Social media marketing has emerged as one of the most effective channels of promoting businesses and their brands in recent years. Ecommerce businesses use social media to market their products just like other firms (Appel et al. 2020, 81). The proposed study will focus on how effective social media marketing is in the context of e-commerce businesses. Although e-commerce businesses use multiple strategies to market their products using social media, evaluating whether companies get justifiable returns from social media marketing is critical to success. The study will determine whether social media marketing generates a justifiable return on investment and impact brand value. In addition, the study will evaluate the factors that determine the type of social media used to promote a firm’s products.
The research study will use a mixed-methods approach to collect data. The current research will inform people about the effectiveness of social media marketing among e-commerce businesses and the factors that determine the type of social media and e-commerce business uses to market their services and products.
The research study is an explorative case of social media marketing and its effectiveness in e-commerce businesses. The study aims to determine the social media strategies that e-commerce businesses use to promote their products successfully. For instance, a company may focus on branding, excellent customer service, and product sales to appeal to its consumers. The study will also determine how e-commerce businesses can generate a return on investment and increase brand value using social media marketing by exploring the factors that lead to increased sales after promotion. Ultimately, the study concentrates on how e-commerce companies can achieve business value through social media marketing.
The study will determine the effectiveness of social media marketing based on its ability to increase sales, brand value, and the strategies that guarantee a successful social media marketing plan (Valerio, William, and Noémier 2019, 3). By understanding the factors that lead to increased sales after promotion, e-commerce business owners will comprehend how to implement an effective social media marketing plan.
Background and Significance
The emergence of social media has brought possibilities globally by ensuring that business owners can easily make their products seen in an online environment. Billions of people worldwide use social media, and it is considered a defining technology in the current generation. The total number of social media users is expected to reach 3.29 billion in 2022. Therefore, it is unsurprising that businesses have acknowledged the power of social media as a tool to market their products, hence the emergence of social media marketing. Companies started creating websites to engage their customers online after discovering the potential of social media.
In addition, e-commerce businesses such as Amazon, Walmart, and eBay were established due to the emergence of the internet. In addition, small and large companies alike have embraced e-commerce and started selling their products online (Appel et al. 2020, 84). Most e-commerce businesses have an online presence that they use to promote and communicate with their customers.
Besides social media marketing, there are other types of advertising strategies for e-commerce businesses. Tradition direct marketing is the oldest type of promotion that firms can utilize. It includes television commercials, personal selling, magazine or newspaper advertising, and radio announcements. However, such methods have become more expensive than contemporary forms of promotion such as content, internet, social network, and email marketing (Mahliza 2019, 290). Despite the evolution of marketing, some business owners use traditional publicity methods such as renting stalls in malls that offer a good display for customers to notice various products.
While many e-commerce firms have been quick to use social media marketing to promote their business, it is not easy to evaluate the actual results of such an activity. Ecommerce businesses are firms that transmit funds, services, and funds through the internet, and they vary in scope and size. For instance, a store owner who sells goods online with only a warehouse owns an e-commerce business. Alternatively, retail giant Amazon is an example of an e-commerce business.
Although large businesses such as Amazon may avoid such a challenge because of their high brand value, small e-commerce businesses cannot escape the problem of converting paid social media promotion into sales. In addition, small e-commerce businesses may not comprehend how social media advertising can help them enhance brand value (Mahliza 2019, 290). For instance, they can try constantly engaging with their customers and fostering honesty and trust to forge trust in their limited consumers.
Given the various businesses that use social media in their e-commerce ventures, most do not effectively utilize social media to reach more customers, increase sales, and enhance the brand value. In addition, social media marketing is becoming more expensive. Ecommerce businesses must comprehend whether the return on investment is worth the risk of committing to social media marketing. Therefore, the current study will provide owners of e-commerce businesses with the required information to understand the factors that make social media marketing successful. As a result, e-commerce business owners will comprehend the reasons that make social media marketing complicated.
While anyone can advertise specific products on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, converting the leads into actual sales can be extremely difficult (Voorveld et al., 2018, 40). The research study answers the question by probing e-commerce owners or employees who have successfully used social media marketing to increase sales to describe the distinct factors underlying their success.
Preliminary data is collected from small-scale projects before a complete research study. Furthermore, preliminary data can be used to show the significance of a particular research project. However, a critical assessment of existing research can explain why the current study is needed. The present research seeks to establish how e-commerce businesses can generate investment returns. Due to the competitiveness of contemporary markets and the challenges firms face, companies should guarantee a return on their marketing investments. Many companies struggle to prove the value of social media marketing investment.
In addition, a significant ninety percent of marketers acknowledge that social media is essential to business, but approximately forty percent could measure social activities. Social media has introduced considerable changes to how organizations and consumers communicate with each other. The amount of money and time e-commerce businesses invest in social media marketing is determined by the associated return on investment (Silva, Duarte, and Almeida 2020, 2101). Firms will embrace more social media marketing initiatives when they provide a satisfactory return on investment.
Multiple marketing managers know that social media marketing is essential; however, they find it difficult to identify effective strategies to engage with and reach the public. However, most managers cannot identify such strategies and implement a successful social media marketing plan (Zhang and Li 2019, 1425).
Furthermore, the lack of uncertainty regarding the metrics to use during the adoption of social media marketing hinders business success among e-commerce firms. Return on investment (ROI) is measured by reach, awareness, engagement, financial factors, and influence, as shown in figure 1 (Silva, Duarte, and Almeida 2020, 2105). Revenues are more critical to business-to-customer relationships, and as a result, financial metrics such as conversion are crucial to e-commerce firms.
Experimental Design and Methods
To gain an excellent understanding of social media marketing and its effectiveness when used by e-commerce businesses, the research used a mixed-methods approach through semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. The mixed-method approach is helpful in understanding contradictions and similarities between qualitative findings and quantitative results. It combines qualitative and quantitative data analysis and collection in a single study and balances out each method’s limitation. In addition, a mixed-methods approach will be used because it provides strong evidence and increased confidence in findings (UK Health Security Agency 2020).
In the first stage, the interviews will be administered to four companies at their headquarters. In addition, the interviews will be voice-recorded only for use during the present research and will take around twenty to thirty minutes. The first stage of data will be analyzed by qualitative content analysis.
The second stage involved questionnaires with questions taken from previous research. The questionnaires will consist of twenty-eight questions with the inclusion of dichotomous, five-point, and multiple-choice Likert scales. The study will use pretested, understandable, clear, and straightforward questions. The number of participants chosen for the questionnaires will be approximately twenty. The questionnaires will be coded into meaningful categories using the latest version of the IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). In addition, association tests will be used to find any statistically significant variables in the data.
The study faces several limitations, such as generalization. Ecommerce businesses are sensitive and complex; therefore, a larger sample of companies and study participants is required to generalize research results to the broader e-commerce sector (UK Health Security Agency 2020). Furthermore, collecting and analyzing data using two methods of data collection is complex to administer and requires extra resources like money and time.
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UK Health Security Agency. 2020. “Mixed Methods Study.” Gov. Web.
Valerio, Curzi, Lecoq William, and Quéré Noémier. 2019. “The Impact of Social Media on E-Commerce Decision Making Process.” International Journal of Technology for Business 1 (1): 1-9. Web.
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Zhang, Chu-Bing, and Yi-Na Li. 2019. “How Social Media Usage Influences B2B Customer Loyalty: Roles of Trust and Purchase Risk.” Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing 34 (7): 1420-1433. Web.