Investigating the impact of social media on the primary industry in New Zealand.

Executive Summary

Social media offers primary sector corporations the opportunity to leverage network effects. Rather than one to one interactions, groups of customers and stakeholders have the opportunity to support each other. Primary industry corporations can use social media platforms to facilitate these interactions. This results in increased efficiency, better brand awareness and improved customer relationships.

The primary industry is constantly in the public eye and put under scrutiny. Therefore, it is important for companies within the industry to have a voice, social media has proven to provide a platform for companies to share their voice.

This report identifies how social media is used both positively and negatively. Firstly, an overview of what social media is, who uses it, and different types of social media.

A literature review researching how social media can be used effectively has been outlined in Chapter 2. This highlights how social media can benefit a business when done right. Social media can be used to build direct relationships with customers, collect feedback, and identify new business opportunities.

Nine interviews were conducted with representatives from companies that are active in social media to evaluate how they use social media, and what their aims are by doing so. Respondents were asked how risk is managed within a team, to ensure that the right information is given and that responses have a positive impact. It was found that companies using social media generally attempt to increase engagement, educate their customers, stakeholders, and the general public. It is important that a company has a risk management strategy, to help manage any negative interactions on their media platforms.

To complement the information gathered through the interviews, a case study was done about a business that has a very low presence on social media. The goal was to see benefits of using a different platform to engage with suppliers. From the learnings found in the interviews with the other companies, it was obvious that there is value in having a social media presence to educate the public. However more resource is needed to manage the social media platforms to make it more effective.

The report concludes with an overview, discussion, and recommendations on how companies can use social media to their advantage, and be an effective tool adding value to their business.

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