Business is considered as one of the activity that is done in order to make money and provides better goods and services. Thus, it is an action that is performed so as to gain more benefits (Schmidt and Cohen, 2013). Therefore, if any company want to operate their business in an effective manner than they must consider the future so that appropriate strategies can be made. The organisation that is taken in this assignment is Vodafone and it is a renowned company that provides telecommunication connection in various places. This essay will includes the importance of social media so as to gain competitive advantage in business. Other than this, key social media platforms for having effective marketing tools for business in United Kingdom.
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1a Social media as a core competence for competitive advantage in business
Social media is determine as a computer mediated tool that is used for sharing information, thoughts, ideas with different peoples so as to make them aware about any information. In this current market scenario there are various tools and technology that are present like Facebook, YouTube and many more. In context with Vodafone these social media is giving competitive advantage to the organisation as they are using these platforms for promoting their plans and company which they are providing (Zott, Amit and Massa, 2011). It is used by this firm so as to make a public relation with customers as social media is a platform that is used for spreading information. For example: Vodafone is using social media on a regular basis in order to announce their new products and schemes which they are going to launch. They are announcing about their plans through this medium and it helping them in doing the same. Other than this, company is optimising these for the activities like sales and marketing.
Social media gives power to buyers as they can avail the services without stepping out of their houses. For gaining competitive advancement Vodafone is using appropriate resources that are available to them and this helping them in giving tough fight to their rival companies. This company is a renowned telecommunication organisation and is a leading firm in United Kingdom (Gibson, 2011). Therefore, competitive advancement mainly depends upon three major factors i.e. durability: this is a period in which competitive advancement is sustained for a certain period of time. Transferability: In terms of resource, more complex procedure is to transfer their sustainability according to competitive advancement. Replicability: under this the products are not duplicated and purchased from the market. Social media help the company in enhancing the performance of the firm so that they can enhance the brand image of the organisation.
Core Competency is activity that is used to perform and creating strategies which they can apply for gaining and increasing profitability. Some of the elements that are need to be considered by Vodafone for making appropriate plan of action like resources: company should optimise adequate resources in limited quantity so that they can make appropriate products without wasting (Xi and et. al., 2015). This will enhance the brand image and reputation of the organisation in front of their customers. Capabilities: Every company must make sure that they know about their capabilities in order to manufacture the product and bring them in market for competition. By giving unique products it will give competitive advancement to the company. Apart form this, company must produce goods that are relevant and according to the current market situation.
To justify this answer, an example can be taken from the company of travel and tourism i.e. Trailfinders, as they are using social media platform for make their customers aware about the offers that they are providing. For this, company is taking innovative and unique steps so as to attract more and more customers towards their organisation. Other than this they are positing their advertisement in social media like YouTube. For example: As United Kingdom is a very fascinating place and there are lots of attractive destination that grab attention of maximum number of people, Trailfinders, in their short video are including top most places of United Kingdom along with the services and facilities that they are providing, this is influence a large number of people and pulling their attention so that they can come and visit those places (Daniel, Cano and Cervera, 2015).
1b Key social media platforms as effective internet market tools for businesses in United Kingdom
According to the current scenario, social media has become one of the essential tool for promoting any company as it is the medium which is used by most of the people and find it appropriate in transferring information. Business firms use social media platforms in order to connect with customers and partner companies as well. Through this now people can easily share videos, information, photos, videos etc., form one place to another without any problem. Therefore an increase in social media usage has been increased in past one year and it has raised to 90 percent. Vodafone is using various social media platforms for promoting their activities (Gerbaudo, 2018).
Facebook in recent times is considered as a powerful social media as three fourth population are using this platform for sharing their events that are happening on a regular basis. Vodafone is having around 17.9 million subscribers and is the third largest communication company in United Kingdom. They are using Facebook platform for interacting with customers and delivering the related information about the schemes and ideas they want to give to their customers. Apart from this, it is providing them feedbacks about the services that they are providing to its customers whether in a negative or positive form. If customers are having any queries than they can straight forwardly ask them about the problems and team of Vodafone tries to resolve the problem in quick time.
Twitter is one of the leading platform of social media and this is used for transferring information to maximum number of people. Vodafone has approximately 11.8 million followers on Twitter, company is using this medium so as to communicate with their clients in order to resolve their issues and queries (Couldry, 2012). They can re-tweet their messages and tell them about solutions regarding the problems. Other than this, firm is using Twitter for offering e-coupons to its clients so that it can be shared with other people as well. Vodafone is also offering gift vouchers like coffee mug to its regular follower in Twitter so as to sustain the loyalty of its clients for a longer period of time.
Therefore, most of the organisation is using this social media platform for promoting the their activities so that they can avail their best possible services in order to gain maximum benefits. These social media tools are helping them in interacting with consumers in an effective manner. Vodafone has created their own websites on which they are putting related information from which customers can get the knowledge about the latest schemes that have been provided by them. Other than this, there are other social media platforms ion which they company are using for explaining the exited offers of the products and commodities as well (Tufekci and Wilson, 2012).
2a Analysis of impact of social media on the profit margin of Amazon in last three years
Social media is according to the recent times is dynamic in nature and it has become one of the revolutionary element as after coming of this it has made life easier and now people can interact with one another from anywhere in the world. It has some positive and some negative implications on the behaviour of person as it depends upon the situations. Business enterprise use social media for interacting with their business partners and customers in order to explain them about the related schemes and providing information. With the help of improved technologies communicating with each other has become more easier thus, social media is helping them in doing so. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and many other sites are optimised by most of the companies for promoting their activities as it provides self-expression and creating their own outlet (De Vries, Gensler and Leeflang, 2012).
Profit margin is a concept that represent the details about revenues in percentage form so that company can evaluate the profit that was gained after accounting the fixed and variable cost. Therefore, it is mostly used in order to compare the internal comparison because the different industries and their profit margin may differ from one another. If the organisation gain a narrow profit margin than it shows an increased volatile earnings.
Amazon is a leading company that provides online services with the help of cloud computing. Its a online shopping site and around 566,000 number of people are working in this organisation. According to the fourth quarter result that was published on February 1, says that an increase of 30 percent has been seen due to which $60.5 billion of revenues has raised in the quarter. Therefore, Amazon has managed to enhance their profitability upto 70 percent. Company provides all possible services to its customers in terms of food, grocery items, electronics and many more.
As per the profit margin in context with Amazon of past three years the company growth rate was low i.e. -1.50 percent and between the period of 2014 to 2015 it diminishes and it came to -2.12 percent in September 2014 but after giving their commercials and ads in social media an increase in the growth sales and productivity has been seen because now people are more conscious about the products that are being soled by the organisation. In the month of June in the year 2016, profit margin was raised upto 2.86 percent that was a great as compared to previous years (Kim and Ko, 2012). Therefore, in current year the profit margin growth that was recorded was 3.19 percent which is higher than all the data that are recorded in a particular year.
Henceforth, it can be seen that Amazon has gained profit in their 11 straight quarters and social media has become the greater contributor in the business operations. They have influenced an individuals to go through the products which they are offering. It is gradually increasing their sales and profitability in a specific time period. Apart form this, they are giving seasonal discount coupons on popular holidays and events. This is assisting them in attracting more and more people towards their company.
2b Social media and its implication for business in next five years
Social media is considered as one of the important factor that is providing benefits to people by giving them facilities for communicating with each other. It is determined as a web based technology it can be further classified into paper based and electronic media former includes newspapers, magazines etc., whereas latter one involves TV broadcasting, products that are related to frequency. Although it provides maximum benefits but social media is putting a great impact on today's generation. It is affecting their health and because of this it is creating a negative impact on mental and emotional health (Lovejoy and Saxton, 2012).
According to the current market situation enterprise is operating their business as it is helping them in having a proper interaction between partners and other companies as well. Therefore, social media has changed the entire world around them and in context with business it will change the entire concept of interaction. There are some of the elements that must be considered as it is providing maximum benefits in coming five years. Social media has made the world smaller and now people can contact with anybody across the borders and zones. It will help them in boosting the local bonds between each other so that they can gain maximum profits. In next five years they will empower ordinary people and they will be able to operate their business in an effective manner as this will assist them in sharing their views and thoughts easily so as to influence large number of people and stakeholders who can invest their money in order to get maximum profits.
Inbound and permission marketing will be very useful in coming five years as this will enable them in providing adequate information to its customers so that they can grab the attention of maximum number of people. For this, they the elements that will be appropriate are direct mail, telemarketing or print advertising and many more. Market of global consumer will expand because of which company will get a vast area for selling out their products as a result an increase in sales and profitability can be seen (Laroche, Habibi and Richard, 2013).
Although social media is providing maximum benefits but they have some of the implications because of which companies are facing problems in dealing with complications that arise in business activities. Example can be taken form the recent situations that happened during the elections in November 8, 2018. Donald Trump won the election because they were having personal details of individuals that was leaked by Facebook. It assist them in providing services as per the facilities that are required by citizen of that nation. Therefore, social media is very good in relation with communicating with others but have some loopholes.
Henceforth, in next five years eMarketer projects will be doubled by 32.7 percent and till that time nearly 2.44 billion people will be using social networking sites. Thus, it will be easier for companies in sharing their information in a proper manner. The biggest implication of social media is that personal details will be no longer secure because of which the confidential data may leak. Ideas can be pirated because for example: if a company wants to implement any new and creative changes in business, that through social media there is a chance that the concept is adopted by any other organisation. To secure this, company must use cloud computing as it will provide some sort of securities to the organisation (Schmidt and Cohen, 2013). Therefore, company must hire technicians who can help them in securing their entire web server so that they no personal or business details can be hacked.
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From the above report it has been concluded that, to operate a business it is necessary that all the factors must be considered so that they can attain competitive advancement. Social media so one of the important tool that is helping most of the organisation in promoting their activities. It is providing them a platform for sharing the information in an adequate manner. Therefore, it is providing some of the benefits but it in some cases social media is acting as a barrier. Other than this, social media is helping the organisation in increasing their profit margin as they are enabling them in promoting their activities in an effective manner. For this, there are mainly two key social media elements i.e. Facebook and Twitter that is helping the company in expanding the business in an effective way.
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