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)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5637-4.ch027
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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.

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