In the last decade, there has been a boom in the use of social media applications and other web 2.0 technologies, such as weblogs, content marketing, Social Network Sites (SNSs), and other secondary sources. Employing the internal social media apps leads to improved communication among the workers. It also improves the collaboration among them, assists in knowledge management, creating innovative products and services, and helps in social media marketing. Nowadays, companies are incorporating social media platform to build customer relationship and brand image. In addition, recruitments and hiring of employees are also depending on social media applications and platform. Social media is not only an important business instrument for large enterprises but it also helps the small businesses to grow and sustain in the market. The main aim of this study is to determine the advantages and disadvantage of social media platform in the business world, especially for the SMEs in Australia.
The objective of composing this research paper are:-
- To determine the most efficient social media platform for marketing and sales promotion for SMEs of Australia.
- To compare the social media with other traditional marketing platforms.
- To analyse the factors that hinder the wider adoption of various social media platforms in SMEs.
The purpose of carrying out this research is to analyse the importance of social media in the business marketing of SMEs and other large scale corporation. The survey are carried out in order to understand the penetration of social media in different industries of Australia. The research analyses the differences between the different social media platform and their effectiveness. Once all the above-mentioned points are studied, the advantages and disadvantages of social media on businesses in Australia is analysed.
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In the assignment 1, many literatures were studied and reviewed as per three different divisions. First division talked about different social media channels for marketing. The second and third division explained the advantages and disadvantages of social media respectively.
In the recent times, the use of social media in the corporate world has grab the attention of marketers, business analysts, and investigators. Numerous research have been carried out just to determine the effect of the social media on both internal and external business environment. In the case studies reviewed by Richter and Riemer (2012), large knowledge-intensive corporations employed social networking sites. In the study, three modes of business SNS, such as identification of experts, strengthening existing relations, and developing personal context were identified.
Weblogs are one of the widely used social media platforms that are employed by the large number of companies. They assist in establishing a formal mode of communication between the CEO and the organisation's customers (Efimova and Grudin, 2013).
Despite of large number of advantages of using social media marketing and platform, there are many factors that hinder the implementation and adoption of social media application in business operation. There are wide range of economic, technical, and cultural factors that hinder the use of social media platform in the enterprises (Fuchs-Kittowski, et al., 2013). The most crucial among them is the cost-benefit analysis that often gives vague results. In today's day and age, the social media assists businesses to put the information and their customers in the centre. This helps the individual by providing opportunities to communicate without any ado in open space. Social media platforms are updating continuously so to make them more user-friendly and secure.
In a research carried by Kaske, et al., (2015), it was found out the word of mouth plays a significant role in selecting the particular social media platform by people. The information that comes from family, relatives, and friends is considered to be more important and reliable as compared to other media channels. Now, people can share and suggest a product to their relatives. This helps both the parties i.e., business and the customers. Companies have now hired their brand ambassadors to promote their products and services. Businesses in today's world are now promoting an environment, wherein an effective system of information and feedback is established.
Small businesses should need to enhance their performances, make viable efforts to connect to their customers, and sustain themselves in the competitive market. Stockdale, et.al (2012) found that for SMEs, the prime business values lie in efficient customer engagement. Factors, such as adoption and employing, motivating the employees and providing them the benefits are the success factors behind the use of social media in business environment. The major benefit of employing social media in the marketing strategy of a small businesses. It assists in developing new relationship, enhancing the customer base, and carrying out the effective branding.
Apart from this, there are many downside of using social media in marketing of SMEs, such as security and spamming issues, hacking, and false advertisement (Kaplan and Haenlein, (2014). Small businesses must make use of all the available features of the social media platforms so as to keep their businesses updated. The business world is rapidly changing and use of social media helps in sustaining the business in the efficient way. Small business organisations are facing competition from the multinational companies and traditional organisations through internet.
The gap in the following literatures is that none of them is comparing the effect of social media on LSEs and SMEs. In addition to this, they have just studied the influence of social media from business's prospective, not from the customer's mindset. Moreover, nothing was said about the effect of traditional marketing approaches on SMEs, such as newspaper and radio ads, etc.
The main purpose of this research work is to identify and fill the gap in the literature. The following report would be highlighting the questions given below in this section.
Q1: What are the positive and negative impacts of different social media platforms on LSEs and SMEs?
Q1: Which social media platform is most effective for SMEs in the Australian market?
Q2: How to compare the social media with other traditional marketing platforms?
Q3: What are the factors that hinder the wider adoption of various social media platforms in SMEs?
