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.
a) In this project, we are going to discuss about the literature of social network used in businesses.
b) To understand the several advantages and the disadvantages related with the social networks used in businesses.
c) To understand the target audience and how they impact the business
d) To understand the challenges in business
e) To recommend solutions to the challenges
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.
Advantages of using social networks in business
Increased brand awareness- Social media can be considered as one of the most cost effective ways of marketing for business and this helps to improve the content and visibility of the business. As stated by Stelzner (2014), a strategy of social media should be implemented by the business for increasing the brand recognition as engaging with a broad audience is essential for the growth and development of the business. Social media profiles of the business should be created for interacting with others and for these the business partners, employees and sponsors should be encouraged to like and share the page. The interaction of the people with the content will help to increase the brand awareness and reputation of the business. Posts should be shared in new networks for attracting customers to the business and as people will gather more knowledge about the business the image of the business will improve.
Increase in inbound traffic- Marketing on social media in important for increasing the inbound traffic. The social media is necessary for increasing the business among the non customers as this will help with the growth and development of the business. Proper content is necessary for gaining new customers as social media is a place where people of different behaviours and backgrounds are present and the needs of the people change with different level of thinking. The content should be properly syndicated on many platforms for getting the customers to reach the business.
Improved search engine rankings- As stated by Ellison et al (2014), Search Engine Optimization is necessary for achieving high rankings in the page and this attracts traffic to the business website. Ranking in the top position is necessary as this will help to generate positive results for the business. For getting a high rank, high quality content should be created with the targeted keywords. These contents can be blogs, case studies, info graphics, employee photos and business information.
Higher conversion rates- When the visibility of the business increases, more opportunities for conversion is gained by the business. Any kind of image, video, blog post or comment may lead the viewers to the website of the company and thus increase the traffic. The marketing by social media helps create a positive impression for the business and this can be due to the humanization factor. The interactive nature of the brand helps in the personification of the brand.
Better customer satisfaction- Social media is a communication and networking platform and a creation of voice is necessary in this platform for the enhancement of the business. Customers know that when they post any comment the reply will be a personalized message not an automated one. The companies should acknowledge each and every comment as this helps create a good image of the business.
Disadvantages of using social networks in business
The disadvantages of 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.
A lot of time is consumed- A lot of time and dedication is needed for the maintenance of the social media networks. Proper update is required in the company website for attracting new customers to the company. The company should be able to provide proper useful content and the messages of the users should be answered in a regular manner for the growth and development of the company.
Requirement of qualified personnel- As stated by Vásquez and Escamilla (2014), a qualified person is required for the management of the social media of the business and for that community managers should be appointed for managing the issues of social media networks. Proper money should be invested for getting a professional look for the business.
Investments are required- Businesses should keep in mind that all the social networks are not free and some money should be paid for getting the most interesting options. The business should pay for the advertisements as this will help with the growth and development of the company.
Repetitive and boring nature of content- The great social media profiles should comprise of articles that are interesting in nature and creates great value for the customers. This is due to the reason that no one like a company profile that only takes about itself and does not pay value to the customers.
Bad publicity- Social media networks are also responsible for spreading bad news for the company and this can hamper the business of the company. Therefore, the business should provide quality service to the customers and also mange the complaints of the consumers by giving proper resolution.
From the above research, it can be concluded that 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. 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. The social network sites help the individuals to form a profile of public or semi-public nature in a system which is bounded.. 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. Knowledge is vital for the business as it provides information about the competitive advantage for the rapid expansion of factor markets and goods. A strategy of social media should be implemented by the business for increasing the brand recognition as engaging with a broad audience is essential for the growth and development of the business. Proper content is necessary for gaining new customers as social media is a place where people of different behaviours and backgrounds are present and the needs of the people change with different level of thinking. A lot of time and dedication is needed for the maintenance of the social media networks. Proper update is required in the company website for attracting new customers to the company.