Preparation for Professional Practice
This report discusses the significance of social media in Harvey Norman while managing various functions of business. It identifies its social media channels and purpose for which used by the company.
Moreover, this report presents comprehensive analysis of positive and negative impact use of social media in these organisations with outlining the issues emerged with the usage of social media (Klaus, P. and Nguyen., 2013).
The main reason for adopting social media in retail business is identified that social media is very popular in public and convenient to provide every kind of information to customer by single click.
Harvey Norman is big Australian based multinational retail company deals in furniture, bedding computers, Communications and consumer electrical products. It is public holding company headquartered at home bush, New South Wales. While observing the rapid growth of social media,
it has also adopted the social media for the purpose of promotion and further expansion of business. Harvey Norman is on different social media channels part from its websites such as Facebook and Twitter account that adds value to the business and helpful in keep update according to competitive business environment.
As social media is part of every one’s life and easily accessible using mobile phones acts as best medium for the companies to reach them. Harvey Norman mainly operates in consumer electronics products finds social media very useful for promoting their product lines and increasing the sale.
However, company has opted the e-commerce option quite late after analysing the impressive and considerable benefits of social media in retail business in 2011 (Hamish Barwick, 2014).
The use of social media is quite helpful to implement the marketing and promotional strategy including, target market, enhancing customer base, creating awareness about new products, receiving customer feedbacks and resolving their queries for the company.
Also, company invests the huge amount in use of social media and it find Omni channels retailing valuable. In addition, company uses the different social media channels for performing the important functions such as recruitment, marketing, sales etc.
It is the most popular social media channel around the world and 15 Million users access in Australia and 2.3 Billion users are in the world. Harvey Norman launched its authorised Facebook account adds value to its brand image and plays important role for establishing direct connect with people.
In addition, it uploads the latest pictures and videos for advertise the products, helps in promoting its business and creating buzz in customers. Also, it provides the live chat facility for resolving the customer’s queries and inform about the upcoming events for sale to customer (Durkin et al., 2015).
Moreover, Harvey Norman facebook aims at customer satisfaction and advertising the products and services. Apart from, that it provides the online shop facility directly from facebook
It also offers the employment opportunities to the people at this platform and the authorized personal of different department declare the vacancies with required specifications (Kucukemiroglu and Kara, 2015). Thus, it can be stated that facebook plays an important role in this company for performing various tasks and growing tasks.
Harvey Norman joins the Twitter in March 2009 in Australian region and it has 23.l followers and 12.4 K tweets till date. Similar to facebook, it also provides the employment opportunities and business updated to the customers. In addition to this, information related to newly launched products and promotional events has been given on this platform.
It also, facilitates the direct communication with customers in order to solve their queries (Smith et al., 2012). Apart from that, it also provides the information about new products, sale and discount offers. Furthermore, the social activities, campaigns and related promotional activities have been carried out on this platform.
(Sourced: Smith et al., 2012)
Through accessing the Harvey Norman’s authorised account, the working at this organisation can be learned. It offers the authentic information about the business nature, scope and working style in the company in retail business.
At the same time, it is used for obtaining insights about the career opportunities At Harvey Norman. Although, it is multi-retail company, offers the job related to various job profiles related to marketing, sales, promotions, sales coordinator, stock expert and analyst and finance & accounting (Kim et al.,2014).
People can join and participate in career conversations and investigate about the employment opportunities.
Harvey Norman has also authorised home page on instagram provides the online shopping facility. It has 209 posts, 16.3 K followers on Australian region. Moreover, it shares the pictures and videos to products and services related to home furniture and electronic, computers and other products ((Jang, 2015).
Apart from that it also posts the activities of tied up organisation such as Rugby leagues and promotional events etc. Such activities are helpful to promote the company brand and receiving feedbacks of customer expectations and requirement.
Company used this medium of social media to provide additional and more useful information of offered products and services to the customer.
it is also an effective medium for resolving customer queries and post the guide videos step by step for using the particular product facilitate the customers to subscribe the more videos and follow the company’s community over there (Shabbir et al., 2017) .
Moreover, company focuses on advertisement part on this channel.
The above discussed social media channel are benefits the organisation enhancing the online presence, increasing the followers and participation and building up the brand image of the company crating influential impressions.
(Shabbir et al., 2017)
The practice of social media directly associated with the advancement of technology; also organisations in order reap the competitive advantage. However, the use of social media leads to change in technological investment of the company.
