Advantages and disadvantages of using social network on food industry

Advantages and disadvantages of using social network on food industry in Sydney 

Introduction 

Social Media is one of the powerful communication media in 21st century. Today near about 2.46 billion people all over world are in this medium and almost 135 minutes a person spends on social media platforms on an average. The industry is growing at a rate of 14% p.a. which is higher to automobile, pharmaceutical and other such established industries. Thus it has got attraction of entrepreneurs to use this communication platform as sales promotion platform. [Shaikh, F. (2018).]
As per an independent survey, it is found that near about $40 billion were spent in social media ads in 2016. From that survey it is also found that 78% of people who complained against any company on social media has got response within an hour. 89% of B2B uses content marketing using this social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc. There must be some benefits which is driving business industries to use this platform for reaching out people. For ex- Use of social media as PR and CR activities, providing information or identity about the organization like what it does, what it offers etc. and also it is used as feedback mechanism for companies. These days CSR and Corporate Governance are also done through this media. 
So if social media has its presence in majority of industry then how food industry would stay apart. Social media has also helped “food industry” to flourish. From the independent research, it is found that 32% of people share their experience of food at restaurants or food court on social media platform and 40% of people read about food in websites, apps and blogs. Thus like other industries, the food industry players have started using social media platforms for their promotion and relationship management. [Degeling, C.,et.al2018]
Australia is one of the country with varieties of food offering. This is reason country is witnessing a growth rate of 14% p.a. (as per Australian Food and Grocery Council Report). Social media has also driven this industry in Australia. With the increase in competition and growth opportunity in this sector, it is become essential for the food industry players to find an alternative way to differentiate themselves and social media is one of the way they use it for going closer to people. 
In this report, we are focusing on Australia’s one of the popular city Sydney and how social media has been impacting the food industry there will be the point of research. 

Project Objective    

The research study is on positive and negative impact of social media on food industry in Sydney. 
So we can divide the purpose of study in two parts as-
  • To highlight the merits of Social Media that it brings to food industry in Sydney.
  • To identify the negative effect of social media on Sydney food industry.

Project Scope 

The Scope of this research study is limited to food industry in Sydney and the presence of social media in Sydney food industry. The study is important especially for the restaurants, food chain, cafeteria and other food industry players who are using social media for their promotion and relationship management. This study will help them to understand the impact of social media on their business in both positive and negative way. 

Project Literature Review  

Summarized review  
W. Glynn Mangold [et.al 2009] explained that the emergence of internet based social media has made it possible for one person to communicate 100 or 1000 people to inform about the product and services of companies he or she uses. This hybrid way of communication (Consumer to Consumer) has magnified the workplace. It is beyond the traditional approach of approaching customers as here customer is communicating another customer over social media (word of mouth promotion). This non-conventional way of customer approach has not only reduced cost of Ads and other promotion cost, but also it is bringing large customer pool to the company. The common advantages that company enjoys these days with social media promotion are- expanded introduction, expanded the movement, improvement in loyal customer base, commercial centre knowledge, and produced drives. 
The promotional techniques of business industries has changed over a period of time and inclusion of social media promotion in the promotion strategy has given numerous benefits to the industries. The organizations are able to know about customer (demographic, social, professional, liking- disliking, current status etc.) from the social platforms. It is giving ideas about what to bring in market to get the customer attention. This is becoming a premier tool for brand awareness and loyalty for the brand (According to the Marketing Sherpa report- 95% of likely to follow brand via social networking). Marketer viewed that tracking the responses of customers in social media like Facebook, LinkedIn are easy for market segmentation and even competitive promotion can be tracked via this channel. Taking these good notes into consideration, the business houses are going for expansion of video content, utilization of visuals, increasing B2B and B2C presence in social media. 
Australia has witnessed progressive development in information, communication and technology areas. Like other parts of the world, Australian population has been showing their social presence in large numbers. According to Sensis report 2017 conducted a survey on 800 customers found that 84% of the sample population are using internet on daily basis. Almost 35% of these population are accessing social network sites 5 times or more in a day. Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are the three social platforms which Australian used more often. 16% of population follows a particular brand to know new offerings, 16% of them are taking it as research tool while making purchasing decisions, 18% of them searches information about a company or brand. These are some of the key results that indicate how businesses in Australia are targeting consumers there.
The food sector in Australia is accepting social media as the tool of promotion as 63% of executives of this industry are believing it to be a new form of word of mouth. People are posting their comments or remarks about the food services through their social accounts. Even people are reading the comments or reviews about restaurants, cafeteria, food court etc. for finding suitable eatery for them. Especially the Junk food or fast food sector is targeting age group of 11-40, through their social media accounts. They use endorsement, games and pictures competitions such as asking customers to take photo of themselves with the product to come in company’s Facebook or Twitter profile page for stardom and popularity; these are some of tricks they are using to get more people to get engaged with business. 
To express the power of social media in food industry Sydney, The Sydney Café can be taken as a good example of how it got popularity through Instagram. According to the Guardian news report, it is the people who visited the Café posted the images on Instagram. They have followers who came and they too shared with others and now the Cafeteria has 41000 Instagram followers ranking 6th most followed places in Australia. Food industry in Sydney is utilizing social media as a supporting tool of marketing mix to get real time information. It is providing scope for people to access about the brand and food products. Creating food holiday, hashtag (#) strategy and crowdfunding are becoming the popular trends in social media by these players to get maximum attention of customers. [Cooper, D. R et.al2006]
There are some concerning factors in Australian towards social media mainly due to the fact that people are not finding it interesting or appealing anymore. 62% of people under Sensis survey viewed it uninteresting. Even any one negative comment can bring the company on toe for ex- the restaurant chain Applebee in which one of the employees of the company posted the image on the social media that will create the negative image of the brand, due to which the customer base was reduced due to the negative marketing. 

