The Role of Social Media in Special Types of Brand Building: Destination Branding, Personal Branding, and Employer Branding Through Social Media

The Role of Social Media in Special Types of Brand Building: Destination Branding, Personal Branding, and Employer Branding Through Social Media

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5143-0.ch006
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In previous chapters, the importance of social media in branding activities was explored. The question that remains is the role that social media play in various forms of branding. First, the concept of destination branding, and the way destination marketing organizations can utilize social media in branding activities are explored. Then, personal branding and its importance, along with the role of social media in achieving it, are explored. Finally, in the last section of this chapter, a relatively new concept is described. Employer branding is the implementation of branding activities in human resource management. It is regarded as a crucial part of every successful brand in today's world. Social media can help companies improve their employer brand, a role that is explained further in this chapter.
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Social media is used by many people for different reasons that can be either personal or professional. Many companies have felt the importance of social media, and are utilizing them to communicate brand message and improve brand image. Social media can be employed in a variety of branding activities, some of which will be explored in this chapter, including destination branding, personal branding, and employer branding.

Social media can affect consumer behavior with regard to what they buy or where they go, as people share their experiences on them (Adams, 2012). Tourists and travelers can now find the information they want on social media platforms and as such, they have become valuable marketing channels (Buhalis & Foerste, 2015; Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010; Barnes, 2015). One of the important features of social media is the way they regard consumers as co-creators of brand content and communication, as marketers can no longer control sharing of content as they did in the traditional marketing channels (Fournier & Avery, 2011; Fisher & Smith, 2011). The brand identity is affected by consumers’ personal experiences and stories, as they can easily be shared among users in the context of social media, which has a revolutionary impact on marketing strategies of the firms (DesAutels, 2011; Kietzman, Hermkens, McCarthy, & Silvestre, 2011; Peters, Chen, Kaplan, Ognibeni, & Pauwels, 2013; Berthon, Pitt, Plangger, & Shapiro, 2012).

The market is full of competition nowadays, with organizations having to search for sources of sustainable competitive advantage if they are to gain profit and survive in this world. Human resources are regarded as one of the most important sources of competitive advantage, as many knowledge-based companies put significant investments in this area. Human capital of the firm should include individuals with high levels of determination and competency and then combine these talents more successfully than their competitors to be considered a source of competitive advantage (Wright et al., 1994; Boxall, 1996).

In markets with high levels of competition, brand and reputation are the most important element in recruiting talents, which are sought after by many organizations in different industries (Cappelli, 2001; Cable and Turban, 2003). Brands have always been crucial in the product market, and recently this importance have been carried over to the labor market as well and created the field of employer branding in the process.

Employer branding is based on the human resource theory and resource-based view, as it concentrates elements such as brand equity and reputation to improve the image of the firm as suitable employers (Backhaus & Tikoo, 2004; Collins & Stevens, 2002; Berthon et al., 2005). Most of the focus is on the effects of firms’ reputation and attractiveness, which are considered valuable intangible resources, on the ability of the company to hire talents (Barney, 1991, 2002; Dowling, 1994; Hall, 1992; Milgrom & Roberts, 1982; van Riel, 1997, all in Walsh & Beatty, 2007). Social media’s role in recruiting talents is becoming more prominent, as more organizations are embracing the technology.

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