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Social media research: influencing the influencers

Nunan, D. and Cook, A., (2012) Social media research: influencing the influencers. Report. Henley Centre for Customer Management

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One of the central concepts in marketing theory is the idea that some individuals are more influential than others, and that these influencers play a central role in driving adoption of new products and services. From a customer service perspective, when these influencers are dissatisfied, they are able to drive disproportionally large numbers of customers, and potential customers, away. This report includes two pieces of research to help organisations engage with, and manage, online influencers. The first investigates the role of hyperinfluencers in online rate-and-review sites. Whilst existing research suggests that most individuals who post online are motivated by feelings of altruism or reciprocity this study found that the hyperinfluencers viewed reviewing products as a form of entertainment, creating ‘game’ elements out of the review process. The second piece of research examined the role of influence on social media sites, specifically Facebook, and questions whether it is possible to build effective brand communities on Facebook. The effectiveness of Facebook as a tool for building relationships with customers has been questioned, with some arguing that Facebook has only a limited value for marketers as a platform for promotions and offers. The research indicates that effective brand communities can be built on Facebook, but many brands are currently adopting social media community strategies that actually destroy brand value. For both pieces of research recommendations are provided for best practice in maximising the beneficial effect of online influencers, and minimising the potential for damaging brands online.

Item Type:Report (Report)
Divisions:Henley Business School > Marketing and Reputation
ID Code:82301
Publisher:Henley Centre for Customer Management


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