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Social Media Marketing

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Social Media Marketing

  1. 1. 1 How effective is Social Media Marketing to promote new products in technology industries. Phivos Neocleous Oxford Brookes University 18/3/2016
  2. 2. 2 Table of Contents 1. Abstract 3 2. Introduction 4 3. Literature review 5 3.1. Social Media Marketing 5 3.2. Marketing for technology industries 6 3.3. Summary 7 4. Methodology 8 4.1. Research question 8 4.2. Research methods for data collection and analysis 8 4.3. Evaluation of method 9 5. Main body 9 5.1. Case one 10 5.2. Case two 12 6. Conclusion 14 7. Bibliography 16
  3. 3. 3 1. Abstract This study is about social media marketing and its effectiveness to new products in technology industries. The aim of this study is to determine if social media networks can be used successfully to promote new products. Secondary research was used from academic search complete database and social media analytic company ‘’Socialbakers’’. The result of the findings was that social media can be considered as a powerful marketing technique to increase the number of users that are interested in the new products. This finding shows that new product can be promoted effectively in social media for technology industries. The result is important because the majority of people nowadays are using social media networks on a daily basis.
  4. 4. 4 2. Introduction Throughout the 20th century, our understanding of online marketing has drastically changed. In order to survive in the worldwide market, organizations and industries tend to follow a new way of doing their business, the social media marketing. Social media is treated as a key factor to our daily life. Users can have activities personal or business. This study will use the definition from Saravanakumar and Suganthalakshmi (2012) of social media marketing as a new way of promoting brand or business by connecting with customers and attracting their interest through the networks of social media. The authors also state that Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are the most popular social media that are used by industries for promoting their products. Furthermore, two of the most famous social media networks are the Facebook with 1.490 billion users and Twitter with over 316 million users (Beqiri, 2015). Therefore, companies are forced to view social media as a new marketing technique in an effort to reach consumers where they ‘live’ online (Hanna, Rohm & Crittenden, 2011). Online Marketing has become recently popular, and the main reason is that a large percentage of population in the world consumes an enormous amount of time per day to the social media networks. Neti (2011) states that digging social media and using online communities, social networks and blog marketing contributes to a new marketing tool. Therefore, a new marketing strategy to promote old and new products for companies and organizations is possible using social media. In addition, Zhu and Chen (2015) explain that to be successful as a marketer in social media marketing, technology industries must obtain exact attention regarding their products, their strategies, their campaigns, the social media network their using and the social media users there are trying to target as they will be their future consumers. This report
  5. 5. 5 seeks to analyze how effective is social media marketing for technology industries to promote their new products. Social media marketing may be the best and cheapest way for industries and organizations to promote their new products. This research will be divided into four chapters. The first chapter is the literature review with analyzing previous studies on the subject of social media marketing. The second chapter is the methodology where the approach for the research method will be discussed, justify the chosen research method and describe the process of the study. The third chapter is the main body where the research question will be analyzed with an evaluation of a case study and the finding will be discussed. The last part is the conclusion where the results and discussions of the case study will be explained. 3. Literature Review The review will be separated in two parts, first the social media marketing and second the marketing for technology industries. 3.1. Social Media Marketing One of the most debated issues related to marketing techniques and one of the biggest changes in human interaction is social media marketing. Beqiri (2015) states that in the year of 2010 marketers expressed an apprehension and doubted the impact of social media in the marketing. However, in 2015 marketers and industries observe social media as one of the main strategies to promote their products and to find potential customers. Moreover, Hanna, Rohm and Crittenden (2011) explain that the reason for organizations off all sizes from different industries to consider social media marketing as an important part of their marketing strategies is the impressive and
  6. 6. 6 international growth of social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter with more than 500 million users. Therefore from these studies it appears that social media marketing is considered one of the most powerful techniques for marketers to reach customers through these social media networks. This is because of the massive growth of population using social media every day. The basic purpose of social media networks is about communication. A huge advantage of these networks is that you can each anyone you want though internet. Morozan and Asander (2014) argue that “communication on social networks has now become one of the most fashionable forms of communication with the purpose of promoting on the Internet”. Thus, there seem to be enormous benefits for industries to use social media as a promoting tool for their products and for the communication with clients. However, Ramsaran-Fowdar and Fowdar (2013) explain what worldwide industries are concerned about and demonstrate the most valuable aspect as the “flow of information” between the consumers, creating a better understanding for organizations. This study argues the necessary issue of social media marketing and that it can be adopted for industries to get closer to their customers and needs. 