Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses: A Case Study - Free PDF Download (2023)


1Purdue University Purdue e-pubs Computer Graphics Technology Dissertation Social Media Marketing in Small Businesses: A Case Study Sarah Cox Small Business Marketing: A Case Study" (2012). Dissertation of the Department of Computer Graphics. This dissertation is available through Purdue E-Pubs, a service of Purdue University Libraries. For more information, please contact

2Graduate School ETD Form 9 (Revised December 2007) The Master of Science was approved by the Graduation Committee: Mihaela Vorvoreanu Jonathon Day Chair Judith A. Birchman adheres to Purdue University's integrity policy regarding research and use of copyrighted material. Approved by Principal Professor: Mihaela Vorvoreanu Approved by: Marvin Sarapin 2012-04-25 Date of Graduate Program Director

3Graduate School Form 20 (Revised 9/10) PURDUE UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL Research Integrity and Copyright Disclaimer In this dissertation I comply with Purdue University Executive Memorandum No. C-22 dated September 6, 1991, Research Integrity Policy Provisions. *I also declare that there is no plagiarism in this work and that all materials/articles appearing in this work have been properly cited and named. I declare that all copyrighted material in this dissertation/dissertation complies with United States copyright law and that I have received written permission from the copyright owner to use his or her work outside of the law. I agree to indemnify and hold Purdue University harmless from any claim that may be made or arise from copyright infringement. Sarah Lynne Cox Candidate in block capitals: Name and Signature 04/25/2012 Date (MM/DD/YYYY) *at

4Social Media Marketing in Small Business: A Case Study Sarah Lynne Cox Presentation to Purdue University faculty that partially meets MS degree requirements. May 2012 Purdue University West Lafayette, IN

5ii I thank my family and friends for always being there for me.

6iii Acknowledgments I would like to thank my graduation committee for their advice and support over the past two years. I would especially like to thank my chairman, Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu, who accompanied me through this research and was always available for discussions. I would like to thank my committee members, Professor Judy Birchman and Dr. Jonathon Day for agreeing to work with me. Thanks.

7iv Contents Page List of Tables...vii Summary...viii Chapter 1 Introduction Background Implications Proposition Purpose Research Question Hypotheses Constraints Description Key Terms Definitions Summary...5 Chapter 2 Related Literature Review Small Business Definition Small Business Marketing Opportunity Small Business Marketing Opportunity Challenges Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Relationship Marketing Social Media Social Media Marketing Impact Strategy Process Empirical Research Applied to Small Business Summary Chapter 3 Framework and Methods Case Study Strategy Sampling Methods Data Collection Methods Interviews Non-Invasive Methods Reliability and Effectiveness Conclusion Summary. .. 36

8Chapter 4 Results Participant Interviews Interview Background Questions Conducting Interviews Recording Interview Topics Analysis Data Presentation Networking and Relationship Building Electronic Word of Mouth Information Sharing Learning Curve Topic Summary Social Media Coding Data Data Presentation Post Category Engagement: Specific General Discussion Other Experiences Customer Service Released Content Announcements Support other business/product related Transactions/Promotions. Participation: General questions. Other competitions. information about requests. General characteristics of records. Interpretation. chapter summary. Chapter 5. Discussion Coding List. Appendix C. Recruitment Materials v

9Pages Appendix D. Participant Information Form Appendix E. Research Waiver Approval vi

10vii List of tables Table... Page Table 1 Frequency of publication by category... 52

11viii Summary Cox, Sarah L. M.S., Purdue University, May Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses: A Case Study. Lead Professor: Mihaela Vorvoreanu. In today's social media environment, it is essential for small businesses to understand Facebook, Twitter and the strategies behind using social media to grow their business. Unfortunately, many small businesses don't have a strategy when they start using social media. The purpose of this study was to understand how small business owners who are known for using social media to grow their business use social media to reach consumers. A case study is presented, followed by in-depth interviews with small business owners and an analysis of the company's Facebook and Twitter posts. The case study results show the different strategies used by landlords to establish and maintain relationships with consumers. The study concludes with a discussion of lessons learned from the research: by networking and building relationships with other companies, brand awareness can be increased; a greater focus on relationships rather than sales increases revenue; interesting content drives engagement; the main barrier to market entry is the learning curve.

