How Fashion Companies Promote Themselves on Facebook
The social media are internet facilities where people can communicate and discuss through different websites or blogs. The social media has changed the world in many aspect and people are becoming more and more addicted to use these networks. People are fond of the social media because they can be social with a high number of individuals, both be real life friends, as well as strangers.
Since the social media has grown to become so popular, companies have taken advantage of this as well. Their goal is to promote themselves through these networks as this can be very lucrative for the business. There are many different social media networks however this study will only be about Facebook. The aim of the study is to find out and describe how companies use Facebook for marketing purposes. An observation of how 34 fashion companies use Facebook for marketing purposes was carried out.
According to internet marketing experts “the key questions is not whether to deploy Internet technology – companies have no choice if they want to stay competitive – but how to deploy it”. (Chaffey et al, 2003, p. Preface) As the social media and Facebook are very valuable for companies, companies must learn how to use social media as a part of their marketing strategy. One way for companies to promote themselves in the social media is through communication and advertising of themselves. (Kaplan, 2010, p. 64) (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2009, p. 9)
“Internet can be used to increase the frequency and depth of interactions with the brand, particularly for brand loyalists who are advocates of these brands” (Chaffey et al, 2003, p. 5). Companies can use Facebook for many different reasons. United States president Barack Obama used Facebook in his marketing strategy in the presidential elections. (Casteleyn et al, 2009, p. 442) Companies like Dell, Ernst & Young and Microsoft etc, use Facebook to find adequate employees to recruit. (CNNmoney, 2009) It is said that the social media and Facebook is a place ere people can promote themselves and show out pictures of whom they desire to be, to the whole world.
For the same reason, companies can use Facebook to promote themselves to customers and give out the image of how they want to be perceived. (socialTNT, 2008) The purpose of this study is to describe how fashion companies perform marketing on Facebook. This study is interesting as there are little studies of this topic that have been done before however there are several books and articles that uphold very strongly that companies should perform marketing on the social media networks and that this is very profitable.
The benefits of having Facebook as part of the marketing strategy can be very beneficial to companies and it is therefore interesting to see how companies actually are using the social media networks, and more precisely Facebook. This study will observe what kind of marketing that fashion companies perform on Facebook and the goal is to describe the situation. There are a number of different theories on marketing that could be applied for reaching this goal. One of them is relationship marketing (RM) that can be described as an approach for companies to develop valuable, long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with customers.
RM is recommended to be used when customers are highly involved in the good or service and are willing to engage in relationship 5 building activities. (Leverin & Liljander, 2006, p. 232), (Eiriz and Wilson, 2004,p. 276). Another well-known theory is service-dominant logic (S-D logic). The central principle of this logic is that service is exchanged for service. Moreover, S-D logic implies “co-creation” and “co-production”.
That is customers are actively contributing to the production of goods and services and assist in determining the perceived value of the offerings. (White et al, 2009, p. 76) One more theory that can be appropriate for this study is the theory of the promotional mix developed by Kotler (1998, 2000,2006), (Kotler and Armstrong, 1993, p. 383). This is a combination of six different marketing types that companies should mix and use in order to become more effective and successful in sales and brand equity. The main objective with the promotional mix is to create awareness and comprehension among customers. (Best, 2005, p. 302) This mix is known and used all around the world by companies and also by professors of marketing and is therefore very useful and adequate for this study.
The six types in the mix are: advertising, sales promotion, events and experiences, public relations and publicity (PR and publicity, personal selling and direct marketing. (Kotler and Armstrong, 1993, p. 383) Since the study will observe how companies promote themselves on Facebook, the promotional mix has been chosen. This choice has been made due to the fact, that the promotional mix is one of the oldest traditional marketing theories and it would be interesting to see if the modes included in the mix are used in modern marketing, i. . on social media, and especially Facebook.
As the field of the study is the online network Facebook the addition of another marketing type was necessary and this is word of mouth communication (WOM). As Facebook is a social media network, a great part of communication occurs through WOM. The reason to use WOM is due to its difference and at the same time importance in marketing. WOM differs from the modes in the promotional mix because it is more interactive. Ordinary people and the companies work together to reach the same goal.
In ordinary marketing, companies create marketing for ordinary people to look at and be influenced by. The communication is online and even though people cannot use their real voices and ears to communicate the communication will still be called WOM in this study. As Facebook is a social media network the communication includes a great deal of WOM. (Freeman and Chapman, 2008, p. 778) 6 The decision to make this study about fashion companies was because these companies were the ones to use Facebook the most.
Customers within the fashion industry expose their products to other peoples’ judgment which makes it very risky socially. They way people wear clothes are thus very likely to generate a great amount of WOM. (Bertrandias and Goldsmith, 2006, p. 26) It is easy to draw the conclusion that the companies, which have human appearance as their main focus, will choose to use Facebook because Facebook entails photos, interaction, communication and interests which makes it a powerful social media tool for these companies. The importance of a study like this one is that the social media and Facebook is a growing industry.
From its birth it has only become more and more popular and most likely companies will have to be involved in the social media to be successful in the future. Outline The study is divided into six main chapters and the following is the Literature review. This chapter will present the six modes of the promotional mix as well as WOM. These are all used as a basis for the observation on Facebook. The next chapter is Methodology where the process of the study, the whole observation in detail and possible limitations will be explained. Thereafter is a chapter where the social media and Facebook are presented.
The Result chapter will present the results of the observation, thus describe how marketing was used by Fashion companies on Facebook. The last chapter is the Summary of Results and Conclusion chapter which briefly will discuss the findings and sum up the whole study as well as give suggestions for future studies. Literature review The promotional mix The goal of marketing, for companies, is to create and keep their customers by producing desirable products and services. Companies’ products must be beneficial to customers, and to themselves, as well as available at satisfactory prices.