The purpose of this thesis is to explore if social media can be used as a branding tool. In particular, the thesis focuses on how social media differs from other branding tools available to companies, and to what extend social media is an appropriate tool for all companies. In an empirical case study, I also investigate the opportunities and challenges that Telmore, a Danish telecom provider, is experiencing using social media as a branding tool. Through a thorough analysis of current branding perspectives and an in depth discussion of social media as a branding tool, I recognize the need for a branding perspective designed for social media as a branding tool. Based on the findings in the theoretical discussions I present “social branding”, which is a new branding perspective that focuses on dialogue as the communicative approach to interact with consumers. I conclude the thesis’ theoretical part by discussing whether social branding is the right branding approach for all companies. Following the theoretical discussion, I present an analysis on how Telmore uses social media as a branding tool. The analysis is based on six interviews with employees at Telmore, and covers in total eleven different aspects regarding Telmore. The findings from the analysis is summarized in a SWOT analysis, and then compared and discussed using the social branding theory. Following the analysis, I conclude that social media is a unique branding tool, because it makes dialogue possible between a company and consumers, and between consumers, regardless of time, place or number of people. The main advantage with social media as a branding tool is that it improves a company’s ability to understand, explain, and learn from consumers’ brand experiences. However, the paper also highlights that the use of social media creates major challenges for companies, with challenges regarding organizational structure and culture being the two most important. The reason for this is because most companies today are not designed for the open and symmetric brand interaction with consumers that social media stresses. Overall, I find that it is not possible to conclude whether branding in social media is a suited for all companies. Therefore, the conclusion of this thesis is that the use of social media as a branding tool must be analyzed in the specific context of each company. The case study of Telmore’s context shows that Telmore is well adjusted to use social media as a branding tool. Telmore’s main advantage when it comes to social media is the ability to strengthen the relationship with each consumer, and between consumers. Telmore faces two main challenges; maintaining the conditions that make Telmore well suited to use social media, and that the organizational structure is preventing optimal results from the use of social media as a branding tool.
|Educations||MSc in Organisational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||92|