Academic journal article Journal of Marketing and Management

Social Media for Marketing by Small Businesses

Academic journal article Journal of Marketing and Management

Social Media for Marketing by Small Businesses

Article excerpt


Social media has a problem that exists within its overall approach. The problem is that customers have no shame, follow the crowd, lacking answerability, and acting in secrecy (Guest, 2012). The problem is due to social media enabling customers with tactics that spark negative behavior (Guest, 2012).

Although social media is handled as an extension of the marketers brand in a way that one would hope could be a sales vehicle via email or product description page. Marketers making use of social media juggle between likes and shares. When the number of likes and shares do not measure up they decided to push harder or delete their social media page convinced that it is a marketing tool that is useless.

Melewar & Smith (2003) revealed that the Internet is accessed by over one billion users (p. 363); two-thirds of which access social media (Solis, 2010, pg.17). Casey (2009) suggests that marketing as per the internet is new and more people are getting used to it and its concepts (p.11). The ambiguity of marketing can be beneficial in accordance with communicating via social media. This cultural occurrence has transformed into the new word of mouth due to consumer usage (Thomas, et al., 2012, pg. 88). Despite the ambiguity of marketing by use of social media, social media is beneficial in regards to it still possesses it benefits, advantages, and rewards. For instance, benefits come by way of providing brand awareness, and breaking into new markets at a reduced cost due to control of e-word of mouth (Solis, 2010).

According to Hansen et al. (2011), social media is a huge source of the business along with being communication for marketers allowing for both communication among customers and able to listen to feedback and responses (p.10). Contrary to these findings, negative buzz can spread at an increased pace in comparison to positive buzz which can result in having a damaging effect on the brand (Solis, 2010).

Henceforth, the present study focuses on how small businesses know when to use social media. In addition the study will focus on why some small businesses have an increase in sales using social media and why others do not. The current study was designed to gather data to answer the following two research questions:

RQ1: How does a small business known for using social media build their business to gain customer attention?

RQ2: How does some small businesses increase in sales using social media but others do not?

Data Collection

This study's data was collected by way of interviews and unobtrusive methods. The researcher determined what strategies are used on social media via the owner-manager to engage their customers. How the owner-manager's efforts are apparent also acknowledged. The results are analyzed deeply due to detailed information on how managers utilize social media. The business' social media activities were relevant to the case study due to the review of documents and collected data by the researcher.

* Data Collection

* Social Media

The researcher was able to gain insight on owner-managers social media strategy by way of focused interviews.

* Each interview was transcribed immediately after by the researcher.

* Qualitative data was encoded by way of thematic analysis, which was used to analyze the data (Boyatzis, 1998). This approach allows the researcher a way to differentiate and make sense of the material that may appear to be unrelated.

* In the context of a theory, the researcher must be able to sense themes, distinguished between what can be coded and encode these moments constantly, develop codes and interprets the information (Boyatzis, 1998).

* The researcher will allow the themes to become apparent from the information being examined as it pertains to this.

* 25 owner/managers participated in the final study

* Conducted an 8-26 minute face to face interview at an off-site location. …

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