Table of Contents
1.1 Research Backgrounds.
1.2 Research Rationale.
1.3 Research Aims and Objectives.
1.4 Research Questions.
1.5 Significance of Study.
2.0 Literature Review.
2.2 Social Media as a marketing tool
2.3 Brand awareness.
2.5 Impact of social media marketing on business brand awareness.
2.6 Conceptual Framework Development
3.0 Research Methodologies.
3.2 Research philosophy.
3.3 Research Design.
3.4 Research approach.
3.5 Data Sources.
3.6 Data collection method.
3.7 Questionnaire designs.
3.8 Sampling Method.
3.9 Data Analysis Method.
3.10 Pilot test
3.11 Ethical issues.
3.12 Research reliability and validity.
4.0 Research Timetables.
Social media as a marketing tool is now a hot topic in the current business world, most importantly in the developing countries including Bangladesh to increase brand awareness. Although many developed countries have realized the importance of social media as a marketing tool, many developing countries including Bangladesh still now cannot use social media effectively for their marketing purpose and to increase brand awareness (Social Media Examiner, 2017). This proposed research conducts a study on social media marketing from the perspective of Bangladesh (a developing country). In this paper, the first section outlines the background and rationale of the research along with aims, objectives, and research questions. The second section includes literature reviews on the topic and subject matters. The third section describes the methodologies for the proposed study sty.
1.1 Research Backgrounds
The term “brand awareness” is defined as the customer recognition of a brand’s products and services, and existence (Kotler et al., 2016). According to Palmer (2016), brand awareness is the consciousness of the products and services of a business towards its target and potential customers. Kokemuller (2015) stated that brand awareness has now been a major issue to marketers because of increasing competition in the marketplace. Johnson et al. (2015) said marketers need to increase their brand awareness among the target customers to differentiate their products and services in the competitive markets.
The term “social media” is defined as the social network sites that are used by people to conduct interactive communication (Social Media Examiner, 2017). Social media is the electronic communication tool that people use to share information and communicate through online. Social media is now a great way for marketers to increase their brand awareness among the target customers. Digital marketing channels (social media marketing tools) increase brand awareness by increasing visibility and exposure, and creating advocacy and generating leads among the target and potential customers.
The use of social media among the people in Bangladesh is increasing day by day. This is because the internet and mobile facilities and availability have been increasing. The mobile and internet penetration rose from 74 and 6.6 in 2013 to 76 and 30% in 2014. In the global IT ranking Bangladesh has ranked 114 out of 144 with the increasing trends of growth and affordability (BTRC, 2015; ITU, 2015). That is why social media users have been increasing dramatically. According to Jkala (2015), the most five popular social networking sites in Bangladesh are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Friendcircle. The users of social media in Bangladesh are now dramatically increasing. A study by Social Media Examiner (2017) disclosed that 48% of customers get ideas about their desired brands and products from social network sites. Social media also promotes the users to be loyal towards particular brands and their products and services. Therefore, there is a huge opportunity for marketers in Bangladesh to increase their brand awareness through the effective use of social networks as marketing techniques. However, a marketer in developing countries including Bangladesh is facing different challenges in the use of social media (Freedom House, 2015). Thus, there is now an issue to conduct a study on how social media can be effectively used by marketers in developing countries to increase brand awareness among the target customers.
1.2 Research Rationale
According to statistics by Pew Research Center (2018) many developing countries including the Philippines, Russia, and Egypt are now outperforming many developed countries including the US in terms of internet capabilities and users. Thus, the users of social media (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn) are increasing dramatically in developing countries including Bangladesh. A study by Salman (2014) access of people in developing countries (including Bangladesh) to smartphones is now increasing more than computers and laptops. According to Pew Research Center (2018), 35% of people in developing countries use social media on daily basis to get news, whereas 36% of people in developed countries use social media to get news on daily basis. According to BTRC (2015), Bangladesh has 63,941,000 internet users, whereas 80% of internet users in Bangladesh use social networks, mainly Facebook. In 2015, the number of Facebook users in Bangladesh was 38,000,000, where this figure has been dramatically increasing. This increasing trend of social media users in developing countries (including Bangladesh) can bring huge opportunities for marketers to increase their brand awareness in the competitive market.
However, social media as a marketing tool has been a double-edged weapon including both merits and demerits in developing countries. Although social media can play a vital role in brand building in developing countries, it has a negative impact on businesses in several ways. The key issue arises from data privacy because of hacking and unauthorized access to people’s personal data (Salman, 2014). Many of the cyber attacks on online blogs and sites have been documented in Bangladesh (Bangladesh Cyber Emergency Response Team, 2013). Social media users in developing countries (like Bangladesh) also face fatal physical violence for online activities (Freedom House, 2015). Social media (including Facebook) has been abused to lure victims. Much sexual harassment amplified through social network sites (mainly through Facebook) is documented in developing countries including Bangladesh (Alam, 2015). Fake Facebook profiles spread out false reports about other people’s social interaction, sexual orientation, and personal lives (Mohiuddin, 2014).
The governments (like Bangladesh) also influence the activities of social media by blocking and limiting access to social network sites, and by accessing individual’s personal data. For example, the Bangladesh government blocked Facebook, messaging applications like Viber for few days in 2015 due to a rumor. The government of Bangladesh has requested seventeen Facebook users’ information in 2014 (BDNews24, 2014). Therefore, people raise questions against privacy and security to share their information with businesses in third-world countries. In addition, customers react adversely when brands cross the line. A study by Social Media Examiner (2017) shows that more than half (51%) of users unfollow a brand when they do not like something, whereas 27% of users block the brands considering spam. Further, single negative comments on social media may spread out millions of people within a minute that may cause severe damage to the brand image of businesses (Social Media Examiner, 2017). Therefore, it has been an issue for businesses in developing countries (including Bangladesh) to evaluate the effectiveness of social media marketing to increase brand awareness among the target customers……………………………….