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Social Media For Entrepreneurs

Web And Social Media In Promotion Of Start-ups

Introduction Of Social Media For Entrepreneurs

Giving start-up to a business is not an easy task, entrepreneur need to make lots of effort to give a successful start-up (Poulter, 2013). There are several requirements and has to be fulfilled before starting the business. Even after having good quality product, best price and awesome product range many startup fails due to lack or promotion or choosing a wrong way of communication. The level of competition is higher in current business world and thus, selection of an appropriate source of promotion can provide an edge over the competitors.Interest has become one of the most favorite chooses of young entrepreneurs for promoting their businesses startups. This present research is going to assess the role of web and social media in promotion of business startups by young entrepreneurs.

In current comparative world where several businesses are taking place on daily basis the need of promotion for startup is vital. Through selecting an effective source, entrepreneur can not only introduce its products to target customers but can also identify their needs. Thus, entrepreneurs always look for such communication sources from where they can easily promote their business and give a good start up to it. There are several ways but as the new generation is much familiar with internet, it seems to be the best choice for promoters (Toronto Newcomer Strategy. 2012). Before a few years ago use of internet was limited but with increasing interest of new generation, number of internet users also increased dramatically. According to Internet World State that in last 10 years the number of internet users has been increased by more than 500% (Internet World States, 2012). The most common reason behind this boom is quickly developing technology and its features. These technological developments have completely changed the business process starting from promotion to till after sales services.

Social networking sites are one of the most favorite features of internet. The popularity of social networking sites in young generation can be identified by the fact that 98% of people aged 18-24 years using social some social networking site (Bosari, 2012). It has been stated by many recent scholars of marketing that an organization can get the attention of more people on internet compared to TV ads which are the most successful source of promotion till now. There is no doubt that internet and social networking sites are excellent sources for promotion but there are some drawbacks too. So while selecting one of these sources some basic considerations must be given by entrepreneur towards its target customer and nature of business.

As young generation is so interested in internet and social networking sites plays curtail role in promotion so young entrepreneurs are vastly using these sites for promotion of their start-up. Due to the interest of young entrepreneurs in internet the average return on email marketing investment is increased to $44.25 for every dollar spend. On the other hand it is also true that 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales due to lack of lead nurturing (Moreno, 2013). Thus, selection of best possible way is veryimportant. This present study is going to analyze that how young entrepreneurs are using web and social networking sites to promote their start-up.

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Structure of the research

This research will be completed into five different chapters that are as follow:

Chapter 1: Introduction: This part is going to present the overview. At the same time, this part will also define the focus and purpose. Other subparts of introduction will indicate the research questions, framework of analysis and its potential significance.

Chapter 2: Literature Review: Literature review provides a base to study as without assessing the background of topic it is not possible to start a research. It will be the second part of this study and will provide the comprehensive knowledge about the topic by assessing the views of different scholars and their studies.

Chapter 3: Research Methodology: This part will define all the tools and techniques that will be used for collection of data and their assessment. It includes research tools like research approach, sampling strategy, method, design, data collection, etc.

Chapter 4: Data Analysis: It will be the most important part of this research and will provide the assessment of collected data.

Chapter 5: Conclusion and recommendations: The final part of report will provide summary of entire research with major findings. Sub part of this chapter is recommendation that will provide suggestions based on this study.

Focus and Purpose

It is the aim of research that motivate researcher to undertake study and without any aim a research is just trackless. As stated in overview that web and social networking sites are vastly being used by young entrepreneurs to promote their startup, this report is going explore the way they use these sources. The aim of this present research is to access how web and social media is used by young entrepreneurs to promote their business start-ups. The objectives of this research are as follow:

  • To assess the uses of web and social media being taken by young entrepreneurs for promoting their business start-ups
  • To evaluate the implementation of web and social media for promotion of startups by young entrepreneurs
  • To identify the pros and cons of web and social media in promotion of startups

Framework of Analysis

This part is going to present a summary of how entire research conducted. Both primary and secondary data will be used for this research. The primary data will be collected through interview of 8 entrepreneurs who are using web and social media for promotion of their business startups. During the interview their view will be recorded and analyzed by using thematic analysis. Thematic analysis is most common and well-known technique to anise qualitative data (Noble and Adjei, 2010). Several the themes will be formulated and collected data will be analyzed. The required secondary data will be collected from different sources such as books, journals, internet and newspapers. It will be qualitative research and samples will be selected by systematic random sampling. Through systematic random sampling those young promoters will be selected who are suing web and social media services to promote their business startups.

