|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Company Social media Business communication Social media marketing|
Information technology is impacting changes in the mode of communication, accessing and processing information for personal and official decisions in most organizations. Social media is one of the applications of information technology that causes changes and exchange in interactive information. Social media serves as one of the conventional means of communication and getting to know the global trends. Social media has a special effect at a personal level in different people, therefore, influences the brain, character and the personalities of the stakeholders in the business setting. Social media has achieved the connectivity of people around the world keeping in touch with everything which strengthens bonds. This is also a typical scenario in the most business setting, therefore, enhancing communication.
Several social media platforms facilitate the conveyance of communication from the organization to the potential clients, the public and the stakeholders. This necessitates the need for the leaders of various organizations to integrate technologies and search for the best approach on social media and networks as a communication means with their clients as well as for the advantage of their organizations (Proctor & Kitchen, 2002). Basing on the Marks and Spencer organization, this essay will explicitly outline the usefulness of social media in communication and decision making for an organization, explicitly comparing the best practices on the effectiveness of social media for the company. This essay will also create a social media communications strategy for the organization that incorporates best practice in conventional and contemporary communication tools and is appropriate for implementation in Marks and Spencer Company (M&S).
Marks and Spencer is one of the oldest retailing company based in UK, Britain which supplies foods, clothing, and homewares. It has more than 60,000 employees globally. It has more than 400 hundred stores in over 30 countries serving millions of customer. The company was started by Michael Marks and Tom Spencer at around 1884. For over 125 years of existence, the company has grown significantly with a huge turnover. The company has specific targets that it aims at reaching through its expansive advertisement as a means of communicating to its potential clients.
According to the company's head of social media, Julia Monro, the Marks and Spencer organization has been using social media as a powerful tool in communication with its customers. This has played a significant role in the increase in sales and marketing strategies decision (Guesalaga, 2016). The happy customers are considered and valued in the company as the most fundamental source of information to some critical decisions that are to be implemented in the company. As a result, the company engages in maintaining good communication through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and other blogger sites (D'Avanzo, Pilato, & Lytras, 2017). The information collected from keeping contact with the clients through social media helps embark on satisfying the needs and specifications of the client. M&S has by far reaped the benefits of incorporating social media in its activities through the return backs obtained on e-commerce. M&S launched its website in February 2014, which was specifically tailored and created to meet its customers' requirements after two years of testing. The evaluation and feedback received from the other site helped M&S to identify more than 35 key issues relating to the customer and resolved in deciding on the quality improvement which consequently increased their yield by more than 12% (Davies, 1999).
Much time has been invested in the communication with the clients on social media facilitated through the internet (Siskey, & Islam, 2016). Most of the decision made on quality improvement was based on the information picked. The process involved listening keenly and getting an insight into what the client says on the website created. Social media should be incorporated into the company's commercial strategy. Extensively, positive reviews and comments left on the internet's social media could be a useful tool in the Marketing of the company is placed at the front of the website (The Ultimate Social Media Best Practices, 2019). This would be not only helpful in increasing sales but also help in the decision making of potential customers (Treem & Leonardi, 2013). This is because the reviews and comments left would be enticing and attracting more customers as the information from the previous customers is an indicator that the products are worth the purchase.
M&S has made a lot of investment in the voice of customer (VOC) approach and software application as a social media approach that is aimed at a getting the customer's insights to the business more comfortable and in a comprehensible manner. The platform that made use of the system of point-of-sale which was then uploaded to the tills and the customer was discounted on the next shopping. The customer feedbacks that are obtained from the web-based survey have been responsible for a lot of dynamics affecting the organization. Social media also applies the location's preferred language which facilitates the diversified data collection (Ventola, 2014). This indicates that the decision based on social media's communication does not originate from one country. Instead, the decisions made are dependent on the customer feedbacks and reviews of more than 40 nations (Hoffman & Fodor, 2010).
