Socially Conscious: Exploring the Rationale for Businesses use of Social Media
The global phenomenon of social media has altered the way people connect and engage with one another and has increased rapidly over recent years. The purpose of this dissertation aims to critically explore and develop an understanding of the participating businesses rationale for engaging with social media. In the literature there is multiple suggestions on how the use of social media can impact businesses significantly. Qualitative data collection has been chosen for this study. Due to it being an exploratory study, five semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted to delve deeper into the issue. Due to the selected respondents all being in close geographical location face-to-face interviews was deemed most suitable to determine the thoughts and feelings towards the research topic. This also allowed the researcher to use both inductive and interpretivist methods. The criteria for inclusion was to understand social media platforms along with being the owner, manager or director of a business. To analyse the data, it was reviewed and compared against the themes established in the literature against the findings established. This permit the researcher to interpret and gain a greater understanding of the phenomenon based on the subject’s views and opinions. Through the research process it was identified that there were various motives for participants engaging with social media. The research findings are as follows: - Social media and organisations - Lack of prior research - Customer engagement and brand awareness - Marketing and advertisement tool - (Lack of) measurement techniques - Pressure to participate - Time costs of social media use This demonstrated the need for organisations to recognise and understand their target market, determine the costing of advertising through social media applications and identify the time required of staff to generate and post content. and understand their target market. As this is an exploratory study, the results provide a foundation for future research and demonstrate further research requirements.