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Unformatted text preview: Exploring Social Media Marketing Towards a Richer Understanding of Social Media in Postmodernity Monika Garnyte and Ana de Ávila Pérez Thesis supervisor: Lars Haahr MA in Corporate Communication 1st December 2009 Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus Exploring Social Media Marketing: Towards a Richer Understanding of Social Media in Postmodernity Monika Garnyte and Ana de Ávila Pérez Acknowledgements The authors of this thesis would like to thank their supervisor, Lars Haahr, for his guidance and valuable advice throughout the development of this paper. Their appreciation also goes to Nikolaj H. Keldorff, project manager at ASB Media, who kindly participated in the research conducted for this study. Many thanks also go to Juan Trujillo and Huda Shalhoub, who have taken the time and trouble to alert us to errors in the text; to Bruno Serrano, who helped us with his IT skills in numerous occasions; to Joao Almeida, who attempted to arrange an interview between the researchers and one of the analysed companies; and to Kristina Piskarskaite and Laura Bernataviciute for all their suggestions and comments. Special thanks go to the application Skype, which has supported the communication between the authors of this thesis in the distance; as well as to Google for Gmail, Gtalk, and GoogleDocs, which contribute it to the daily exchange of ideas. Technology and the aforementioned Internet-based communication tools, enabled the authors to conduct this research while living in different countries. Without them, this study would have never been possible. Finally, the researchers would like to thank their closest friends and their families for all their support, patience and encouragement. 1 Exploring Social Media Marketing: Towards a Richer Understanding of Social Media in Postmodernity Monika Garnyte and Ana de Ávila Pérez Table of Contents: Abstract ................................................................................................................................................7 The Authorship of the sections.............................................................................................................9 INTRODUCTION ..............................................................................................................................10 1. Methodology ..............................................................................................................................13 1.1. Scientific paradigm: Social Constructivism .......................................................................13 1.1.1. Research Approach ....................................................................................................15 1.1.2. Research Methodology ...............................................................................................16 1.1.2.1. Cases 1 and 2: Nike+ community and The Lost Experience .................................16 1.1.2.2. Case 3: Aarhus School of Business (ASB) ............................................................21 1.2. Thesis Structure ..................................................................................................................24 1.3. Literature and Theoretical Application ..............................................................................27 1.4. Limitations .........................................................................................................................28 2. LITERATURE REVIEW ...............................................................................................................30 2.1. Postmodern marketing........................................................................................................30 2.1.1. Short introduction to postmodernity ..........................................................................30 2.1.2. Why does traditional marketing not work anymore? .................................................35 2.1.3. Implications of postmodernity to marketing ..............................................................37 2.2. Social Media .......................................................................................................................42 2.2.1. What is it?...................................................................................................................43 2.2.2. Technological, social, and business aspects of Social Media. ...................................43 2 Exploring Social Media Marketing: Towards a Richer Understanding of Social Media in Postmodernity Monika Garnyte and Ana de Ávila Pérez 2.2.3. Social Media Marketing. ............................................................................................45 2.2.3.1. Social Media Marketing: Definition and objectives ..............................................45 2.2.3.2. Characteristics of Social Media Marketing. ...........................................................47 2.2.3.3. Customer Relationship Management: the core of Social Media Marketing ..........50 2.2.4. Common Social Media Marketing Strategies. ...........................................................52 2.2.4.1. Blogging strategy ...................................................................................................52 2.2.4.2. Virtual community strategy ....................................................................................55 2.2.4.3. Social networking strategy .....................................................................................57 2.2.4.4. Twitter Marketing ..................................................................................................59 2.2.4.5. Viral marketing strategy .........................................................................................61 2.2.4.6. Search engines, RSS, wikis, and podcasts .............................................................62 2.2.5. 2.3. 