3.2. Marketing for technology industries Social media marketing for technology industries is undoubtedly an important factor for their sales and customers. Erdogmus and Cicek (2012) explain that technology industries can achieve brand loyalty by successful marketing campaigns in social media. However, technology companies have to keep themselves updated about their consumers and especially in their activity and their current perspectives in social media. Moreover, Edosomwan et al (2011) state that social media was used by technology industries at first to market products and campaigns at a minimum cost but
  7. 7. 7 later also as a service to connect with the consumers and solve any questions they might have regarding their new products. Therefore, from these studies it appears that successful social media campaigns for technology industries can provide powerful advantages for the company and their products. Brennan and Croft (2012) demonstrate how technology companies have used social media as a tool of marketing campaign successfully to “position their brand as though leaders in a highly dynamic sector”. Thus, technology companies inspire staff to engage in conversations with customers online in social media and talk about their future and current products. Moreover Laroch, Habibi and Richard (2012) show that social media marketing can be a platform for technology brands to accomplish more loyal customers which is an important goal for professional business. In addition, from these studies it seems that brand loyalty for technology industries is very essential for their new products and market. To conclude the only way to achieve such loyal fans is the platforms of social media and the combination of marketing. 3.3. Summary The review has found that technology industries consider social media crucial as a new marketing way of doing business and promote their products. Also two important reasons for business turning to social media for marketing is that actual campaigns in social media are cheaper that real campaigns in the public and that social media users are increasing day by day. That means more people to be potential customers for technology industries of using social media networks and that is exactly what they want to achieve with marketing. However, there is a need to apply marketing in social media networks for technology industries. Therefore, this study will attempt to focus on this gap by analyzing social media statistics data for the technology
  8. 8. 8 industries that are going to be chosen for the case study. The literature review has led me to choose the top technology brand for Facebook and Twitter because these social networks are the most popular. 4. Methodology 4.1. Research question The research question was chosen in order to investigate social media as a new marketing tool. The area of technology industries was chosen because of the importance of technology in our lives and the amount of money consumers spend in technology industries. 4.2. Research methods for data collection and analysis It was decided that the best method to adopt for this investigation was to use a variety of data collection methods of a secondary research. A case study will be examined and analyzed in the main research for Lenovo and Fitbit industries because they are the top two most popular consuming electronic companies in Facebook and Twitter respectively. These social media networks were chosen because they are the most popular social media among internet users. Statistical data will be used to examine the reaction of social media users and the effectiveness of social media to the technology industries and in promoting new products. The resources for the research were found mostly from the Business Source Complete of the Oxford Brookes University and a science database called ScienceDirect. However, the statistical data for the past cases of technology industries are retrieved by Socialbakers, a company for analyzing social media profiles of technology companies. Most of them are peer reviewed articles from academic journals and the main
  9. 9. 9 keywords used were ‘online marketing’, ‘social media marketing’ and ‘technology industries marketing’. These keywords were used because are directly relevant to my question and my aims of achieving for this research. Also an important factor of finding sources is to be at to date and at least from 2005. 4.3. Evaluation of method This method of approaching the research question for analyzing two technology companies as they promote new products in social media networks was chosen because the results of their social media analytics will prove if this new way of promoting products in the social media is effective or not. However, this study has limitations. Not enough statistical data could be retrieved due to the policy of technology industries to keep statistical data and number of sales hidden. 5. Main body The purpose of this research is to identify if social media networks can be used effectively for technology industries as a marketing strategy to promote their new products. For the main research a case study will be carried out comparing the results of the promotion for two new electronic products in social media networks of two technology industries. The case study companies were chosen because of a comparative case study that was carried out in Toronto, USA. This study demonstrates the top ten technology industries by consumers on social media networks (Engagement labs, 2016). As the study shows the top electronic brand for the social network of Facebook is the Chinese computer company of Lenovo and the top electronic brand for the social network of Twitter is the American fitness and health production Fitbit.
