Impact of Social Media as a Business Promotion Instrument – Term Paper


1. Research Title:  

 Impact of social media promotion: A case study of Kowloon Motor Bus Company

2. Research Aim:

 Kowloon Motor Bus has adopted social media use in its operations.  With the widespread adoption of technology, firms have no choice but to embrace the technology craze if they wish to remain relevant in the market. The arrival of technological has brought up social media which has been widely adopted by firms as a new communication tool used for obtaining information regarding customer needs and new market information and trends. Previous research indicates that the use of social media in businesses is closely linked to product innovation. Disgruntled employees resort to using social media platforms to express their frustrations at firms that offer substandard services. In so doing, social media platforms can be used as a way of measuring customer satisfaction and coming up with rapid solutions to address this unfairness. Niznikiewicz (2013) given that increased consumer interactions now take place on social media platforms, it is imperative that companies should come up with appropriate strategies to increase their social media presence so as to provide real-time response to customer queries and dissatisfaction, failure to which can lead to a tainted reputation. This is especially true for service companies that should ensure that the needs of their customers are addressed on time. This research paper seeks to determine why a transport company, Kowloon Motor Bus, would choose to incorporate social media into its operations.

3. Research Objectives (between 2 and 4):

 – To explore the impact of social media on the business operations

– To study communication strategy in managing the impact of social media

– To investigate the case of KMB in handling social media crisis

4. Key Literature; Models & Theories (the Theoretical/Conceptual Framework):

 Corcoran et al. (2009) claimed that “Brands aim to adapt to social media world”,that illustrates widespread adoption of social media by firms in the United States. According to them, low to high brands have embraced social media to foster interactions with their clients, boost its sales volumes and strengthen the brand image. Companies are now building relationships with their customers through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Youtube as well as creating reviews of different company products. Dutta (2010) find that on Social media is slowly changing the business environment and changing the way business leaders are perceived. However, corporate have a commanding social media presence because of several reasons: they provide a low-cost platform through which communication can be handled and create a sense of identity within and outside the entity (Schneider, 2014). They also allow for rapid engagement with peers, customers, and the general public so as to build relationships.

 Aula (2010) elaborated on the dangers and risks that social media pose to the reputation of business. Negative publicity generated by a company can easily spread through social media platforms and tint the image of a company. Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram are common and popular social media platforms through which negative publicity related to a company can easily and rapidly be spread.

 Gunderson (2014) social media    platforms are not just for social interaction but can be used as a recruitment tool for companies as well. Companies which have a presence on such platforms as LinkedIn post their portfolio which can easily be accessed by potential employees who might have an interest in working for the firm. As such, firms that do not embrace social media end up losing out on qualified employees. So what really defines social media?

 Kietzmann et al. (2011) gives seven features that characterize social media: the ability to share information in the form of messages, audio and video, ability to create groups, reputation, ability to build relationships, identity, presence, and conversations. Such are the building blocks that make up social media, and the different blocks can be used by a firm to their own advantage. Customers have expectations with regards to how service companies ought to address their issues and as such, the companies should offer a speedy and quality response.

5. Research Methodology:

 The case study will be conducted using secondary data obtained from customer reviews obtained online from different websites, library resources. Information from different journals articles, websites, annual reports. The target population for the study will be people using social media, and one point has access to the website and shared the information. The secondary data that will be obtained for the purpose of the study will entail a lot of confidentiality and privacy, therefore information disseminated by a social media user will not bridge any ethical issue.

6. Time Line of Dissertation

 Initial research – Jul., 2016

Finalize research objectives – Aug., 2016

Draft research proposal – Sep., 2016

Literature review – Oct., 2016

Research design – Jan., 2017

Data collection and analysis – Apr., 2017

Conclusion – July., 2017

7. Reference List (7)

 Aula, P. (2010). Social media, reputation risk and ambient publicity management. [online] ResearchGate.

Corcoran, Cate T.; Feugere, Stephane, c. (2009). Brands Aim To Adapt To Social Media World. [online]

Available at: [Accessed 20 Aug. 2016].

 Dutta, S. (2010). Managing Yourself: What’s Your Personal Social Media Strategy?. [online] Harvard Business Review.

Available at: [Accessed 27 Aug. 2016]

 Kietzmann, J., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I. and Silvestre, B. (2011). Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Business Horizons, 54(3), pp.241-251.

 Kristin Gunderson, H. (2014). “Finders Keepers: Social Media Strategies Help Find Top Talent” by Hunt, Kristin Gunderson – Journal of Property Management, Vol. 75, Issue 6, November-December 2010 | Online Research Library: Questia. [online]

Available at: [Accessed 1 Sep. 2016].

 Niznikiewicz, M. (2013). The building blocks of social communication. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 9(4), pp.173-183.

 Schneider, M. (2014). How Well Do Top Bus Companies Practice Social Customer Service?. [online] Social Media Today.

Available at: [Accessed 8 Sep. 2016].

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