Can Social Media Tools Such As Facebook And Twitter Enhance The Organization Image And Create A Competitive Advantage?
Yes. Social media tools have currently found great applications such as marketing and customer relationship purposes (Nord, Paliszkiewicz, & Koohang, 2014). The development of technology and the innovations of the social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have created a platform, which brings together millions of people. Most organizations have social media pages, twitter accounts and LinkedIn profiles, where they can easily interact with their customers and potential customers. These platforms have grown to be a source of competitive advantage for many companies.
The social media platform provides an avenue from which an organization can reach its potential customers with less costs (Ribarsky, Xiaoyu Wang, & Dou, 2014). The organizational cultivation of social media relationships with its customers has an added advantage of creating brand loyalty. For example, Strarbucks successful media presence has helped the company in sharing experience with the customers and this has enabled the company to develop more customers across the platform. Nothing is exciting a customer than getting the experience of having a one-to-one communication with the company representatives.
Moreover, many customers with many responsibilities rarely find time to seek feedback on certain products using traditional methods such as premise visits (Mjema, 2002). These traditional methods offer fewer opportunities for such customers to get product reviews. Therefore, social media offers advantage on such aspects of products such as reviews, which provides a competitive advantage over the companies without social media presence.
The increased costs of living means companies who wish to remain competitive must improve product quality with relatively competitive market prices. In order to create such a value, many companies must cut costs of its production, distribution and other marketing processes such as advertising. Marketing process forms on of the key aspects of strategic plans for any organization, yet it consumes substantial amounts of investments. In addition, most advertisements can reach the unintended audience, yet substantial investments have been used. For example, a mortgage advertisement targeted at real estate developers through the radio may reach college students. However, the use of social media increases the ability of a company to reach the potential and indented customers at virtually no cost. The presence of social media platform offers an opportunity from which a company can cut such costs.
Although there are sponsored organization posts within the social media, social media acts as a tool for market research (Ribarsky, Xiaoyu Wang, & Dou, 2014). According to the author, most organizations employ the social media as a platform for conducting customer analytics. For instance, an organization that intends to introduce a product in the market may introduce it through its social media account. In doing so, the organization will receive views and suggestions about such a product from its customers and potential customers. Such views and suggestions would otherwise cost a lot of money if the test marketing were to be carried out. Moreover, the production units can use such views to tailor its products to meet specific customer demands. This offers the company an opportunity to meet the changing consumer preferences, thus offering it a competitive advantage in the market.
The other way in which the social media has been employed by businesses to create a competitive advantage is use of blogs. A company that regularly makes expert posts on its blogs convey the message of being the best in the industry. Such a strategy is likely to attract new customers as well as retaining the existing ones through creation of a differentiation from the competitors (Ribarsky, Xiaoyu Wang, & Dou, 2014). Actually, the use of social media offers a number of advantages, which when exploited well can provide a powerful competitive edge over competitors in the market. It even can be used to attract the best talent in the market. It is such powerful tools that it has seen many organizations across all the industries adopt the social media as a medium of communication and creating competitive advantage.