  10. 10. 10 5.1. Case one Lenovo was founded in 1984 it is a computer electronic brand based in Beijing and from the 20th century is the China’s leading PC Company (Lenovo, 2016). As Lenovo is an enormous operation in terms of technology in social media networks, it has over five millions fans on Facebook with an increase of thousand fans per day (Socialbakers, 2016). Socialbakers is an internet company that wants to change the way social media marketing is measured and optimized and their major task is to track and analyze millions of social media profiles. Official website of Lenovo on Facebook exists to inform their consumers about new products and any adjustments that affects the company or the customers. An announcement in the official page of Lenovo at 2012 shows that they had reached the admirable number of two million fans on Facebook whilst thanking the fans and customers (Facebook, 2012). One of the benefits that a fan has in the official page of Facebook for Lenovo is the link that automatically points the user to the newest products of the computer industry and updates of the web market of Lenovo. Figure 1: Statistics data by Socialbakers for Lenovo fans overview of official Facebook page for the last six months
  11. 11. 11 Figure 1 shows the total fans in the official Facebook page of Lenovo (Socialbakers, 2016). One point to be noted is that the fans in the Figure 1 are calculated in millions. However, in each month the fans are increasing dramatically for Lenovo page. Lenovo shop industry launched their newest product in 6 of November in 2015 and is called ‘Yoga 900’ which is a hybrid Ultrabook (Lenovo, 2015). Ultrabooks have the same features as laptops but they are more flexible in the design area. The new product was released in November 2015 for the consumers, but it was introduced to the public months ago. This can be considered as a marketing strategy for technology industries for demonstrating to the consumers the new product of the company. As the Figure 1 shows the total fans of the official Facebook page of Lenovo industry made a huge unexpected boost. From the month October of 2015 until the month March of 2016 Lenovo fans increased by 1.5 million. It can be considered as a big rise for a technology company in Facebook for the last six months. 5.2. Case two Fitbit was founded in 2007, is an electronic brand based in San Francisco, USA designing products so consumers can achieve their health and fitness goals with the help of technology clocks (Fitbit, 2016). As Fitbit is an enormous industry in terms of technology in social media networks, it has over 250 thousand fans on Twitter (Socialbrakers, 2016). Official website of Fitbit on Twitter has only one goal to inform their consumers about new products or any other changes regarding the company and the customers. It can provide also help center for any questions that the customers have (Twitter, 2016). Twitter page of Fitbit offers an easy way for fans also to find the
  12. 12. 12 official store of the electronic company including useful information about new products that is available in the market. Figure 2: Statistics data by Socialbakersfor Fitbit fans overview of official Twitter page for the last six months Figure 2 shows the total fans in the official Twitter page of Fitbit (Socialbakers, 2016). An important observation is that Fitbit fans are calculated in thousands. However, day by day the fans of Fitbit are increasing dramatically. Fitbit industry launched a new product called ‘Fitbit Alta’ at March 2016 (Fitbit, 2016). ‘Fitbit Alta’ is a new electronic clock for helping users with their fitness and healthy tasks and can also call, text messages and used as a reminder. It was introduced months ago in November of 2015 to the public as an opportunity for fans of Fitbit to pre-order it. It was demonstrated in a video clip in social media as a promotion for fans to have an idea of what this new product is about. As Figure 2 shows the number of the fans for Fitbit of Twitter are increasing day by day. It started from November and made a huge boost into February adding 40 thousand more fans to their network. The new product ‘Fitbit Alta’ was introduced to the public at the start of the rising moment at November and was launched at March and has a part to play in that huge boost
  13. 13. 13 Case 1 Case 2 Technology Industry Lenovo Fitbit Product Yoga 900 Fitbit Alta Year 2015 2016 Social Media Networks Facebook Twitter Number of Fans 5 millions 280 thousands Boost/ Period of time 1.5 millions/ 6 months 40 thousands/ 5 months Table 1: Table that compares both cases 6. Conclusion The research was designed to determine the effectiveness of social media marketing to promote new products in technology industries. Lenovo new product ‘Yoga 900’ was the first to examine and the results was significantly important. The fans of the Facebook page of Lenovo were increased dramatically creating a huge jump and the main reason can be considered as the early promotion of the new product in the social network of Facebook. The second product that was examined was the newest product of the Fitbit industry. Fitbit fans of the website of Twitter were increased also in terms of thousands this time, not millions like the previous case. It can be noted that more users are on the social networks of Facebook rather than Twitter. In addition, the growth of the fans it might be a result from the early promotion in the social network by the Fitbit company.