3. Risks and fears of using social media marketing .......................................................63 Social media marketing and postmodernity .......................................................................65 CASE ANALYSIS .....................................................................................................................68 3.1. Case #1: Nike+ ...................................................................................................................68 3.1.1. Nike’s social media activity previous to Nike+ .........................................................68 3.1.2. Nike+ - the biggest runners’ community online.........................................................73 3.1.3. Nike+ results ..............................................................................................................78 3.2. Case #2: The Lost Experience ............................................................................................85 3.2.1. Pre-campaign stage ....................................................................................................85 3.2.2. The Lost Experience campaign ..................................................................................87 3 Exploring Social Media Marketing: Towards a Richer Understanding of Social Media in Postmodernity Monika Garnyte and Ana de Ávila Pérez 3.2.2.1. Key features of The Lost Experience .....................................................................88 3.2.2.2. The Lost Experience phases ...................................................................................90 3.2.3. 4. After The Lost Experience .........................................................................................96 Discussion ................................................................................................................................100 4.1. Nike+ online community and The Lost Experience through the postmodern lens ..........100 4.1.1. Social media marketing strategies ............................................................................100 4.1.2. The postmodern conditions ......................................................................................106 4.2. Theoretical foundation for the relationship between social media marketing and postmodernity ...............................................................................................................................112 4.2.1. Defining social media marketing .............................................................................112 4.2.2. Social media marketing: the connection between postmodern individuals and organisations.............................................................................................................................116 4.3. Recommendations: How can social media be used as a marketing tool in the context of postmodernity? .............................................................................................................................122 4.4. ASB case ..........................................................................................................................126 4.4.1. The overview: Aarhus School of Business ..............................................................127 4.4.2. Aarhus School of business’ social media strategy ...................................................131 4.4.3. ASB social media initiatives ....................................................................................138 4.4.4. Recommendations for ASB social media strategy ...................................................143 CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................................151 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................................................157 4 Exploring Social Media Marketing: Towards a Richer Understanding of Social Media in Postmodernity Monika Garnyte and Ana de Ávila Pérez APPENDICES……………………………………………………………………………………. 174 Appendix 1: Questions for the Nike interview............................................................. 174 Appendix 2: Social Media Types................................................................................ 175 Appendix 3: Nike-related documents........................................................................... 179 Appendix 4: Lost-related documents............................................................................. 202 Appendix 5: Screenshots for section 4.2.2......................................................................... 232 Appendix 6: The transcript of the interview with Nikolaj Hoencke Keldorff................... 234 Appendix 7: ASB related documents........................................................................... 247 Number of characters: 259,383 5 Exploring Social Media Marketing: Towards a Richer Understanding of Social Media in Postmodernity Monika Garnyte and Ana de Ávila Pérez List of Tables and Figures Table 1: The Characteristics of the interpretive worldview ...............................................................13 Table 2: Three aspects of postmodern social life ...............................................................................33 Table 3: Postmodern conditions and their main themes ....................................................................34 Table 4: Gillin’s (2008) recommendations for Social Marketing ......................................................46 Table 5: Old Marketing versus New Marketing.................................................................................49 Table 6: ASB social media and other online initiatives ...................................................................132 Figure 1: The use of methodology in the case of ASB ......................................................................23 Figure 2: Thesis structure ...................................................................................................................26 Figure 3: Ranking of social media channels used by organisations ...................................................46 Figure 4: Comments retrieved from Lost’s Facebook page in October 2009. ...................................98 Figure 5: The ASB Organisation (Aarhus School of Business, 2009c) ...........................................130 6 Exploring Social Media Marketing: Towards a Richer Understanding of Social Media in Postmodernity Monika Garnyte and Ana de Ávila Pérez Exploring Social Media Marketing Towards a Richer Understanding of Social Media in Postmodernity Monika Garnyte and Ana de Ávila Pérez Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus, Denmark ABSTRACT Purpose: Marketing professionals and scholars are witnessing the emergence of social media as a completely new communication tool for directing their marketing messages. Consequently, during the past few years many books and articles have been published on the subject, although few authors have investigated this phenomenon in the context of its epoch. Thus, the study explores social media marketing through the lens of postmodernity. The thesis investigates how companies can employ social media in order to communicate with postmodern consumers. Design/methodology/approach: Combining documentation with a one-to-one interview, a multiple case study is conducted. The paper, conceived as a qualitative study, employs an ‘inductive then