Social Media, Social Enterprise and Event Marketing: A Comparative Study
(2015) Social Media, Social Enterprise and Event Marketing: A Comparative Study, no. 70.
Purpose: The aim of the study is to explore social media uses in Social Enterprise. To support the delivery of the main aim of the dissertation there are three distinct objectives, which are: 1. To identify from the literature review the three most heavily used social media platforms in Social Enterprises and comparing them to the interview question results to see if there is a connection. 2. To explore the manner in which Social Enterprise use social media and whether they encourage comments and engagement. 3. To establish user perception of social media and what does this mean for event marketing in Social Enterprise for the future. Design, Methodology and Approach: This research follows a qualitative case study approach, comparing different organisations social media use in Social Enterprise. Furthermore, the three organisations discussed were not selected at random; the organisations were carefully selected to help explore the issue. The methods for gathering data to help develop the case studies for this research were interviewing, observation and document analysis. The data gathering for the three case studies involved questioning participants about relevant information on social media use, which brought out themes and conflicting issues on social media. Findings and Discussion: The themes which emerged from the research were: • Twitter - the most popular social media platform across all organisations interviewed; • Different social media platforms have different benefits and need to be checked and frequently updated on a daily basis; and • Social media will have a future role to play with Social Enterprises and a future role for event marketing. Event marketing for Social Enterprises can create an experience online before, during and after the event. Events can keep face-to-face interaction, while having the ability to share the event experience online. A conflicting issue from the research is that social media can be viewed as a gift but also as a curse for businesses. Findings highlighted that it is vitally important to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages for future social media use. Consequently, to prevent social media being a curse for businesses and allows protection for the organisation, policies and strategies need to be put in place. This action could help towards preventing damage to the organisations reputation on social media. Research Limitations: The researcher's data collection and the development of the case studies were only based on three organisations; therefore this small size can not account for every Social Enterprise or every organisation with Social Enterprise partnerships. Furthermore, although each of the questions was the same in the interviewing process each organisation had a different interviewing technique due to their busy work schedules: • One face-face interview, • One telephone interview and • One email interview This could arguably, affect some of the findings due to the fact that telephone interviewing and face-to-face interviewing could be more in-depth than email interviewing. Implications: Social media has changed the way of communication. It is important to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages for the future use of social media in Social Enterprise. It will have a massive role to play in the future of Social Enterprise, creating experiences and being involved in long-term strategies. However, popular social media platforms are constantly changing due to the development of technology. Therefore, it is important to be aware of technological changes and the importance of social media analytics in the development of longterm strategies. Social media analytics will allow the organisation to be aware of: • The current customer/ client base and their behavioural habits • Potential audience reach within specific geographical areas; and • Possible growth and trends in potiental developing markets through mass communications. Social media, including social media analytics in long-term strategies can help plan for the future.