Justification 

The research problem is basically to identify the reasons why social media has become so important element in the food industry business in Sydney. This research opens up the probable benefits that restaurants, cafeteria and other food business houses are getting from use of social media. This research is also justifying the influence of social media that it brings within people to look for the brand or product (here food and food services) in Sydney. The research also meant for looking at the adverse effect of Social media on food business. Overall understanding influence of social media on consumer behaviour and how it results good or bad with social media is the aim of this study. [Brown, R. (2009).]

Gap Opportunity

The early researches have tried to identify general impact of social media on business which this research takes up to food industry specific. Not particular research has done on Australia Food industry social media influence on customers. This research gives the brief idea about how influencing social media can be for food industry in Sydney Eateries. This research will extend the advantages and disadvantages of social media on food business specifically to Australia based on the earlier studies. 

Hypothesis

H0- There is a significance influence of Social media in food business Sydney.
H1- There is no significant influence of Social media in food business strategy
The hypothesis takes both positive and negative impact of social media. The level of significant is taken 0.05. 
Research questions 
Primary research question- Are there any influencing factors that drives the use of social media in food business in Sydney? This question is going to give the answers for the factors that drive business to go for social media.
Secondary question- 
A.What are the positive influences that social media brings to food business in Sydney?
B.What are the negative effects that the food businesses in Sydney have to face?
Research design and methodology 
This research study needed the quantitative figures to test the hypothesis which we formulated thus a Quantitative research is going to be fit for the purpose of study.

The research designing process

Research problem- It is the base of research study upon which the entire structure is built. This is our primary question which is the problem under this research study. [Use of social media in Food business Sydney]
Purpose of study- The purpose of this research we took as understanding the positive and negative influence of social media use in promotion and relationship management of food business in Sydney. [Kim, D.,et.al2018]
Literature Review- We took various reports and articles to get some idea about the purpose of study and also it is going to help in carrying out sampling, data collection, analysis and testing hypothesis. 
Research design- The method of research we have taken is quantitative in nature. It is a correlational study between social media use and its effect on food business of Sydney. 
Sampling- The population from which data is to be collected. Here it is Sydney Population.
Collection of Data- The methods adopted to collect relevant data under study. Here interviews, questionnaire and previous findings were used. The sources are both primary and secondary in nature.
Analysis of data- use of Statistical procedure to test hypothesis.
Communication of finding- Researcher’s explanation of finding and linking it to the existing researches. 
Ethical consideration- The factor of confidentiality, reliability, safety etc. applied during research process. 

