BUSN20016 Research In Business 25

Topic: Identification Of Marketing Issues In The Tourism Sector Of Australia: Critical Application Of Social Media Marketing In Tourism Sector To Boost Sales.
Task Description
This Assessment task requires the preparation of a full project proposal that should contain the following components:

A detail statement of the problemthat you would like to investigate.
Research aim, objectives and research questions: What are the potential research objectives and questions that can address the problem?
Justification and potential output of the research project: Why is your chosen project important both theoretically and practically? What are the potential outputs and outcomes of your research?
Conceptual framework: An analysis of the literature relevant to the research topic that will give you the conceptual basis for conducting this research.
Methodology and presenting secondary data: Based on the conceptual framework, research aim(s) and objectives, you need to provide a detail description of the data collection methods and tools, data sources and the methods/tools that you will use to analyse the data.
Organisation of the study, project budget and schedule: Write the names of the chapters/sections of your research report, and briefly discuss what you will write in those chapters/sections followed by a brief description of budget for conducting this study and project schedule i.e., Gantt Chart.

Australia is regarded as one of the top tourism destinations of the world. The tourism industry is characterized by revenue generations from the passenger airline, food services, hotels and motels, casinos and gaming, passenger and travel intermediaries. The tourism industry contributes significantly to the employment and economic activities in Australia (Travel & Tourism Industry Profile: Australia, 2016). Some of the issues faced by the Australia tourism sector includes; new market branding, destination image positioning, creation of perception awareness in the corporate marketing trade, and innovative approaches by the media.

Problem Statement
In the modern society, social media is an influential part of people’s daily lives and has gained more momentum in the global business world. As a result, the rise of internet and e-commerce use has led to development of different approaches to marketing. Traditional marketing mix has become unreliable with the trends in the global market. The social media has created a wide range of market for businesses. It has created a platform where people from different parts of the world can interact and exchange information (Míguez, & Fernández-Cavia, 2015). Businesses take advantage of this opportunity to create a channel to connect with the customers at personal level. Social media is very influential to the tourism industry in promoting activities. The potential of tourism destinations in Australia is not fully exploited and its full potential needs to be brought to the attention of the global market. The Australian tourism industry marketers use social media as a marketing communication tool. The framework of this research is the use of social media in marketing. This paper aims to elaborate on the critical application of Social media marketing in Australia tourism sector to boost sales.

Aim, Objective And Research Question
The aim of this study is to determine the application of social media marketing in tourism sector in Australia to boost sales. The research focuses on social media marketing to boost more sales in the tourism industry. The following research questions will be used to analyze the impact of social media marketing on the tourism sector.

RQ1: To evaluate the values of social media marketing in promoting tourism in Australia.
RQ2: what social media tools are more effective in marketing the tourism industry?
RQ3: how potential and existing tourist use social media when making traveling plans
RQ4: to find out the platforms tourist rely on to access travel information and

Justification And Potential Output Of The Research Project
The tourism industry in Australia has led to economic growth and creation of employment. Therefore, there is need to promote the industry for it to remain competitive in the global market and generate revenue for the nation. Social media marketing offers many benefits and has become more effective than the traditional marketing mix. To boost revenue, the full value of social media marketing needs to be utilized. The research is significant for the marketers to fully understand the use of social media marketing and its value to increase the sales in the tourism industry Kao, Yang, Wu, & Cheng, 2016)

Data collections, findings and analysis will answer the research questions determined in the proposal above. The research outputs will be seen as an important academic work for the stated problem in the research proposal. Social media marketing is beneficial to both the tourists and tourism marketers (Egan, 2014). The information is beneficial to the Australia tourism industry that needs to be fully exploited. Marketers should also exploit fully the business opportunity made available by social media to remain competitive in their effort to promote tourism industry. Tourists use social media to express their experiences of tourism destinations, therefore determining the platforms they use will enable marketers understand the interests of the tourists and use it to promote tourism business and activities in Australia. Customers also tend to use social media to acquire information on the traveling destinations, therefore this research will enable them identify the platforms they use to acquire information (Lee & Gretzel, 2012)

Literature Review
Social media marketing
Social media marketing involves having dialogues with the prospecting and existing customer. According to Turner and Shah (2011) the conversations are more worthwhile and profitable when you conduct dialogues with a prospect or a customer. The marketing departments usually use social media as a means to create awareness of the products or services in the market. Social media marketing is handled similar to the traditional marketing instead of using it as a creative and innovative way of attracting customers (Evans & McKee 2010). The use of social media is often misunderstood as a free marketing tool, though for it to be successful, it requires effort. The effort may come from employee, time or money and this makes it important to handle social media marketing as other form of marketing. Some may argue that the uploading of things on social platforms such as Facebook, twitter, Instagram or YouTube are free, but it requires human capital and time to perform these tasks (Soukup, 2018).

According to Turner and Shah (2011) for a company to run an effective social media campaign which reaches its potential, it is important for businesses to use the resources such as time and money. An advantage of social media marketing campaign is the fact that the audience has profiles and indicates their interests; therefore it is easy to meet their needs and position the right products to them. This enables the products to be easily identified by the prospecting customers.