deductive’ reasoning. Thus, the findings, generated from the analysis of two social media marketing strategies carried out by Nike and ABC, are used to generate a number of general recommendations for organisations. The recommendations are later applied to the case of Aarhus School of Business (ASB). Findings: The papers concludes that social media is a valuable tool for marketers in order to deal with the chaos, complexity, contradictions and change that postmodernity has brought to the discipline of marketing. Additionally, the research suggests ASB to provide not only functional, but also social and entertaining values through its social media strategy, as well as change its focus from ‘broadcaster’ to ‘mediator’ and ‘facilitator’ of conversations. Practical implications: The findings of this study are summarised in a number of recommendations for companies which aim to implement social media marketing strategies in postmodernity. Furthermore, the paper contributes to the marketing practice through the application of its findings to a real organisation. Originality/value: The paper documents the use of two ground-breaking social media strategies; extends the current literature on social media marketing; offers some recommendations to companies; and discusses the use of social media marketing in a specific organisation in relation to its findings. 7 Exploring Social Media Marketing: Towards a Richer Understanding of Social Media in Postmodernity Monika Garnyte and Ana de Ávila Pérez Keywords: Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Postmodern Marketing, Postmodernity 8 Exploring Social Media Marketing: Towards a Richer Understanding of Social Media in Postmodernity Monika Garnyte and Ana de Ávila Pérez THE AUTHORSHIP OF THE SECTIONS INTRODUCTION written by Ana de Ávila Pérez 1. Methodology written by Ana de Ávila Pérez 2. LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1. Postmodern marketing written by Monika Garnyte 2.2. Social Media 2.2.1. What is it? written by Ana de Ávila Pérez 2.2.2. Technological, social, and business aspects of Social Media written by Ana de Ávila Pérez 2.2.3. Social Media Marketing written by Ana de Ávila Pérez 2.2.4. Common Social Media Marketing Strategies 2.2.4.1. Blogging strategy written by Monika Garnyte 2.2.4.2. Virtual community strategy written by Ana de Ávila Pérez 2.2.4.3. Social networking strategy written by Monika Garnyte 2.2.4.4. Twitter Marketing written by Monika Garnyte 2.2.4.5. Viral marketing strategy written by Ana de Ávila Pérez 2.2.4.6. Search engines, RSS, wikis, and podcasts written by Ana de Ávila Pérez 2.2.5. Risks and fears of using social media marketing written by Ana de Ávila Pérez 2.3. Social media marketing and postmodernity written by Ana de Ávila Pérez 3. CASE ANALYSIS 3.1. Case #1: Nike+ written by Monika Garnyte 3.2. Case #2: The Lost Experience written by Ana de Ávila Pérez 4. DISCUSSION 4.1. Nike+ online community and The Lost Experience through the postmodern lens written by Ana de Ávila Pérez 4.2. Theoretical foundation for the relationship between social media marketing and postmodernity written by Monika Garnyte 4.3. Recommendations: How can social media be used as a marketing tool in the context of postmodernity? written by Monika Garnyte 4.4. ASB case written by Monika Garnyte CONCLUSION written by Ana de Ávila Pérez 9 Exploring Social Media Marketing: Towards a Richer Understanding of Social Media in Postmodernity Monika Garnyte and Ana de Ávila Pérez INTRODUCTION “Once every hundred years media changes. The last hundred years have been defined by the mass media. The way to advertise was to get into the mass media and push out your content. That was the last hundred years. In the next hundred years information won’t be just pushed out to people, it will be shared among the millions of connections people have. Advertising will change. You will need to get into these connections” Mark Zuckerberg, Co-founder of Facebook (Maymann, 2008). The business environment is very turbulent in the 21st century. As Smith & Taylor (2004) point out, in today’s world companies are facing many new unexpected issues, and the growth of the Internet as a communication channel is probably one of the most influential factors. The Internet not only made consumers more accessible (Smith & Taylor, 2004), but also carried out the appearance of completely new communication tools, which make the process of sharing information much easier and faster (Jaokar, Jacobs, Moore, & Ahvenainen, 2009). As Jaokar et al. (2009) suggest, “the people formerly known as the audience, are now the media” (p. 1) and, therefore, the way that companies need to communicate with their publics is also changing. Thus, consumers and marketers are witnessing the emergence of virtual social networks. In November 2009 Facebook had more than 300 million active users and 50 per cent of them logged on to Facebook every day (Facebook, 2009). Moreover, the average Facebook user had 130 friends on the site, and 45 million active user groups existed on the platform (Facebook, 2009). The Internet and the online social networks allow individuals to connect with friends, family, colleagues and like-minded people. Since the beginning of the history, there has never been such an amount of human beings connected together through a network. For a marketer, it becomes crucial to understand not only the rules of the medium, but also the expectations of its users. Nevertheless, although the amount of studies on the use of social media marketing is increasingly growing, few authors have investigated this phenomenon in the context of its epoch (Cova, 1996; Simmons, 2008; Mangold & Faulds, 2009; Proctor & Kitchen, 2002). Social 10 Exploring Social Media Marketing: Towards a Richer Understanding of Social Media in Postmodernity Monika Garnyte and Ana de Ávila Pérez media is a product of the postmodern era. As Simmons (2008) points out, marketing professionals and academicians need to “react” (p. 299) to the change, complexity, chaos and contradiction that postmodernity has brought to the discipline, in order to secure its contribution in this new era. Thus, assuming that the human kind lives in the postmodern era, and considering the quick development of social media, it becomes interesting to investigate how organisations can use this new communication tool for marketing purposes. Therefore, due to the limited research conducted in this area, the authors of the present thesis were motivated to explore social media marketing through the lens of postmodernity. Problem Statement The aforementioned facts leaded the...
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