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Social Media At A Small Business

3568 words - 15 pages

Student-ID: H00172723
Course Title: Critical Writing and analysis
Course Code: C07CP
Assignment Title: ‘Final Essay’

Word Count: 2,561

Social media at small businesses

Introduction

Social media is defined ‘as the way in which people interact to create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks’ (Katona & Sarvary, 2014). Few of the most common social media platforms are differentiated into social networks (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, instant messaging), collaboration networks (examples: slideshare, Wikipedia, Prezi, Google docs, Zoho docs, survey monkey), image sharing (Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest and Picasa), blogging ...view middle of the document...

This is due to financial constraints. However, the development of Web 2.0, specifically social media, has changed the pattern of marketing. Social media has become an important tool to small businesses and large co-operations to connect with its current customers and attract new customers. Social media offers an opportunity for small businesses to compete against large corporation, as it can be easily set up and there are no costs compared to traditional marketing strategies (He et al., 2014).
Stelzner (2011) conducted a survey seeking the advantages of social media marketing. The survey found that social media generates greater business exposure hence more customers are attracted, therefore enhancing the business market research engine. These benefits are important particularly to small businesses, since it has limited resources and small number of employees (Mershon, 2011; He et al., 2014). In addition, recent research has indicated that number of people using social media, for instance twitter and Facebook, in peoples’ daily lives has expanded (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010; Westland, 2012).
Resource-Based View (RBV) of the business plus resource-based theory (RBT) presents a valuable framework for ‘explaining and predicting the basis of a firm’s competitive advantage and performance outcomes’ (Kozlenkova et al., 2013). RBV will allow better understanding of the link between value and use of social media marketing to the business.
This paper will discuss on how social media aid small business growth, and what risks are there if the marketers do not use it cautiously. The essay will evaluate research if small businesses use social media marketing, but there are a limited number of studies which approve that social media can be used to enhance its operations. The paper will be using RBT and RBV to examine and evaluate how social media can help and increase brand loyalty and what are driven factors of brand loyalty. Further, are studies to evaluate how social media can be used to develop not just externally but internally, yet small businesses are restricted due to constrained resources. Finally is the risk that accompanies businesses when investing in social media.

Effectiveness of social media marketing

Small businesses compared to large firms are considered fundamentally different in more than one aspect such as ownership type, business structure, market orientation, and culture (Ghobadian and Gallear 1997; Zach and Munkvold, 2012). Due to limited resources that small businesses have, the businesses’ usage of social media would differ from large firms. For small businesses to be able to compete with larger firms, in the same sector, it is plausible that the business would need to take different or innovative strategies to achieve success with social media. Up to the present time, there has been an increase in the number of small businesses which use some form of social media for marketing (He et al., 2014).
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