Potential Significance

This research will be based on several aspects of marketing. It will also describe the role of information technology in current business scenario. Thus, the use of this research is not limited with students but it can also be used by business professionals. This research will provide comprehensive understanding of how young entrepreneurs are using web and social media to their startups and it can be used for academic as well as professional purposes. Students will be able to identify the some of the best ways that can be used for promotion of business startups. This information will also be useful for business professionals who seeking for such opportunities. Basically there is a huge scope of this research in academic as well as professional world.

Chapter 2 – Literature Review

This part of research is going to describe the background of different terms involved in study and views of different scholars about them. This assessment of views will provide a base for research and expand the knowledge of reader about research topic.

Young Entrepreneurs

In the words of Ranjan (2008) Entrepreneur is the individual who operates and organizes a new business entity with own financial and non-financial risks. It is always seen as innovator of new idea and business process. It is perceived by the entrepreneur that he would have strong management and team building abilities (Ranjan, 2008). Leadership, team building and management qualities are key requirements to a successful entrepreneur. On the other hand, in words of Kalyanam and Shelby (2002) Young entrepreneurs can be defined as young individuals who are operating and organizing their new business. The major difference between young and old entrepreneurs is regarding their though process. The old entrepreneurs were not so relied on technology like young (O’Keefe and McEachern, 1998). Young entrepreneurs are well aware about latest technology and their use in business practices. They have better understanding of trends being followed by current generation as they are a part of it. The key strength of young entrepreneurs is their knowledge about needs and trends of young generation. But on the other hand key limitation is regarding funding.

The study conducted by Robins, Pattison and Snijders, (2007) found that the individuals from young generation have strong desire to be good entrepreneurs but limitation of financial resources is major barrier for them. In most of the cases it is seen that young entrepreneurs could not perform their business operations effectively due to lack of finance. In order to survive it is must for new comer to have something innovative that can help in attracting customers (Verityand Robert,. 1994). The research conducted by Wilkinson (2007) defines that without a strong marketing strategy it is not possible for a new comer to survive in current market. By observing the current market situation it can be stated that marketing has become one of most important requirements for businesses and especially for new comers (Cummings and Daellenbach, 2009).

Several challenges are being faced by the young entrepreneurs in current business environment. The very first challenge for them is regarding increasing competition in market. Several participants are entering into market on daily basis with their innovative business concepts and customer attracting schemes (Suzan and Fong, 2006). Another challenge for young entrepreneurs is regarding tight economic conditions. In current tight economic situations young entrepreneurs have to survive for getting the required finance for business. Getting finance for the business is one of the biggest challenges for young entrepreneurs as they don't have a credit history or assets that can used by them for security (Wilson and Laskey, 2003).

Different ways of promotion through web and social media that are being used by young entrepreneurs

Internet provides different ways for entrepreneurs to promote their startups. Websites, popup ads, posting on social networking sites and e-mailing are just few of them.

1. Set up own website: Setting up a website before launch has become a trend these days. By doing so, entrepreneur catches the attention of people. It includes the information regarding business, its location, products and other services that will be offered. It is one of the key tasks that are completed by young entrepreneurs before starting their business. Many entrepreneurs use these websites link for advertising their business (Suzanand Fong, 2006). Young entrepreneurs like their website tohave easily navigated layouts, be free of junk or unhelpful things and be filled with useful and interesting information so that it can make a positive impression on visitors (Ducoffe, 1996). But setting up own website is costly and it requires yearly registration.

2. Pay per click advertising: Another most famous web based sources of promotion is pay per click ads that is vastly being sued by new entrepreneurs. The online promotion has large reach and by using pay per click advertising entrepreneurs are promoting their startups (Robert and Bickart, 2001). While using pay per click they have to pay only when someone click on their ad so it is cheaper way of promotion. Many people play online games or do other activities; such kind of ads appears in their sidebars (Brackettand Benjamin, 2001). By using this facility entrepreneurs can also target those users who are using internet on their Smartphone. But at the same time such ads make negative impacts too as people get irritated from them.

3. YouTube Promotion: YouTube is one of the vastly used websites and by uploading an innovative video business person can promote its startup. There is huge number of internet users who visit YouTube on daily basis and by putting many links from sorts of topics entrepreneur can show its video to them (Robins, Pattison and Snijders, 2007). Uploading a video on YouTube is free and thus it is one of the most favorite ways of promotion through internet.

