Why Use Social Media for Business - Essay Example

Social media effects on business

Background Information

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This report focuses on PAN International, a Melbourne-based entertainment, and event management company. PAN International, which was originally founded in 1993 as PAN Artist Management, is an affiliate of the PAN Orama Group. The group comprises some businesses that work in the fields of entertainment, culture, arts, events, and education. Since customer satisfaction is the driving force at PAN International, the company develops a client’s specific idea by transforming that idea into an unbeatable event. The company staff endeavors to come up with sterling experiences for their customers by working as a determined, energetic, and adventurous team which produces outstanding events suitable for international audiences. With time, PAN International has diversified its focus on all fields of entertainment management and event production. The portfolio of this company contains a variety of services that include the following: 

Entertainment programs and artistic direction 

Tailored event design and conceptualization 

Outdoor and indoor festival management, logistics and production 

Promotion, publicity, and marketing 

Management of events and administration of projects 

Presentation of awards, seasonal functions, and conferences 

Management of  artists and liaison

As a result of the long-standing relationship with Australia’s top artistic groups, PAN International has the ability to program an assortment of diverse, entertaining artists for both private and public events. The company can take advantage of the opportunity to select individuals and troupes that present authentic and dynamic performances, which perfectly suit any event. PAN International provides the platform for exhilarating forms of art that include 3D mapping, live silhouette puppet animation, and Sand artistry. However, the company does not aggressively market these products on social media. 

The social media is a contemporary and culturally unique gateway to successful sales performance in any business. Each of the social networks is highly distinct from the other, and accommodates diverse audiences; depending on interests, social status, sex, and different demographics. Unfortunately, PAN International has not been utilizing the social media platforms to boost performance. Over the years, PAN has maintained the status quo by using the old marketing methods to improve income, and this has hurt the company’s sales volumes. During 2011 to 2013, for example, the business had very few clients. Targeting a given social media platform, in regards to the number of users who are active, could be one of the best options for PAN International because the media will help to attract new customers and generate more income through the old ones. It is important to note that PAN International has a Linked in and Facebook page. However, the marketing team does not actively use these two platforms; thus making the company fail to realize maximum sales. 

The main idea behind this project, therefore, is to find a social media marketing implementation strategy, with the aim of improving the sales prospects at PAN International. The strategy will be achieved through ensuring that PAN International actively utilizes the prescribed social media sites throughout and upon this project’s completion.

1.Focus of the Project

Purpose 

This research project will mainly aim at giving an insight into what PAN International can do further so as to utilize social media platforms for the purpose of boosting sales, and subsequently, revenue. It will also explore if the implementation of social media will encompass a positive impact on the number of inquiries and how many of them will turn into sales.

Main areas of investigation

The role of  social media in boosting sales 

The number of activities on social media in each week

The impact of future sales strategies on social media 

Research questions 

The questions that this research project will address include: 

•How will the utilization of social media platforms improve sales at PAN International?

•What user behavior can PAN International achieve by utilizing the social media?

•Which social media platform is the most suitable for the customers of PAN International?

•How does the organization view the aspect of using social media to boost sales?

•Which social media platform do consumers prefer in the context of PAN International?

Importance of the Project

Marketing on social media may be the “next big thing” to many entrepreneurs. The social media is a powerful marketing tool that every entrepreneur must take seriously and utilize as early as possible (Seliger & Shohamy 1989). PAN International is likely to reap a lot of benefits if it implements strategic social media marketing as a tool to improve sales. As a result, the other departments of the company and other organizations offering similar products will benefit from these strategies. 

How social media helps business

2.Summary of Literature Related to the Project

This project will aim at covering the benefits that PAN International will reap from the implementation of social media marketing strategies to increase sales. Social media is a feature of Marketing Communication: a topic in my MBA course. As I went through my MBA program, I covered Marketing Communication, particularly the aspect of social media. This knowledge will be very significant in helping me develop the appropriate strategies all through this project, and that will help me accomplish it. 

According to Raosoft Inc. (2004), social media platforms provide new ways of communication suitable for any arena. This textbook laid the foundation for my preliminary understanding of the topic of this project.  Below are other sources that will provide the relevant literature on how organizations can profit from the implementation of social media marketing strategies.  

The article, Blackbox social media (2014), will provide useful information that will help in understanding the aspect of social media in business.

Also, the books, Aaker (1996) and Kapferer (2007), will be used to get an understanding of the process of building a powerful brand in social media. The information will be helpful in creating brand awareness. 

Huff (2014) and Kärkkäinen (2010) describe how to get an idea in attracting corporate clients in business. In this project, this information will be used to get in-depth knowledge in business social media marketing. 

Furthermore, I will organize regular meetings with both the marketing and the business development managers, so as to track the progress of the usage of social media as a marketing tool by PAN International. 

Also, PAN International is planning to adopt one of the social media platforms it uses at the moment. The platform will be used to generate reports on the impact of social media on the organization. 

