Social Media Marketing: Psychological Insights, Managerial Implications, and Future Research Directions

Social Media Marketing: Psychological Insights, Managerial Implications, and Future Research Directions

Carolyn A. Lin (University of Connecticut, USA) and Philipp A. Rauschnabel (University of Michigan-Dearborn, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch154
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Social Media Platforms

We use the term social media to describe web-based platforms that allow users to:

  • 1.

    Consume and publish content,

  • 2.

    Engage in dialogues with other users, and/or

  • 3.

    Interact with brands and companies – in real time or sequentially, independent from the users’ physical location (Hennig-Thurau et al. 2010; Kaplan & Haenlein 2010).

The most important forms of social media platforms are social networks, blogs, opinion platforms, and content sharing platforms. To access these social media platforms, desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets are currently the typical interface technologies. Emerging interface technologies such as Smart Watches are focusing on wearable modalities. Augmented reality technologies, such as Google Glass and Microsoft’s Hololens, are aimed at integrating, melting, and “bending” physical and digital information into a simulated reality experience (Rauschnabel, Brem & Ivens, 2015). All of these technologies can be utilized to achieve various marketing objectives, including branding, customer service, product testing, relationship marketing and the like.

Rauschnabel and colleagues (2013) argue that social media platforms can be utilized by marketers in a proactive and reactive way. The proactive use of social media describes how companies use social media platforms to achieve corporate goals such as brand building, customer relationship management, sales, employer branding, or public relations. A core topic of proactive social media marketing is enabling consumers as disseminators of the company’s marketing message via electronic word of mouth (eWOM) or ‘word-of-mouse’ (Sun et al 2006). By utilizing social media marketing in a reactive way, organizations can institute social media monitoring, which reflects the collection, analysis, aggregation, interpretation, and storage of brand-related user-generated content. User-generated content can encompass what users post, share or publish on the Internet, including text, data, memes, images, photos, videos, and audio files. Social media monitoring offers organizations quick access to valuable information about users’ consumer profiles, brand awareness/interest/ liking/preference and user ability to understand the brand. Table 1 summarizes the functions and activities of major social media platforms.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Uses and Gratifications: Cognitive, affective and behavioral gratifications that consumers seek via social media use.

Social Media Marketing: The different marketing functions that are serviced by major social media platforms.

Marketing Management: Managerial strategies for companies that utilize social media channels for brand marketing.

Consumer Behavior: Brand evaluation, attitudes and purchase intentions in response to marketing messages that are embedded in social media venues.

Consumer Motivations: Hedonic and utilitarian motivations that drive consumers to access and respond to marketing messages delivered through social media platforms.

Social Media Consumer Culture: The social media use culture that influences how consumers respond to marketing strategies employed for social media channels.

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