Internet marketing as an online advertising and digital marketing is a consumer base technology, it is an act of advertisement and marketing through which the use of web technology and email, are being used to make direct sales transactions via Electronic Commerce. It offers the prospects and opportunities to generate leads that would help channels of communication which in turn leads to better visibility.
Therefore, the research will examine the impact of social media in the context of e-commerce and secondly, to ascertain to what extent this medium have influence on users purchase intentions, also would talk about the security, and to compare and contrast the traditional and social media marketing and through data collections and analysis of the research model, findings will suggest some implications and recommendations for researchers and practitioners.
One channels of marketing on the web that is getting more attractions and popular to businessmen, marketers, and other stakeholders are the social media marketing (SMM), reasons for that is we observed a lot of business and market successes had strived over the years and heading towards making the world a one small global market without boundary due to this SMM. A situation where the users make use of social interactions, conversations, information sharing and exchange of market ideas and data to get more prospecting clients and customers to influence their customers purchasing intents.
As social media continues to garner more popularity and wider acceptance, the marketers are busy searching for a firm foundation to base their strategic decisions on how to employ social media interface in engaging and influencing their customers (Hoffman and Novak, 2012).
1.1 Problems Statement
There is limited knowledge and minimal research on SMM. Also how to manage and integrate social media interfaces into overall business in order to achieved desired goals is still being a major challenge, coupled with the issues of data privacy breach.
1.2 Purpose of Study
Analysis of the statistical evolutionary trends of electronic commerce in the context of social media marketing.
To examine the impact of social media in the current evolutionary e-commerce trends.
After comparison analysis, then to ascertain to what extent this favorable medium have an influences on the users purchase intents.
1.4 Significance of Study
Influence of internet marketing in raising level of user's security and data privacy inherent in SMM.
1.5 Research Questions
i. What are the impacts of social media that would leads to proper coordination and integration toward achieving the target result?
ii. What are the comparisons between the traditional and social media marketing?
iii. What are the security issues threatening the platform interfaces?
1.6 Scope of the research:
The research will focus on social media marketing, and its impact on evolutionary trends in e-commerce.
2.0 Literature Review
2.1 Background of Social Media
Social Media refers to coming together of multiple people from different locations spread all over the world purposely for social interaction and coordination in order to create an enabling environment for information sharing and exchange of ideas in virtual communities and networks (Ahlqyist el al., 2008). It is a communication process where a group of internet-based applications built based on technological foundation of web 2.0 are allowed to create and exchange user generated contents (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). This user-generated contents where users based on mobile and web-based technologies tends to create a highly interactive platforms through which web users have a robust interactive session such as; sharing, discussion session, modification of user generated content, this would broadened users appeal to new technological techniques and promote face-to-face engagement platform session (Moran el al., 2011).
Social media is gathering significant revenue growth, provision of an enabling environment platform that ease customer's interactions, enhance client's prospects through interactive session, increase brand awareness recognition online. Some few prominent examples of social media applications and their uses are listed below:
Types of social media platforms and their functionalities
Name of Applications Functionality
Facebook and Myspace Social Networking
Twitter Micro blogging
YouTube Video sharing
Flickr Photo sharing
Blog TV, U stream Live casting
World of Warcraft Online Gaming
Digg and Reddit News aggregation
2.2 How SMM evolves and influences customers purchase intents.
Statistical media analysts had forecasted billions of people have access to social media network with 700 million users have access to Facebook from devices, while about 500 million users access Twitter, 130 million used Instagram in 2013. Currently, social media consume much time of world population. Analysis show that 23% of Facebook users check their account more times every day, there are also a total of 1,000 comments per second in Twitter platform media, while having over 5 million pictures and videos being shared in 24 hours over Instagram platform (Noor Azuan Hashim, el al, 2016).
Few more Facts on social media platforms are 3 out of 4 people use social networks regularly, and Social media has overtaken email as the no. 1 activity on the web, that is about (17% of all web users), and more than 200 Million Blogs are available on the entire web, this corresponds to about (900,000 blogs posts every day), there are also about (34% post opinions about companies, brands and products), while 93% of Social media users believe companies should have a presence in social media.
The increased popularity of these mediums has opened opportunities for new business models for electronic commerce also called social commerce (Turban et al., 2012).
FIGURE 1. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK OF THE STUDY
The framework used for this study in influencing s-commerce is social interaction and user contributions.
According to study made by ENGAGEMENT dB; it said: “most valuable brands in the world are experiencing a direct correlation between top financial performance and deep social media engagement. Findings of the study show that enterprises that aggressively embrace social media as part of their strategy are more financially successful.” (Social Media: Business Benefits and Security, Governance and Assurance Perspectives, 2010).
Social media marketing is a new approach, a persuasive and conversational way of communication where an online influencers help to canvassed for branding recognition awareness and effect a purchase decisions of customers through their blogging, interactive sessions in discussion forums, magnitudes of social media followers coupled with the new technologies developed.
Social media also influences users purchase intents through engaging third party who already have the users trust through blogging, commenting and tweeting on their platforms (Freberg, Graham and A. Freberg, 2010).
As Tuten(2008) explains it: “Social media marketing is rich with potential branding opportunities and is famous for its engagement potential, due to this brands with many objectives can find social media marketing as an appropriate tool for building brand awareness , researching consumer opinions, identifying opinion leaders, driving traffic to brand web sites, spreading specific messages virally, developing customer database, instilling credibility and trust in a brand and enhancing a branding's image, among others.”
Here, we are going to focus on the few major ones already on the usage:
Source: Mark Zuckerberg Personal Facebook Profile
Facebook is the most successful online social media platform with a total active users of 1.59 billion monthly as of fourth quarter of 2015 and it is increasing, founded by Harvard alumni Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates during their university days, in the US.
An online social media that enable users to send and receive 140-character messages. Founded by four group named Noah Glass, Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey, in 2006, in the US. With an active users of 332 million as of January 2016. It is a social media microblogging internet service site.
2.2.3 Linked in
It is mainly professional and purposely built for business oriented purpose selling access to their user's information. Founded by Reid Hoffman and founding team members from PayPal and Social net group, in December 2002 and launched in 2003 in the US. With a total acquired users of over 400 Million, a multilingual interface with about 24 languages and a major player in the lead generation game.
Below is the current charts showing the trending in some selected social media interface. It was conducted by a credible research centers.
2.3 Comparisons between social media marketing and traditional marketing
Unlike social media marketing that solely depends on net using channels such as social networking sites, social online communities, blogs and so on for their sales drive transactions, the traditional media marketing can be done using the traditional channels of communication such as radio, television, newspapers, journals, fliers, road sign post etc.
The comparisons can be simply represented in tabular form below:
Basic Elements Social media marketing Traditional media marketing
Basic meaning A process of reaching customers through direct social interaction and conversation on the net process of performing market research, sales and advertisements
Platforms interface Blogs, Online communities, Social Networking and sharing sites etc. Offline channels; TV, Radio, Newspaper, Banner, Magazine, fliers, Outdoor ads etc.
Communication channel & style Many-to-many, Conversational, Multi directional One-to many, company to consumers
Marketing Mix elements People, Platform, Participation and Promotion Product, Price, Place and Promotion
Required budget Less cost effective Incur high cost
Feedback Real time feedback Not real time
Customer Relations Inclusive and Participatory Intrusive
2.4 security Threat Issue
Risks, Security and Privacy Concerns are notwithstanding not to be left uncheck because of its paramount important to acquire the techniques of how to secured the infrastructural facilities. Therefore, it is vital strategic process which have a plan to address the risks that accompany the technology.
Although user generated contents via social media could be faked by some intruders with the intention of infiltration, and many think that is normal, even though social media interfaces may counter some risks that may negatively affect their enterprise security, this would not discourage them because of the ample potentialities and benefits inherent on it. Therefore, the only thing is to initiates a new security policy strategies that would bring a solution to the risks. They have to consider the risks of employee access to corporate network while on social media sites and also while using issued mobile gadgets because this one sometimes are not directly monitored and controlled like the corporate computer systems. Also malicious infiltration of the employee's personal social media accounts makes the corporate network unsecured and the application tools vulnerable to attack. Enterprises must be cautious since there have also been a negative impacts like liability for libels, privacy violations and damage to brand recognition. Furthermore, social media users privacy are being protected through acceptable online behavior and etiquettes and the used of social media customized security applications.
3.0 Research Methodology
Looking into fundamental marketing principles, the researcher tried to discover the theories and relationship between social media and business philosophy with the long concept of marketing, this review have studied different materials ranging from journals, articles and sites. Social media is a new concept which is still in review leaders of thought and practitioners are still doing research on that, to accomplish it we are going to check, review blogs, write ups, key authors, and publish books. Quantitative research is to Analyzed and discussed statistically. See Appendix section
3.1 Data Collection Method
The methods of Data collection here has been categorically based on quantitative research method, by way of statistical analysis through distributing survey questionnaire, a sampling was conducted, and questionnaire of 20 questions, 4 of the questions were simple demographic questions and the rest were directly related to the study. Students and staffs of FTMS College are the target for conveniences, and the target size is 100.
4.0 Data Analysis Discussions
According to my survey conducted on the students and staffs of FTMS College, and due to time and financial constraints, I have restricted myself on them, and after the research am able to come up with the following analytical results, demographically men have constituted 55% of the respondents, while women were 45%, while 30% of the respondents are PG students, the UG students pursuing various courses are 40%, 20% are diploma students, and 10% of the respondents are staffs. Accordingly, the survey have discovered Facebook have the most daily users, about 70% of the respondents said they visited this site almost on daily basis at least once a day, while about 50% is visiting the site several times a day. Facebook and Instagram are the most popular among the respondents. However, a few social media platforms did have visitors too from the respondents. For example there is significant number of daily users on Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Accordingly, the survey findings discovered that 59% of Instagram users are on the platform daily, while 40% visit several times a day. Similarly, Pinterest users who visit the platform daily is 35%, and women constituted the larger proportion of daily users. LinkedIn is 30% users and Twitter proportion of daily users is 35% daily usage. Our survey findings also understood that about 55% of our respondents purchasing intents were being influenced by online social channels marketing ads through their various branding awareness recognition, while 45% of the respondents said their big influencer is through the traditional media marketing process.
5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
From the above analysis and discussion, we have drawn a conclusion and evaluate the role of social media as an effective communication channel and marketing strategies, which have continue to evolve rapidly due advancement in ICT. And it is my Believe, if it is regularized rightfully, it can definitely bring more benefits than harm in all spheres of social life. Businessmen and marketers are using social media to influences consumers purchase intentions through the use of recommendations and product suggestions. However, to build on the study, there is a need for further research.
Social media interface platforms is indeed an emerging evolutionary trends globally. For greater effective optimization, these are some of the salient recommendations for future plan expansions.
i. It is very necessary for the governments and the private sectors to come together and provide internet facilities to the growing populace especially those in remote areas; Facebook founder and some experts, lead this global drive for internet to all.
ii. There is a need for orientations and Awareness programs to be publicly organized solely to train and educate members of the community.
iii. There is must be an affordable and availability of tools and gadgets accessories at all time through some government intervention policies and measures.
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• Social Media Turns Dell Computers from Hell to Heaven. [online] Available at<http://www.ideastorm.com/idea2AboutIdeaStorm?v=1335075502839>[Accessed February 3, 20012] and <http://www.casestudiesonline.com/social-media-turns-dellcomputers-from-hell-to-heaven> [Accessed February 3, 2012]
• GEOGRAFIA Online TM Malaysian Journal of Society and Space 12 issue 2 (83 - 94)
• Essential step-by-step guide to internet marketing, V. Pamela, 2014
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• The strategic market process 2nd Edition – 2013
• Kee Young Kwahk, College of Business Administration Kookmin University, 2012. 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
• Solis, B., 2007. The definition of social media. [online] Available at:<http://www.webpronews.com/blogtalk/2007/06/29/the-defination-of-social-media>. [Accessed 3 April 2011].
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This questionnaire is being carried out as research for M.Sc. Assignment on ICT Global Sustainable Development on Internet Marketing focusing specifically on Social Media in the context of e-commerce. The results of the survey is for academic purposes only.
The researcher greatly appreciates your kind support and rendering valuable contributions to this research. Thank you.
Please indicate your answer(s) to the following questions by circling the most appropriate to you.
3. Educational Background:
o Under Graduate
o Post Graduate
4. College Status
5. Number of time you browse the Internet?
o Twice a week
o Not at all
6. What is your main reason of using internet?
o Social Media
o Others, please explain _____________
7. Level of your Social Media Platforms understanding?
8. Which social media platform you frequently visits?
o Linked In
o Google plus
9. Which type of gadget were you using?
o Smart phone
o Others, please specify __________________
10. Which aspects of social media you like most?
o Connecting with friends & families
o Connecting with professionals
o Others, please specify __________________
11. Do you like/follow a particular brand or multiples on a social media?
12. What type of information do you receive from the brand's Social Media platforms or blog?
o Product launch information
o Promotional news
o Product reviews & updates
o Other, please specify ____________________
13. Do you trust the information you obtain through social media interface?
o Yes, if it comes from my friends/families
o Yes, if it comes from professional communities
o Yes, if it comes from official company profiles/sites
14. Do you agree Social media marketing tools has internet security problem?
o Not agreed
15. Which type of media channels have influenced your purchasing decisions?
o Social Media platforms
o Traditional Media Channels
16. Quality of service offered by social media interface?
o Not good
17. Have u experienced any problem using social media platforms?
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