Social media and SME exporters’ interaction with customers

Social media and SME exporters’ interaction with customers

Marketing across Cultures –– subject to external examiner approval

Aims of the Assignment

· To enable students to learn about a new culture of their choice

· To explore the effects of a different culture on consumer attitudes and behaviour and how exporting firms can use this knowledge effectively

· To identify and review appropriate literature on culture and social media to apply relevant theories and concepts on consumer and exporting firms use of social media.

Assignment Overview and Assessment:

The word limit is 2000 words(reference list in Harvard style and appendices excluded from the words count ) 0 plagiarism Turnitin check if possible .

Assignment Brief

Select an overseas country of interest (but it cannot be the UK, Italy ,and France ). You should then address the following 5 points: your main focus should be on the researches of theories of social media and culture

1. Based on the theories and concepts from the literature, describe, discuss and interpret what is known, in general, about consumers, customers and managers motivations and behaviour in the social media environment. You need to understand the social media theories doing a lot of researches about it form article and journals. You have to talk in general showing an excellent understanding of the relevant theories you will use… this is the main part most important part they want to see lots of research been done about the theories of social media. (MAIN PART WRITE MORE HERE is very important )

2. After that, you have to select a country that you need to understand in terms of social media and you have to justify why you selected this country., you have to explain obviously the social media in the country what are the characteristics of social media in that country (that can be platforms) you can choose any country but you should justify why you chose it.

3. Using your research of what is known from the literature about social media discussed in point 1, critically evaluate and apply appropriate cultural theories and concepts to explain how and why they might affect motivations and behaviour in social media in your selected country. So, the cultural theories that need to be relevant to explain why consumers, why companies behave or why they use the social media in the way that you use. That can be cultural theories, can be element of the culture, can be religion, can be language that explain the social media on motivations and behaviours in that country for both consumers and companies, for example: why consumers and companies in the country that you selected behave why they use social media? (This part is also very important so you have to focus on the theories relevant one).

4. From your findings discuss the implications of this knowledge of culture and social media for SME exporters. What are the implications for companies for a SME in general.

5. Identify any future avenues for further research. ..Based on your reading and researches what are the areas for further research.

Please read carefully and if you do not understand any aspect of the brief, ask me.

Marking Scheme is very important to follow the marking criteria

Marking criteria

Proportion of Marks

Secondary research

Use of relevant secondary data and research literature from a suitably wide range of sources, appropriately integrated, summarized and referenced (Harvard system).

25%

Relevant discussion, application and integration of knowledge and theories in the areas of culture and social media

Demonstration of a sound understanding of cultural theory through appropriate critiquing, application and discussion of how and why culture affects motivations and behaviour in social media in your selected country.

45% so you should focus on this part in the assignment

Implications

Implications of your research for knowledge, exporting SMEs and future directions for research.

20%

Presentation

Quality of written communication in terms of use of English, relevance, structure and flow,

10%

Background to social media and culture those are my prof lecture he put them just to give us a background ….

Global growth of social media

The popularity of the internet and social media usage has grown dramatically over the last decade across the world. People are social beings and therefore it is instinctive that they would want to participate in activities to communicate with each other and share information, experiences and opinions social media platforms provide (Heinonen, 2011). By the start of 2016 there were 3.419 billion users of the internet (46% of the global population), of whom 2.307 billion were active social media users (www.smartinsights.com, 2016). The numbers are still growing by around 10% per annum with the fastest growth in social media adoption in Asia at around 14% per annum. Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Brazil and Mexico are amongst the largest social media users (ibid). Facebook today has over 2.27 billion global users per month ahead of other platforms such as WhatsApp (1.5bn), Messenger (1.3bn) and Instagram (1bn) that are also owned by Facebook (The Sunday Times, 2017). In some countries however, Facebook is not dominant and local networking sites generate more traffic, for example in Japan (mixi), in South Korea (Cyworld) and in Russia (vkontakte.ru) (Goodrich & de Mooij, 2014) while in China, Qzone and Wechat each have over 600 million active monthly users (www.Statista.com).

The nature of social media – the individual, community and consumer perspective

Social media challenges the traditional managerially generated and controlled information communicated through one-way mass media as it enables people and consumers to interact and share information with each other. Peters et al. (2013, p.281) suggest that: “In contrast to other media, they rather resemble dynamic, interconnected, egalitarian and interactive organisms beyond the control of any organization”. The social media phenomenon means that managers and firms in this environment are not in control of information and communication and have to adapt their marketing, branding and communication strategies. Social media facilitates dialogic, dyadic and multiple interactions amongst actors in a network wherein firms may impose brands and advertising, which don’t match with the nature of social media.

Culture and social media

“Culture is a pervasive influence which underlies all facets of social behaviour and interaction…It is embodied in the objects used in everyday life and in modes of communication in society” (Craig & Douglas, 2006, p.323).

Culture is therefore likely to have a significant influence on motivations for social media involvement, behaviour, adoption and usage. There are, for example, significant differences in social media behaviour and usage in Europe, South America and Asia Pacific in terms of the popularity and frequency of blogging, participating in forums, uploading photos, and uploading and watching online videos (thesocialbusinessbook.com). Also different cultures have contrasting concerns about sharing too much information online.