At the same time, it also acts as driving force for changing the pattern of retail consumer dynamics. The use of social media also certainly impacts on the underlying process and procedures currently carried by the organisations (Ngai et al., 2015).
Additionally, the inducement of social media channels in business makes the organisation more flexible and convenient from customer perspective.
In context to Harvey Norman, It has been observes that the use of social media channels has significantly impact on the company sale, reputation and customer base.
Harvey Norman has been recognised for its strong strategic management and won the Best Multi channel retailer award at online retail industry for successfully implementation of innovative and effective online business strategies.
In retail business industry, this company is facing intense competition from competitors such as IGA, David Jones, Target Australia, Flemings, Safewat etc. and these social media site are effective in order to provide an edge to the company in tough competitive business environment (Larivière et al., 2013).
Use of social media channels help in promotional and advertisement campaign and reach to the customer, also providing them shopping option on these platforms.
In 2015, company has recorded the improvement in sales by including the social media channels in its marketing strategy and sales lifted to 3.2 to $3.09 Billion in December month. Also, net profit recorded as 27.4 to 141.98 million (Intermedia,2018).
Company has made huge investment in order to double up the profit returns. Social Media channels has become essential part of promotion and advertising activities in marketing strategies of the company, In order to promote the products company has uses different social media sites such as facebook, instagram, YouTube, Twitter etc.
These social media sites have proven beneficial for the company and these are working effectively to establish the company as reliable brand offers the high quality products and services to the customers (Schniederjans and Schniederjans, 2013).
In addition to this, such promotional and marketing strategies are playing important role in business expansion and meeting the customer requirements in diversified target market. Also, it certainly leads to enhance to customer satisfaction and the company goodwill in the market.
As the social media channels are new and innovative mediums that are used by almost every organisation in order to promote the services and products. In regards to Harvey Norman, social media is also major part of promotional campaigns but also way of communication and establishing direct contact with the customers.
In this context, Harvey Norman is engaged in developing the conceptualizing contests on facebook aiming at increasing and motivating the customers to join their community on facebook in order to expand their target market and consume base.
At the same time, it also uploads the pictures and videos on facebook and instagram official page to advertise the products over there so that customers can place their orders online itself (Larivière et al., 2013)
Along with this, social media sites are very useful to get the customers feedback either positive or negative so that it can improve the customer service better in future. These are also proven as best medium for listening and resolving the customer queries related to get information about new products and lodging complaints.
Apart from that, it provides the opportunity to the people to join the company as employee and post the vacancies on its authorised social media accounts time to time, Hence, the engagement of business is also creating the opportunities for employment (Gensler et al., 2013).
Additionally, in retail market social media channel are best way to promote new customers and creating awareness in market, also effective in finding the customer group in for newly launched products and gather the reviews regarding products performance in the market.
Thus, it can be said the social media channels are best and influential way in retail business of Harvey Norman effective to improve the customer’s online shopping experience through few clicks.
On the contrary, there are some negative side as well for using social media channels. It crates the difficult while dealing with the customers in social media page of the company. At the same time, it leads to controversy and harm the company reputation and dissatisfaction.
Apart from this, the use of social media does not creates the excepted results despite of investing huge amount and also leads to increase in costs. In relation to this, company needs to have the dedicated team for handling and managing the company’s page on different social media sites (Valentini, 2015).
While including the social media channels into its marketing strategy, company require to change in technological infrastructure so that it can function smoothly, leads to considerable in increase the company cost. In case, the estimate return is not retrieved cause to financial lose to company.
(Sourced: Valentini, 2015)
While providing the employment opportunities in the society, it affects the morale of company’s salesman staff.
With the emergence of online shopping promoted by social media eliminate the requirement of sale persons in business.
As to why, now online shopping platform has replaced the role of door to door selling due to easy accessibility to net and increase use of mobile phones through which all online shopping platforms are easily accessed by users.
In relation to this, Harvey Norman is working towards to make more efficient its sales force to equip with advanced technology in order to be more effective while interacting with client (Gikas and Grant, 2013). To resolve this issue, company is focused on the arms sales staff delivering more information on a device helpful to handle the customers in store sale.
In regards to this, the major concern is that the hit to company’s goodwill on the social media accounts. At the same time, Harvey Norman faced the controversy regarding the GST imposed on the overseas products, effected the company’s brand image and takes lot of to recover it.
