Research Shows That Businesses can use Social Media for a ‘Competitive Advantage’

March 26, 2013 by University of La Verne

University of La Verne Assistant Professor of Decision Sciences Yingxia Cao presented her findings at the Annual North American Research Symposium on Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, which was attended by President and CEO of PMAC Cheryl Paradowski

University of La Verne Assistant Professor of Decision Sciences Yingxia Cao presented her research paper on why social media is important to the business world and how it should be used, to scholars and practitioners at the annual North American Research Symposium on Purchasing and Supply Chain Management March 14-15, 2013.

Cao’s paper was chosen as the best paper to represent Canada at the conference. Her coauthors include Professor of Information Operations and Technology Management Paul Hong and Professor of Marketing, E-Business Supply Chain Thuong T. Le from the University of Toledo.

The presentation outlined several key points about using social media, which included how to use social media, how it will change supply chain management and the benefits of using social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and YouTube in business.

Our research suggests that for any business, social media is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it is a ‘must have’,” Cao said. “Companies can utilize social media for customer service, employee teamwork, and partner collaboration, and should integrate social media with their existing traditional and physical chain and assess it along with their strategic goals. If done effectively, social media can enhance customer and employee satisfaction while also improving the company’s bottom line.”

In order to gauge the success of social media in business, Cao and her coauthors surveyed more than 200 employees from nearly 200 companies. What they found was an increase in sales, customer satisfaction and several additional areas because of the use of social media in their business practice.

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