INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
New technological inventions can have a great impact in organizations through its contributions to change the social environment while expediting sharing of knowledge and the development of new ideas. (Kling et al, 2005). Social Media will come in handy as a good example of new technological innovation that is making a great impact in the organizations of today. In time past, the social media inspired technologies were seen as a chapter. But time has proven that wrong. We have seen the world being transformed daily by these new collective technologies, which is giving a new hope to organizations with impacts which were never considered to exist initially.
Today, most organizations are mainly interested in incorporating social media into the business structures of their organization, but do not have a proper know-how of what social media is all about. They also don’t have a tangible channel to ascertain the gain that these technologies hold for them. In a survey carried out in 2009 by McKinsey and Company, it was discovered that with the appropriate use of the social media a lot of organizations were able to benefit from each other in ways such as sharing of ideas, communication becoming better and the workplace environment becoming enhanced. The value that social media adds in organizations is huge as an increasing number of organizations are already endorsing and exploiting the various opportunities in social media technological innovation. This is to enable them find support for their various organizational and business practices (Starmark, 2008;).
Social media hold a lot of interesting opportunities, but it is important to understand how to utilize it with its accompanying impact in an organizational context beside where it is applicable in realâ€life projects. The present day organizations should ask questions like how can employees use social media technologies to do their work and what impact these have on employees. These should be pivotal questions for modern day organizations. These questions can help organizations to understand how social media technologies work effectively at workplace. Thus, it affords them the opportunity to review and understand how to utilize what it offers with its impact on how people interact and work among them as earlier discussed.
Hill (2009) portrayed Globalization as the deviation towards a more unified and co-dependent economy which is historically merging different national markets into one global enormous marketplace. The Economic Intelligence Unit (2009) announced that, the global market place was overwhelmed by variations in exchange rates, the purchasing behavior of consumers and inflation in the course of the recession that started in 2007. These economic developments have ended up compelling organizations to redesign their business strategies so they can be able to communicate their brands more effectively. Davis (2001) writes that brand is one of an organization’s most prized assets which simply imply that there is a demand on the present day organization to understand that it is important for them to capitalize on their brand. This can help them maintain a profitable growth and achieve sustained profitability objectives. There are various means of building brands, which can come in form of advertising, meeting specific needs of customers, attaching a particular image to a service or product, identifying and meeting a need that competitors are to identify, combative communication and strategizing price (Burger et al, 2009). As recessions is towering in recent times of high, it became very imperative for organizations to maintain honest, clear medium of communication and retain a good image in a cost effective means (Unit for Economic Intelligence, 2009). Social media marketing was one of the popular channel organizations used to communicate their brands during the recession. Some of those mediums are; online electronic media which helps facilitates participation, responsiveness, consultation, connectivity and networking amongst online end users (Mayfield, 2008).
Social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn etc are some of the dynamic tools that have helped facilitate online rapport (Golden, 2011). Relatively, it is a low cost pattern of marketing which allows organizations to engage direct end-users through their contacts (Heinlein and Kaplan, 2010).
Brands and consumers have a changing role to play in the organization’s strategy given the choices made available to consumers and the prominent role of social media marketing being that they now have an impact on the economy (Mayfield 2004, Lindeman, 2008). Brands have huge influence on customer choice and customers influence other customers. Affecting repurchases are these series of events, which goes on to affect earnings in the future and long term organizational continuity (Oliveira and Sullivan, 2003).
Thus, consumer’s buying behavior is often influenced by a leading brand. This value is created by generating demand (via repurchases) and securing of future earnings for the organization (Sullivan and Oliveira, 2003). Therefore social media marketing serves as opportunities for communication and depends upon new and unusual thought patterns (Heinlein and Kaplan, 2010; Kweskin, 2008). This helps customer’s product and brand experience. This new era of digital communication and social engagement is preeminent for strategizing in business. Therefore as organizations are becoming more competitive globally, it is pertinent for them to explore marketing strategy in a more compelling and innovative way so as to attract larger number of customers (Rockendorf, 2011).
1.2PROBLEMSTATEMENT The coming of the Internet and its acceptance by the public, have altered quite a lot in the way organizations promotetheir services and products as well as the channels of communication between them and theircustomers. This is seen in the way they market and communicatetheir brands and products nowadays which is becoming a challenging project. Customers are overwhelmed by marketing commercials and promotional events. The sensitivity of customers to get excited is fading out on promotional events and consumers are beginning to resist the efforts of some companies at marketing them. Basically, the promotional focus of some organizations is on the conventional mass media advert style which includes commercials on TV, radio jingles and advertisements in print formats such as newspapers and magazines along with billboard placements. It is now on record that as the Internet is fast advancing across the global marketplace, the effectiveness of traditional mass media is fast on the decline.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of social media on buying behavior of consumers. Specific objectives of the study are:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES 1. HO: Students have negative perception towards online shopping. Hi: Students have positive perception towards online shopping. 2. Ho: There is no significant relationship between social media channels and buying behavior of consumers. Hi: there is a significant relationship between social media channels and buying behavior of consumers.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE RESEARCH With regard to the objectives, conducting the research from the perspective of consumers would be a considerably suitable approach. The researcher realizes that there are many available reports and studies which rather aims to help businesses to gain a better understanding in social media marketing but not to help consumers to identify reasons that social media has changed their decision making process. Since the purpose of marketing is, in sum, about consumer; therefore, by having the starting point from the perception of consumer, and by collecting data from consumers’ point of view, fresh insights can be gathered. The research also aims to serve as an indicator to potential readers (companies) of how they can tab into the decision making process via social media sites. The research focuses on the behavior of end consumers (individuals) and particularly within the retailing industry, for instance clothing, food and beverage, consumer electronics, and so on.