121 Chapter 1 Introduction This chapter provides a brief overview of the research presented in this article. In this chapter, readers are introduced to the scope of the study, the problem statement, the research significance and the research questions, as well as the assumptions, limitations and description of the study. The review prepares the reader for Chapter 2: Background to the Literature Review. Social media plays an important role in marketing and building customer relationships. As the barriers to entry are limited, small businesses are starting to use social media as a marketing tool. Unfortunately, many small businesses struggle to leverage social media without a strategy. Without a basic understanding of the benefits of social media and how to use it to acquire customers, countless opportunities are missed. The aim of the study was to gain an initial understanding of how small businesses, known for using social media to grow their business, use social media to attract customers.

13Implications The purpose of this study was to identify strategies to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) use social media to reach consumers. Small businesses are extremely important to the US economy, accounting for 99.7 percent of all employer companies (Small Business Administration (SBA), 2011). With the SMB sector being important in most economies, it is important to understand how small businesses can leverage social media marketing techniques and best practices to foster business-to-consumer relationships. However, many small businesses struggle to leverage social media. A small business survey conducted by Deluxe Corporation found that 49 percent of small business owners surveyed said their biggest challenge was reaching customers with limited resources effectively (Small Business Trends, 2011). Social media offers SMEs a wide range of marketing opportunities with almost no financial outlay. SMEs should seize these opportunities as they are often confronted with limited time and financial resources. Social media offers businesses the opportunity to connect and interact with consumers to build lasting relationships. The results of this study provide the first insights into how small businesses are using social media to retain customers and build lasting relationships, helping businesses achieve their goals. The main research objective of this project is to identify social media strategies that SMEs can use to engage with consumers. project transaction

143 There are two specific topics that are rarely discussed together: SME marketing strategy and social media. Most of the academic literature examining social media strategies in organizations only examines strategies in large organizations. However, a weakness of this literature is that the same strategies are not necessarily applicable to small firms. The study looked at a small business known for its successful use of social media. The goal is to understand how companies use social media to reach consumers. The study offers a range of techniques small businesses use in their social media strategies, an analysis of those techniques, and lessons learned from the techniques that can benefit others. Research Question: The study attempts to answer the question: How do small businesses gain social acceptance? Do you use media to grow your business and social media to engage consumers? 1.5. Assumptions Assumptions inherent in this study are: 1. Participants use social media not only to share content, but also to interact with external audiences. 2. Respondents will answer truthfully. 3. Participants will respond to the best of their ability. 4. The participant does not respond to interview points that he/she considers unclear.

154 5. Sufficient data will be received to validate and analyze the study. Limitations Limitations associated with the study include: 1. Due to the wide variety of companies, it is not possible to cover all industries within this study. 2. The limitations of the data collected make it difficult to generalize across sectors, companies and locations. 3. The study lacks a comparison of the practices of companies known to be successful in using social media marketing versus companies that are less successful in using social media marketing. 1.7 Cut-off Lines Cut-off lines relevant to the study include: 1. Companies that were unsuccessful in using social media were excluded from the study due to time constraints. 2. The company should not have a marketing or PR department. 3. The business must be classified as a small business.

165 1.8 Definitions of key terms Marketing – Research by Reijonen (2010) shows that from the point of view of a general SME, marketing can be described as a way of making customers aware of a company, its products and services. SMBs believe that marketing is also interested in building and maintaining customer relationships. Small business A business with fewer than 500 employees (SBA, 2011). Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) A company with fewer than 250 employees (Gilmore, Carson, Donnell, and Cummins, 1999). Social Media A set of Internet-based applications built on Web 2.0 ideas and technologies that enable the creation and sharing of user-generated content (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). Social Media Marketing (SMM) Marketing through the use of social media or social networks. SMM techniques are commonly used to increase brand awareness, increase sales, improve customer service, and implement marketing campaigns (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). 1.9 Summary This chapter provides a brief overview of the research project, discussing the background, importance, purpose, research questions, scope and

176 definitions. Assumptions, limitations and limitations are also discussed. The lack of research on social media use in small businesses was the catalyst for this study. This study closes this gap and complements the existing literature. This article begins with an overview of the existing literature on small business marketing, integrated marketing communications, social media, and social media marketing.