The use of social media in companies

3.Planned Methodology

Research Method

The project is a case research report based on the implementation of marketing strategies on social media with the sole aim of gaining sales at PAN International. The planned methodology entails collecting authentic information straight from the present and prospective activities on social media. The review of the relevant literature and close working relations with the manager in charge of the marketing department of PAN International will be utilized to make out the outcome. 

The preliminary step will be the literature review. This section will be divided into two distinct processes. The first one will entail literature readings, which will involve the reading of relevant materials such as books, journal articles, and online sources. The information will help in analyzing the key concept and forming an explicit definition as well as an idea of the keywords. The second process will involve the re-reading of the collected data and an attempt to relate it to the theoretical terms and details, so as to formulate a clear-cut vision; hence, help in building content and enabling a clear plan of action for further research. These two processes will help me understand the subject so as to come up with a refined insight into previous research on the issue. 

The project will then take the approach of research. The data collected through the two processes will be instrumental in building the report in such a way that it matches with the research objectives and helps in answering the research questions. Although there may be other techniques, the most efficient research methodology would be a review of current and past literature on the subject, data collection, analysis, presentation, and interpretation of the data. This method will be very effective since the conclusions will be valid, objective and reliable.

The collection of data will be based on two main sources:  

Collection of Primary Data 

As for the collection of primary data, the following strategies will be acted upon:

Putting up two distinct social media platforms, communicating with the marketing team and continually monitoring the platforms through a survey at the end of each inquiry, so as to help in identifying the number of clients reaching PAN International through the social media. 

Organizing an interview with the CEO of PAN International so as to determine if the organization has ever used any social media platform to market their products, and whether it worked, then, using the company’s reports on the issue from 2005 to 2012,comparing the details and coming up with practical strategies.

Organizing interviews with five current managers in different departments within PAN International, so as to gather information on the implementation of social media in marketing that will help in answering the research questions.  

Keeping in touch with the corporate clients who will have signed up with the PAN International social media platforms, and conducting relevant interviews on the phone with them. This will help in determining what they think about the social media sites so as to provide an idea of what can be done to improve the strategy and keep working towards higher sales.

Attending the meetings organized by the marketing team of PAN International for some weeks so as to get information about particular social media platforms. 

Asking all those included in the research project to consent and sign the appropriate forms so that the information they provide may be included as appendices. 

As evident in the above activities, the main collection methods for primary data will include observations, surveys, contacting the relevant persons on phone, personal interaction, and experimentation as well as follow-up conversations.  Sample plans on social media platforms, such as considering the procedures, sample size, and units will be conducted so as to enable the generalizability of the findings. Relevant research instruments, including questionnaires, will be used.  

Collection of Secondary Data

The strategies for the collection of secondary data will include:

Studying the past social media marketing strategies and plans at PAN International so as to determine their effectiveness in boosting sales.

Going through the relevant information in textbooks and articles so as to find out how social media is implemented as a marketing strategy in various organizations. 

Scrutinizing the old minutes of the marketing meetings of PAN International so as to determine what has previously worked or not worked for them.

Following the profiles of PAN International’s competitors and fellow organizations on social media to get an idea of how they use the social media to reach customers.

As evident in the above strategies, secondary data will mainly be collected from previous surveys, company databases and available literature on the topic of research so as to help in systematically comparing the data and giving an in-depth understanding of the connection between facts and available data. This will then go a long way in providing reliable conclusions.  

Social media strategies for small business

4.Schedule for Completion

Ethical Consideration and Survey Questions

Social media marketing provides a golden opportunity for the participation of users to create and display a range of information. The social media platforms are increasingly proving to be invaluable tools in research. The social media presents an innovative opportunity to study the online beliefs and behaviors in a natural context because it reflects on the daily life of a participant. The social media also allows the researcher to conduct surveys within a given population that may have been difficult to reach out to in traditional research.

Given the challenges associated with ethical issues, I will give particular consideration to matters regarding confidentiality, consent, and privacy. After putting these into consideration, I will close the research with a provision of major issues that future reviewers and researchers need to consider when reviewing or creating social media protocols.

1.Pick your gender: 

a.Female

b.Male

2.Please type your birth date (MM/DD/YY) 

3.What is the industry in which you are working?

4.How can you describe yourself in regards to your activity on social media?

5.Do you subscribe to any social media site? 

6.Do you use social media for business? 

7.If No, select the reason. (You are free to pick more than one) 

8.How many social media groups /communities do you subscribe to? 

9.Please write all social networks you use to find/book events

10.How do you access your social media account? (You can select more than one) 

11.For what period have you been using social media platforms or sites for bookings? 

12.On average, how much time do you spend every day on social media sites for business purposes? 

13.How many bookings you have done so far using social media? 

14.Do you accept requests from strangers who try to befriend you on social media sites in order to promote their events? 

15.How does your participation in social media platforms affect your communication? 

16.Would you prefer PAN International to use social media to promote events and discounts? 

17.Do you think using social media to promote business is important? 

18.Do you think it is a must to use social media for businesses? 

19.Which of these choices best describes you?

20.What features on social media sites would you like to see for you to book events or organise events with PAN International?

21.Do you do business with social media? If not how do you prefer?

22.Would you prefer booking events via social media with PAN International?