Along with the web 2.0 prevailing since the beginning of the 21st century, social media has become one of the most important tools for companies to develop the markets or public relations during this decade. Most companies around the world have a good sense of the importance of the social media. Companies use all the social media websites available to create more chances to meet more businesses online, or only to get a platform to show what they have such as products or services, even though the audiences only catch a glance of their companies’ profiles, they have already achieved their marketing purposes. Individuals are very obsessed in social media personally as well as businesses; they think social media is a great way to distinguish themselves from others or let the world get to know them.
Through our survey, it is not hard to find that social media can impact businesses in some certain areas. In the U.S., with Facebook floating on the stock exchange at a mind boggling $104 billion, many naysayers predict an Internet bubble. However, there is no denying the power of social media and the impact that it can have on the business of marketing. Particularly, there are four aspects. Firstly, social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest represent a huge opportunity for businesses to grab the attention of customers while simultaneously building a brand image. There are plenty of tactics that businesses can employ to do this including the creation of brand profiles on social networks such as Facebook fan pages and creative advertising via branded podcasts and applications, also known as apps. Secondly, we know how important the “word of mouth” is in business. Social media platforms provide the perfect opportunity to take advantage of word of mouth and to see it spreading. Social media is growing at its fastest rate in developing countries. People are connected on a global scale and casually participate in each other’s lives through online observation. Something as simple as “Liking” a brand on Facebook can spread very quickly throughout the various social media channels.
It is worth noting that individuals trust the opinions of their peers far more than a glossy magazine advert. Millions of people review products and services directly via social media sites using videos through YouTube, which in many cases are then shared and disseminated via various other social media websites. As a consequence, the public increasingly looks to social media to find reviews on various products and services to help them to make buying decisions. As a result, companies can and do provide products to popular Youtube users to review for their subscribers as well as create their own branded Youtube channels with branded videos about their products. (Social Media can impact business) Regarding communicating with customers, companies may see massive negative reviews about their products or services when they are expecting to use it as their advantage. By utilizing social media effectively, companies can reach out to dissatisfied customers directly, within their own social media environment, to find innovative ways of improving the product or service they have offered. When creating a social media marketing strategy, it is worth thinking very carefully about who is being targeted. There will be people within social networks who may not necessarily be customers, but who nevertheless can have a massive impact on marketing efforts. More than 80 % of that population is made up of “potential influencers”. It is worth making the effort to identify that these people are in the network and connect with them to attract shares and likes which ultimately help to spread brand name. One website which is excellent for identifying these people is Klout. Klout gives social networkers a score out of 100, which indicates how influential an individual is over their network while also identifying who the broadcasters and influencers are within that network. The purpose of the whole research process is to find out how companies use social media based on a statistic view.
There were 199 survey attendants given the questionnaires. The questionnaire was divided into 12 parts and each part had 3-13 questions. The questionnaires contained questions such as how companies use social media to provide customer services, marketing research, and improve the public relation with supplier or partners. We will use the information provided by the survey respondents to combine what we learned from statistics class, which included but not limited to probability from chapter 5, estimation and confidence intervals from chapter 9, one sample and two- sample test of
hypothesis from chapter 10 and 11; simple linear regression and correlation which is from chapter 14, and Chi-square test. This research is based on the sets of data that were collected from Survey Monkey, collected by Survey Monkey Survey System. Survey Monkey is a company that provides platforms for those who need information for any legal purpose such as market research, education, and customer satisfaction. There are three steps to complete a survey. The surveyors usually design the surveys based on the purpose of their organizational behavior, and then they would distribute the survey to their targeted population such as customers or students; finally, they would use mathematic tools to analyze the data that was collected from the surveys. In this research paper I would like to represent some data graphs that we learned from the statistics class (Survey Monkey, 2013). First, we will show a pie chart of the gender information about the survey respondents.
Table 1: What is your gender?
