Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 24

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

RESEARCH PROPOSAL IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON BUSINESSES IN THE USA

1|Page

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

Abstract This research is focused on identifying and analyzing the impact of social media on the businesses in the USA. The importance of social media tools and techniques in the modern world has been highlighted and the researcher has discussed that how different social media sites can be helpful for the modern world organizations to improve their productivity and enhance the overall performance. The social media importance has been increased from the last few years and in the modern world, social media is creating a significant impact on the performances of the organization. The organizations which are operating in the era of increased competition can improve their business performance by implementing effective social media tools and techniques. The social media includes web based activities which enhances the connectivity between people and enable them to connect with each other on very frequent basis without spending significantly. There are many different types of mediums which can be used by the people in order communicate with each other. These mediums include Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, virtual game worlds, Emails, music sharing, etc. A framework is defined which is called Honeycomb, it states that social media has seven smaller or bigger building blocks and these building blocks are identity, conversations, sharing , presence, relationships, reputation and groups. There are number of social media tools which can be used by the companies in order to improve the overall performance of the business. YouTube is one of the famous tools for social media marketing and it is also help in attracting significant number of customers. Advertisements on YouTube suit a huge number of audiences and the organizations can easily communicate their messages to the target audiences.

2|Page

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

The methods which are used by the researcher in order undertake this study include qualitative and quantitative research methods. The researcher has used both these methods in order to undertake this research and conclude it in an effective manner. Both primary and secondary data collection methods are considered in order to collect the data for this particular research and achieve the desired outcomes. The researcher has used questionnaire survey and interview method in order in order to collect the primary data for research purpose. The secondary data has been collected through the articles, journals and books which have been written on social media and are helpful in understanding the importance of social media in the present business world. The questionnaire survey will be conducted with the employees of three top multinational organizations operating within the USA. The researcher has designed close ended questions in order to get the responses from the employees working in different companies which will be helpful in evaluating and analyzing the impact of social media on the overall business performance of the company. The survey with the employees of the company will help to determine that how social media campaigns can be used in order to enhance the business performance. The researcher has also conducted an interview with the marketing managers of two companies in order to discuss the social media strategies of those companies and to determine that social media tools and techniques are affecting the business performances of the companies.

3|Page

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background

This research is focused on identifying the impact of social media on the businesses in the USA. The importance of social media has significantly increased over the period of time and in the modern world, social media is creating a significant impact on the performances of the organization (Argenti, 2006). Research shows that organizations operating in the era of increased competition can improve their business performance by implementing effective social media tools and techniques (Andreas and Haenlein, 2010). Social media includes web based activities which enhances the connectivity between people and the channels (Bruhn, Schoenmueller and Schafer, 2012). Social media forums are used to become an interactive path between the organizations, communities and the individuals. Social media has wide coverage over the entire world now and it is accessible with the help of different internet devices (Anderson and Rainie, 2010).

According to Baird and Parasnis (2011), social media is a web bases connection which enables the exchange of user generated accounts in a cost effective manner. Social media has many different forums like magazines, pictures, photographs, web blogs, social blogs, video ratings, and video comments (Boyd and Ellison, 2008). There are many different types of mediums where people can communicate with each other (Bennett, 2009). These mediums include Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, virtual game worlds, Emails, music sharing, etc. A framework is
4|Page

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

defined which is called Honeycomb, it states that social media has seven smaller or bigger building blocks and these building blocks are identity, conversations, sharing , presence, relationships, reputation and groups (Benoit and Holbert, 2008). These building blocks are helpful in understanding the needs of the audience of the social media and the type of relation they share with the social media (Braunsberger and Gates, 2009). For example, the LinkedIn users are focused on their image building and enhancing their personality traits. They are more concerned about portraying a professional image because this website is connecting them with the corporate world (Borremans, 2010).

Facebook is also a famous social media site and on this site, the users are more socially open and they can talk freely and can discuss their ideas and thoughts. The users of facebook are mostly informal with each other because they do not have to give a professional image, they dont need to tell the other users about their professional personality, while their profile shows their nature and attributes (Kietzmann, Hermkens and McCarthy, 2011). The use of social networking media services in a project context represents the possibility of having main influences on the business world. Social networks provide an opportunity to the users to connect with each other at a relatively lower cost and it is also helpful for the small businesses and entrepreneurs which are looking to increase their contact bases (Coombs and Holladay, 1996). These social networks media often act as a client link management tool for organizations which are interested in selling their products and services (Carol and Bienstock, 1996).

5|Page

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

Purpose of the Study The main aim and purpose of this study is to research the latest issues and various aspects of social media its ease of use, ease of implementation and ease of management. As the scope of social media is increasing, therefore, the strategies and tactics to utilize this marketing platform are also changing (Kietzmann, Hermkens and McCarthy, 2011). The modern business leaders have started realizing this fact that by using social media sites effectively, they can improve the overall performance of the organization (Komito and Bates, 2009). Social network sites can be defined as web-based services that permit persons to (1) Build a public or semi-public side view within a surrounded system, (2) Develop a catalog of other clients with whom they share a connection, and (3) View their connections list and those prepared by others within the system (Greenhow and Robelia, 2009). The nomenclature and nature of these connections may differ from site to site. While using the expression social network site to explain this phenomenon, the expression social networking sites also emerge in public dialogue, and the two expressions are regularly used interchangeably (Komito and Bates, 2009).

Social network sites (SNS) are progressively attracting the attention of many researchers and scholars all over the world who are interested in identifying the impact of social media sites on the performance of the business (Kietzmann, Hermkens and McCarthy, 2011). Social network sites (SNSs), for example, Facebook, MySpace, Bubo and Cyworld, have attracted many corporation and they are actively using these sites in order to promote their products and services on regular basis (Khan and Khan, 2012). The sites differ in the extent to which they integrate new communication tools and information, such as blogging, mobile connectivity, and video/

6|Page

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

photo sharing (Kietzmann, Hermkens and McCarthy, 2011). While SNSs have executed a large range of scientific features, the major benefit of social media networks is that they contain observable profiles that exhibit an uttered list of Friends, who could be the client of the organization (Komito and Bates, 2009). After being a member of an SNS (Social network sites), a person is asked to answer various forms containing the sequence of questions. The profile is produced using the answers to these questions, which usually contain descriptors such as location, age, an about me, and interests section (Macias, Hilyard and Freimuth, 2009). The majority of sites also require the clients to upload a profile photo (Kietzmann, Hermkens and McCarthy, 2011).

Importance of the Study The importance of this study shows that social media tools and techniques are helpful in increasing the brand awareness. The social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and

MySpace can play an important role in order to facilitate the business growth and development. This research is important because it analyzes the impact of social media on the business performance and enhancing the business performance is one of the primary objective of every organization.

Statement of the Problem Business leaders nowadays are looking for technology based innovative tools and techniques in order to manage their business operations and improve the overall performance of the company. However, due to scarcity of the resources, the organizations cannot afford to spend significantly
7|Page

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

in order to acquire and implement the technological tools and techniques. The social media sites provide ease of communication within the organization at a lower cost and it also enables the business leaders to manage and enhance the effectiveness of the business operations of the company. It is a fact that businesses nowadays need to find innovative ways to promote their products and services and it is difficult for the organizations to find the innovative ways. The social media can provide this opportunity to the organization.

Research Questions (and/or Hypotheses) Research Question 1 What is the role of social media networks in facilitating the communication within the organization and enhancing the productivity of the firm? H1: The social networking tool; such as, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace can be helpful in facilitating the communication within the firm which results in improved productivity of the organization.

Research question 2 Can social media sites be used in order to undertake the different business related tasks in an effective manner? H2: The social media tools can be used by the business organizations in order to enhance the effectiveness of the business operations of the company.

