Abstract: The popularity of social media is constantly growing. More than 84% of Internet users have accounts on social networks and spend between two and four hours per day on the Internet. Each user has 195 “friends” on average. Spending time in the social media is already activity number one in the Internet, exceeding the popularity of activities such as searching for information search and using e-mail. It is expected that Facebook will replace e-mails as the main means of communication.
Recently the number of people, who use social networks not only to communicate but also to find information about various goods and services, is steadily increasing. Social networks is gaining increasing popularity as a powerful business tool. The business is taking its first steps in using social media platforms as an effective marketing channel.
The first part of the article examines the main reasons, which determine the closer integration between the social media and business processes within companies. These reasons include the use of social tools by the majority of Internet users; the undoubted advantages that social media can provide for businessеs; the employees’ passion for social networks; and the need for a clearly developed marketing strategy for using social media. Special attention is paid to the latest data on the use of digital technology in Bulgaria and the reasons, which determine the serious lagging of our country compared to other EU countries in some of the most important aspects.
In the second part, the author outlines the main areas in which social media can help the business: marketing; sales; customer service; PR campaigns; personnel recruitment; customer relationships management; brand promotion and increase of brand recognition; training and staff development. An attempt is made to highlight some of the manifestations of social tools in each of the above mentioned areas, based on specific examples.
Abstract: The focus of the research is on online retail channels for organic bee products. They create short supply chains and ensure access to local and global markets and new market segments, which do not exist on offline markets. Creating one’s own online channel for organic bee products or using an intermediary one implies the development of one’s own retail platforms and social networks or the use of intermediary ones. Designing and maintaining one’s own online retail channel for organic bee products requires substantial investments, therefore such channels are mainly built by large agricultural and non-agricultural entities with high horizontal and vertical integration and ensured access to capital and markets. The high level of integration of different systems, technologies and innovations such as CRM and ERP in online platforms makes it possible to collect, systematize and analyse large volumes of data base – the so-called Big Data and analyse the online behaviour of customers in order to implement precise and targeted marketing.