In this, company went our form promotional campaign levying GST on online overseas purchase (Bertot et al., 2012) The senior management of company declared the poor communication of campaign sponsor on GST implications to the issue occurred (Frank, 2018). Also, company faced the severe criticism on the social media sites facebook, twitter etc.
On the other hand, it is also identified that the other issue arise is personal abuse. This problems is increasing day by day on social media, In case of GST on overseas products management faces the personal attacks on facebook and twitter. Apart from this, usage of social media arises several serious concerns that are harmful for customers as well employer. In some of the instances, it has been viewed that user take undue advantage of right of freedom and upload the violent and unethical post including imaged and videos not good for entire community (Carlo Bertot et al., 2012). At the same time, it also used to spread the roamers and suspicious information’s on social media related to company’s products and services that created confusion for customers. It can affect the company’s market share and fluctuate the share prices. Also, there is no such control measures to avoid these misleading information cause to decline in company reputations as well as share price.
Apart from that, social media channels promotion the business however, it is ineffective medium of shopping for some customer segment unable to understand their promotional and loyalty schemes; however, they are few in number as majority of the people are addicted of the social media channels. These people search the shopping stuff and purchase the items directly from physical stores as like to purchase while checking the products live (Picazo-Vela et al., 2012). This is how; use of social media is threat to business and society and spreading negativity
The use of social media into business depends on the nature and industry of the business. In context to Harvey Norman deals in retail consumer products and operated the business to customer.
Therefore, the following suggested social media channels can be useful in order to expand the business and maximize the profits.
It is one of the fastest independently launched website has reach to 10 million direct visitors and this number has crossed to 10 Million unique and active visitors.
However, this has received the mixed opinions as business to customer social media marketing channel although posting high quality pictures and content that is helpful to improve the fowling to business. At the same time, although, it is the best platform to promote the business offerings in various segments but majorly targets the female customers. (He et al., 2015).
In regards to Harvey Norman, it is quite helpful for increasing female customer and followers while offering the best home furniture products. Thus, it is the best social media channels for B2C organisation for enhancing the customer base.
It is quite new social media application comparatively launched by Netlix and currently the 1.66 billion active users worldwide. It is the most popular in teenagers and adults. It facilitates the users to create variety of multimedia messages including photos and video (Paquette, 2013).
At the same time, it also receives the notable daily video user engagement. Hence, it is the most suitable social media platform to target the millennial. However, it is useful in business segment related to fashion, beauty, sportswear or short and web series. In case Harvey Norman deals in this segment in future, it would be helpful for the prompting the business.
It is also one the major social media sites can empower the brand for engaging the followers in large scale. It is considered as goldmine for use generated content. It is originated from “AMA” (ask me anything).
In addition to this, this platform made move towards expanding the advertising programmes from last year (Rydén, 2015). Thus, it is for helpful the company to developing the effective and relevant contents for posting the videos and promotional contends in order to influence the customers.
Company can use this social platform that allows the customer to share the location and place of the business. It is appropriate for small business thus, Harvey Norman can use in order to join and connect with the local customer of remote areas for marking their presence in those areas (Go et al., 2016). In this, the information and locations can be share with friends as well.
This is helpful to promote the organisational marketing campaigns, networks with the professionals of other industries and launching new products. Therefore, it could be useful in business expansion activities. Additionally, it is the most powerful platform to direct the businesses towards other steams.
Apart from that, customer marketing and yelp is the useful social media for business to customer marketing.
From the above discussion, it can be stated that Harvey Norman is already using the social media sites such as facebook, twitter, YouTube, instagram etc. These play significant roles in enhancing the customer satisfaction, sales and company goodwill.
At the same time, it empowers to build the direct communication with the customer’s leads to brand promotion and customer satisfaction. In relation to this, company has scope to add the other effective useful social media channels to create the more impactful content and enlarge the customer base.
However, the decision to select the sited depends on the investment power, nature of business and rate of returns (MacKenzie et al., 2013). Currently, company has used the most famous social media in its promotional and advertisement campaigns that facilitates the company with considerable results
However, it can add two other social media platforms for better mix instead of removing any. These are Pinterest and Snap chat as they could enhance the customer experience on social media platforms while viewing the posts (Lamberton, C. and Steph, 2016).
At the same time, both are popular and established brand certainly benefit the Harvey Norman to enhance the sale and profit. Company can also start sale the products on Pinterest like other social platform with more clarity of products as it shows the much clear pictures and videos in comparison to other platforms.
Thus, it can be stated that company can include these two social media platforms to take the advantage of competitive environment.
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