8|Page

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

Research question 3 What is the impact of social media techniques on the overall performance of the business? H3: The social media techniques can positively impact the overall performance of the business. Research question 4 Can modern world organizations improve their business profitability with the help of social media? H4: The business profitability of the modern corporations can be improved with the help of social media. Research question 5 Why it is important for the organizations nowadays to incorporate the social media techniques into their day to day business operations? H5: The incorporation of the social media techniques into day to day business operations of the company will impact the organizational productivity in a positive manner.

Method of Inquiry This study will be non-experimental. The methods which will be used in order to undertake this study include qualitative and quantitative research methods. The researcher will use both these methods in order to undertake this research and conclude it in an effective manner. Both primary
9|Page

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

and secondary data collection methods will be considered in order to collect the data for this particular research and achieve the desired outcomes.

Assumptions The main assumption of this study is that businesses in the USA are using the social media networking sites An important assumption of this research is that organizations operating in the USA market are promoting the regular and effective use of social media sites.

Paper Organization The chapter one of this research proposal provides an introduction to the research problem, the scope of the study, the assumptions, limitations and delimitations that scope the project. The chapter two includes a detailed discussion of the relevant literature addressing the problem. Each section discusses the evidence available that provides insight into the problem and subproblems. The chapter three provides a detailed description of the research methodology

employed in the study. It includes a discussion of the method of inquiry, population and sample, instrument used to gather the data, and the hypotheses and associated analysis techniques to be employed in the data analysis. The chapter four provides the results of the data gathering, an indication of the response rate and the reliability of the instrument used to gather the data. Also included are the descriptive statistics obtained from the respondents and the results of the analysis and hypotheses testing. The chapter five includes a discussion of the major findings of the study, the conclusions reached as a result of the analysis and recommendations for future research and use of the results.
10 | P a g e

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE According to Michael and Hensel (2010), a literature review aims to hold a body of critical points of the study which is helpful in analyzing the points of views of different scholars and researchers. Social customer relationship management (SCRM) is the latest approach that can be adopted by the companies in order to conduct marketing of their products and services (Kietzmann, Hermkens and McCarthy, 2011). Moreover, social media is a changer and the customer is known as the influencer (Greenhow and Robelia, 2009). Social media and other marketing channels trigger the use of the social media as the development approach towards the business for marketing (Light and McGrath, 2010). SCRM has been a precedence approach for company success lately and it is playing an important role in the business growth and development of the modern world organizations (Vielhaber and Waltman, 2008). According to Argenti (2006), the ultimate goals of the literature review is to bring the reader to a deeper understating of the selected topic. In the social media tools, engagement is when the stakeholders are participants rather than the viewers (Braunsberger and Gates, 2009). It is best way to allow anyone to share their perspectives about the company products and services. Customers can become an important part of marketing department of a company (Benoit and Holbert, 2008). This engagement process is essential for successful social media marketing and research shows that with the help of effective social media techniques, the organizations can engage the customers that will create a positive impact on the overall business results (Andreas and Haenlein, 2010). Marketers are seeing more
11 | P a g e

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

advantages in social media marketing and this is one of the reasons that advertisers are investing significantly in social media by 25 % (Greenhow and Robelia, 2009). Tactics to increase the reach within sponsored stories and attaining new fans average 9 % monthly, therefore, increasing the fans two times more on annual basis (Anderson and Rainie, 2010). There are number of social media tools which can be used by the companies in order to improve the overall performance of the business. YouTube is one of the famous tools for social media marketing and it is also help in attracting significant number of customers (Bruhn, Schoenmueller and Schafer, 2012). Advertisements on YouTube suit a huge number of audiences and the organizations can easily communicate their messages to the target audiences. The style and language used in the YouTube advertisements matches the needs of a large number of audiences (Braunsberger and Gates, 2009). The advertisements are in synchronization with the video that is mostly requested by the users (Boyd and Ellison, 2008). The sponsorship of video is also probable on YouTube (Baird and Parasnis, 2011). Bennett (2009) found out that there are many interactive tools that Twitters use and they are helpful in communicating with the target consumers. However, many companies reported the inconsistency in the Twitter practice which restricts the ability of the organizations to interact with the target consumers in an effective manner (Greenhow and Robelia, 2009). Therefore, there is a need to develop the strategic consistency in Twitter so it can help the organizations to achieve their strategic business objectives (Benoit and Holbert, 2008).

