IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON ENHANCING COMMUNICATION AND PERFORMANCE

ABSTRACT
In the most recent time, popularity of social media has grown tremendously in the last decade and is projected to grow even more in the coming years. Underpinned by marketing equity and Chaffey’s theories, the current study aimed at adducing empirical evidence on the relationship and association between Social Media as a marketing approach and organizational performance in the context of Small and Medium Enterprises in Lagos State. The target population of this study would be all the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Lagos State enlisted by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Authority (MSEA). The study used descriptive survey design, and sampled 255 respondents out of which 204 successfully complete and returned the questionnaires. Data analysis was done using SPSS version 23, using both descriptive and regression analyses. The study determined that Social Media is common among the SMEs in Lagos State as shown by the descriptive statistics. The study has also established that Social Media has significant influence on performance of the SMEs in Lagos State. The findings of the this current study, therefore, agrees with a few studies, and disagrees others. The study findings also have adduced evidence in support of both marketing equity, and Chaffey’s theories. The study recommends an in-depth study should be done on challenges facing the adoption of Social Media in other contexts including the government. The study also recommends that the influence of moderating and mediating factors should be examined, especially where lack of consensus among studies has been noted. This is because the differences in findings could be attributed to the influence of the control variables.

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 
1.1 Background of the study 
The acceptance, usage and popularity of social media has grown tremendously in the last few decades in well-developed countries and developed nations in the world. This is projected to grow even more in the coming years (Ashley & Tuten, 2015). Businesses appear to be in a rush to use these internet applications as a marketing platform for their products and services, with the main aim of acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones, and to eventually increase sales and maximize profits. Against the backdrop of stiff competition in the market, majority of SMEs have opted to use digital marketing as a marketing strategy to ensure they achieve their marketing and sales objectives (Castronovo & Huang,2012). 

Online marketing has, hence, proven to be cost effective and the returns seem to be sustainable since the target market is readily accessible thus information and ideas are easily relayed on the different social media platforms where the whole engagement and interaction are based. According to Chaffey (2016) Social Media as a strategy has key concepts which are meant to build and maintain an interested online community of engaged followers and supporters. 

If effectively implemented, this strategy will enhance product awareness and encourage the market to identity, purchase, consume and repurchase the product being marketed online thus cultivating brand loyalty. Others such as Heinze (2016) and Hobson (2017) determined that with the technological advancement and popularity of online platforms that people use as an avenue to engage and relay information to the general public, people have captured the opportunity to use their mobile devices to share information online, making Social Media such a powerful tool. 

Underpinned by two theories, the current study aimed at adducing empirical evidence on the research objective to establish the relationship and association between Social Media and overall organizational performance as per the business targets in the context of SMEs in Lagos State. Marketing equities theory postulates that Social Media activities have an impact on various aspects of marketing including brand equity, purchase intention, and relationship equity (Kim & Kom (2012). Chaffey’s theory of Social Media, on other justifiable opinion, looks at Social Media from a sociological point of view. Chaffey (2012) argued that the one-on-one interactions on social media platforms between brands and customers helps build long-term relationships that will in the end be of financial benefit to the business, a view also shared by Ashley and Tuten(2015). 

Extending the scope of Chaffey (2012) postulations, Ashley and Tuten (2015) emphasized that communication is core to any marketing strategy. According to this theoretical argument, social media achieves this by actively engaging consumers on different social media platforms. This appeals to them, and improves their satisfaction with the business’ services, and ultimately the business’ performance. SMEs in Lagos State have optimized the opportunity to build on their businesses by engaging with their prospective and actual customers on online platforms (Ogaji et al.,2017). 

According to Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA), there were a total of 699 SMEs in Lagos State. Previous studies such as Olonde (2017) came to a conclusion that the enterprises were actively utilizing Social Media, in harmony with the findings of Ogaji et al. (2017). The conflation between Social Media and SME performance in Lagos State is, however, yet to be determined. 