4. Participation in forums and blogs: Online forums and blogs are online discussion sites where people share their views about a specific topic. Many young entrepreneurs are using blogs and forums to promote their startup (Lee and Choi, 2003). They show themselves as an expert and as someone who genuinely wants to help resolve people's problems, it attract people and motivate them to participate in their forums. People also like to share their views on such pages and that provide important information to entrepreneurs (Arnett and Liu, 2000). So basically, online forums and blogs not only help them in promoting their startups but also provide curtail information like consorters view about their upcoming business.

5. E-mailing: There are 1.9 billion e-mail users in world and this number is expected to be increased to 2.5 billion till 2014. This figure indicates the scope for entrepreneurs to promote their startup through e-mailing. Many young entrepreneurs are using this trick of promotion. They collect email addresses and send them messages including information regarding their startup (Wyner, 2000). They don’t require making any kind of payment for it so the popularity of this source is higher. But there is a dark side too; most of such mails are transferred into junk either by user or security of email server.

6. Facebook: There are around 1.11 billion facebook users and 665 million of them are daily active users. From this data, the popularity of facebook can be predicted. There are around 2 billion businesses that are using facebook for their promotion purpose. This social networking site provides different faculties by young entrepreneurs are promoting their startups (Kahng and Jeong, 2006). They are creating their pages and attracting more and more members on them to visit it. As like blogs and forums the two way communication of facebook provides information too.

7. Search Marketing: it can also be stated as search engine marketing that includes the promotion of websites by increasing its visibility in search engine results pages through optimization and advertising. There are several search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, MSN, AOL, etc. these search engines are used by millions of people on daily basis to find a specific website on internet. Search engine optimization is used by this marketing that adjusts website content to achieve so that a higher ranking in search engine results pages can be achieved. By using this marketing, company can increase the rank of its website on internet so that its visibility can be increased and so as the visitors.

Role of web and social media in promotion of startups

The popularity of web and social media is so increased that at present every brand can be seen with their Facebook page and website (Amazing facebook statics, 2013). For organizations it is must to follow consumer trends to be touch of them and this is the reason why they are vastly focused towards marketing through online sources (Ranjan, 2008). Traditional ways of promotion like TV and magazines only provide one way communication where feedbacks of consumer are not invited on the other hand web and social media allow companies to invite feedbacks form potential customer (Smith, 2011). Thus the popularity of these sources is increasing day by day in marketing world. According to report of 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry report, 94% of businesses with a marketing department are using social media. This report also stated that 85% businesses who are using social media recorded increased marker exposure (Poulter, 2012). Facebook, twitter and Google+ has changed the scenario of marketing world (Chappell, 2011).

Web and social media are playing a crucial role in promotion of startups. By using these sources entrepreneurs are able to communicate with people, record their view and get valuable suggestions. These sources are providing a solid platform for entrepreneurs to attract the potential customers and create a solid base before starting the business. In current globalised world these sources provide a great opportunity to be in touch with a potential customer in another part of the world (Anderson, 2008).

The websites provide all the required information to potential customer and by using it entrepreneurs are able to show the uniqueness of their business that can provide them a competitive advance. In current technological world people are having an analytical though process. Their buying decision is based on several factors and popularity is one of them (Zwilling, 2012).

In order to survive in this competition and get attraction of more and more people selection of best possible way is vital (Poulter, 2013). Web provides the opportunity for entrepreneurs to communicate with their potential customers and solve their queries by using blogs and forums.

Hence it can be stated that in current scenario web and social media playing a crucial role in promotion of startup and young entrepreneurs are taking optimum use of these sources. Different facilities are provided by web and social networking sides. Where web allows entrepreneurs to create their website and communicate with them through blogs and forums, on the other hand social networking sites significantly increase the number of visitors (Fisher, 2010).

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Chapter 3 – Research Methodology

Introduction

In order to get desired outcomes it is must to sue an effective set of tools and techniques. Research methodology makes provide these tools and techniques that vastly contribute in getting best possible outcomes. It is must for the researcher to select tools with proper consideration as every tool has it importance and that plays significant role in research.It defines all those tools and techniques that are sued by researcher for collection of data and their analysis. There are several factors that can affect the quality of outcomes and research methodology is top one of them (Peterson, Sridharand Bart,1997).It is the part of study that provides required guidelines so that research work can be undertaken in most adequate manner. This part indicates research aims, objectives, questions, research approach, method, sampling strategy and technique, research validity and reliability, limitations, etc.

