The Power of Facebook: An investigation of how International New Ventures use marketing communications on Facebook to engage their fans

Alexandra Hansson

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to contribute to emerging research on International New Ventures (INVs) marketing practices in the context of international marketing on social media. The aim is to investigate how INVs communicate with their fans on Facebook to engage them. Design/methodology/approach: A case study approach was used to investigate two Swedish and two Danish INVs. A qualitative content analysis was performed to investigate their Facebook posts over a period of one year, starting from the launch of the Facebook page. A total of 364 posts were examined. Findings: The results demonstrate that the INVs’ communication can be categorized into six main communication categories; Information, Promotion, Entertainment, Adaptation, Fan Communication and Activation. Subcategories were also identified and two trait categories; Vividness and Founding team. The communication could be related to established companies communication, but the categories Adaptation and Founding team was found to be specifically related to INVs’ characteristics. The results proved that the INVs mainly used traditional one-way communication to engage their fans and that the two-way communication possibility offered by social media was underutilized. No strong patterns for what impacted engagement was identified except for competitions which effected engagement positively. The paper further argued that the reason for the weak patterns of engagement could be explained by the INVs lack of a fully developed brand. Practical implications: The author suggests that the INVs should arrange competitions to engage their fans on Facebook. Further, it is suggested that the INVs should encompass a combination of the different categories identified in this research to realize the full potential of Facebook. However, the author establishes that the success of the communication is related to the individual INV’s industry and service. Originality/value: The findings complement existing theory on communication and engagement on Facebook from new angels. Additionally, the findings contribute to emerging research on marketing in INVs.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages120