Corporate Reputation and Customer Loyalty in Social Media: An Analysis of Turkish Mommy Bloggers' Instagram Pages

Corporate Reputation and Customer Loyalty in Social Media: An Analysis of Turkish Mommy Bloggers' Instagram Pages

İdil Sayimer (Kocaeli University, Turkey) and Banu Küçüksaraç (Kocaeli University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 32
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3619-2.ch012
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The chapter explores the relationship between online corporate reputation and customer loyalty through the Instagram posts of Turkish mommy bloggers, one of the significant online communities of organizations. Designed as an exploratory research, the chapter also investigates the components that constitute corporate reputation and how they affect customer loyalty according to bloggers. For this purpose, Instagram pages of Turkish mommy bloggers with the highest number of followers were analyzed by participant observation and content analysis methods. The main findings of the research show that the factors that constitute corporate reputation according to bloggers are product-service quality, emotional appeal, and social responsibility, respectively, while their customer loyalty is found at an attitudinal level, which supports word-of-mouth communication and loyalty intention.
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One of the most important success criteria of corporations in today's competitive business world is corporate reputation, based on the strategic role of changing and developing communication. Corporate reputation which constitutes also the source of PR's organizational competence in new competitive conditions (Sykes, 2002, p. 79) in the most general sense, is a holistic expression of the evaluations made over time, to the extent that an organization is perceived as trustworthy, valuable and respected by all its stakeholders (Gotsi & Wilson, 2001, p.29). Since a strong corporate reputation depends on stakeholders' positive thoughts, impressions and evaluations, they have a critical role on corporate reputation. Today, the most remarkable stakeholders of organizations seem to be overall social media users but especially bloggers. Social media have changed the relationship between organizations and those online stakeholders providing a platform for both to connect, engage with and communicate independently.

As new communication technologies and user practices are spreading rapidly, blogs have become an increasingly common media environment for individuals as a way of sharing their personal interests, informal thoughts and their passion for the world. While blogs serve as a combination of effortless self-expression for ordinary people and social interaction with global audiences, they also affect the corporate business world. Particularly popular bloggers' acceptance as opinion leaders by their followers lead organizations to establish closer and better relationships with those target audiences.

When bloggers share their positive impressions about an organization/brand, and their consumption experiences with their followers, they make a considerable contibution to corporate reputation and provide more online followers to brand accounts as customer relationship model.

Having a good reputation provides significant competitive advantages in many areas. One of these areas is the creation and strengthening of customer loyalty. A good reputation can help the organization/brand look stronger, attractive, and trustworthy to the customer. For this, it is necessary to investigate how the corporate reputation is shaped in the eyes of customers and what kind of effects they have on consumption behavior.

This research was carried out considering this necessity.The aim of this study is to explore the basic elements of corporate reputation and how these elements affect customer loyalty according to bloggers who are one of the most prominent stakeholders of organizations and brands. For this purpose the study was planned as an exploratory research, and the Instagram pages of Turkish mother bloggers were selected as the research object. Key reasons of identifying the research object can be ranked as follows:

  • Mothers are powerful figures to give advice and influence the decisions of millions of other family-oriented social media users.

  • Mothers are heavily engaged on social media and it seems that they are likely to follow mommy bloggers' Instagram pages who have a high number of followers for their motherhood issues.

  • The mommy bloggers' lifestyles and brand choices are attracting attention and follower mothers seem to trust the advice of mommy bloggers. In this context bloggers have also potential to create brand followers, brand fans and potential consumers.

  • The use of visual infographic and marketing applications in social media has increased and Instagram has a tendency to become one of the prominent social media platforms.

While many mom/family bloggers, Instagrammers, and YouTubers turn to social media as a way to share their experiences and engage with a like-minded digital community, others look to social media platforms and blogs for advice about what products to buy, what services to invest in, and where to take their children for medical checkups, birthday parties, and countless other activities. According to a survey by BlogHer, Inc., a network and publisher for women, 90% of mothers polled trusted the recommendations of “mommy bloggers,” and 64% of mothers said they would purchase a product based on the recommendation of a social media influencer or blogger (mediakix, 2016).

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