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International Journal of Marketing and Technology
Year : 2015, Volume : 5, Issue : 12
First page : ( 105) Last page : ( 117)
Online ISSN : 2249-1058.

Identifying the benefits and challenges of using social media as a promotional tool for social enterprises

Wong Ada Hiukan, Tse Felix Wing Lam

Department of Marketing and International Business, Lingnan University, Tuenmun, N.T., Hong Kong

Online published on 3 March, 2016.

Abstract

The lack of marketing expertise and resources among social enterprises is a well-noted problem. It has generated much attention from researchers, who have studied ways for improving the marketing performance of social enterprises. With the rise of social media channels for daily communication, an opportunity has surfaced for social enterprises to use such channels as a promotionaltool. This study aims to investigate how social enterprises may use social media for promotion to improve their marketing performancein Hong Kong. In-depth interviews were conducted with five social entrepreneurs or the relevant marketing staff. Interviewees generally agreed that social media is a low-cost channel thatis effective in increasing public awareness and stimulating customer interest. Further benefits of social media as a marketing tool for social enterprises include the relatively low cost of marketing, the quick-response platform for customer queries and the possibility to run low cost CRM. However, interviewees also reported that social enterprises have to compete with an enormous amount of channel-level competitors that are also conducting marketing activities through social media, which has diluted the effectiveness of the online advertising effort. Nevertheless, the benefits of using social media as a promotional tool are still significant to the business model of social enterprise and should be adopted.

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Keywords

Facebook, promotion channel, marketing activities, social enterprise, social media.

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