Social Media Literature Review

Topics: Social media, Communication, Sociology Pages: 7 (2542 words) Published: April 8, 2013
Literature Review
The Literature Review represents relevant literature and theories which this research focuses on. Social media is defined as “the use of technology combined with social interaction to create or co-create value” (Jantsch, 2008). It is an emerging channel for marketing around the globe. In the modern days where social media is widely used, what needs to be communicated to the customers is, in a way, determined by them (Kietzmann, Hermkens, McCarthy, & Silvestre, 2011, p. 242). This means corporations have become less powerful in controlling the flow of communication even about their brands. The sharing of tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, videos, pictures etc. among the public shapes the brand image of a corporation (Kietzmann, Hermkens, McCarthy, & Silvestre, 2011). Chris Fill (2009) points out that there are many factors that make this channel more effective than the traditional ways of marketing communication. While traditional media communicates on a one-to-many basis which leads to mass marketing, the new media achieves one-to-one and many-to-many communication which is more successful due to an individualized approach (Chris Fill, 2009). The traditional media creates a flow of information from one party to the other whereas the digital media allows two-way dialogues. The social media caters to the individual needs of the consumers and is thereby more effective than conventional communication channels fulfilling general needs. The target population is divided into various segments based on their characteristics for traditional communication while the new generation media creates communities among the target audience for better reach of communicated messages. It is also important for all the members of the organizations to communicate the same message. David Williamson (2009) says that all staff needs to be aware of the brand position and communicate a consistent message, particularly in the case of non-profit organizations.

He claims that many organizations fail to express themselves appropriately in about two sentences quickly and suggests that they should be able to address these six questions: * Name of the organization

* Kind of organization
* Target audience served by the organization
* Issues the organization addresses
* Unique characteristics of the organization
* The convincing factor(s) of the organization appealing to the target The target of ictQATAR on the residents of Qatar is, in a way, against the view of Williamson. He favors specificity in aiming at the audience. Focusing on a broader target would make the marketing communication less powerful and resonating (Williamson, 2009). He even dismisses the idea of focusing on the ‘general public’. The extent, to which the target audience of ictQATAR can be narrowed down for better focus, needs to be examined. In their book Groundswell (2008), Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff explain the Social Technographics Ladder defining the various social media users. This model identifies seven types of online users which are: Creators: The most active internet users who create the contents online such as websites, blogs, pictures, videos etc. Conversationalists: The internet users who create dialogues and facilitate communication through status updates Critics: The group which responds to the online contents by the previous two groups and gives their opinions about them. Collectors: The online users who gather the information which suit their interests from the internet. Joiners: Those who go online and collect basic information only to maintain their social media profiles. Spectators: The social media users who actively watch the interactions and activities online without participating in the conversations. Inactives: Those who are not present on social media or are not participating at all. Michele Featherstone (2012) mentioned in her article that it involves a great amount of hard work, time and dedication to...
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