187 Chapter 2 Review of Related Literature Marketing is a key activity for business survival and success. Businesses today have more marketing opportunities than ever before (Bresciani & Eppler, 2010). In small businesses, marketing relies heavily on word of mouth to attract customers (Stokes & Lomax, 2002). Today's economy, shaped by relationships, technology and networks, favors certain characteristics of SMEs (Walsh and Lipinski, 2009). Social media enables companies to connect with customers, build relationships and better understand customer needs. Companies want their message to reach as many people as possible. To maximize that reach, businesses need to be where their customers are going. They are increasingly spending time on social networks (Halligan, Shah & Scott, 2009). Social media offers a variety of opportunities for small businesses to market their products to consumers and build closer and more profitable relationships. However, small businesses still struggle to attract customers.

198 Much of the existing literature on small businesses and SMEs includes studies of organizations with 1 to 500 employees. The research presented in this article focuses on typical problems of very small businesses. The literature review first defines small business and establishes why small business success is important to the US economy. Second, it provides insights into the marketing opportunities and challenges small businesses face in acquiring customers. Third, it examines the integrated marketing communications that small businesses use to address their challenges. Fourth, social media and its importance, benefits and applications as a means of customer retention are discussed. Finally, it examines social media marketing for small businesses, its implications, strategies, processes, empirical research, and applications. Small business definition In general, there is no universally accepted definition of small business or SME. Numerous attempts have attempted to define the term "small business" using criteria such as headcount, revenue, and asset value. Much of the academic literature has adopted the European Commission's SME definition. According to this definition, SMEs have fewer than 250 employees (Gilmore et al., 1999). In the United States, a small business is defined as one with fewer than 500 employees (SBA, 2011). The literature reviewed for this study adopted one of these definitions, often using small business and SME interchangeably. for

209 For the purposes of this study, the definition of small business will be used; however, where appropriate, SMEs are cited as the original source. Small businesses account for 99.7 percent of all employer businesses in the United States, making small businesses extremely important to the US economy (sba, 2011). The US Office of Small Business Advocacy estimates (2011) that in 2011 there were 27.5 million small businesses in the United States. Wan has no employees. Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees made up 99.9 percent of the total (both employers and non-employers), with about 18,311 being large companies (SBA, 2011). Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. They create jobs and it is important for them to survive in order to maintain or increase their contribution to the economy. From an SME perspective, marketing is a way of making customers aware of companies, products and services, and of building and maintaining customer relationships (Reijonen, 2010). With the amount of resources available today, there are countless marketing options available to small businesses. Marketing Opportunities for Small Businesses There are many marketing opportunities for small businesses, namely networking and word of mouth. Small business owners and managers rely not only on their personal network, but also on their customer network. Small businesses often rely on word of mouth

2110 pieces of advice for new customers. Word of mouth offers small businesses the opportunity to give customers a reason to talk about a product, making word of mouth easier. Networking is a frequently cited marketing activity for SMEs, important for their creation, development and growth (Walsh & Lipinski, 2009). Siu (cited in Walsh & Lipinski, 2009) found that SMEs rely heavily on their personal network to market their business. Traditionally, the economic structure favored large companies; however, today's economy is characterized by relationships, networks and information that favor certain characteristics of SMEs (Walsh & Lipinski, 2009). Small businesses rely not only on their personal networks, but also on their customers' networks. Today, these customers can be reached through electronic word of mouth or electronic word of mouth. Small business marketing relies heavily on word of mouth to attract customers. According to Stokes and Lomax (2002), several studies have shown that the main source of new customers for small businesses is referrals from existing customers (p. 351). For many property managers, it is better to rely on clients to recommend the resources available to their business (Stokes & Lomax, 2002). Word of mouth includes monitoring what is said for marketing purposes, participating in brand-related discussions, engaging people and their social networks for marketing purposes, etc. (WOMMA, 2011). The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (2011) recognized that all word of mouth marketing techniques are based on the concept of customer satisfaction.