Research aim and objectives

It is the aim of research that motivate researcher to undertake study and without any aim a research is just trackless. As stated in overview that web and social networking sites are vastly being used by young entrepreneurs to promote their startup, this report is going explore the way they use these sources. The aim of this present research is to assess how web and social media is used by young entrepreneurs to promote their business start-ups. The objectives of this research are as follow:

  • To assess the uses of web and social media being taken by young entrepreneurs for promoting their business start-ups
  • To evaluate the implementation of web and social media for promotion of startups by young entrepreneurs
  • To identify the pros and cons of web and social media in promotion of startups

Research approach

There are two type of research approaches one is inductive and another is deductive. Deductive approach of research works from the more general to the more specific. It starts from a general theory then hypothesis is developed and confirmation is given after observation. It is also called top down approach due to starting from general theory and ending up with confirmation. On the other hand inductive approach is different it starts from observational and end with development of general theory (Smith, 2002).

Due to moving from specific observations to broader generalizations and theories, it is called bottom up approach. The conclusion of such research with such approach is likely based on premises.

This present report will also start form specific observation about how young entrepreneurs use web and special media to promote their start up and will end with development of generally expected theory about it. Thus, in this present research indicative approach will be used.

Research Limitations

Chances of some limitations are always there even after making all efforts. In this present research also there are some limitations (Brymanand Bell, 2011). First is about availability of secondary data. As this research is all about use of web and social media which are recent trends, so there are not so many studies have been conducted about it. Thus, investigator may have to survive while collecting the secondary data. Another limitation is about time consumption.

As arranging and conducting interviews is a long process and requires time to provide best outcomes. In such circumstances researcher may have to survive for completing the research on time. On the other side researcher must have proper knowledge of topic while analyzing the data. Thematic analysis is an effective process but researcher must have enough knowledge about subject of study or result may affect.

Chapter 4 – Data Analysis And Findings

Introduction

This is one the major part of research which includes collection of data and their analysis Data analysis is the process of analyzing collated information and deriving findings out of them. All the tools and techniques defined in part of research mythology are being used and both primary and secondary data is collected and inlayed. Due to deciding all the tools and techniques in advance it becomes issue for researcher to perform the task of data analysis. Primary data collection is a tough task which requires proper considerations. There are several factors that can affect the validity and reliability of research and most of them are linked with data analysis part (Schmid, 2005). In order to maintain the validity it is ensured that all the participants are well awarded from the aim of research and taking part in it with their own wish. It is also ensured that identity of participants is secured so that sharing of view does not make any impact on their personal as well as professional world.

Thematic Analysis

Thematic analysis is the most effective tool that is commonly used for analyzing qualitative data. The analysis through this technique can be divided into several sub parts. First of all researcher need to formulate proto themes,after that collected data is allocated accordingly. Once all data is allocated finally researcher need to crate final themes and analyses them.Each theme is analyzed in two different parts, first part includes the interpretation of theme and another one defies the finding from them. The headings of themes

1. Promotion through web and social media can vastly contribute in giving a good start to business.

When entrepreneurs were asked about the role of web and social media promotion in business startup, they all stated that it boosts promotional activities. 6 out of 8 respondents stated that in current competitive world promotion is not possible without using web or social media. Their views were very clear about this question and they all were having common thoughts about it. According to them in current technological world web and social media can be defined as the soul of promotional activities. On the other hand, Neha who owns a restaurant defined that for the frequent visits of the customers, it is must to have mouth or viral publicity rather than online promotion.
By analyzing their views it can be stated that in current competitive world when all organizations are looking for their popularity on internet it has become must for new entrepreneurs to take the help of web and social media. From their views it is founded that web and social media has become a vital part of promotional activity and it is must for young entrepreneurs to add it in their promotional strategy.

2. The process of online promotion starts with creation of own website.

When it was asked to young entrepreneurs that what the first step of online promotion was, 5 of them stated website. According to these 5 respondents creating own website and updating all the required information on that was first step for them towards online promotion. 2 of them stated that they directly started with e-mail marketing and 1 who owns a restaurant stated about blogging. According to the views of participants own active website becomes online identity of entrepreneur. It is also defined the enterpnreues that once their website is established that they use search marketing for increasing their search engine ranking. By doing so their website gets higher attention of people and it results as more visitors on that. Shweta from MAAL GAADI also defined about increasing the visibility of their website to get increased number of visitors.
From the views of participants it can be stated for most of the entrepreneurs having their own active website is very much important. For them the process of online promotion starts with creation of own website, where they can deliver all the information about the company. As the reliability of online sources is doubtful thus, an active website helps in attracting people. From their views it can be interpreted that an active website can help in increasing the reliability of people that is very much important for promotion. The respondents who stated e-mail marketing as first initiative defined that they had some strong leads that could be easily converted into sales. It can be interpreted that e-mail marketing is effective when most of information is already delivered to the customers and entrepreneur just need to make a remainder through it.