Benoit and Holbert (2008) concluded in their literature review that social media tools such as Facebook have become an important media channel for positioning the organizations and their

12 | P a g e

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

brands within the market. The social media tools can be used by the organizations in order to build their image in the market and improve their overall repute (Benoit and Holbert, 2008). In the modern world, the organizations with better market repute can easily attract the significant percentage of consumers and improve their clients base (Braunsberger and Gates, 2009). Furthermore, the social media tools play an essential role in order to facilitate the communication strategies and marketing campaigns of the firms. Social media is the most powerful tool today by which the organizations can easily get connected with the consumers (Braunsberger and Gates, 2009). Whereas the traditional marketing practices impact the awareness of brand and social media marketing tools helps to create a broad impact on the overall brand image (Carol and Bienstock, 1996). This shows that organizations and improve their overall brand image by using the social media tools and techniques in an effective manner (Greenhow and Robelia, 2009).

Research shows that the firms which have developed social media communications have a powerful impact on the functional brand image (Coombs and Holladay, 1996). Today, small businesses also make use of social media marketing as an effective promotional strategy which is not only cost effective but it is also capable of generating the desired results. These sites help to promote their deals and products for the local populace in an effective manner (Greenhow and Robelia, 2009). Social media marketing entails the use of social networks such as eWom and COBRAS to be able to advertise online (Kietzmann, Hermkens and McCarthy, 2011). Facebook and Twitter also provides information about the dislikes and likes of consumers (Benoit and Holbert, 2008). This helps the organizations to evaluate the consumers liking or disliking towards their products and services which is the most important requirements in the present world (Braunsberger and Gates, 2009). Research shows that the firms which are successful in
13 | P a g e

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

getting the customers feedback on timely basis and incorporating it in the business operations of the company can easily develop those products which are appreciated by the consumers (Greenhow and Robelia, 2009). This is essential for the businesses to assess their specific target audiences and implement effective strategies in order to satisfy and retain the target customers (Komito and Bates, 2009).

There are many reasons for the companies to make use of blogging platforms, however, the importance of blogging platforms vary for an organization to organization. For instance, Linkedin develops an environment for the clients and enable the companies to connect online (Keenan and Shiri, 2009). The members can make use of widgets to promote their social networking activities such as blog entries and Twitter Stream (Kietzmann, Hermkens and McCarthy, 2011). Khan and Khan (2012) stated that social networking sites have different approaches for users to enhance their sociability. Facebook provides the real world networks for consumers and encourages privacy (Benoit and Holbert, 2008). MySpace encourages both virtual and real world networks in the website environment. Twitter and LinkedIn are the niche sites that emphasize special aspects of technology and community (Braunsberger and Gates, 2009). According to Macias and Freimuth, (2009), social networking sites such as Facebook should also keep on following the ethical codes of conduct. The ethical codes of conduct need to be followed by the social networking sites because it will be helpful in increasing the number of users (Kietzmann, Hermkens and McCarthy, 2011).

14 | P a g e

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

Summary The summary of the literature review chapter shows that social media can be effectively used by the organizations in the present world in order to enhance their business performance and profitability. There is no second opinion on the fact that social media has revolutionized the world and it is playing a major role in modifying and transforming the business trends in different countries and modifying the way the organizations conduct their business activities. The social media is one of the main sources of information in the present world and it is used by the people who belong to different age groups all over the world. There are number of social media sites including facebook and twitter which are very famous and there are millions of people all over the world in different countries which are the regular users of these sites. The social media campaigns used by the food companies in the US are also helpful in highlighting the importance of using environment friendly methods of growing the food which is promoting the green culture within the country. There are many businesses in the United States of America which have defined their business segments by using the social media tools and techniques that are helping out these companies to target their customers in an effective manner and generate the desired results.