Social Media Marketing Strategy
A strategy refers to the ability of a business to have a competitive advantage of its competitors. The organizations identify their core product or services, develop goals and objectives, and formulate a plan on how to achieve it. The social media marketing strategy has to be part of the organizations overall marketing strategy. Social media marketing identifies the target market and the value they intend to add to the customer in order to meet the needs of the customers (Chaffey & Chadwick, 2012). The values make a difference in the market and they determine whether the customer chooses your product over the competitors. Market segmentation is used to identify the target market; that is profiling the market for example, targeting social media users between the age brackets of 20-26 with a specific product. The importance of strategic social media marketing is to gain competitive advantage over your competitors by using the writhe communication tools to reach the potential customers (Ráthonyi, 2013)

Tourism companies can use social media marketing strategy to reach their prospecting customers and create awareness on the products and services available. Organization analysis is critical in developing a social media marketing strategy. The use of SWOT analysis assists an organization to assess their strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities in social media context. Evaluating the bigger picture of the organization will enable you plan accordingly. The strengths and weaknesses of the organization will help you form a strategy that maximizes on the advantage of your strengths. Understanding the available competitors and business environment is also key in strategy social media marketing. The analysis helps the business evaluate their advantage in the market and the gaps they can capitalize on (Hutter, Hautz, Dennhardt & Füller, 2013).

After an analysis of the organization, it is important to select the right communication channels to be used. It is notable that customers do not rely on one social media platform. Therefore a research on the main social media used by the companies target market should be conducted (Brodie, Hollebeek, Juric, & Ilic, 2011). Using all the available social platforms might not provide the desired results. Identifying the main social media platform used by their customers and potential clients is significant to critical for the concentration of marketing effort. The organisations should spend more time in identifying the right platforms for social media campaigns in order to be successful and the strategy should be measured.

Application Of Social Media Marketing In Tourism Industry
To succeed on today’s business; companies have to use the available social media platforms to promote the tourism industry. In their systematic review, Leung, Law, Hoof and Buhalis (2013) supported this argument by encouraging companies to participate in social media sites so as to remain relevant. The platforms provide a good ground to interact with customers. According to Luliana, Luigi and Mihaj (2013) emphasized that tourism companies should use these platforms to build relationships with their customers and promote sense of intimacy with the customer. Guo (2014) adds that tourism organisations can utilize social media to create bonds with customers Social media is very important as customer loyalty can be lost anytime through small mistakes. The social media acts as platforms for marketing where they listen and respond to the customer’s needs and develop meaningful dialogues. Below are some of the ways tourism companies use social media to market their products and increase sales.

Generating Sales
Social media marketing is used to attract more tourists Australia destinations. The marketing campaigns create the awareness and provide information on the attraction sites available in a destination. This helps persuade tourists to visit Australia leading to generation of sales. Cite supports this by indicating that social media sites lead to sale generation (Minazzi, 2014)

Destination Marketing
According to Achen (2017), people like talking about their experience traveling, social media marketing creates awareness of their destinations and this enables people to talk about it. People become aware of the destination and consider it when making the traveling destination (Achen, 2017). The visits increase the destination sales. Batra and Keller (2016) add that destination campaigns through social media also attract tourists to a destination. When tourists become aware of the beautiful scenes available in the location, they tend to visit the area.

Managing The Customer Relations
Through focused generated content, social media is used to retain customers by building relationship and engaging them through social attraction (Kumar, Bezawada, Rishika, Janakiraman, & Kannan, 2016). It is effective in providing customer service, public relations and communication. The platform is essential in solving customer complaints and improving the quality of services. This enhances customer engagement and retention of customers as they are able to visit the site again when their concerns are addressed. Baird and Parasnis, (2011) noted the potential of social media in helping tourism and hospitality companies to increase their online presence and to engage potential, current, and previous customers. The customers are important to any business success and development.

Inferring The Expectation Of Customers
The social media platform is a point for the tourism industries to infer to the experience and expectation of the customers. When organisations are able to understand the expectation of their customers, they can provide the right products and services to meet the needs of the customers. When the needs of the customers are met, they become pleased and share their experience with others enabling a revisit of the destination and also prospecting customers to gain confidence on the destination and influence their consumer decision making process (Hudson, Simon, Thal & Karen, 2013).

Convert Prospecting Customers To Customers
Social media acts as an effective communication and public relation tool (Martínez-Sala, Monserrat, & Alhama, 2017). The use of social media in marketing is responsible for converting prospects to actual customers. Akhlagh, Esmaeil, Akbari, Kasani, & Meghdadi, 2016) stated that by providing information on the available attraction sites of a destination converts prospects into customers. For example campaign images may attract a prospect looking for a destination holiday into make decision to visit the place.

Engaging Marketers
Social media marketing enables tourism industries to engage other marketers with wide followers’ base. Tourists turn to marketing sites to locate and various destinations to travel to. Providing an update on the information to marketers enables wide spread of information which influences the decision making of clients. The prospecting customers can ask the marketers questions and get clarity as they are aware of the destination products (Hajli, 2014). This provides tourist with easy choice on the travel destination. For example when there are discounts, they are able to inform the tourist on the available discounts which influences the decision of the tourists on visiting a given destination. According to Leung, Bai and Stahura (2015) the travel blogs plays a critical role in customer’s decision making.