The sample population of this survey consists of 103 (51.26%) participants who were male, while 78 (39.20%) participants were female, and 19 (9.55%) participants did not select their gender. (See table below)
Among all the survey respondents, 24.12% of them were 18-24 years old, total 48 respondents; 51.76% were 25-34 years old, total 103 respondents, 6.53% were 35-44 years old, total 13 respondents, 6.53% were 45-54 years old, total 13 respondents also. Only 5 respondents (2.51%)are 55-64 years old, 0 (0%) respondents are 65-75 years old, and 17 (8.54%) participants didn’t answer this question. (See table below) Table 2: How old are you?
Regarding the working experience, 39(19.6%) out of 199 respondents (100%) chose “less than 1 year”, 89 respondents (44.7%) chose “1-5 years”, 11 of them (5.5%) chose “5-10 years”, 23 respondents (11.6%) chose “more than 10 years”, and 23 respondents (11.6%) didn’t answer this question. (See Table 3 below) Table 3: How many years have you worked in company?
Table 4: How dose your company use social media?
Since gender, age and working experience are dependent variables that describe how company used social media. In table 4, there were 28(14%) of
respondents use social media extremely likely, 31(15%) respondents use social media very likely, 61 (30%) used social media moderately likely, 39(19%) respondents used social medias slightly likely, 31(15%) participants did not use social media very likely, and 19(9%) respondents did not use social medina at all, and 24(12%) respondents chose “don’t know”. (See Table 4 below)
Table5: Relationship between companies founded years and how long does company use social media?
Base on this table we can tell that the relationship between the companies founded date and the year they began using social media. Normally, The Company began using social media for 1-2 years when the company founded 1-5years, the rate of possibility is 3/179; the company founded 5-10 years and they used social media for 2-4years, the rate of possibility is 4/179. ] The company uses 4-6years social media when the company founded 10-15years, the rate of possibility is 8/179; finally, the company used social media above 6 years when the company founded more than 20 years, the rate of possibility is 22/179.
Data Result and Analysis
To help explain descriptive statistics, we will use the total number of How long has the companies begun using social media, and based on the description above, we will demonstrate that how likely is the companies going to adopt new social media applications in the next 12 months. (See table below)
Descriptive statistics can include graphical summaries that show the spread of the data, and numerical summaries that either measures the central tendency (a ‘typical’ data value) of a data set or that describes the spread of the data (Gerald, 2011). There are five different tests including “Hypothesis (one sample)”, “Hypothesis (two sample)”, “F-test”, “Regression”, and “ANOVA (multiple sample)” that we used in data result and analysis to illustrate the relationship among different data.
I. Hypothesis (One Sample)
Question background is permitting employees to use mobile applications to interact with customers. We hypothesize that respondents would largely use mobile applications of social media to interact with customers at 4 of 5 scales. In order to prove our hypothesis we use one sample hypothesis method. We hypothesize the null is at 4 scale of 5, and we use 95% as the confident level, so the alpha is 5%. Because we know the sample mean (S), so we choose the T test. To perform the test, please see Table 8 below.
To conclude that because the P (T<=t)= 0.00019813, and it less than 5%, so we should reject the null which means the employees use the mobile application such as social media to interact with customers is less than 4-scale.