Research Design and Methodology
Choosing an apt research methodology is quite perplexing and a complicated task in the whole research work. There are many available methods that can be brought into use depending upon the type of research problem. In the given case, the main idea is to determine the advantages and disadvantages of social media on the small businesses. One can take advice from any subject expert. As already discussed that selection of the method is the most crucial step. There are four stages of a research work, namely designing, sampling, coding and measurements, and analysing (Parveen, F., 2012). The type of research work tells the type of research methodologies used to collect the data. If an investigator is more into collecting the quantitative data, then it consists of measuring variables and proving the authenticity of the available theories and hypothesis. If a researcher wants to understand the phenomenon, beliefs, experience, and meanings, then the best suitable method is qualitative analysis. In many cases both qualitative and quantitative research methods are used to understand a topic. In quantitative research methodology, the data collection is usually done by implementation of mathematical and statistical tools. Data collection is usually done via polls, questionnaire, and surveys. In qualitative research method, the data and information is collected by indulging in direct conversation with the customers and employees.
Qualitative method of research
In this type of research, the experience, ideas, and values are described and understood. The key purpose of carrying out the qualitative research method in the SMEs and LSEs of Australia is to explore employees' approaches and styles to learn the use of social media platform. This is basically done by face-to-face discussion with employees and customers of the business organisation. The information can be collected either in the form of notes or recorded tape. For the interview purpose, one has to prepare an interview schedule containing numbers of questions (closed or open-ended). The household surveys and census questions are usually close ended. For the research purpose, 190 companies of Australia are selected and their employees are interviewed in here.
Quantitative Method of Research
These research methods are dependent on questionnaires as they are easy and quicker way of data collection. Designing a questionnaire is not cake walk and may require the intervention of the subject experts. In addition to this, the problem with questionnaire is that it has low response rate. In context of the given research problem, one needs to take care of the length of the questionnaire. Lengthy questionnaire often inhibit response rate. Researcher should take care that questions must be clear and the investigator should be able to manage data.
Limitations of the Research Work
It is a well-known fact that each and every research work will have certain limitation and it is normal to have them because research is a cyclic process. The limitation in itself is a researching subject. Every researcher knows about the limitation in his/her research project. One must give the acknowledgement of limitation before concluding the report. The limitation of this research work is given below:-
- The aims and objectives of the research work are too broad and each objective is a research topic in itself.
- Scope of the research work is only highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of social media on businesses. In addition to this, it should also focus the impacts of social media on customer loyalty.
- The lack of available theories and previous literatures also pose a challenge in the research work. Existing literature helps in establishing the foundation for the future research work. Lack of literature in this case, limits the objectives and scope of the research.
- The sample size was randomly decided without applying any formula or theories. The sample size plays a significant role in the quantitative research. But, in this case, random decision may induce discrepancies in the data.
- In addition to the above limitation, lack of experience in selecting the method of collecting the primary data may also pose a problem.
Introduction and objective
Collection of data
Analysis of data
Conclusion and recommendations
Submission of first draft
Revision, if required
Final draft Submission
The following research work shed some light on the implementation of social media platforms in the business operation, especially in the case of small businesses. SMEs in Australia receive little government help and attention. In order to study the social media approaches used by the SMEs in Australia, first the benefits of implementing the social media in business marketing and sales was studied. In addition to this, factors that hinders the adoption of social media platforms in business world were analysed. The customers and employees working at 192 organisations of Australia were interviewed and surveyed. Number of personal interviews were conducted so as to deepen the understanding of the adoption of social media on large scale. The choice of question that were to be asked from the employees and the loyal customers of the businesses were discussed with the experts so as to decrease the discrepancies from the data collected from the qualitative and quantitative research method.
- Parveen, F. (2012). Impact of Social Media Usage on Organizations. In PACIS(p. 192).
- Zeiller, M., & Schauer, B. (2012). Adoption, motivation and success factors of social media for team collaboration in SMEs. In Proceedings of the 11th international conference on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Technologies(p. 4). ACM.
- Eriksson and A. Kovalainen. (2016). Qualitative Methods in Business Research: A Practical Guide to Social Research. London: Sage Publishing Limited.
- G. Carmines and R. A. Zeller. (2015). Reliability and Validity Assessment. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publishing Inc.
- Kim, H. D., Lee, I., & Lee, C. K. (2013). Building Web 2.0 enterprises: A study of small and medium enterprises in the United States. International Small Business Journal, 31(2), 156-174.
- Richter, A., & Riemer, K. (2013). Corporate social networking sites-modes of use and appropriation through co-evolution. In 20th Australasian Conference on Information Systems(pp. 2-4).
- Kaplan, A.M. and Haenlein, M. (2014). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons, 53 (1), 59-68.
- Stieglitz, S., & Dang-Xuan, L. (2011). Adoption and Use of Corporate Wikis in German Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. In AMCIS.
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