Key customer engagement drivers in social media
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, )|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201511212163
|Publish Date:|| 2015-11-25
|Thesis type:||Master's thesis
The rapid development of Internet technologies and pervasive spread of social media in the last decade have led to a tremendous growth of interest in customer engagement (CE). Nowadays, social media significantly enrich and facilitate marketing communications and enable brands to get closer to their customers, serve them and engage as never before. At the same time, social media allow customers to be active and often to play a leading role in their relationships with brands. CE in social media is a complex and challenging task, which requires companies to have a clear vision of motivational drivers that lead customers toward engagement with brands. Moreover, the development and implementation of effective customer engagement strategies in practice is difficult without an understanding of how social media influence customers’ attitudes and behaviors. This research identified and analyzed fourteen key customer engagement drivers (KCEDs) in social media. Additionally, a new conceptual framework for KCEDs was developed. The framework presents gratification and positive emotions; utilitarian; and social groups of drivers that take place in the brand-to-customer and customer-to-customer contexts. The proposed framework is aimed at enhancing the understanding of online CE and its motivational origins as well as providing the foundation that facilitates designing effective CE strategies in social media. In addition to a review of marketing and persuasive technology academic literature, twelve interviews with marketing and communication professionals were conducted in order to provide an empirical insight into the phenomenon of CE in social media. The findings of the empirical part indicate that a thorough analysis of the persuasion context helps companies in selecting the proper social media channels for CE activities; designing an appropriate persuasion message; and determining a suitable route of persuasion depends on the industry of a brand, the type of marketing relationship, and the target audience. The findings prove that customers consider social media as trustworthy sources of brand-related information and highly value their openness. Also, the empirical results verify the reliability of the theoretical finding and demonstrate that effectiveness of KCEDs in social media may vary in different countries.
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