Other cultural issues that may need to be taken into account include: design of the social media platform (e.g. use of icons and images v use of text or minimalist v busy look); language (e.g. local or international language); age of social media users; faces and avatars (e.g. openness v desire for anonymity, privacy and security); levels of trust (e.g. trust in information v trust in buying online); and adoption of new social media platforms (e.g. willingness to try out or move to new social media).

Further, different infrastructures such as internet performance (e.g. website speed) and government restrictions and/or censorship (e.g. open v restricted access/information) as well as, for example, slowing down of the Internet during the elections (see https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/12/28/bangladesh-slows-internet-ahead-election/) as well as the control of social media in Bangladesh https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/10/19/bangladesh-crackdown-social-media)

Social media – the managerial perspective: interaction with consumers and customers

With the dramatic growth of social media platforms and users firms and managers are still fully getting to grips with the opportunities that social media offers for their marketing strategies and activities (Hoffman & Novak, 2012). Increasingly companies are using social media recognising its value in interacting and having a dialogue with customers: “listening: gaining insights from customers and using that input in the innovation process, talking: using conversations with customers to promote products or services, energizing: identifying enthusiastic customers and using them to influence others, supporting: enabling customers to help one another solve problems” (Bernoff & Li, 2008, p. 41). In communicating through social media, messages are often seen by users as more authentic and reliable than traditional advertising media.

However, at the interface of social media and cultural influences “we currently know too little about how culture affects mobile social media adoption and usage and how consumers’ perceptions of and behaviour towards these media vary across countries” (Okazaki & Taylor, 2013, p.66).

Customer interactions with firms via social media seem to vary across cultures. People in some cultures, such as in South America, use social media predominantly for communication with friends and family (Goodrich & de Mooij, 2014). In other parts of the world, such as in Europe and North America, people are more willing to search for product information, interact with organisations, read and write product reviews, or buy product online.

Because of such cultural disparities, differences in technology across the world (the infrastructure enabling social media) and varying institutional rules and regulations, firms cannot standardise their social media usage across borders (Berthon et al., 2012). For businesses operating globally and wanting to use social media effectively, it is therefore essential to know how to reach users through localization strategies, including writing content with cultural sensitivity and customizing to the online behaviour of target audiences at country levels and languages (Egros, 2016).

Social media and SME exporters’ interaction with customers

SME export managers are using the Internet marketing capabilities to manage and build their international business relationships with customers to access to international market information and knowledge to expand their international market presence (Matthews, et al., 2016). Further the Internet improves the co-ordination of the international supply chain, customer service management, and enhances learning from relationships, (Trainor et al., 2014). However, it is only until recently that SME export managers have started to use social media for its relational potential and for dealing with customers in international markets (del-Carmen et al., 2018; Durkin, McGowan, & McKeown, 2013). There is therefore a need for more research into how social media could add to the export marketing capabilities and performance of SMEs.

References

Bernoff, J., & Li, C. (2008). Harnessing the power of the oh-So-Social web. MIT Sloan Management Review, 49(3): 36–42.

Berthon P.R., Lescault, A.M., Plangger, K & Shapiro, D. (2012). Marketing meets Web 2.0, social media, and creative consumers: Implications for international marketing strategy. Business Horizons, 55 (3): 261-71.

Craig C.S. & Douglas S.P. (2006). Beyond national culture: Implications of cultural dynamics for consumer research. International Marketing Review, 23 (3): 322-342.

del-Carmen, M., del-Amo, A., Rialp-Criado, A., & Rialp-Criado, J. (2018). Examining the impact of managerial involvement with social media on exporting firm performance. International Business Review, 27 (2): 355-366.

Durkin, M., McGowan, P., & McKeown, N. (2013). Exploring social media adoption in small to medium-sized enterprises in Ireland. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 20 (4): 716–734.

Egros, A. ‘Social media usage across cultures’, available at https://www.compukol.com/social-media-usage-across-cultures/ (Accessed 31.12.18).

Goodrich, K. & de Mooij, M. (2014). How ‘social’ are social media? A cross-cultural comparison of online and offline purchase decision influences. Journal of Marketing Communications, 20: 103-116.

Heinonen, K. (2011), Consumer activity in social media: Managerial approaches consumers’ social media behaviour. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 10 (6): 356-364.

Hoffman, D.L., & Novak, T.P. (2012).Toward a deeper understanding of social media, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26 (2): 69–70.

Mathews, S., Bianchi C., Perks, K. J., Healy, M., & Wickramasekera, R. (2016). Internet marketing capabilities and international market growth. International Business Review, 25 (4): 820-830.

Okazaki S. & Taylor C.R. (2013). Social media and international advertising: Theoretical challenges and future directions. International Marketing Review, 30 (1): 56-71.

Peters, K., Chen, Y., Kaplan, A.M., Ognibeni, B., & Pauwels, K. (2013). Social media metrics — a framework and guidelines for managing social media. Journal of Interactive Marketing 27: 281–298.

The Sunday Times Magazine (2017), ‘Facebook is watching you’, 29 October, 2017: 20-29.

Trainor, K. J., Andzulis, J. M., Rapp, A., & Agnihotri, R. (2014). Social media technology usage and customer relationship performance: A capabilities-based examination of social CRM. Journal of Business Research, 67 (6): 1201–1208.

Additional reading for the assignment:

See the reading list in Studentcentral

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