Social media : how they create value for business enterprises in New Zealand from customers’ perspectives

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Yuan, Lin
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Master of Business
Unitec Institute of Technology
Gunaratne, Asoka
Du Plessis, Andries
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
social media
social media advertising
New Zealand
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Yuan, L. (2015). Social media : how they create value for business enterprises in New Zealand from customers’ perspectives. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business at Unitec Institute of Technology.
The explosive growth of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube has been capturing the attention of a great number of consumers from all age groups, not only teenagers but also users in Generation X. In recent years, social media has become the buzzword for businesses. More specifically, social media are considered as being the new and promising online marketing channels for marketers to build up consumer communities and interact with their potential customers based on user-generated content and real-time communication. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to leverage these new tools as new components of their marketing mix and business actions in the new millennium. Previous studies highlighting social media has brought up great opportunities to engage with consumers via a two-way interaction, which in turn has a powerful impact on brand loyalty and engagement. However, many companies still have not recognised the importance of social media. Many companies are still confronting challenges in terms of managing marketing tactics and their business actions on social media effectively. To broaden our understanding and provide useful recommendations for effective marketing communication and business activities via social media, this research aims to provide insights into how social media can create value for New Zealand businesses from a customers’ perspective. The research employed the quantitative approach including a large-scale online survey among New Zealand young adults on different social media platforms in 2014, yielding 153 valid responses. The research findings highlight consumers tend to reply on social media not only for socialising but also to seek recommendations and advice to inform their purchasing decisions. It has been suggested that from a customers’ point of view, direct social media advertising such as posting sales information is the most popular example of using social media for business purposes. Furthermore, most participants felt that the content presented on social media platforms is misleading to a certain extent. There are significant differences among age groups in perceived importance of social networking sites in their daily lives. The study, therefore, outlines specific suggestions on how New Zealand businesses can utilise social media tools for business and marketing purposes more effectively. In addition, the study suggests several useful directions for future research on social media advertising in different contexts
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