SUBJECT: Benefits of a Social Media Account on a Business
The advent of social media has revolutionized businesses by providing a platform for business owners who wish to get in touch with their online customers, market their goods and collect information on their consumers. Presently, there are over 2 billion social media users worldwide, who spend 27% of their time on the platforms (Kinloch). The use of social media accounts can help businesses of all sizes to gain access to most of them. Such access is largely beneficial to any business owner for a host of different reasons.
There are several benefits to be had for business owners who run social media accounts across the different platforms. Social media provides a wealth of information on the customers to which a business caters (Copp). Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram encourage users to provide information about themselves, what they like or dislike and what types of products they use. Such information can help a business owner tailor a good or service as well as gather useful consumer feedback from those who have made purchases (Kinloch). Having social media accounts provides consumers with a platform where they can contact and engage with a business owner. This connection is an essential aspect of customer service, and it helps cultivate loyalty which fosters retention of consumers (Copp). Social media accounts also provide an easy and cheap way through which a business owner can run a campaign to attract consumers. As most forms of social media allow people to comment or like a picture or status, business owners can gather real-time information on the performance of their products. Customer experience can also be greatly improved by having social media accounts especially for a business that is highly competitive. Customers always remember the type of service they receive (Copp). If they feel that they can contact the business at any time of the day and if the business owner promptly responds, they are bound to become loyal to the brand. Social media offers businesses the option of finding out important information on competitors, popularizing new content and increasing traffic to the official business website (Kinloch). There are many different uses to which business owners might put social media accounts, each exponentially beneficial to a company.
Best Social Media Sites to Create Accounts With
The popularity of Twitter makes it an excellent platform for a business social media account, as there is the possibility of an attracting a lot of traffic to the page. Unfortunately, the main avenue of expression on Twitter is statuses that are limited to 140 characters. As such, business owners need to summarize the description of their goods and products to the word limit. However, the page can contain links to other social media pages.
Of all the social media platforms, Instagram is the most visual as its main avenue of expression is through pictures and videos. As such, it is perfect for advertisement as it offers visuals of the products that a business offers. Each of the pictures or videos can be accompanied by a short caption that renders information on the product or service, such as price, availability, and methods of access.
LinkedIn is an excellent page for businesses that offer a variety of goods and services to a professional group of people that might not be particularly new avid social media users. LinkedIn profiles also offer an official description of one’s business which might be useful when seeking for investor or partners for the business.
Facebook provides a combination of all the above profiles as it provides an avenue for a word description of the product as well as an option for posting as many pictures as a business owner might need to illustrate the range of products. Facebook is the original social media form, and as such, it has billions of users across the world. Having a Facebook account can popularize a business to some of them.
Things to Consider When Creating Your Social Media Profile
Your Name and Name of Business
A business social media profile should contain your full names as well as the full name of the business. It would be an added advantage if the business name is unique as it would help consumers get to one’s account faster in the instance that they utilize the search option to find the business page.
Your Contact Information
The social media account should also indicate how interested consumers can get in touch with you whenever they need assistance on an issue. Relevant contact details would include the email address, phone number, the location of the business, links to the official company website or any other social media account available on a different platform.
Pictures of Your Products
Fortunately, most social media accounts are visual, and as such, they allow the posting of several different pictures of the products. A social media business account should have as many pictures of the products as possible, as they will serve as an aid for consumers who wish to view the products. Each picture should contain a brief description of the product being offered as well as a price tag. New pictures should be posted every time new stock arrives.
Location of Your Business
A business social media account should also contain the address or location of the physical location of the business. Consumers should be provided with directions to the store. If possible, it is always helpful to post the picture of a map, especially if the business is in a crowded part of town that the consumer might have a difficult time accessing.
Prices of The Goods
Indicating the price of the goods is an excellent way of getting the consumers interested in your line of products, especially if one offers value prices on the commodities. It is also helpful for when consumers are developing a budget for shopping, as they are able to estimate the amount of money that they might spend. The pictures of the products should contain the price of the goods for convenience, or a price list could be provided on a separate branch.
Link to Website or Other Social Media Accounts
Each social media account on the different platforms should also contain links to the other accounts for convenience and to cater to consumer preference. For instance, if a consumer spends most of their time on Facebook, and she comes across the business on Instagram, she is more likely to visit the page if the link to Facebook is provided. It is also important to include the link to the official company website for consumers who do not spend a lot of time on social media.
This survey will be conducted to identify the benefits that business owners obtain from using social media accounts. The methodology of the survey illustrates the research sites, tools, target population, research instrument and data collection and analysis procedures that will be used to gather data on the topic.
The research site that will be used to gather background information on the study is Science Hub, a website that contains thousands of scholarly reviewed research papers on different variations of social media and business topics. Going through some of these papers will highlight the data that exists on the subject while providing areas that require additional research.
Another essential research site that will be applied for this survey is Survey Monkey, as it offers a platform where respondents of the study can fill in a questionnaire developed by the researchers. The tool is efficient as it can be distributed remotely and it is accessible due to its availability on the internet.
The target population is the possible number of people that can benefit from the useful information that will be provided by the survey (Fowler 69). The target population for this survey includes the business owners in the popular malls across the city as well as the consumers that they serve. Both parties will benefit as they shall learn how to utilize social media platform to market and purchase goods respectively.
The sample size of the survey will include all the business owners in a selected mall within the city. As a mall will house a maximum of fifty businesses in their premises, the number is manageable for a survey. Random sampling will be used to select the mall that will participate in the survey.
Methods of Data Collection
The method of data collection that will be utilized is a structured questionnaire, one of the most popular, applicable and effective tool for conducting a research that requires extensive information from many subjects in a short amount of time (Fowler 59). The questionnaire will gather data from the business owners on topics such as the size of the business, the type of products or services provided, the preferred method of advertising, whether they have a social media account and the use of the social media account.
Validity and Reliability
It is essential to include a measure of the validity and reliability of the study instrument utilized in every survey, as it is an indication of the quality of the information that is gathered. Validity and reliability indicate the relevance and correctness of the data that is gathered. Reliability measures the consistency of the data while validity indicates the veracity (Fowler 59). The validity of the structured questionnaire will be conductedby conducting research before the survey and engaging experts in the field of business research, most especially the university lecturers. Reliability will be assuredthrough the test-retestmethod, conducted by administering the same questionnaire to the sample of business owners at two different times. The responses from the first time will be compared to the responses from the second, thus indicating the stability of the instrument over time.
The data collected shall be analyzed through the SPSS software, a tool that is used to analyze social research data to identify patterns efficiently while minimizing the risk of losing some of the data. The software will be used for the classification, organization, and presentation of the data.
Although it was once thought of as one of the many fads that the youth get into, social media has clearly become a useful tool for any business that hopes to increase brand awareness, engage consumers, gather feedback or develop new products and services. It is apparent that social media does influence a business and for the most part, the influences are positive. Having a social media account is an asset in which every business should invest.
Copp, Emily. “10 Benefits of Social Media for Business.” Hootsuite Social Media Management, HootSuite, 17 Aug. 2016, blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-for-business/. Accessed 14 Apr. 2017.
Fowler, Floyd J. Survey Research Methods. 2014.
Kinloch, Andrea. “How Does Social Media Influence Your Business?” Perpetual West, Perpetual West, 4 Sept. 2013, webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:perpetualwest.com/how-social-media-influences-business-infographic/. Accessed 14 Apr. 2017.