Research approach
To arrive at research findings that respond to the established research questions and meet the objectives of the study, a specific methodology has to be used. Therefore, this research will analyze secondary data from previous studies and finding on past use of social media marketing to generate sales. The research will then use primary data to confirm the results of the secondary data. The research will use a quantitative research method which will be cross-sectional in nature to collect primary data. The data will then be analyzed to determine its implications on the research topic.

The target population for the study is tourists who visits different tourist destination in Australia.

Sampling Method
The research will identify some tourist destinations and use simple random sampling method where each tourists in the selected destinations will have each tourist in Australia in the selected destinations equal chances or probability of participation.

Secondary Data Collection
The research will establish the studies conducted previous on the application of social media marketing to increase sales in the tourism industry. The study will evaluate the existing findings from literature analysis and the gaps found on the research. The secondary data will be acquire from online sources with academically reviewed journals, websites and also google books.

Primary Data Collection
Survey will be used as an approach to collecting data. The research will develop closed-ended questionnaires to collect the primary data by relying on online social communities such as Facebook to send the questionnaires.

Data Analysis
The research will use tools such as excel sheet to organize data into descriptive statistics. These tools will also be used to create graphs to allow easy analysis of the data. The data collected from the questionnaires that do not meet the required standards will be rendered invalid.

Organization Of The Study
The organization of the study is as follows:

Chapter 1:

Chapter 1 will constitute the introduction, where a detailed introduction is provided. It covers the problem statement, the research questions, summarized methodology and the conceptual framework

Chapter 2:

It will constitute the literature review and theoretical frameworks. It will focus on the past studies illustrating the use of social media marketing in tourism industry. the chapter will also discuss the relevant theories to the study.

Chapter 3:

The research methodology; It will specify the research design, research approach, target population sampling method, the procedure for data collection, and analysis.

Chapter 4:

Research Findings; analysis of the results using various statistical techniques and a detailed discussion of the finding will be provided.

Chapter 5:

Conclusions and Recommendations; a conclusion based on the results of the study will be provided and also recommendations emanating from the study. The different areas that would need further studies would also be indicated.

Budget, Project Activities And Gantt Chart
For the completion of this project in time, the estimated budget for the proposed research is $ 3500. The budget is specified for the following reasons:

The literature review which requires the use of textbooks, online resources, journal articles and other resources that is not free to access. This will cost around $1000
The purchasing of secondary data-It will cost around $ 1500
The data analysis and structuring which will cost around $ 1000

Achen, R. M. (2017). Measuring social media marketing: moving towards a relationship-marketing approach. Managing Sport & Leisure, 22(1), 33–53. https://doi.org/10.1080/23750472.2017.1379883

Akhlagh, Esmaeil Malek; Akbari, Mohsen; Kasani, Hasan & Meghdadi.(2016). Considering the Effect of Social Media Marketing on Effectiveness of Advertisement and Healthy Tourists Attraction. International Journal of Scientific Management & Development, 4(10),387-394

Baird, C. H., & Parasnis, G. (2011). From social media to social customer relationship management. Strategy & leadership, 39(5), 30-37.

Batra, R., & Keller, K. L. (2016). Integrating marketing communications: New findings, new lessons, and new ideas. Journal of Marketing, 80(6), 122–145

Brodie, R. J., Hollebeek, L. D., Juric, B., & Ilic, A. (2011). Customer engagement: Conceptual domain, fundamental propositions, and implications for research. Journal of Service Research, 14, 252–271.

Chaffey, D., & Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2012). Digital marketing: Strategy, implementation, and practice (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson

Egan, J. (2014). Marketing communications. London: SAGE Publications Limited.

Evans, D. & McKee, J. 2010. Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement. Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing, Inc.

Guo, M. 2014. Relationship Marketing in an online social media context: Newspaper Versus Television Brand Websites Comparison. Journal of Media Business Studies, 11(4): 1-26.

Hajli, M. N. (2014). A study of the impact of social media on consumers. International Journal of Market Research, 56(3), 387-404.

Hudson, Simon, Thal, Karen. (2013). The Impact of Social Media on the Consumer Decision Process: Implications for Tourism Marketing . Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 30(2), 156

Hutter, K., Hautz, J., Dennhardt, S., & Füller, J. (2013). The impact of user interactions in social media on brand awareness and purchase intention: The case of mini on Facebook. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 22, 342–351.

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Leung, X. Y., Bai, B., & Stahura, K. A. (2015). The marketing effectiveness of social media in the hotel industry a comparison of Facebook and Twitter. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 39, 147– 169.

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Míguez-González, M. I., & Fernández-Cavia, J. (2015). Tourism and online communication: interactivity and social web in official destination websites. Communication & Society, 17–31. https://doi.org/10.15581/

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Turner, J. & Shah, R. 2011. How to Make Money with Social Media: An Insider?s Guide On Using New And Emerging Media to Grow Your Business.

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