The aim of this article is to analyse and explore the impact or effect of social media as a tool in supporting Customer Knowledge Management (CKM) in organisations particularly the ones that rely on the traditional brick-and-mortar business model.
The organisation examined or rather used as a case study in this article is Starbucks which is an international coffee house chain which has risen from humble beginnings and now expanded to over 19,000 stores spanning 59 countries.
Social media services used by Starbucks were analysed in this article. They are;
*Twitter: this is a social media service which provides micro blogging services (MBS). It allows users to publish updates or commentaries known as microposts. Starbucks uses these tweets/microposts to provide knowledge for customers and promote their latest products, events and campaigns. It also allows customers to make prompt response.
*Facebook: this social media tool provides a service known as Social Networking Service (SNS). Through this medium, Starbucks provides a wide array of knowledge for customers and also draws knowledge from customers through poll questions and assess their behaviours, expectations, preferences or levels of satisfaction.
*Foursqure: this social media tool provides a type of service known as Location aware Mobile Service (LMS). This service allows users to check in online at real world locations and receive information that are context sensitive based on their locations. Starbucks has been reported to be one of the most searched brands in foursquare. These customers often leave comments which acts as a valuable source of knowledge from customers.
*MyStarbucksIdea: this social media service is categorized as a Corporate Discussion forum Service (CDS). It provides dedicated avenues for customers to discuss issues which are organisation specific. It also provides an avenue for customers to make enquiries and offer ideas. There are also rewards for customers who contribute frequently with good ideas. Starbucks also use this medium to provide knowledge to customers about issues that are up coming, under review or launched.
The journal contains about 61 references from various other documents. These materials cut across newspapers, magazines, newswire, books, scholarly publications and social media services which are textually analysed.
Painstaking investigation has been done in this journal and random data and information collected over several platforms. Information gathered where backed up by all the materials referenced in the journal and the methodology is quite impressive and the different authors agree with the issues raised in the journal.
The constraint observed in the piece of work is the limited period over which the sample information was taken which is not too ideal for a case study as wide and complex as this.