SOCIAL MEDIA 1

  • Category:
    Marketing
  • Document type:
    Essay
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    3
  • Words:
    2181

Role of Social Media in Brand Management

There has been an ongoing argument in the recent past related to the notion related to branding in regards to numerous social media platforms. For instance, Facebook, which is one of the most popularly used online sites, continues has hit the billion users’ mark that log in at least twice every other month. Hong and Cho (2011) ascertain that consumers commit at least a third of their respective time to consuming activities related to online social media. Considering the given degree of popularity and capacity related to virtual communities to link up together; a set of distinctive and different like-minded people as well as businesses (Kaplan & Heinlein 2010) notes that most of the industry sages and researchers emphasises on companies to embrace social sites and thus, adopt it to their advantage in order to ensure future survival of operations. Other researchers (Fournier & Avery, 2011) refers to company brands as the uninvited crashers of social media meaning that the platform is focused solely on connecting people and not brands for that matter. As a result of these different views, determination of whether social sites platforms remain areas for branding continues to elicit mixed reactions for a long period.

Laroche, Habibi, & Richard (2013) argue that a social media focused brand community is made up of two distinctive concepts; that include both social media and brand community. It is ascertained that different potential users join these brand communities positioned in different social sites for the purpose of feeling socially connected and thus, linking up with people fulfils the need for belongingness. The imminent desire for social interaction has resulted to motivation of consumers in engaging in extensive content production within the unique online environment. In fact, it is said that people would always join the brand communities in order to accomplish their respective needs for identifying with different groups or even symbols that they desire to be associated with or which are of a desire to them.

In essence, online brand communities move in to support their different members in relation to the sharing of proper levels of information from different forms of sources while still encouraging the aspect of embracing different values. Brand communities avail chances for companies to be in direct contact with their ever-committed clientele-base in terms of efficient and effective firsthand communication and, also for purposes of accessing notable degree of information from them; and co-developing importance from closely interrelating with other potential customers. In truth, the most fundamental benefit that companies enjoy by supporting brand communities rest with the improvement to its overall brand loyalty. The imminent benefits accrued from the adoption of social media platform as an well-organized communication and distribution means; as a distinctive and powerful means that influences customers perception and behaviours and that which fosters in bringing together different likeminded persons are indeed a motivational factors for brand managers to extensively engage in social media.

Given the recent progress witnessed in the technological-related aspects; the past geographically restricted perception of brand communities is now referred to a transcending demography. It should be noted that in regards to the aforementioned motivational factors for joining social media as well as brand communities have distinctively come closer. The intersection of both brand communities and social sites has fostered to the development of new perspectives and concepts that are commonly referred to as the social media based brand community. A perfect example that can be used to distinctively define this concept is seen in such multinational companies like Jeep and entertainment-related organisations embracing Facebook and MySpace for the purpose of building their brand communities even further since they ensure to provide an effective platform for overall human well-being. Schau, Muniz, and Arnould, (2009) notes that different businesses have embraced the new online brand communities for purposes of enticing prospective consumers while at the same time ensuring to furnish the existing ones with efficient levels of information.

There continues to be an agreement amongst the different brand researchers that one of the crucial reasons behind the development and enhancement of brand communities as well as consumer experiences in regards to the community rests with making customers loyal to the particular brand. It is further asserted that the overall effects related to enhanced customer relationships within the customer centric model would eventually result to customer loyalty; however, in regards to this and other qualitative evidences; there still lacks proper research on how process of improving brand loyalty within the cumulative brand communities is perceived (Fournier & Avery, 2011). In fact, in regards to the loyalty and trust researches done, it is established that trust remains to be one of the core propellers of loyalty. Given that online communities, as social media structures, possess distinctive levels of positive effects on both trust and loyalty, it is noted that the enhanced relationships within the customer centric model of brand community would likely increase trust levels. According to Chaudhuri and Holbrook (2001) brand trust refers to the willingness and the capacity of an average customer to rely on the capacity of the brand in order to execute its overall stipulated functions. Indeed, whenever a situation results to a given degree of uncertainty; information imbalance or even fear of opportunism, the aspect related to brand trust plays a pivotal role in eliminating the underlying uncertainty as well as the lack of proper information (Chaudhuri & Holbrook, 2001). It makes customers to feel comfortable with their underlying trusted brand.

Erdoğmuş and Cicek (2012) note that Info-graphics study conducted to ascertain the role of social media in customers perception of a brand; indicated that more than half of both Twitter and Facebook users admitted that they were more likely to discuss, recommend or even buy company’s products immediately after they had started to engage with the company on this social media sites. Following this line of reasoning, businesses are able to promote products as well as services, avail instant support while also ensuring to develop an online community of brand enthusiasts through the numerous social media platforms. It is noted that social media provides customers with a platform for sharing pertinent information with their respective peers in relation to certain products and service brands; a process that gives mileage to companies in terms of brand awareness and in a more cost effective manner (Christodoulides, 2009). This sharing of information amongst customers further results to the boosting of brand recognition, recall as well as improve on aspects related brand loyalty. Thus, it can be safely deduced that social media platforms assists companies to develop on their brand loyalty through networking, conversation and overall community-building.