3. There are different ways to communicate with customers online.

From the recoded view of young entrepreneurs it is found that they used different ways to communicate with their customers. Some of them were very much interested in e-mail promotion. Others were favoring the social networking sites for the promoting their startup as use of social networking sites is increased now. The use of own website is commonly being made by them all. Along with this, pay per ads is also being sued by them as number of Smartphone users has also significantly increased. Five out if eight respondents showed their interest in social networking sites.
From the above discussion it can be interpreted that choice of promotional tolls changes according to trends in internet world. Initially online promotion started as e-mail communication. Then blogs became the major source of promotion and now social networking sites are more popular in marketing world. Thus it can be stated that it is the market trend that shapes promotional activities of young entrepreneurs.

4. There are several reasons behind using online promotion for business start-ups.

It is found form the recorded views that there are several reasons why young entrepreneurs are so much attracted towards social media marketing. The views of respondents are same to the facts found in literature review. As like literature review, 6 out of 8 respondents defined that they are using social networking sites as its users are increasing on daily basis. According to them the new generation is very much familiar with social networking sites and it is easy to target them through these sites. Other identified reason is lack of financial resources. According to 2 respondents, lack of the funding was key reason why they selected online promotion as it is a cheaper way compared to others.
From the above findings it can be interpreted that availability of largely target population and less funding requirements are two major reasons why young enterpnreues are so much attracted towards online promotion.

5. Promotion through web and social media is cost efficient compared to other traditional ways.

When promoters were asked about how promotion through web and social media is different from traditional sources, most of them defied about financial benefits. Five out of eight participants stated that with a very few cost they get access to large geographical area. If such a large area is covered by traditional ways than young entrepreneurs might be able to afford their costs. They also stated two way communications which is the key feature of promotion through web and social media. According to them these are the key reasons why young entrepreneurs are very much focused towards online promotion.

Chapter 5 – Conclusion And Recommendation

Conclusion

Thus, from the above study it is concluded that young entrepreneurs are taking optimum utilization of web and social media for their promotional purpose. They are using several ways like own website, emailing and social networking to be noticed by people. The two way communication of these sources not only helping in promoting startup but also providing valuable information, which can improve the chances of future succession.

In current scenario social networking sites have one of the most famous features based on internet. Along with individuals, companies are also taking best possible use of these features. As the number of internet users is increasing, entrepreneurs are getting good opportunities of promotion. The level of competition is on top and attracting people has become a major challenge for new comers. With increasing level of completion, companies have become very much conscious about their customers base and they always to retain them anyhow. In order to survive it is must for new comer to have something innovative that can help in attracting customers. So basically, it is the market competition that shaping the needs of startup promotion.

The need of marketing in current competitive environment is vital and it is very important for young entrepreneurs to use their financial resources in best possible way. Lack of finance is major challenge for enterpnreues and they have to manage their business operations with their limited funds. From the study it is found that there are two major reasons why enterpnreues are so much attracted towards online promotion. One is lack of finance and another is increasing target population. This study found that online marketing is quite cost effective compared to other traditional sources. On the other hand users of internet are frequently increasing, thus, it has become one of the best available options for young entrepreneurs.

By analyzing the views of young entrepreneurs it is found that combination of a well managed website and popularity on social networking sites is perfect set for getting a strong support for startup. From the views of participants it can be stated for most of the entrepreneurs having their own active website is very much important. For them the process of online promotion starts with creation of own website, where they can deliver all the information about the company. Once the link with potential customers is established then they take the help on e-mail marketing.

Recommendations

On the basis of above study, several recommendations can given to people who wishing to use web and social networking sites for promotion of their startup. Entrepreneurs are strongly recommended to give immediate feedbacks about the queries asked on web or social networking sites it can help in decreasing the effect of open criticism. It is also recommended to entrepreneurs to continue the conversation.

By being in regular touch of people, entrepreneurs can get more and more visitors on their website or social networking page. Entrepreneurs should take maximum use of visual effects as it attracts more people. Entrepreneurs must use a checklist to manage its different ways of online promotion. Entrepreneurs must ensure that their messages change randomly, as a different quote can help in getting attracting of people. Keep your massage simple and add the link to get more information. Keep the website clear and full of interesting information.

Keep all the ways linked to each other like sharing the link of blog or social site page on website, placing a link of website on social networking page, etc. In current competitive environment there are several companies offering same kind of products or services and in order to beat them young entrepreneurs should use search marketing. Through using this marketing, young entrepreneurs can increase the online presence of their company and can get increased visitors on their website.

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