How Do UK B2C High-Tech Start-ups Utilise Innovation Through Social Media to Improve Business Performance and Outcomes?

How Do UK B2C High-Tech Start-ups Utilise Innovation Through Social Media to Improve Business Performance and Outcomes?

Raja Yahya Alsharief (Faculty of Economics and Administration, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJOM.2018010103

Abstract

This article describes how social media in the business world today has been one of the major trends that highly affects business transactions worldwide. Existing literature focused on how businesses can leverage social media to better interact with their customers, and how to use of social media by companies to drive innovation. However, not mush had been done to examine how B2C high-tech start-ups utilise innovation through social media to improve business performance. As such, this article attempts to fill a research gap that examines the extent of social media usage by B2C high-tech start-ups in London to drive innovation and hence improve their performance and business outcomes. Due to the complexity of innovation as a concept, qualitative research was chosen as an appropriate method to understand the view of high-tech start-ups on the matter using semi-structured interviews.
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1. Introduction

The rise of social media in business has been one of the major trends in recent years. However, the existing literature within the field focused mainly on how businesses can leverage social media to better interact with customers and encourage them to participate in new product development (Martini et al., 2014; Bugshan, 2015). Meanwhile, any researchers had identified a fundamental need for entrepreneurs to build communities and relationships through social media, internet marketing, viral marketing and e-marketing tools in order to draw knowledge and ideas. Among these researchers and scholars: El-Gohary and El-Gohary, 2016; Kask and Linton, 2013; El-Gohary et al, 2008; El-Gohary, 2009; Ma, et al., 2014; El-Gohary, 2012; El-Gohary, 2011; El-Gohary, 2010; Hamad et. al., (2016); Hamad et. al., (2015); Raghubansie et. al., (2015); El-Gohary and Eid (2013); Eid and El-Gohary (2013); El-Gohary et. al., (2013); El-Gohary (2012b); El-Gohary (2012c); El-Gohary and Eid (2013b); El-Gohary and Eid (2012); Millman and El-Gohary (2011); El-Gohary (2010); El-Gohary (2010b); El-Gohary (2010c); El-Gohary et. al., (2009); etc.). However, existing literature falls short of fully exploring the implications of social media as a form of innovation for businesses and how it can be leveraged to improve business performance and outcomes.

While building on existing research, this study will aim to address this topic and analyse the extent to which the use of social media as an innovation tool can contribute to an organisation’s success. The study will specifically focus on high-tech Business to Consumer (B2C) start-ups. The term high-tech has been used to describe industries, as well as products of these industries and people who work in this sector. According to Mohr, et al., (2010, p.10); high-tech can be defined as ‘engaged in the design, development, and introduction of new products and/ or innovative manufacturing processes through the systematic application of scientific and technical knowledge.’ This study focuses on the high-tech industry because existing literature has not focused on this particular industry.

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