Corporate branding in Facebook - Communicating strategic vision: A case study

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Volume Title
School of Business | Master's thesis
Date
2016
Major/Subject
International Business Communication
International Business Communication
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
87
Series
Abstract
Objective of the Study: The objective of the study was two-fold. Firstly, the study aimed to increase knowledge of how the case company (Stockmann) uses social media for corporate branding from the perspective of openness and interaction and secondly, the study aimed to find out how the case company communicates its strategic vision through Facebook. Four research questions were outlined as follows: 1) How and for what reasons case company uses social media for corporate branding purposes; 2) What kind of content is published on their Facebook page; 3) What posts create most interaction; and 4) How is interaction depicted from case company's Facebook communication. Methodology and Analytical Framework: The study used a qualitative approach in a single-case study, and Stockmann was chosen as the case company. Content analysis was used in data collection, by using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Data was collected within six month period from Facebook. Additionally, one semi-structured interview was conducted. The theoretical framework presents the corporate branding process in the social media environment, where openness and interaction emerge as strategies. In the focal point of the theoretical framework are three important variables of corporate branding: strategic vision, organizational culture and stakeholder images. Findings and Conclusions: The findings showed that Facebook is considered as integral part of case company's social media and it is used for both marketing purposes as well developing the corporate brand. Nearly half of the posts (45%) communicated in Facebook could be considered as communicating the strategic vision and they clearly seemed to create more interaction than promotional posts which accounted for the other half (55%). The findings also indicated that even though Stockmann wants to create engagement with stakeholders, they consider themselves more as creators of content than active participants in the discussion. In respect of the earlier studies, the findings show that Stockmann's corporate branding in Facebook is mainly management driven, rather than mutual co-created process with engaged stakeholders. Also findings show support to earlier studies in corporate branding highlighting that openness and interaction is not fully used in communicating corporate brands in social media.
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Keywords
corporate branding, stakeholder theory, social media, openness, interaction, stakeholder engagement, international business communication
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