchanging content.
· Content communities- This can be termed as the websites that shares and organizes content of certain particular types.
· Forums- This can be termed as the sites which exchanges ideas of special types of interests.
· Content aggregators- This can be termed as the application that allows the users to customize fully the web content according to their wish.
As stated by Turban et al (2015), the importance of social media is largely dependent upon the communication between people and in the facilitation of immediate, asynchronous, interactive and low cost communications. Social network sites can be considered as the central main thing of the network resource of the organizations that is linked with the business performance and strategic value. As stated by Arregle et al (2015), the social network sites help the individuals to form a profile of public or semi-public nature in a system which is bounded. In these sites, the users share a connection with the other users for viewing the list of connections. In case of large social network sites, the individuals do not want to meet new people but to manage the relationships with the old friends. Thus, social network sites can be termed as the alternative communication tools that help to support the existing activities and relationships in a fun way that deepens the experiences of the users. As stated by Arregle et al (2015), new social media network sites have emerged that attracts especial groups which are based on demographics and form communities that comprises of people with the same thinking.
As stated by Serrat (2017), there are many evidences that prove social media sites have become mainstream globally and this can be justified by the 54 % of users that are aged between 16 to 24 years and have set their profiles in social networking sites. The audience of the social network sites are huge in the present times and this can be proved by Facebook that have already 710 million users. On an average, a user of Facebook has near about 130 friends and is connected to 80 groups, community pages and events. As stated by Ellison et al (2015), the social network sites help to connect with the audiences that are hard to reach and have drifted away from the traditional media. From these it can be gathered that the use of social networking sites is increasing at a high speed and the knowledge is shared among users all over the globe. The social networks are becoming more active with the rise of the activities such as economic such as shopping, marketing such as brand building, social such as physiological and cultural and educational such as distance education. These activities are becoming important in the activities of the business and helps with the growth and development of the business. This can be due to the factors of emerging rise of the users on social network sites.
Marketing and Advertising
From the reports, it is gathered that the attention of the audience is shifting towards the online channel as 52 % Europeans stay online at home. Among these 36 % of Europeans that are internet users watch less TV, 28 % have stopped reading newspapers and 17 % have stopped listening to radio after going online. Due to these changes the conventional media have suffered losses and their revenue has decreased. Due to these a significant amount of advertising and marketing activities have shifted to online channels which can be termed as social network sites. It can help to develop effective strategies in order to sustain in the highly competitive environment. Moreover, effective strategies can help to gain effective marketing environment to develop strategies to stay ahead from their leading competitors. As stated by Ellison et al (2014), the marketing scene is changing due to the interactive digital media platforms. These platforms have provided powers to the consumers to share, connect, create and collaborate for bringing in changes to the marketing scenario.
The platforms of social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram have started altering the states of advertising, promotion and marketing. This platform provides information and it has helped the businesses to cut off the traditional middlemen and connect directly with the customers. An opportunity of online marketing is provided by the social network advertising and it helps to narrow the gaps between the activities of advertising and sales which are necessary for getting the feedback of the customers. Due to these reasons every business nowadays adopts the activities of social media marketing. As per the reports, 90 % of marketers believes that social media is highly responsible for the growth and development of their business. Trillions of connections are formed by billions of people with the help of social networks and this is vital for building relations of the business. Social media helps in increasing the business exposure, increases the traffic and improves the rankings of the search.
Knowledge can be defined as a mix of values, experience, information and insight that is essential for incorporating and evaluating information and new experiences. Knowledge is vital for the business as it provides information about the competitive advantage for the rapid expansion of factor markets and goods. The organizations are forced to compete in the market with limited supply of physical resources and this maximizes the utilisation of knowledge and helps with the participation in knowledge contribution behaviour. Network access is largely responsible for the growth of the social networking sites and this helps to create the virtual communities that are professional in nature and can be related to the objectives and requirements of the organizations. Thus it can be said that social media networks have helped the organizations to improve the knowledge sharing behaviour for the creation of learning opportunities that helps to build competitive advantage.
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