II. Hypothesis (Two Sample)
Background question is how social media used for company awareness and PR purpose. In order to prove our hypothesis that two industries use social media at the same frequency we use two sample hypothesis methods. We hypothesize that the permitting employees to use mobile applications to interact with customers is equal to the employees who use the Internet tools. And we know the sample mean (S) so we also use the T test. To perform the test: (See Table below)
Conclusion: Because the P (T<=t)=2.08, and it larger than 0.05, so we choose the accept the null, which means the retail industry and business service industry used social media for PR purpose at the same frequency. III. F- Test
Background question is to market and operate our business, our organization has done the following activities: 3.1. Permitting employees to use their creative ideas to facilitate business 3.2. Permitting employees to use Internet tools to interact with each other The F-test is designed to test if two population variances are equal; in order to prove our hypothesis we use two sample hypothesis methods as well. It does this by comparing the ratio
of two variances. So, if the variances are equal, the ratio of the variances will be 1. We hypothesis the permitting that to market and operate our business, our organization has done the following activities, permitting employees to use their creative ideas to facilitate business. We use F-Test two-sample for variances firstly, and then we will use T-Test two-sample assuming equal variances to perform the test. (See Table 10 below)
Permitting employees to use internet tools to interact with each other| Mean| 3.755102041| 3.888324873|
Variance| 1.867922554| 1.579301771|
Observations| 196| 197|
df| 195| 196|
F| 1.182752142| |
P (F<=f) one-tail| 0.120713955| |
F Critical one-tail| 1.265936455| |
Because the P- value equal to 0.120713955, so we use equal variance and t -test to test sample means. To perform the t-test, please see Table 11 below. Permitting employees to use internet tools to interact with each other| |
Mean| 3.755102041| 3.888324873|
Variance| 1.867922554| 1.579301771|
Observations| 196| 197|
Pooled Variance| 1.723243082| |
Hypothesized Mean Difference| 0| |
df| 391| |
T Stat| -1.005935799| |
P (T<=t) one-tail| 0.157534284| |
T Critical one-tail| 1.648760041| |
P (T<=t) two-tail| 0.315068568| |
T Critical two-tail| 1.966049679| |
Because the P (T<=t)=0,155490816, and it larger than 0.05, so the conclusion is we choose to accept the null, which means the permitting employees to use mobile applications to interact with customers is equal the employees who use the Internet tools. IV. Regression
Background questions are following:
X:In what year was your company founded?
Y1: How long has your company begun using social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Sina Weibo, QQ, etc.)? Y2: How many employees currently work for your organization? Regression and correlation is a method that we use to find the relationship between dependent variables (Ys) and independent variables (Xs). From Table 6 we can tell that the p-value of variable X which is “when the company was founded” is not significant means it is not related to Y1 of “How many employees currently work for your organization? ”, and the p-value of variable Y2 of “How long has your company begun using social media” is not significant explains that it is related to “In what year was your company founded?” From the regression analysis table # 6, we can find out that 57.57% of the numbers of employees are explained by when the company was founded. From the regression analysis table # 7, we can find out that 36.1% of the social media uses for companies are explained by when the company was founded.
Table 13: To market and operate our business, our organization uses the Internet for the following activities:
V. ANOVA analysis
The background questions are below.
5.1. Permitting employees to use Internet tools to interact with customers 5.2. Permitting employees to use Internet tools to interact with each other From Table 14, the P-value for rows indicates three different activities are highly significant, which mean three activities have different means. P- value for column indicates that 200 different respondents are not significant which means 199 different respondents have practiced similar activities. (Table 14 below)
From this research, we conclude that generally, male uses social media more
often than female, it is because male is still the mainstream of the business area; from the survey, we got to know that most of the social media users were very young and had a little working-experience. We surprisingly found out that most companies use social media moderately, to be specific, employees use mobile applications to interact with customers at 4-scale of 5 which means they did not use them extremely likely. We would expect they used them very often. One is within our expectation that the earlier the company founded, the longer period they use social media, most of companies used social media for long time though they did not use them very often which explains than people are willingly trying new technology, however, it takes time for them to form a habit. We also surveyed people to compare the frequency of smartphone application use and Internet use; we found out that people approximately use them half and half. From this result, we can conclude that there are lots of smartphone or tablet technologies grow very rapidly and people can complete their business process through cellphone instead of laptop or desktop that are much more cumbersome to carry. In a word, we can make precise decision process though both survey results and analysis results in the related business. Social media is a blessing technology, which we will rely more in our businesses and daily lives, we will find out more advantage of social media and prove it with data analysis and improve our life quality.