Consumer led is the response of companies to the needs and desires of consumers in market. On the basis of consumer preferences companies produce products. They produce those products more which are buy and loved by clients more (Couldry, 2012). Companies are using social media for fulfilling demands of their clients by providing them easy and simple access (Patino, Pitta and Quinones, 2012). This present study consists of strengths and weaknesses of social media along with the opportunities firms get to attract their customers. For explaining communication tools of blogs, brand Debenhams is considered. IN the end, complete report is concluded in the form of summary with the key findings.
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Introduction of Social Media
In today’s scenario, social media is considered to be one of the top-notch computer mediated tool which are used by people and companies to share information, videos, ideas and pictures in virtual world by the help of internet network. Social media are different from industrial media in various forms which includes quality, reach, usability, immediacy, etc (Patino, Pitta and Quinones, 2012).
Along with this, it has many forms of technologies such as blogs, business networks, social networks, social gaming, forums, etc which helps organisations in interacting with customers and fulfilling their demands by providing them information about company's services and products. They can get information regarding offline users by using mobile social media applications.
Companies get all details of customers related to their activities on their sites such as exact time of user when he open site, enter an outlet, close site and other activities doe by him during access of site (O'Keeffe and Clarke-Pearson, 2011). These technologies provide firms opportunities to develop strong and loyal relations with customers, to promote and advertise their products in better way, etc. There are different social media monitoring tools available in market which helps organisations in searching, tracking and analysing the conversations takes place on web related to their products, brands, services and other topics of interest. This information helps organisations in analysing their market positions, customers review towards their services or products etc. People are preferring social media for getting news rather than reading newspapers or watching televisions. According to a study it is found that three-fourth people get news from e-mail or social media sites. Social media has changed the world in such a fast speed that people could never have thought before. It is being used by people and companies to shape world's culture and other features. It has accelerated the rate of information sharing, relation developing and influencing individuals (Gerbaudo, 2012).
Social media has got many features. It is only account of the mentioned features that these can be applied anywhere and to a given type of user interface. The first features the presence of a simple interface. It is on account of using colour scheme and graphics that is quite simple (Patino, Pitta and Quinones, 2012).
The colour usually used in this context id few and has a presence of slight monochromatic variations. In the same way, there is also a feature of Good search functionality which is a must on account of vastly available information on the net. However it is also true that search options have got a presence of multiple dimensions in terms of traditional content search, social applications. Some of the social media have further got buttons and links that should be placed on every page. The links are crucial so as to navigate to other areas (O'Keeffe and Clarke-Pearson, 2011). On the other hand, it may further let the user adjust with a specific application functions. In the same way social media further allows for providing a meaningful organization and presentation of information so as to make the content readable. It can further ensure that users are able to properly scan as well as perceive the content in the best possible manner. In the same way, a good social media site is the one that treat text as a form of content. In this regard, the content can be regarded as a huge text block which has an incorporation of subtle variations of text colour, font size as well as background. In the same manner, the links to presentation further makes sure that the user is able to have content more accessible. Other than this, web forms as well as site can be regarded as one of the most crucial element of social media. These have been used in everything starting from sign up to search, posting a reply as well as adding some content.
Strength and weaknesses and challenges and benefits of social media
Understanding the Strengths, weaknesses challenges and benefits of social media is of huge importance so as to make them more user friendly. They can further assist the researcher to enhance the knowledge in this area. Hence, these have been described in the points given below.
- People can share and discuss their ideas, thoughts, ask questions, queries, etc easily.
- It has facilitated open communication and transparency among the people and organisations.
- Proper utilisation of resources and manpower with effective time management and communication which leads to better management.
- It has provided a opportunity to expand the business at global level and to influence global audience (Filonchuk, 2013).
- It is difficult to maintain and manage social media campaign
- There is lack of tools for tracking and monitoring the outcomes of social media campaign
- Use of social media for marketing, advertising and promoting products or services is a time consuming process (Lebar and Blackston, 2015).
- It has negative effect on employees performance as they waste their time in using social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
- It is affecting the health of individuals both mentally and physically (Patino, Pitta and Quinones, 2012).
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The benefits and challenges of social media are explained below.
- Companies can do utilise social media sites for promotion, discounts and special offers for attracting customers of diversified field.
- It provides firms the opportunity of partnership with publisher or advertiser.
- Provide benefits of joining online presence where firm's are not exist in current scenario (O'Keeffe and Clarke-Pearson, 2011).