Compare and contrast with best practices on the effectiveness of social media for M&S
Social media plays a vital role in the influencing of the customer's taste and judgments in regards to any brands produced by an organization. On the other hand, the same social media may be a useful tool in product promotion. To ensure that M&S excels in the best product promotion, it markets the products in the most commonly used social media platforms by also making use of celebrities such as famous musicians and actors who are likely to attract traffic and influence people's judgment (Jones, Clarke-Hill, Comfort & Hillier, 2008). The use of famous people who are regarded as the brand ambassadors is of aid in influencing the sales as the funs of person used in the publicity are most likely to be the final clients (Guesalaga, 2016). The bloggers also play a role in the image improvement of the company. This further indicates how social media plays a role in the decision made by the customers.
Marks and Spencer are diversifying their social media to create more networks with the introduction of new brands all over the world. However, M&S applies different social media networks to facilitate efficient communication between the company and its customers. Since connection primarily to the act of transferring information from one party to another, the company targets several networks availed in social media. This is further facilitated by the easy access of internet through tablets, computer, and phones alongside other mobile devices that have enabled connectivity (Ruths, & Pfeffer, 2014). However, the issue on different platforms of social media Marketing has a different response as a result of the target market and the ability to get feedback that is key in decision making. M&S uses Facebook as one of the means of networking. Facebook is useful since it has more target audience of more than 2 billion users every month, which is approximately a quarter of the world's population. Facebook is an excellent means as it targets young people who are mostly chatting and communication from Facebook. As a result, the company can Market its various brands and collect views on the comment section. Similarly, the company can evaluate the perception of a particular brand through the number of likes a brand advertised gets which may help make critical decisions on how the product is doing in the market. The company can also receive comments on how to improve the outcomes as well as tailor them to favor all the market demand aspects.
Instagram is a social media platform that is commanding the marketing of M&S products, especially clothing brands. By encouraging the photos and video uploads, the client can make suggestions on the specific choice of products and contrasting it with the competitors (Jussila, Karkkainen, & Aramo-Immonen, 2014). However, like Facebook, this mode of marketing and communication is expensive, especially where it is applied as Ads to reach a broader target group. Twitter is one of the most cost-efficient ways of facilitating communication with the client as there is no payment required to reach out to the clients. Twitter adverts mainly are used in driving brand promotion and awareness, therefore, informs people more of a brand by use of direct communication. The people may contribute their opinions by re-tweets which may be a source of information on making decisions. The brand promotions facilitated in Twitter, Facebook and Instagram provide the direct communication program where the client can air out an opinion to the company (Phua, Jin & Kim, 2017). Similarly, the company maintains its reputation by keeping ethics, and good relationship with employees as the platforms may be a loophole for the whistleblowers (Jussila, Karkkainen, & Aramo-Immonen, 2014). As a result, the company ensures that every decision made is subject to meeting the needs of the customers, employees and the surrounding environment.
The web-based social media advertising is one of the best compared to the others (Zeb, Khattak, Jamal, & Khattak, 2016). This is because it contains all the information a customer may be seeking to make any decision in regards to the purchase of the product. It also provides a platform for conversation where the client can chat with the customer and get immediate feedback. Moreover, the websites assist the customer in making purchases in the company suggesting the location of their stores (Capriotti, 2011).
The Social Media Communications Strategy
There are approximately 7 billion people on earth, with half of them already online. Therefore, at least 70% of global internet audiences are active on social media. Many companies are taking this advantage to venture online and capture more clients. Marks and Spencer have been using social media to make communications to customers. This step has realized an increase in sales, especially from the company's marketing campaigns. There has been valuing for customers, and the organization embraces its actions as it is basic to doing socially well. The firm believes that making customers happy and understanding what they want can better be achieved by diving into social media platforms. There has been an impact of social media on e-commerce (Lefebvre, Meisner, Stopyra, O'Neill, Husain, Geer, & Cline, 2016). Most items searched on a retailer's website are most likely that which has gone viral. It is preferred that insight from social media flow back into a firms commercial strategy (Poore, 2015). However, this is not possible without a good social media communications strategy.
Marks and Spencer in September 2018 launched a digital marketing campaign that shared with its customers the essential clothing for the approaching season. Through the marketing campaign, sales increased to greater percentages compared to when they had not restructured their marketing function.
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