Social media and networking : implications to social enterprises in Hong Kong
2014-2015 2nd cohort of Young Scholars' Community-Based Research Program
Social enterprise, Social media, networking, Facebook, Marketing
Over the past few years, the operations of social enterprises become considerably more difficult than traditional businesses in terms of sustainability. Existing research focuses on the aspect of improving business performance of social enterprises through marketing activities. To date, no study has investigated the implications of social media and networking on social enterprises within the geographic context of Hong Kong. This research aims to investigate how to implement the cost effective marketing activities of (i) social media and (ii) networking in order to improve the marketing performance and business performance of social enterprises in Hong Kong. Five in-depth interviews were conducted to the social entrepreneurs or the marketing staff of social enterprises. Results reveal that social media is a low-cost channel that effectively increases public awareness and customer interest. However, it is also found that social enterprises have to compete with the enormous number of other organizations which also conduct similar marketing activities. In addition, networking appears to be an effective way to explore for potential business partnerships among social enterprises and the ordinary businesses. The business partnership viability depends on the compatibility of the industry characteristics and the community being served. This research contributes to the literature by providing evidence of the effectiveness on social media and networking on improving performance of social enterprises in Hong Kong. In terms of practical contributions, some suggestions on dealing with the challenges facing the social enterprises are also provided in this study.
Lam, T. W. L. (2015). Social media and networking: Implications to social enterprises in Hong Kong. (Research Report from 2014-2015 Young Scholars' Community-Based Research Program). Hong Kong: Lingnan University.