Research instruments 

For this purpose, survey questionnaire to consumers and eateries owners through e-mail and handouts. Interviews with Food industry experts, social media experts, collection from previous researches and articles, internet sources. 
Quantitative data analysis process
Data cleaning
- All ambiguity in data collection will be kept outside the research process. Content analysis will be done to capture information from open ended question. 
Data coding- In this phase numerical will be assigned to the responses that can be put into limited number of categories. Data classification will be done as per the similarity nature.
Data presentation- Tables and figure are used for summarizing coding data. The programs like Excel and SPSS will be applied to carry out the statistical tests like t-test, ANOVA, Chi-square (here it is applicable) based on research design. 
Data interpretation- The key finding will be highlighted as per the understanding of mine during the research process. 
Sampling and sample size   
For this research study, the sampling technique used is judgemental sampling. As a researcher, I will sort out the research population who is going to be suitable for this study. The sample population size will be- [Rutsaert, P.,et.al2013]
Food business owners in Sydney- 50
People who visits restaurants and other eateries at least twice in a week- 200
Social Media experts- 7
Survey interviews and questionnaire design 
For the purpose interview- Open-ended questions are prepared for interviews and the responses are collected in from of video. A total of 20 questions were asked to the respondents. 
For the purpose of Questionnaire- 80% questionnaire were close ended questions and 20% were open ended questions. The close ended questions were carrying 5 options and the respondents were asked to choose one. Each such questions were put in a Likert scale from 1-5 ranging from low to high score. [Creswell, J. W et.al2007] 
Validity and Reliability Testing 
For validity- Investigation carried out to check similarity in study, data collected from responses were matched to remove the identical answers or repeated answers, the responses and data collections were done during research process and their sources are recorded, to test the authenticity, we have verified the existence of data after data analysis.
Reliability- All responses were collected when the respondent is in sound mind. All secondary responses are collected from previous researches and articles. 
Research Limitation 
The research is a quantitative study based on the responses and findings of previous researches, reports and articles. This may not be 100% accurate thus this research doesn’t hold absolute accurate finding. While selecting sample, citizenship were not considered (respondent can be non-resident of Sydney) thus it may not be the accurate results that we obtain. The research duration was limited. [Jensen, K. B. (Ed.). (2013)]

Conclusion 

Social media has definitely changed the concept of food industry business in Australia.The research findings stated that the firms have to evaluate the use of social media for the execution, as the well-defined strategy is essential for the success of social media. Ensuring the positive effect of online networking advertising on operations starts with an all-around characterized technique that incorporates sensible, organized, and workable objectives and goals in terms of communication. Overall, the results seem positive for food industry in Sydney.

References 

Cooper, D. R., Schindler, P. S., & Sun, J. (2006). Business research methods (Vol. 9). New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Degeling, C., Johnson, J., Iredell, J., Nguyen, K. A., Norris, J. M., Turnidge, J. D., ... & Gilbert, G. L. (2018). Assessing the public acceptability of proposed policy interventions to reduce the misuse of antibiotics in Australia: A report on two community juries. Health Expectations, 21(1), 90-99.
Mangold, W. G., & Faulds, D. J. (2009). Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix. Business horizons, 52(4), 357-365.
Shaikh, F. (2018). The Benefits of New Online (Digital) Technologies on Business: Understanding the Impact of Digital on Different Aspects of the Business. In Digital Multimedia: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications(pp. 1070-1086). IGI Global.
Kim, D., & Jang, S. S. (2018). Online sharing behavior on social networking sites: Examining narcissism and gender effects. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 68, 89-93.
Rutsaert, P., Regan, Á., Pieniak, Z., McConnon, Á., Moss, A., Wall, P., & Verbeke, W. (2013). The use of social media in food risk and benefit communication. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 30(1), 84-91.
Brown, R. (2009). Public Relations and the Social Web: How to use social media and web 2.0 in communications. Kogan Page Publishers.
Creswell, J. W., & Clark, V. L. P. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research.
Jensen, K. B. (Ed.). (2013). A handbook of media and communication research: Qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Routledge.

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