Social Media Communication: The AOS Way

Benjamin Poul Broen

Student thesis: Master thesis


There has been paradigm shift in how companies are able to communicate with their stakeholders because of an increasingly digitalized world. The major goal of this case study thesis is to approach how the British online web shop ASOS uses social media to influence the relations and perceptions of the customer stakeholder group. This case study is based on the social constructivist theory of science and it applies an inductive method and a critical perspective to create knowledge of how ASOS’ uses their social media platforms. In order to better structure the approach of answering the primary problem statement, this case study dissects the problem statement into three subordinate problem statements. These subordinate problem statements question whether there is a beneficial correlation between social media usage and ASOS’ main customer segment, how ASOS utilizes social media regarding their communication overall and also how ASOS’ social media communication complements their corporate branding.
This thesis applies two primary data sources and also secondary sources in the form of empirical observation from ASOS’ social media websites. The two primary data sources are a quantitative online survey (95 respondents) and a qualitative in-depth interview of ASOS customers. In order to better approach the answering of the subordinate problem statements, this thesis applies framing theories that concern social media in general, branding and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Through analyses, it is uncovered that there is a beneficial correlation between ASOS’ prime customer segment (Gen Z members) and the use of social media for corporate communication. Furthermore, several social media strategies are identified within ASOS’ social media communication, such as engagement strategies and how to incite User Generated Content (UGC). Also, it is identified how ASOS’ effective way of incorporating CSR in their online communication also benefits the company. It is also discovered that ASOS does face issues pertaining to a lack of control of user participation on their social media websites. Additionally, it is observed that ASOS’ method of branding themselves on social media complements covering the customer needs that drives purchases. This is also done by incorporating CSR in their branding efforts, and it is illustrated how ASOS’ avoids misalignments between who they are, who they say they are and what the customers believe to be true. Finally, it is identified how ASOS’ utilizes celebrities in their branding strategy, and how this furthers the covering of customer needs.
Conclusively, it was found that ASOS successfully incorporates several efficient strategies to effectuate their social media communication and interaction with customers. This case study was conducted with the prospect of creating knowledge about how to effectively conduct corporate social media communication. By means of analysis, this thesis argues that ASOS’ approach to corporate social media communication is exemplary, and companies who wish to engage with consumers online should aspire to utilize social media strategies the ASOS way.

EducationsCand.ling.merc Erhvervssprog og International Erhvervskommunikation (Multikulturel Kommunikation i Organisationer), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages115