Social Media SM Is Todays Trend Commerce
Social media is todays trend. It exceeds traditional trader and connects with customers. Every business from large companies like Starbucks and IBM to smaller ones is exploring social media marketing initiatives (Neti, 2011). Previously, many businesses were unsure with the success of SM but now they are adopting more of social media marketing (SMM).
SMM is marketing using online communities, blog marketing, social networks among others (Neti, 2011). India was among the first promoters of SMM. Nowadays, organisational structure has been replaced by social cause since businesses prefer to deal directly with their targeted audience through online platforms.
SMM tools help entrepreneurs to build a strong relationship with customers and create public awareness. In Mauritius, SMM was introduced for business to better integrate marketing communication plans with target markets. Similarly, with the introduction of Web 2.0, internet users can construct business contacts by sharing business information to team up with online projects (Andharia, 2012).
Employees who are involved in small and medium enterprise (SME) use informal word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing techniques to communicate in business and socially. Equally, it is important for SMEs to remain close to their customers to practice network marketing in relation to their staff and customers.BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Internet has become part of everyday life. People communicate, read emails, search for information, contact friends and do business at independent time and place (Flinck, 2011). Hence, SM plays an essential role allowing the interaction with people. Firms are responding positively to social media services among customers.
Moreover, online marketing has become a popular marketing tool among entrepreneurs. Similarly, SM represents a great challenge for marketing through traditional media channels and communications (Gillin, 2009). The popularity among online shopping is due to transparency, good communication, referrals (Urban, 2004) and WOM (Eikelmann et al., 2008). Likewise, social media tool is easy and it acts as an effective solution for any business with tight budget. Henceforth, the integrated marketing communications achieves promotional elements such as personal selling, sales promotion, advertising, direct and sales promotion.
Generally, SME approach to marketing activities is designed by the characteristics of SMEs restricted to resources, size of enterprise and has an impact on the market (Gilmore et al., 2007). These activities can be in a marginal function which results randomly to marketing decisions (O'Dwyer et al., 2009). In other terms, SME's approaches are new and unplanned, and they agreed on the basis that customers are interested to give market conditions (Gilmore & Carson, 1999). Marketing within SME is seen as an evolutionary process which includes marketing activities through product life cycle or service. Nevertheless, this process has an effect to external market outside the SME sector (Scanlon, 2009).PROBLEM STATEMENT
From Fullerton master's thesis (2011), Sekaran defined problem as a precise statement that exists between actual and desired ideal states. Manik (2011) argued that impact of social media "does not matter whether you have a Billboard, a magazine advertising, an online banner or a social media channel. Impressions are impressions". Furthermore, SMEs are somewhat confused on deciding which promotional elements to choose in order to remain competitive on the market. They are using any communication means among which are the social networking websites. Is SMM a good choice to boost up SMEs in the modern Mauritius where computers are affordable for middle income earners? Thus, this is what has triggered the research whether SMM is a good choice to boost up SMEs in the modern Mauritius where computers are affordable for middle income earners.AIM OF STUDY
The main aim of this study is to investigate on the impact of SMM for SMEs in Mauritius. This study is based on answering research questions about the importance of SMM and its impact on SMEs in Mauritius. It is equally important to stress on social media strategy, characteristics, benefits and pitfalls of specific social media tools. Moreover, it will help to advise SMEs about how to optimise the effectiveness of social media in marketing and make timely recommendations to SMEs on how to review their marketing strategies.RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
The study aims at achieving the following research objectives:
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