Facebook Case Study

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MARKETING MANAGEMENT 555
Lecturer: *****

Assessment 1 Case papers overview Due: 14th February 2013 (Thursday) Word Count: 1588.

Facebook

Student Name: David Yew-Choong KAM Student ID:
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WHY do people use Facebook?
Whether it's for posting updates, reposting articles, checking in

locations/whereabouts, or playing Farmville – people participate in Facebook to stay connected, to relax, to be entertained, and to be kept informed (Bond, Ferraro, Luxton and Sands 2010, 4; Piskorski, Eisenmann and Smith 2012, 2). Some might even use it to spy on their partners, triggered possibly by romantic jealousy (Darvell, Walsh and White, 2011; Elphinston and Noller 2011, 631).

Others use it as a platform to advance various social and political causes by creating public Facebook pages. Lynas is an Australian listed company with ambitions to process rare earths in Malaysia. Concerned about the carcinogenic effects of the post production waste, multiple Stop Lynas Save Malaysia (SLSM in short) Facebook pages have been created by various Malaysian green groups (Stop Lynas, Save Malaysia Facebook page, 2013). The resultant groundswell and widespread publicity on mainstream media could have well contributed to the share price slide over the last two years (Lynas Corporation Price Quotes, 2013). This case as well as the iconic Arab spring uprising in Egypt & Tunisia has clearly demonstrated the edge that Facebook has given to the small man on the street by conferring them a voice for their cause, even with limited cash (Chokoshvili 2011, 22-23).

In a nutshell, Facebook is one of the top 4 new social media platforms (the others being Youtube, Twitter and LinkedIn) that allows for users to interact, influence

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and exchange information, with the aim to increase their social capital (Dutta and Fraser 2009, 2; Macnamara 2010, 7).

The implications of Facebook users' behaviour

Millions of users are susceptible to potential data abuse by cybercriminals, identify fraud as well as identify thefts should their accounts be hacked (Richmond, 2010).

Loss of privacy and bad publicity are also key issues when individuals tap on the social media highway. The recent cash-for-tweet saga by the South Australia Tourism's paid tweets to generate publicity for Kangaroo Island backfired, is a case in point (Ward, 2012, 39).

Facebook addictions (Griffiths 2012, 518) seems to be a growing concern - many have gone on digital breaks, Some users have even decided to flick the click permanently as life priorities changes (Kippist, 2013), while some users have complained about cyber bullying (Walker, Sockman and Koehn 2011, 35; Widdup 2010, 62).

Facebook has somewhat returned some power to consumers as the millions of users brag, bag and promote brands voluntarily, acting like being a brand ambassador on a pro bono basis. Leveraging on this consumer to consumer power to influence purchasing decisions meant businesses need to rethink their

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branding and marketing exercise to include a hybrid of brick and mortar and the click-and-"Like" mediums (Edelman 2010, 2; Mangold and Faulds 2009, 358). It's a paradigm shift where consumers are co-creators of the brand and hard selling shifts into two-way conversational selling. All these changes create opportunity for positive electronic word of mouth (also known as eWOM) to go viral very quickly (Chu 2011, 39). This can lead to a loss of control by businesses over the branding and marketing efforts. This lost of control is also a concern amongst government and private companies trying to control their employee's access to SNS during their working hours (Bhagwat and Goutam 2013).

Facebook will need to ensure that the privacy of users are not compromised as there are lots of data on its hands (Bhagwat & Goutam 2013). This vast amount of data is rich pickings for potential hackers like the Comment Group from China who mines data from social networking site. It then sends out...
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