  14. 14. 14 The overall conclusion from this research it appears that when a technology industry that is applying social media marketing to their campaigns for the purpose of introducing a new product to the public, the fans in their official page of social media are increased dramatically. There are several possible explanations for this result. It can only be considered as positive the increase of the fans in social media platforms for technology industries. This research has argued that social media might be the best instrument to increase the fans of the technology industry during the process of introducing a new product to the public. Thus, these results can be applied to the idea that the use of social media marketing to promote new products in the technology industry can be argued as very effective in an attempt to search from new possible buyers. There are two main limitations to this case research. First, as this study targeted only technology industries, there is a possibility that it might be different to apply these findings to other types of industries. Thus, in the next study it will be required to focus not only in technology industries but different types of industries. Additionally, as the number of details gathered for each technology industry was few, it will be needed to have more details regarding their new products in the next research. Therefore further research need to be done to establish the effectiveness of social media marketing to technology industries and their new products.
  15. 15. 15 7. Bibliography Aggressive growth marketing (2015) How social media is changing the technology industry. Available at: http://www.aggressivegrowthmarketing.com/blog/how-social-media-is- changing-the-technology-industry (Accessed: 09 March 2016) Beqiri, G. (2015) ‘Marketers and social media marketing’, Proceedings of the Multidisciplinary Academic Conference, pp. 91 – 98. Brennan, R. and Croft, R. (2012) ‘The use of social media in b2b marketing and branding: an exploratory study’, Journal of Customer Behaviour, 11(2), pp. 101 – 115. Edosomwan, S., Prakasan, S.K., Kouame, D., Watson, J. and Seymour, T. (2011) ‘The history of social media and its impact on business’, The Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 16(3), pp. 1 – 13 Erdogmus, I.E. and Cicek, M. (2012) ‘The impact of social media marketing on brand loyalty’, Social and Behavioral Sciences, 58, pp. 1353 – 1360. Facebook (2012) 2 million fans worldwide on Facebook. Available at : https://www.facebook.com/27678194634/posts/10151233344799635/ ( Accessed: 10 March 2016) Fitbit (2016) Who we are. Available at: https://www.fitbit.com/uk/about. (Accessed: 11 March 2016) Fitbit (2016) Fitbit alta. Available at: https://www.fitbit.com/uk/alta. (Accessed at: 12 March 206) Hanna, R., Rohm, A. and Crittenden, V. (2011) ‘We are all connected: The power of the social media ecosystem’, Business Horizons, 54(3), pp. 265 - 273. Laroche, M., Habibi, M.R. and Richard, M.O. (2013) ‘To be or not to be in social media: how brand loyalty is affected by social media?’, International Journal of Information Management, 33, pp. 76 – 82. Lenovo (2015) YOGA PC. Available at: http://shop.lenovo.com/gb/en/yoga/yoga-900.html. (Accessed: 10 March 2016) Lenovo (2016) About Lenovo. Available at : http://www.lenovo.com/lenovo/uk/en/?footer-id=our_company (Accessed at: 10 March 2016) Morozan, C. and Asandei, M. (2014) ‘Particulars of promoting in the social media’, Management of Strategies Journal, 2(4), pp. 711 - 717.
  16. 16. 16 Neti, S. (2011) ‘Social media and its role in marketing’, International Journal of Enterprise Computing and Business Systems, 1(2), pp. 1 – 16. Ramsaran-Fowdar, R.R. and Fowdar, S. (2013) ‘The implications of Facebook Marketing for organizations’, Contemporary Management Research, 9(1), doi:10.7903/cmr.9710, pp. 73 – 84. Saravanakumar, M. and Suganthalakshmi, T. (2012) ‘Social media marketing’, Life Science Journal, 9(4), pp. 4444 – 4451. Socialbakers (2016) Lenovo facebook statistics. Available at: http://www.socialbakers.com/statistics/facebook/pages/detail/27678194634- lenovo (Accessed: 05 March 2016) Socialbakers (2016) Fitbit twitter statistics. Available at: http://www.socialbakers.com/statistics/twitter/profiles/detail/17424053-fitbit. (Accessed: 12 March 2016) Twitter (2016) Fitbit official page. Available at: https://twitter.com/fitbit. (Accessed: 12 March 2016) Zhu, Y.Q. and Chen, H.G. (2015) ‘Social media and human need satisfaction: implications for social media marketing’, Business Horizons, 58(3), pp. 335 – 345.

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