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Aimiuwu, E. (2013). Social Media: Building a Competitive Edge, Journal of Information Systems Applied Research, 6(4), 4-13.

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Social media has become a necessity in today’s information marketplace, so business executives can no longer ignore it. Many executives today are now more interested in how to get in on the social media craze, what kind of social media to utilize, and how social media will enhance their brand. Unlike traditional marketing where firms talk to consumers, social media has now created a new form of marketing where consumers now talk to both firms and other consumers. Consumers now have the power to define brands and leave firms powerless about social media. It is imperative that firms utilize social media tools to facilitate conversations about their brands in order to create competitive advantage. Social media can be used not only to acquire and retain customers, but also to build brand loyalty through social media conversations between firms and consumers. This paper presents four strategies to help researchers and firms to recognize the use of social media in building competitive advantage. The four strategies for using social media to achieve competitive advantage are (a) inviting customers on social media outlets, (b) marketing products good for social media, (c) having beneficial conversations on social media, and (d) developing the best attitude for social media success.

Key Findings:

Firms should engage customers already on social media (SM) to influence purchasing decisions.

Men are more influential on SM, especially for high priced goods.

Better to invite customers to dialogue about goods, services, & brands with incentives.

Goods & services that are used often are best for SM because customers switch brands for best offer – latest software, drinks, coffee, snacks etc.

High priced goods are great on social media because many want to dialogue before spending – houses, refrigerators, car etc.

Firms should be involved in customers’ conversations frequently and respond to customers’ concerns on time.

Firms should be polite, honest, and interesting; be social & caring as well.

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