- It has provides new targets and niche markets to organisations which are broached (Braun, 2013).
- It has increase cyber-crimes such as hacking, phishing, clickjacking, spam, etc.
- Integration of social media into the complete organisation is a challenging task (Ting and Lim, 2012).
- Companies face challenges in discovering the right tool for managing and mentoring social media activities (Hutchins, 2015).
Two existing communication tools for Debenhams brand
Owing its existence to UK, Debenhams is a public limited firm operating in a department store format. This has expanded itself across the globe and has franchise stores. Use of communication tools by Debenhams for attracting people are explained below.
Internet and social media have provided companies new way to interact with their customers and to attract them towards the products and services. Debenham has also developed its online shopping website for increasing its number of customers and profitability (Ting and Lim, 2012). It has categorised whole website according to the customer type, choice and interest. Company can communicate with global customers in more effective ad proper manner. Various tools and applications helps company in tracking and analysing the customer activities for knowing customer's perception and views related to the products and brands (Househ, Borycki and Kushniruk, 2014). They provide attractive discounts and offers for attracting people and also deliver their services effectively to increase its preference among customers (Byrne, Holmes and Rowley, 2013).
The concept of Visual merchandising is all about making sure that there is a use of displays in such a manner so that the sales can be maximized. The goods or services should be displayed in such a manner so as to highlight the overall features and benefits.
This is an activity and profession for creating distinct image of brand which helps in attracting people and maximizing sales. Debanhams display its products of various designers to highlight their features and benefits. These display of products attracts, engage and motivates customers to buy them (Zeng, Hall and Pitts, 2012). Company picks products for display according to the culture, season, trends and consumer behaviour which inspire customers to purchase them. This gives company an opportunity to interact with people to understand their perception and choices. By treating customers well and offering them special services company satisfy customer needs (What is visual Merchandising. 2013).
Integration of Shopping Lovers with communication tool of Debanhams
Shopping lovers is a blog related to the garments and accessories which provide people information related to the various brands of various products such as handbags, shoes, clothes and other accessories. It is one of the popular blog which updates people about latest trends, various styles and fashion and guide them to follow the trend which suits them best. This blog provides information of unisex garments and accessories to people who love shopping for making their shopping enjoyable and interesting (Shopping Lovers. 2015).
This blog can interact with Debanhams through providing information related to the products and services of Debanhams so that people give it a trial. It can also add review of customers towards brands which helps in communicating them right message related to quality and price of products. With its information, blog can also give the link of website so that people can easily access it for their use (Ting and Lim, 2012). It can also upload pictures and videos of product displays and stores for communicating people in effective manner. By adding information of designers, their designs, various brands used by Debanhams they can motivate people to choose them. Shopping Lovers can create one full page for Debanhams with its news, new trends, upcoming trends, etc which aware users about the brand image and reputation (Hansen, Jaeger and Bertot, 2012).
Gap Debanhams have and why they choose Shopping Lovers for their brand
There are some problems and gap in communication tools of Debanhams which make it to choose Shopping Lovers blog to increase its market value and number of customers. At the website of Debanhams, even after cancelling of products they do not flag out of stock items which create problem for customers. It is not fixed that customer will get email notification on ordering or cancelling of any order which confuses customers. Sometimes customers do not get the same product they order which dissatisfies them and make them not to order products from this website.These all issues related to the shopping website of brand is decreasing the number of customers as it is unable to provide them quality services which people are expecting to it. Due to these reasons Debanhams needs to choose Shopping Lover blog so that it can influence people from its trendy, attractive and loving designs (Thadani and Cheung, 2012). By using blog, it can provide various information to the customers and can solve their queries and issues by replying them and explaining them the changes they apply in their products and services as per people demands. By integrating with the blog, brand can upload images and videos of its stores for informing people about new trends and outlets. This blog will work as bridge for Debanhams and its customers and leads to make a good image of brand among them (Debenhams' delivery service throws in the towel. 2015).
Social media has changed the scenario of world totally and give it a new picture. It has brought lots of opportunities and challenges for the organisations and people. Now a days, companies are using it for their growth and success by satisfying their customers. They are interacting and communicating with people in more effective and proper way for knowing their perception and demands. Debanhams is one of the popular brand of UK which has its own shopping website but due to some issues people are moving away from it. For influencing and attracting people it can use Shopping Lovers blog and can able to know the reviews of customers towards it. These reviews and thoughts helps brand in bringing appropriate change.
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