2211 Mutual dialogue and transparency. The association describes the basic elements of word of mouth as follows: educating people about your products and services; identifying those most likely to share their views; providing tools to facilitate the exchange of information; investigating how, where and when opinions are shared; Listening to and responding to the views of proponents, opponents and neutrals (WOMMA, 2011). In 2011, Linkdex, a company that helps companies improve their online marketing performance, conducted a survey of UK and US SMEs to find out the most important marketing tools. 81% of the companies surveyed considered word of mouth to be the most important marketing tool for SMEs (Straw, 2011). According to Straw (2011), business perceptions correspond to changes in the way consumers seek information about the products and services they want to buy. Small companies are often at an advantage because their small size makes it easier for them to reach out to customers and collect valuable feedback (Gilmore et al., 1999). This advantage allows small businesses to take advantage of the marketing opportunities offered by the internet and word of mouth. But even small business owners face many challenges in marketing. Small business marketing challenge Researchers generally agree that marketing for small businesses differs from marketing for larger organizations (Coviello et al., 2000; Gilmore et al., 2001; Coviello et al., 2000; Gilmore et al al., 2001; Hill, 2001). ; Rejoening, 2010). Small business marketing has been described as

2312 Informal, unstructured, spontaneous and reactive (Gilmore et al., 2001; Reijonen, 2010). According to Stokes (2000), small business marketing is designed to meet immediate needs without paying attention to planning and strategy. SMEs focus on selling to survive (Stokes, 2000). For everything outside of advertising, such as measuring and improving customer satisfaction and designing customer service and support, the sales function has a little more influence (Walsh & Lipinski, 2009; Harris et al., 2008). One of the most common problems for small businesses is marketing (Huang & Brown, 1999). This is because it is not possible to hire marketers to run marketing campaigns for companies (Berthon, Ewing & Napoli, 2008; Moss, Ashford & Shani, 2003; Gilmore et al., 2001). Leppard and McDonald (cited in Hill, 2001) argue that the owner manager has a significant impact on all aspects of SME marketing activities. SME CEO holders are often responsible for performing functions within the organization such as banking, purchasing, advertising and recruitment. They usually decide what marketing strategy to use, since experts are rarely used and they usually don't have a marketing manager on the team (Berthon, Ewing, & Napoli, 2008). Moss, Ashford and Shani (2003) point out that little is known about the marketing activities of SMEs. The lack of knowledge about marketing activities in small firms suggests that such functional specialization is rare (Moss, Ashford & Shani, 2003). According to Walsh and Lipinski (2009), SME marketing is not as developed and influential as that of larger companies. Big organizations are often big

2413 is enough to have a marketing department that allows for a division of functions and activities. This discrepancy can be attributed to certain limitations that small businesses face, including limited resources in terms of finance, time and marketing knowledge (Gilmore et al., 2001; Reijonen, 2010). Complex theories may not be considered applicable to small firms (Hogarth-Scott, Watson & Wilson, 1996). According to Reijonen (2010), small business owners and managers tend to view marketing narrowly (p. 279). Furthermore, it is argued that SME marketers can view marketing as the same as sales or advertising (Reijonen, 2010). Traditional marketing theory does not take small business marketing into account (Reijonen, 2010). Stokes (2000) viewed the concept of marketing not just as a type of business philosophy, but viewed marketing as a type of strategy and tactic. Reijonen (2010) sees marketing as a strategy/method that aims to use the marketing mix (4 Ps: product, location, price, promotion), i.e. to implement the marketing strategy (p. 280). Since marketing definitions usually explain the marketing of large companies, there is no clear definition of marketing for SMEs (Reijonen, 2010). One solution to small business marketing challenges is social media. Social media enables small businesses to overcome the challenges of limited budgets, lack of expertise and positioning against larger competitors. Small businesses are different from large corporations and therefore cannot expect to have the same marketing resources. Competitive

25Benefits often have to be derived from other sources and means (Gilmore et al., 1999). There are various marketing models that serve as a guide for business survival and development. However, marketing theories from large companies cannot be transferred to smaller companies with different characteristics and requirements. As a result, small businesses are shifting from traditional marketing practices to more affordable, interactive, and integrated marketing. Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) marketing practices have traditionally focused on a marketing mix model known as the 4Ps (Product, Price, Promotion and Location). Marketing. Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) emerged in response to the changes in marketing and marketing communications, as well as the changes brought about by the impact of information technology over the last few decades, as the time required. There are different interpretations and values ​​of IMC, making it almost impossible to agree on a common definition of IMC (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Caywood, Schultz, and Wang define IMC as a concept that combines the disciplines of general advertising, direct response, sales promotion, and public relations to ensure clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact. In a traditional advertising mix, the elements of the marketing mix (advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations and direct marketing) are designed by the company in concert with paid advertising

2615 agencies and marketing agencies (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). More recently, the advent of social media has added a new dimension to the advertising mix. Social media has traditionally enabled businesses to interact with customers. In a non-traditional sense, it allows customers to communicate directly with other customers (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). With the advent of consumer-generated media, the tools and strategies for targeting customers have changed. In the age of social media, managers' control over the content, timing, and frequency of messages is decreasing (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Some scholars believe that despite limited resources, SMEs may be more entrepreneurial, flexible and innovative than their counterparts in larger organizations. This allows them to be more responsive to customer needs and more likely to reach out to customers and collect valuable feedback (Gilmore et al., 1999). These opportunities can be leveraged through the use of social media. However, it's also important to understand how small businesses use social media to reach customers. customers instead of focusing primarily on sales (Peppers, Rogers & Dorf, 1999). It's about creating value for the company and customers. Small businesses often have the benefit of knowing their customers on a more personal level. This relationship leads to higher customer loyalty and a higher level of customers

2716 Satisfied. Even small companies have the opportunity to react quickly to customer needs. However, research shows that small firms are positioned for the short term and are unlikely to have a long-term market planning perspective (Coviello, Brodie & Munro, 2000). Social media allows small business owners to build relationships with consumers. Social Media Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) describe social media as a set of Internet-based applications built on Web 2.0 ideas and technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of user-generated content. Web 2.0 technologies in social networks enable two-way dialogue with consumers and enable brands to listen and respond to consumers (Fournier & Avery, 2011). Consumers and organizations are increasingly using the internet to discuss, share and collaborate (Jones, 2010). Social media offer a wealth of services on the Internet. This makes it difficult for companies to know which ones to use and how to use them. Social media types include: social networks (Facebook, Myspace, and LinkedIn), microblogging (Twitter, Plurk, and Friend Feed), reviews and ratings (Yelp, Amazon, and Trip Advisor), videos (YouTube and Vimeo), and more. Social media are very popular. Facebook has more than 800 million active users and more than 50% of active users log in daily (Facebook, 2011). According to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Twitter has 200 million registered users and 50 million daily active users. Weibo service

2817 About 230 million tweets are posted every day (Taylor, 2011). It's no surprise that businesses want to capitalize on the opportunities these services offer. Social media enables businesses to reach consumers in a timely and direct manner at relatively low cost and with greater efficiency than traditional means of communication. This makes social media suitable not only for large organizations, but also for small and medium-sized enterprises (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow consumers to friend or follow their favorite brands and ask questions or post as a form of engagement. Leveraging social media sites allows managers to understand how people perceive their brands and also engage with consumers (Reyneke, Pitt & Berthon, 2011). Consumers can generate new customers, promote or support brands by tweeting, blogging, commenting, following, etc. Loyal customers also contribute to online word of mouth, which is very important for SMEs. Consumer engagement offers SMEs the opportunity to use social media as a tool in their marketing strategies (Reyneke et al., 2011). However, many small business owners find it difficult to reach their customers effectively (Small Business Trends, 2011). Social Media Marketing Social media has dramatically changed the strategies and tools that companies use to communicate with customers. Mangoes and Bugs (2009)

2918 argues that social media combines the power of traditional IMC tools (businesses talk to customers) with a highly amplified form of word of mouth (customers talk to each other), giving marketing managers little control over the content and frequency of such messages. The Company has limited control over the content and distribution of the Information. Ignoring such user-generated content is not an option. Businesses need to be able to monitor and respond to the positive and negative conversations surrounding their brand. However, there are a number of ways a company can influence the discussion in line with the organization's mission (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Social media marketing enables businesses to better understand their customers' needs and build effective relationships. Impact A unique role of social media is to enable customers to speak to one another in ways that are an extension of traditional word-of-mouth (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Executives are faced with the question of how to use this power for the benefit of the organization. While companies cannot directly control what consumers say, they do have the power to influence consumer conversations (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). But how can managers use social media to influence customer conversations or interactions with customers?

30Strategy A survey by SMB Group found that one in five small businesses lacks a social media strategy. Without a strategy or purpose, organizations can't tell if they're benefiting from their efforts or just wasting their time. Companies without a strategy are also less satisfied with social media's ability to generate new leads (SMB Group, 2012). Small businesses should have a plan for using social media. Because social media is used in marketing in different ways, there is no one strategy that works for everyone. Businesses use social media in a variety of ways, including to monitor conversations about their business, provide feedback, drive traffic to business websites, provide customer service, promotions and offers, and build communities (, 2010). The tools and strategies for communicating with consumers have changed. Social media tools allow businesses to communicate with individual consumers, which in turn helps build lasting relationships. Social media tools such as forums, blogs or chat rooms create an interactive dialogue for companies to engage consumers. At the same time, however, consumers can generate information about companies and inform other consumers about products, brands, services and more. One might wonder what are the advantages of being present on social networks like Facebook or Twitter when the company already has a website. The answer is arrival. A company wants its message to reach as many people as possible. To maximize this impact, companies must have

3120 Where customers are, they are increasingly on social networking sites (Halligan, Shah & Scott, 2009). The question is: how does a manager decide which strategy is best for what they want to achieve? Not all social media are the same. Marketers recognize the different purposes or ways in which consumers respond to or use these media (Weinberg & Pehlivan, 2011). Individuals within an organization who are responsible for social media strategy should consider the different types and uses of social media when deciding where to focus their marketing efforts. A study by Weinberg and Pehlivan (2011) identified two factors that explain changes in social media: information half-life and information depth. These factors can be used to help decide the company's marketing goals and objectives. Information half-life refers to the lifetime of information in terms of on-screen availability/display and interest in a topic. The depth of information refers to the abundance of content as well as the number and variety of points of view. Microblogging like Twitter allows for quick, short conversations and engagement. Information shared on Twitter is relatively superficial and has a relatively short half-life. This type of social media is best suited to the marketing goal of creating brand awareness and memories. Blogs like WordPress are considered to have a relatively long information half-life compared to Weibo, but are still superficial in terms of information depth. Marketing goals and goals of a blog include brand building and spreading product knowledge. Online communities enable interaction/conversation

3221 different themes. Because conversations can be deep and drag on for years, such social media messages are described as having a relatively long half-life and far-reaching impact (Weinberg & Pehlivan, 2011). Online communities are great for building and nurturing relationships between consumers and organizations. The information half-life of a social network like Facebook is relatively short and deep. This social media can be used to influence and track consumer beliefs and attitudes (Weinberg & Pehlivan, 2011). Now that the key factors that differentiate and drive social media use have been identified, the process of using social media to achieve social goals needs to be discussed. Process With social goals in mind, marketers first screen all vehicles for interesting content (e.g., mentions of a brand or product), then identify people relevant to that content (e.g., customers reporting satisfaction or dissatisfaction), and then decide whether to target them If so, what actions should the individual take (e.g., continue to monitor, engage in conversations, express appreciation) to ultimately lead them to evangelism (Weinberg & Pehlivan, 2011) . Currently, the voice of the consumer is more dominant in the social space than that of the organization. Organizations need to devote resources to building relationships with consumers to leverage the social currency of others. Organizations should communicate, support, share, collaborate, and collaborate with others on issues that interest them (Weinberg & Pehlivan, 2011).

