Social networking commonly known as social media entails several internet-based tools that enable people to interact easily, listen, collaborate and engage with each other. People commonly interact through social media platforms such as Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, and Linkedin. Through these platforms, people can share photos, documents, ideas and even advertise their products. Most people access these platforms through phone, tablets and computers. Social media is divided into blogging sites and social networking sites such as Facebook and Linkedin.
How social networking has impacted e-commerce
Social networking has impacted the way people all over the world interact over a short time. The effect has spread wide to the business world through e-commerce and e-business. Companies are connected to their clients in new exciting ways and even expansion of their market boundaries. Research by organizations such as OTX has confirmed that over seventy percent of consumers visit social media platforms to learn more about a product brand or company. The online consumers, further, move on to buy products with the information they gathered from these sites (Kwahk & Ge 2012).
Most companies have created online shopping websites which they share over social media to enable consumers in different platforms to access information on their product and hence purchase them. Social media act as necessary tools for influencing the purchasing decision of consumers, interacting with clients and building brand recognition.
Ways in which small businesses have used social networking to increase their exposure
Small businesses have used social networking to come up with multiple opportunities to develop more lucrative customer relationships. Most small businesses have devoted some considerable amount of time to social networks. Most entrepreneurs have identified social networks as a source of generating business leads. Small businesses mostly use the social media to share their product information engaging customers and promoting their businesses (Cox 2012).
Small business managers have put in place effective monitoring systems for a couple of accounts they have opened in the social networks to understand the perceptions and misconceptions about their services and products. Others move further to gather information on their products by posting questions related to their service provision (Stelzner 2014).
How social networking will continue to enhance e-commerce in the next 2-3 years
As many people become involved in social networking, most companies have resolved to use social networks as the main grounds for advertising and selling products. Countries like India focus on to transforming their e-commerce to m-commerce which will be majorly powered by social networks. Several countries in Europe and parts of Asia have launched hi-speed Wi-Fi services and 4G mobile networks to enable growth in user of social media. This indicates that most e-marketers will advertise their product through the social media, making it easier for the consumers to access the products. Since its establishment, social networking has seen the growth of e-commerce with great margins. Regions like the Asia Pacific registered the highest sales in e-commerce majorly due social media involvement.
Most people mostly the youth would prefer to learn about their products online through social networks than meeting with the merchants. Unique marketing strategies like mobile commerce have been incorporated in the social network platforms to enable easy and cheap transaction procedures. Consumer purchase behaviors have changed as most people buy products online to save time and travel costs. Companies have become competitive, and each organization has devised different ways of reaching their clients. Social networking has turned out to be the most sort channel by most companies thereby enhancing e-commerce. The impact of social networks on e-commerce is supposedly going to grow tremendously in the next two to three years.
Cox, S. (2012). Social Media Marketing in A Small Business: A Case Study. Department of Computer Graphics Technology. Purdue University. http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1012&context=cgttheses
Kwahk, K. Y. & Ge, X. (2012). The Effect of Social Media on E-commerce: A Perspective of Social Impact Theory. Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Kookmin University. https://www.computer.org/csdl/proceedings/hicss/2012/4525/00/4525b814.pdfStelzner, M. (2014). 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. How Marketers are using Social Media to Grow their Businesses. https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/SocialMediaMarketingIndustryReport2014.pdf
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