1.2 Research Problem 
Due to the emergence of social media as a powerful networking tool, replacing a significant part of direct contact and other traditional forms of interaction, business enterprises have jumped into the gravy train hoping to significantly cut down on the costs of sales and marketing. In spite of this, there is not yet concrete evidence that performance improvements among such enterprises can be accurately attributable to the adoption of Social Media, rather than other confounding factors such as legal reforms, among others. SMEs are increasingly embracing Social Media with a view to enhancing organizational performance (Olonde, 2017). This is especially because compared to their larger corporate counterparts, they are less resource-endowed and ought to be more innovative in their operations, including marketing. 

The SMEs also tend to have flexible decision making systems, making it easier to use non- traditional strategies such as Social Media. Accordingly, there has been growing intellectual interest on this phenomenon, albeit in different contexts, with conceptual and methodological gaps. A study by Pelling and White (2009) focused on the popularity of social media in the United States of America. The study determined that Social Media had grown tremendously in the previous decade and that it was projected to grow even more in the subsequent years. This study was based on the American context and its findings may not reflect the Nigerian SME scenario. Another study of a similar nature was conducted in Ayedun (2014) in the context of Hungary, aiming to identify different Social Media strategies and their effectiveness. The study identified several Social Media strategies such as one-on-one client engagement, and public sharing of branded content as very effective marketing techniques (Ă–ztamur,2014). 

However, the study did not objectively assess the impact of each of these methods on organizational performance of a business. A study by Hoffman and Fodor (2010) aimed to come up with ways of measuring the return on investment on a business from Social Media approaches been adequately applied by the firm. The study findings revealed and described that looking at the immediate financial performance was the best way of assessing the impact of Social Media campaigns due to its unique approach. The study instead proposed that one should focus on marketing performance as social media improves customer motivation and brand loyalty. However, the study did not apply this model and use it to look at how businesses were influenced by various Social Media campaigns. 

1.3 Research Objective 
The study aimed at conducting an analytical research and establishing the evident effects on communication and business performance by the direct influence of Social Media on organization performance for a targeted sample study of Small and Medium Enterprises in Lagos State. 

1.4 Significance of the Study 
Academia in the field of marketing management, strategy, and organizational development would use the results from the current study to further their research interests. The postulations of the various theories underpinning the current study would find further empirical foundation in light of the linkages between TQM Social Media and organizational performance. This would spur further studies in other contexts, public, private, manufacturing, and service. The study also contributes to the existing body of empirical evidence on the association between the two variables, thereby leading to development of the knowledge portfolio in the field of marketing management, strategy and organizational development. The study would provide useful data for the development of policies that would be geared towards increasing the sustainability of the SMEs through Social Media. 

The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Authority (MSEA) would apply study results in decision making since it would assist in developing well-informed policies geared towards the achievement of the Vision 2030, the Big Four agenda, and the sustainable development goals in Nigeria. The owners and managers of the various SMEs would gain invaluable input capable of providing guidance in making necessary changes in their various firms to enable them compete effectively in the increasingly crowded sector, as well as against the large corporations including multinational corporations. In specific, the study would draw important lessons for success and best practices for the SME growth since they comprise a significant portion of the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product(GDP). 

1.5 Scope of the Study 
The scope of this study covers Small and Medium scale Enterprises in lagos metropolis in Lagos state of Nigeria. Nigeria is a country with a population of about one hundred and seventy (170) million people (NPC, 2014) and constitutes an important part of the world economy, especially on the African continent where it accounts for a substantial part of the business activities 

1.6. Limitations of the Study 
Attempts were made to ensure that this research study make significant contributions to theory, methodology, practice and policy, however; its findings were threatened by few limitations including the following; 

The SME performance model used in this study views all SMEs as a single homogenous group, neglecting the apparent variations among them. But Bolton, (1971) argues that it is not appropriate to treat this group of firms under a single category. Because the term ―SME is already used widely in research works however, it is also used in this work in order to align the research text with existing practices.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 42 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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