33Empirical Research Social media can be used to complement a company's existing marketing efforts. A social media strategy can be developed alongside other marketing and communication efforts to ensure consistency across all channels. One way companies can influence discussions is by using blogs and other social media tools to engage with customers (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). When consumers can provide feedback, they are better informed about products and organizations. For example, Starbucks enables its customers to help shape the future of Starbucks by providing feedback and suggestions through the My Starbucks Ideas website (Starbucks, 2011). Users can submit their own suggestions, have other Starbucks customers vote on them, vote on others' ideas, discuss ideas, and even see what actions Starbucks is taking on the most popular ideas. Starbucks empowers its customers by asking them directly what they want. The public response to this news strengthened Starbucks' relationship with consumers. Many companies, including Comcast, Southwest Airlines, and Starbucks, have Twitter accounts to help customers apologize for mistakes, share special offers, and engage with their audience. Such use of social media can lead to more transparency and thus more consumer confidence. By using Twitter as a customer service platform, these companies have been successful in promoting a positive brand image and solving customer problems at a lower cost than call centers or services (Parr, 2009). Excellent customer service can increase brand loyalty. However, such well-known companies

3423 resources for building relationships with consumers. The aim of the study was to find out how small companies with limited resources could achieve similar results and customer relationships. The Social Media Examiner's 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report surveyed more than 3,300 marketers about their use of social media. A key finding of the study was that social media marketing takes a lot of time. About 58% of marketers use social media six hours or more per week, while 34% spend 11 hours or more per week (Stelzner, 2011). 88% of marketers believe the main benefit of social media marketing is that it allows marketers to generate more business exposure. Other key benefits of social media marketing include increased traffic (72%) and improved search rankings (62%). More than half say social media generates qualified leads. 90% of marketers surveyed say social media is important to their business. The self-employed and small business owners tend to agree. The time marketers use social media is directly related to the time they spend each week (Stelzner, 2011). 59% of social media newbies spend 1 to 5 hours a week; those with several months or more experience spend 6 hours or more per week on social media activity. Marketers report lower overall marketing costs. It is believed that the biggest financial cost of social media marketing is the time it takes to achieve success. Research has found that for marketers who have been using social media for three years or more, Facebook and Facebook are the top two social media choices

3524Twitter (Stelzner, 2011). The interview explores why the owner-manager chose these two platforms for his social media activities. The results of these studies raise many questions. How much time should an owner manager spend on social media to see results? Did you have a strategy when you first started using social media? Why should you choose Facebook and Twitter as your small business marketing strategy? Each of these topics is addressed in the Applied to Small Business study. Social media marketing enables businesses to better understand their customers' needs and build effective relationships. The basis of every company is the customer. Social networks offer small businesses a variety of opportunities to build closer and more profitable relationships with customers. However, not all social media is created equal and some lend themselves better to certain marketing strategies than others. The aim of the study was to find out what strategies small businesses use to reach consumers via social media. Summary This chapter provides an overview of the literature relevant to the focus of this study. Topics covered include small business marketing, integrated marketing techniques, social media, and social media marketing. The literature research shows a need for research in the areas of small businesses and social affairs

3625 Relevance of media strategies for research questions. Small businesses struggle to use social media to acquire customers. There is research into how small businesses use social media, but the results are based solely on surveys or interviews. The study failed to provide insight into the strategies property managers use to reach clients on social media and monitor what participants say and do. Studies of small business social media use also did not examine the types of posts, comments, or responses participants made on social media sites. The method described in this article aims to introduce new insights into the existing literature. This assessment and other research will provide a first look at how small businesses known for their social media use are using social media to reach customers.

3726 Chapter 3 Framework and methodology The objective of this study is to answer the question of how a small business that is known for using social media to grow its business uses social media to attract customers. The study followed a qualitative approach and used a case study approach. This chapter provides an overview of the methodology used in this study and explains the research design and data collection methodology. Case study strategy Case study methodology is used in qualitative research to answer questions such as “how” or “why”. This method works well for surveys with a small number of respondents. It is an empirical study that delves into a phenomenon to understand its underlying patterns and causes (Yin, 2009). The case study methodology was chosen for the study because it wanted to gain a better understanding of the selected case companies. A case study is presented as a representative case describing situations and circumstances where a small business uses social media to successfully grow its business (Yin, 2009). The lessons learned from this case are believed to influence the practices of ordinary small businesses that have grown through social media. researchers can.