15 | P a g e

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Purpose of the Chapter The methodology chapter is the most important chapter in the research process because it discusses the tools and techniques which can be used in order to conduct the research and achieve the specific objectives of the study. The researcher will use the qualitative and quantitative research methodologies in order to undertake this particular research (Bryman and Bell, 2011). These methodologies will also be helpful in answering the specific questions of the study (Bell, 2005).

Chapter Organization The research technique, population, instrumentation, research focus, strengths and weaknesses are also discussed in this chapter.

Method of Inquiry The research design for this particular study is questionnaire survey and interview. The questionnaire survey will be conducted with the employees of three top multinational organizations operating within the USA. The researcher will use design close ended questions in order to get the responses from the employees working in different companies which will be helpful in evaluating and analyzing the impact of social media on the overall business

16 | P a g e

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

performance of the company. The survey with the employees of the company will help to determine that how social media campaigns can be used in order to enhance the business performance. The researcher will also conduct an interview with the marketing managers of two companies.

Population and Sample Population The research population for the study will be the employees which are working in three companies located in California, Hawaii, and New York. There will be two people which will be selected for the interview purpose. The research population will be 500 and approximately 50% of the respondents will be males and 50% will be females.

Research Hypothesis The research questions are connected with the research hypothesis and the hypothesis of this research are focused on answering the main questions of the study. The literature which has been reviewed by the researcher is also based on the research questions and research hypothesis. For instance research hypothesis suggests that social media is helpful in facilitating the communication within the firm which results in improved productivity of the organization. The discussions made in the literature review chapter also show that social media promotes effective communications and it is helpful in enhancing the overall productivity of the organization. The

17 | P a g e

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

research questions also seeks to determine that how performance of the organizations can be enhanced with the help of effective social media tools and techniques. Summary This paper is about social media networks, and how are they influencing the social lives as well as the businesses. It would be about the research that how much number of people is engaged in social media websites. The research would also be conducted that which age group is using social media more and how this age group can be talked if it comes to the adverting of the campaigns. Moreover the research would be carried out with questionnaires and focus group interviews. The analysis of the results would be gathered through the technical software tool that is SPPS, for the perfection of the results. Hypothesis studies would study the effect of

independent variables over the dependent variables. Our independent variable would be social media and dependent variable would be number of clicks, number of purchases, and number of visitors generated. We would check their effect on each other after conducting the research. In short we are doing research on social media and its impact in the business world, and how it has become so important from the last decade. Moreover, we want to know that how businesses can become more successful with the help of these forums. Furthermore, the social media tactic and strategies that companies are utilizing these days would also be discussed. In addition, the extent of each social media tool is also assessed. This will help to do the comparative analysis among the social media networking sites. On the basis of research problem statements, number of visitors on each social networking site through the number of clicks will be determined. This will help to determine the social media site that is highly used by all companies.

18 | P a g e

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

REFERENCES

Argenti, P. A. (2006). How technology has influenced the field of corporate communication. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 20(3), 357370

Andreas, M. and Haenlein, M. (2010) "Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media". Business Horizons 53(1): 5968.

Anderson, J. and Rainie, L. (2010). The future of social relations. Retrieved from Pew Internet & American Life Project (Pew Research Centers)

Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2011) Business Research Methods, 3rd edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bell, J. (2005), Doing Your Research Project (Fourth Edition), Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Collis, J. and Hussey, R. (2003), Business Research (2nd edition), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
19 | P a g e

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

Bruhn, M., Schoenmueller, V. and Schafer, D. (2012) "Are social media replacing traditional media in terms of brand equity creation?", Management Research Review, Vol. 35 Iss: 9, pp.770 790.

