Advertising in the World of Social Media-Based Brand Communities

Advertising in the World of Social Media-Based Brand Communities

Mohammad Reza Habibi (California State University – Fullerton, USA), Michel Laroche (Concordia University, Canada) and Marie-Odile Richard (State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8125-5.ch009

Abstract

Social media has revolutionized marketing practices and created many opportunities for smart marketers to take advantage of its unique characteristics. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the concept of Social Media-Based Brand Communities to advertisers and show how they can use these communities to work for them in creating and distributing favorable communication messages to masses of consumers. The authors underscore that consumers in a brand community can be employed as unpaid volunteer ambassadors of the brand who diligently try to create favorable impressions about the brand in the external world. Social media has also empowered them to do so through participating in brand communities based in social media. These communities, however, are different from conventional brand communities on at least five dimensions: social context, structure, scale, storytelling, and myriad affiliated communities. Therefore, marketers should treat such communities differently. This chapter provides the essentials all marketers should know before facilitating brand communities in social media.
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What Is A Brand Community?

Initially, brand communities were recognized as a proper alternative for performing relationship marketing (Berry, 1995). The main idea behind relationship marketing was keeping one-on-one relationships with customers to enhance their loyalty and satisfaction; however, developing such relationships was not cost efficient (Iaccobucci, 1994). It would be more difficult for a firm to keep a distinct relationship with each one of its customers than having agents who would do so on the behalf of the firm. Therefore, brand communities, in which consumers perform many tasks on a brand’s behalf, can efficiently actualize relationship marketing (Muniz & O’Guinn, 2001). In a brand community each customer has a set of relationships with the brand and other customers.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Vigilante Marketing: “Unpaid advertising and marketing efforts, including one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many commercially oriented communications, undertaken by brand loyalists on behalf of the brand” (Muniz & Schau, 2007 AU30: The citation "Muniz & Schau, 2007" matches the reference "Muñiz, Schau, 2007", but an accent or apostrophe is different. , p. 35).

Advertising: “Any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas; goods or services by an identified sponsor” (Kotler & Armstrong, 2007 AU28: The in-text citation "Kotler & Armstrong, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. , p. 486).

Social media: “A group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content” ( Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010 , p. 61).

Communication: “The specific blend of promotion tools that the company uses to persuasively communicate customer value and build customer relationships” (Kotler & Armstrong, 2007 AU29: The in-text citation "Kotler & Armstrong, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. , p. 456).

Brand Community: “A specialized, non-geographically bound community, based on a structured set of social relations among admirers of a brand” ( Muniz & O’Guinn, 2001 , p. 412).

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