Engaging your Global Social Media Audience: A Framework for E-Retailers

Engaging your Global Social Media Audience: A Framework for E-Retailers

Leila Samii (Aurora University, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9921-2.ch011
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Abstract

The global reach of social media provides opportunities for e-Retailers. Implementing a global social media strategy maximizes the efficiency of the exchange of information between the target audience and the brand. Information acquisition provides e-Retailers with knowledge about their target audience, while information dissemination spreads awareness about the brand to the target audience. As a result, e-Retailers leveraging user content on social media enable the development of strategic global engagement to reduce cultural complexities. The REALLY framework develops a foundation to leverage user-generated content using standardization for multilayered social media campaigns for e-Retailers. Roxy's global social media campaign is used as a case example to analyze global social media strategy and internationalization.
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Introduction

There is no question of the vast size and global reach of social media. The potential for e-Retailers to spread content on social media is limitless across applications and country borders. In fact, in the US 52% of adults are using at least two social media platforms (Duggan, Ellison, Lampe Lenhart & Madden, 2015). There is a need for a foundational understanding of social media concepts to leverage global strategy independent of social media channels.

The extensive reach of social media has changed the way people communicate across countries and cultures. The range and speed of social media supports e-Retailers in the efficient exchange of information with consumers across markets through a global strategy. Marketing has evolved from traditional one-way and two-way broadcasting strategies to a more dynamic social strategy creating multi-way communication between the brand and consumer (Piskori, 2010).

The multi-way communication is not limited to channels or borders. Opportunities are created for e-Retailers to listen to the content being posted from the social media community. The exchange of information between the consumer and e-Retailer creates a dialogue for both sides to learn about one another. Many brands have been utilizing social media; however they do so from a country to country perspective, limiting the full potential of social media. Social media should be standardized to reach a global audience. Using a global strategy on social media enables e-Retailers to maximize their efficiency and social media community.

Social media applications are global platforms with limitless barriers to enter into the space. The optimal approach to global social media strategy has created complexity amongst brands. There are mixed results as to the optimal approach for implementing either a global or multi-domestic social media strategy. There is gap in the literature discussing social media strategy from a global lens however extending theory from multiple disciplines creates a holistic understanding of global social media strategy. For example, global strategy versus multi-domestic strategy has been discussed in the international business literature with support for both. A global strategy emphasizes standardization across countries to increase economies of scale (Levitt, 1983) while a multi-domestic strategy emphasizes adaptation from country to country to customize for the specific market (Ohmae, 1989). Both multi-domestic and global strategies have their benefits and drawbacks; however adapting and standardizing parts of the business units seems most reasonable (Quelch & Hoff, 1993). Looking specifically at social media, it is beneficial for e-Retailers to leverage the global reach of their social media message through a comprehensive strategy.

Through a global social media strategy, complexities of culture will become a challenge. Therefore, there is a need for strategies to be developed to leverage user generated content and reduce cultural complexities. Many brands have leveraged user generated content to efficiently spread brand awareness around their company. In fact, listening to the content being spread on social media provides learning opportunities for e-Retailers to understand more about their community in their specific industry. Through the careful listening and analysis of user posts e-Retailers can develop engagement strategies for their community. An e-Retailer’s brand image can be reflected through a strategic social media campaign leveraging user global engagement.

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