New technologies a developing very fast and digital media already plays an important role in nowadays businesses. In the last decade, new technologies have enabled people to interact with each other in a digital environment, thus revolutionizing the way that humans communicate. Social media platforms enable people to break geographical barriers which primarily divided individuals. We now live in a world where, thanks to the digital revolution, everybody is getting more and more connected to each other, and access to information is easier than ever.
Thanks to social media, the way that people consume has changed drastically, it’s easier and more convenient than ever. According to the Cambridge dictionary (2017), social media can be defined as websites or applications, which allow users to participate in social networking by creating or sharing content. According to this definition, some of the most used and recognized social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, WeChat, QQ, WhatsApp, and so on. In the present, social media is not only used to catch up with people and chat with family and friends.
In the past few years, it has also become a place where people, governments, and organizations interact with each other. It is essential to complete this research to understand the different social media influences and their importance. Social media is a place where people can create and share content, therefore it enables them to share what they think and believes in. During this research, the way small companies could use social media platforms to influence consumers’ purchase decisions will be studied to guide the case study company, H&N Kebab.
H&N Kebab is a bar-restaurant that serves a variety of foods and caters primarily to foreign students in Xiasha, Hangzhou. The restaurant opened its doors in 2017 and quickly became recognized and very frequented by overseas students. It’s characterized by its western-like dishes and reasonable prices for students. The main goal of the company is to expand its clientele among the international student community as well as gain more awareness among the local community.
In today’s world, online presence is more and more critical for the success of a business, and traditional advertising methods are usually not enough to thrive in an environment where consumers are every day more immersed in the digital world. The importance of understanding and using social media platforms as marketing tools have been highly recognized throughout the last decade. However, there are still numerous small businesses without any or limited online presence, which can frequently be traced back to the lack of understanding or awareness of the impact this can have. Any business would be missing out on a huge market by not taking advantage of non-traditional marketing tools like social media. This research aims to answer the following questions: How can a small business use social media marketing to influence consumers’ behavior, more specifically their purchase intention? What are the constraints for small businesses when using social media platforms to market their product?
The objective of this research is to explore the current use of social media platforms as marketing tools in the present and to determine their impact on customer behaviors, more specifically on purchase decisions. With this information, it is possible to identify the habits in purchase decision-making and the tools that are used to attract consumers to a purchase decision. This paper aims to understand the value of social media marketing for small businesses and to provide suggestions on how to use it more efficiently to their advantage. Particularly, this study has the following sub-objectives: To provide a comprehensive review of the most relevant social media platforms and the character constraints of each one of them. To explore the current use of social media in China and its influence on consumer behavior and its constraints. To provide H&N Kebab with suggestions on the implementation of effective social media strategies to improve its business.
To achieve this research, a mixed research method will be used. The main tool used will be a quantitative method represented with a survey filled by the customers of the restaurant. A survey is found to be the most effective way to collect data from the sample involved in this research. The main objective of this survey is to get a clear customer profile of the restaurant.