3827 tactics owner managers are using social media to embrace opportunities and challenges. Deeper insights can also be gained by analyzing the social media activity of small businesses. Such analysis can address issues such as the messages companies send to customers and the conversations they have. Multiple sources of evidence are required for case studies because the results are more likely to be more accurate when they are based on different sources of information (Yin, 2009). The study is based on two sources of evidence: interviews and documents. Both thematic analysis and content analysis are used to identify themes and meanings from data. Sampling techniques for qualitative research tend to focus on relatively small samples rather than on every possible case. Informative samples are deliberately chosen to clarify questions in the survey (Patton, 1990). The targeted sampling occurred because the researchers selected the respondents to participate in the study. There are several strategies for targeting informative cases (Patton, 1990). Standardized sampling is used to consider and examine all cases that meet predetermined criteria of importance (Patton, 1990, p. 238). The study had a set of sampling criteria. The company must be a small business with fewer than 500 employees. The company must not have a marketer and the owner must be responsible for the company's social media activities. As the literature review shows, owners and managers of small businesses are often responsible for this

3928 job performance within the organization. They often decide what marketing strategy to use because resource constraints prevent them from hiring people for functions like marketing. The company also needs credit for using social media to grow its business. Patton (1990) defined intensity samples as informative cases that exhibit a strong (but not extreme) phenomenon of interest. The study also chose intensity sampling because researchers are looking for prominent or common examples of phenomena of interest. The study was able to select a case that showed sufficient strength to elucidate the nature of the success (Patton, 1990, p. 234). To answer the study question, the researchers looked for a company known for its use of social media. This sample is based on prior information and good judgement. Exploratory work should be carried out to determine the nature of the changing situation. The researcher can then make convincing arguments for the phenomenon of interest (Patton, 1990). The sample was collected through internet research using keywords such as "small business," "success," and "social media marketing." From the search results, researchers select websites that they want to review based on their relevance to the research question. Researchers had a hard time finding articles recognizing small businesses. Many of the search results were tips or advice for small business social media marketing. When the researchers came across a small company mentioned in the article, the company was added to the list to create examples. Checked each company's Facebook and Twitter accounts. This is done to determine if

4029 Small businesses participate actively and frequently in social media channels. Researchers screened the news to make sure consumers were also interested in the company. The researchers also took note of the number of fans and followers and realized that the higher the number, the more likely a company has something to offer consumers. The researchers also examined the company's website and all online articles mentioning the company to confirm that the owner-manager was indeed responsible for the social media activity. From the sample, one company that met the study criteria was contacted, the purpose of the study explained, and help and support requested. Once a company has agreed to participate in the study, the company will be contacted for an interview. Data Collection Methods: Interviews and non-invasive methods will be used to collect data from the study. The researchers wanted to know what tactics real estate managers use to attract customers on social media. It also shows how owners perceive their efforts. The interviews provided sufficiently detailed information on how the owner-manager used social media to provide insight into the results. Document review was also relevant to the subject of the case study, in which the researchers collected data by tracking the company's social media activities.

41Interviews The researchers wanted to understand what campaigns building managers use to attract customers via social media. It's important to understand the types of messages they send, their experiences, the challenges they face, and their investment in the effort. This information is easily overlooked in an investigation. Interviews enable researchers to have a structured dialogue with participants. Interviews are one of the most important sources of case study information (Yin, 2009). Interviews can be in-depth, focused, structured, or unstructured. A targeted interview was used for this study, as it provided for a short period of time in which the interview was open-ended but followed a specified catalog of questions. The managing director of the owner, who is responsible for the company's social media activities, was interviewed. The interviews addressed topics mentioned in the literature review, such as social media strategies, challenges, experiences and engagement. Questions to ask include: For what purpose do you use social media? ; What methods do you use to captivate your audience? ; Can you talk about some of the challenges you faced in incorporating social media into your business strategy? You can find these questions in Appendix A. Through targeted interviews, the researchers were able to gain insight into the social media strategies of real estate managers. The interviews were transcribed directly by the researchers. Thematic analysis is used to analyze data as it is the process of coding qualitative information (Boyatzis, 1998). It offers researchers the opportunity to see and understand it visually

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