Baird, C. and Parasnis, G. (2011). From social media to social customer relationship management. Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 39 (5), pp.30 37

Bennett, J. (2009). Twitter: A guide to getting started. Strategic Communication Management, 13(5), 9.

Boyd, D. M., and Ellison N. B. (2008). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13, 210230.

Benoit, W. L., and Holbert, R. L. (2008). Empirical intersections in communication research: Replication, multiple quantitative methods, and bridging the quantitativequalitative divide. Journal of Communication, 58, 615628.

Braunsberger, K. and Gates, R. (2009) "Developing inventories for satisfaction and Likert scales in a service environment", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 23 Iss: 4, pp.219 - 225

20 | P a g e

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

Borremans, P. (2010). Ready for anything: Support and enhance your crisis communication plan with social media. Communication World, July-August, 2010, 3133.

Coombs, W. T., and Holladay, S. J. (1996). Communication and attributions in a crisis: An experimental study in crisis communication. Journal of Public Relations Research, 8(4), 279295

Carol, C. and Bienstock, S. (1996) "Sample size determination in logistics simulations", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 26 Iss: 2, pp.43 50.

Greenhow, C., and Robelia, B. (2009). Old communication, new literacies: Social network sites as social learning resources. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14(4), 11301161.

Gill, J. and Johnson, P. (2010) Research Methods for Managers, 4th edition, London: Sage Publications, p. 288-291.

Komito, L. and Bates, J. (2009) "Virtually local: social media and community among Polish nationals in Dublin", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 61 Iss: 3, pp.232 - 244

21 | P a g e

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

Kincy, J. (2011). "Advertising and social media". ABA Bank Marketing 43 (7): 40. Retrieved 18 March 2012.

Keenan, A. and Shiri, A. (2009) "Sociability and social interaction on social networking websites", Library Review, Vol. 58 Iss: 6, pp.438 - 450

Khan, A. and Khan, R. (2012) "Embracing new media in Fiji: the way forward for social network marketing and communication strategies", Strategic Direction, Vol. 28 Iss: 4, pp.3 5

Kietzmann, J.H., Hermkens, K. and McCarthy, I.P. (2011). Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Business Horizons 54, 241251.

Lancaster, G. (2005), Research Methods in Management, Oxford: Elsevier ButterworthHeinemann.

Macias, W., Hilyard, K., and Freimuth, V. (2009). Blog functions as risk and crisis communications during Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 15, 131.

22 | P a g e

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

Massey, J. E., and Larsen, J. P. (2006). Crisis management in real time: How to successfully plan for and respond to a crisis. Journal of Promotion Management, 12(3/4), 6386.

Michael, H. and Hensel, K. (2010). "Using social media to increase advertising and improve marketing".Entrepreneurial Executive: p87. Retrieved March 28, 2012.

Light, B. and McGrath, K. (2010) "Ethics and social networking sites: a disclosive analysis of Facebook", Information Technology & People, Vol. 23 Iss: 4, pp.290 311

Smith, M., Lowe, R. and Thorpe, A. (2002) Management Research: An Introduction, second edition, London: Sage.

Silverman, D. (2004) Qualitative Research: Theory, Method and Practice, second edition, London: Sage.

Saunders, M. Lewis, P and Thornhill A. (2009) Research Methods for Business Students, 5th edition, Prentice Hall.

23 | P a g e

Impact of Social Media on Businesses in the USA

Scheyvens, R. and Donovan, S. (2003), Development Fieldwork: A Practical Guide, London: Sage

Thomas, R. (1997) Quantitative Methods for Business Studies, Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall.

Vielhaber, M. and Waltman, J. L. (2008). Changing uses of technology: Crisis communication responses in a faculty strike. Journal of Business Communication, 45(3), 308330.

24 | P a g e