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Interpersonal Communication And Conflict Negotiation: Social Media

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Question:

Discuss about the Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Negotiation for Social Media.

 

Answer:

Introduction

The research essay discusses the impact of social media on the modern business communication. The essay discusses the changes in the business communication strategies over the past twenty years and the challenges that the modern businesses face. Here the case study of Toyota is considered in order to understand the changes in the business communication. The essay describes how the company recovered itself after a crisis with the help of social media.

 

Social media refers to the technology that helps in the creation and sharing of the ideas and information. Social media is a collection of various online communication channels that helps the community to interact with each other and share ideas. Nowadays, social media has become marketing platforms for the businesses where they can get information about the customers as well as increase their brand awareness (Tuten and Solomon 2014). The importance of social media is increasing day by day as it serves as a platform to build relationships with the customers. Social media enables the businesses to advertise their products and services in a more effective manner. Communication has become a fundamental part of businesses as it enables the stakeholders to know all the essential details about the business. It also helps the customers to know about the various offerings of the businesses and its importance in their lives. Internal communication within an organization is also very important in order to ensure proper functioning of the business operations (Hudson et al. 2016). The various social networking sites such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter are gaining popularity as they are helping all the big and small businesses in making people aware of their brand.

The business world has undergone a massive change over the past twenty years.  With the advancement of technology, there has been huge changes in the business communication strategies. Around twenty years back, with the introduction of internet the social media websites gained popularity. Companies like Facebook, Google and Aamzon emerged as commercial hubs in the digital world. Nowadays, social media marketing is gaining so much popularity because researches have shown that around 43% of the people aged between 20 to 29 spend more than 10 hours a week on the social media sites. It has been stated that around 94% of businesses use social media for their marketing strategy (Forbes.com 2017). Social media helps the businesses to connect with a large number of customers at a time. Social media helps the businesses to develop a loyal and strong customer base due to the presence of personal touch. Social media also helps in increasing the visibility of the products and services of the businesses in the market place. Social media creates large amount of customer data in real time, which helps the businesses to find their target audience and approach them accordingly. Personal contact with the customers over the social networking sites helps the businesses to increase their brand loyalty as well as retain the customers for a longer duration. The major advantage of social media marketing is that the social media advertisements are inexpensive method of promoting one’s business and disseminating important information (Turban, Strauss and Lai 2016). For example, advertisements on facebook can be based on specific location, demography and connections. The performance of the advertisements on social media can be easily tracked in real time.

 


Apart from the advantages of the social media communication, there are several challenges that the modern businesses face. Today, people with internet connection receive several promotional messages. This has resulted in amplification, bragging and false claims that damage the credibility of the public relation promotions (Tiago and Veríssimo  2014). Many a times, public relation messages appear on the personal pages of the users that get ignored by the users. Often the Facebook users object to the commercial advertisements. The ignorance of the social media advertisements by the users is one of the major challenges faced by the businesses.

Toyota began its business as a textile company in the year 1926. Later on in the year 1937, Toyota Motor Co. was established which launched is first car in 1947. Its headquarters is situated in Japan. Toyota is a world-famous automotive brand that manufactures cars (CORPORATION 2017).

The automotive industry has always tried to come up with innovative promotions and commercials. There has been a time when the brand image of Toyota was immensely damaged. It was a time when Toyota had to recall its 9 million vehicles in U.S due to some issues in its accelerator pedals that could cause high-speed accidents. In August 2009, four people died in an accident in San Diego that took place due to some issue with the accelerator pedal. This was the time when Toyota completely stopped its production and sales. Toyota suffered loss of  goodwill and reputation (Chang, Yu and Lu 2015).

In order to overcome this situation, Toyota used the social media advertisements and public relations strategy. After this crisis, Toyota integrated customer relations, public relations, marketing and agency partners and created a social media group. Toyota did this to have open communication channels in case of any crisis so that it could approach the right people and provide information. In order to further improve the situation, the key leaders of Toyota had community chats over Twitter and Digg Dialogg. This was done because Toyota wanted to make the people feel that the executives at Toyota are taking the crisis seriously. This also gave the customers a face and they felt that the company is working to resolve the issues. With the help of Facebook and Twitter, Toyota informed the drivers who were highly affected due to this crisis and were worried about their safety. With the help of a micro-site namely ‘recall hub’, the company directly informed the public in order to clear all the misinformation. The company also used Digg Dialogg to clarify all the misunderstandings (Scott 2015). This was the time when Toyota started gathering the support of the loyal drivers over Facebook. The company found that a lot of their customers were satisfied with their cars who stood by the side of the company during the period of crisis. These efforts of social media helped in changing the entire situation. Not only did the brand opinion of Toyota start improving but also the purchase consideration about purchasing a Toyota car increased. The case of Toyota clearly explains the importance of social media in improving the brand reputation by strengthening the connection with the people.