Social media, as a marketing tool for brand management, is deemed to be far much different in comparison to other forms of conventional methods hence requires special attention as well strategy development for purposes of achieving both brand image and loyalty (Christodoulides, 2009). To effectively utilise the aspect of social media in propelling brand management; companies are encouraged to stay away from enormous campaigns and only focus on smaller acts given that some small campaigns could be easily accessed by different people while ensure to accomplish the overall goals and objectives in a short period (Christodoulides, 2009). Use of social media marketing strategy is considered to be far more sincere in its underlying communication with the customers since it focuses on showing what the brand is as opposed to making efforts to control its overall image as whole. Nowadays, most of the potential consumers are powerful and busy for most part of the day hence companies should be reachable and available in every of the social media communication platform like Twitter, Facebook and Blogs in order to strengthen their brands even further.

The ability to remain competitive in the modern business environment requires that companies adopt a solid social media strategy (Labrecque, et al, 2013). For this case, companies are required to recruit social media experts in order to make decisions on their behalf on matters related to content and attributes of their distinctive offers and activities within the overall social media landscape so that it secures the willingness and capacity of consumers to uphold brand loyalty. Recent research conducted by eMarketer indicates that customers will visit social media platforms that are able to keep up with a brand’s immediate products and promotional campaigns (Labrecque, et al, 2013). For instance, Coca-Cola recently embraced both online customer loyalty initiatives in order to engage the customers by way of offering them special promotions and free Mp3 downloads. Notwithstanding, customers perceive social media platforms as a service channel where they are able to commit on real-time basis with the underlying businesses. Of particular interest to note, customers prefer to regularly see updated content on these social media platforms. For this reason, Google, the biggest search engine company, changed its algorithm of their search in order to foster customers to perceive updated content. On the contrast, customers that are fully exposed to an enormous amount of brand messages on social media platforms filter out the content that is deemed to be irrelevant. On this note, the ability to provide relevant and updated content on the different company’s social sites is a fundamental strategy that is needed for managing a given brand on the platform more successfully (Labrecque, et al, 2013). The degree of popularity of these social media platforms as well as the content amongst the peers is yet another crucial reason for the customers to be committed with brands and since it is almost a challenge to adopt all of these platforms; marketers should opt to evaluate their distinctive target audiences and make decisions in order to fully participate in the most effective social media platforms in order to communicate with their customers. In addition to this, Erdoğmuş and Cicek (2012) note that the ability to provide mobile-based applications always allow consumers to commit to the brand on a day-to-day basis, and; therefore develop the aspect related to brand loyalty.

De Vries, Gensler and Leeflang (2012) posit that members of a given social networking site can result to being friends for purposes of social and professional interactions. Similarly, members of social networking sites can further become friends with other members but also become fans of brands on a committed brand fan pages (Fournier & Avery, 2011). In essence, these brand fans can go ahead to share their enthusiasm in relation the brand on these pages and thus; be united by the common interest within the brand. In truth, these brand fan pages are seen to portray a section of the customer’s relationship with the brand, widen its brand-customer relations and thereafter, avail a source of information and social benefits to the existing members of these pages (Labrecque, et al, 2013). Within this brand fan pages, businesses are able to develop relative brand posts that could include anecdotes, photos and even videos that will trigger fans interaction through liking and commenting on them.

To sum up the discussion above, it can be seen that social media is doing more good than harm on the aspect of brand management. In the today’s ever-changing business environment, management teams are called to recruit and retain social media experts for the purpose of coming with effective brand marketing strategies. Companies are able to develop fan pages where they can regularly update on their content and product information that customers could go ahead to share; recommend and even purchase altogether. Thus, the ability to remain competitive in the modern business environment requires that companies adopt a solid social media strategy.

References

Chaudhuri, A., & Holbrook, M. B. (2001). The chain of effects from brand trust and brand affect to brand performance: The role of brand loyalty. Journal of Marketing, 65, 81–93.

Christodoulides, G. (2009). Branding in the post-internet era. Marketing Theory, 9(1), 141-144.

De Vries, L., Gensler, S., & Leeflang, P. S. (2012). Popularity of brand posts on brand fan pages: An investigation of the effects of social media marketing. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26(2), 83-91.

Erdoğmuş, İ. E., & Cicek, M. (2012). The impact of social media marketing on brand loyalty. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 58, 1353-1360.

Fournier, S., & Avery, J. (2011). The uninvited brand. Business Horizon, 54, 193–207.

Hong, I. B., & Cho, H. (2011). The impact of consumer trust on attitudinal loyalty and purchase intentions in B2C e-marketplaces: Intermediary trust vs. seller trust. International Journal of Information Management, 31(5), 469–479

Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons, 53, 59–68

Labrecque, L. I., vor dem Esche, J., Mathwick, C., Novak, T. P., & Hofacker, C. F. (2013). Consumer power: Evolution in the digital age. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 27(4), 257-269.

Laroche, M., Habibi, M. R., & Richard, M. O. (2013). To be or not to be in social media: How brand loyalty is affected by social media? International Journal of Information Management, 33(1), 76-82.

Schau, J. H., Muniz, M. A., & Arnould, J. E. (2009). How brand community practices create value. Journal of Marketing, 73(5), 30–51.