 


Toyota is still involved in social media advertisings. Toyota had filmed a 15 seconds Instagram video which it pushed through paid advertisements over Facebook. This helped Toyota to reduce a considerable advertising expenditure while targeting a selected segment of audience. Toyota applied this strategy for promoting its various car models, which received great response. Toyota is also involved in assessing the social media conversations in order to gather important data of its customers (Erdo?mu? and Cicek 2012). With the help of this assessment, the company was able to identify its loyal and active purchasers. By assessing the conversations over social media sites, the company monitors its sales, quality and service and develops its products accordingly. It also keeps track of the feedbacks of its competitors. By using this approach, the company tries to know the aspects that appeal to the customers and those features, which the customers dislike. The company initiates its research and development strategy accordingly.

Toyota has been investing in its Pinterest account in order to improve its brand appeal. This helps the company to develop the emotion appeal of the customers for its products. The social media marketing strategies of the company involves various social media programs that the company uses to increase its performance and competitiveness. Toyota utilizes the customer information gathered from the various social networking sites. The direct interaction of the company with its customers over the social networking websites has enabled the company to improve its products, customer service and brand image. All these strategies have helped the company to improve its sales over the past few years.  

Therefore, from the above case study it can be stated that social media plays a crucial role in building the brand image of a company. The advertisements via social media are cost effective as the costs are lesser than television or newspaper advertisements. Whereas, the scope of social media advertisements is very wide. Nowadays, almost everyone is connected over the social media sites especially Facebook and Twitter. The young generation spends a lot of time over the internet. The craze of online shopping has added to the importance of social media advertisements. People can easily search and compare products and services over the internet. The social media advertisements easily catch the attention of the users. If a company uses creative ideas to advertise its products over the social media websites then it has higher chances to grab the attention of a larger section of the masses. Internet has become an effective tool in the marketing process due to its cost effectiveness and wider reach.

Toyota has set itself as an example of how a company can recover from a situation of negative publicity by actively using the social media. Social media has helped Toyota to regain the confidence of the public. Intensive social media advertisement has proved to be very fruitful to the company as it has not only improved the reputation and goodwill of the company but has also helped in achieving increased sales and revenue. Toyota has inspired the other companies to use social media as an active tool to achieve long-term sales and reputation. Various reports have stated that the number of internet users is growing each day, which means that the scope of social media is growing every day. Social media allows the companies to interact with the customers on a personal basis that helps in increasing the customer loyalty. Social media helps the companies in knowing the wants and desires of the customers that helps the companies in further modification of their products.

 


Therefore, it can be concluded that social media is emerging as a marketing platform for the businesses where they can get information about the customers as well as increase their brand awareness. The importance of social media is increasing day by day as it serves as a platform to build relationships with the customers. Social media enables the businesses to advertise their products and services in a more effective manner. Various big and small companies are using social media to advertise their products and take the customer feedbacks. These customers feedbacks have helped the companies in their research and development processes. Facebook and Twitter are the two social media websites that are emerging as the biggest social media advertising platforms. These sites enable the companies to personally interact with the customers and improve their customer services (Evans 2010). Toyota has been an excellent example of how companies can use social media to overcome a situation of crisis. The social media advertisements are very cost effective that is the companies can save a large portion of their advertisement budget. The social media marketing has helped the companies to decrease their costs and increase their revenues. Since, social media does not have any demographic or geographic barrier therefore, the companies can reach the masses on a global basis. Social media has also enabled the local small firms to advertise their products and services on a global basis, which has led to international marketing. The personal touch with the customers have helped the companies to retain their customers for a longer period of time. Using internet marketing has been very useful to the companies as it has enabled the companies to keep a track of the people in various countries and has enabled them to expand their business. The increased brand awareness has indirectly increased the overall sales of the companies. Hence, it can be concluded that social media is constantly gaining importance and is becoming the most effective medium of advertisement.

 

References:

Chang, Y.T., Yu, H. and Lu, H.P., 2015. Persuasive messages, popularity cohesion, and message diffusion in social media marketing. Journal of Business Research, 68(4), pp.777-782.

CORPORATION., T. (2017). Toyota Global Site | Vehicle Gallery. [online] Toyota Motor Corporation Global Website. Available at: https://www.toyota-global.com/showroom/vehicle_gallery/ [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].

Erdo?mu?, ?.E. and Cicek, M., 2012. The impact of social media marketing on brand loyalty. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 58, pp.1353-1360.

Evans, D., 2010. Social media marketing: An hour a day. John Wiley & Sons.

Forbes.com. (2017). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/moneywisewomen/2012/08/08/the-developing-role-of-social-media-in-the-modern-business-world/#567b3a536fd6 [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].

Hudson, S., Huang, L., Roth, M.S. and Madden, T.J., 2016. The influence of social media interactions on consumer–brand relationships: A three-country study of brand perceptions and marketing behaviors. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 33(1), pp.27-41.

Scott, D.M., 2015. The new rules of marketing and PR: How to use social media, online video, mobile applications, blogs, news releases, and viral marketing to reach buyers directly. John Wiley & Sons.

Tiago, M.T.P.M.B. and Veríssimo, J.M.C., 2014. Digital marketing and social media: Why bother?. Business Horizons, 57(6), pp.703-708.

Turban, E., Strauss, J. and Lai, L., 2016. Marketing Communications in Social Media. In Social Commerce (pp. 75-98). Springer International Publishing.

Tuten, T.L. and Solomon, M.R., 2014. Social media marketing. Sage.

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