THE FACTORS WHICH LEAD BRANDS TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA IN EXTERNAL CORPORATE COMMUNICATION

Gulcin Ipek Emeksiz
2019 International Journal of Social Sciences  
Social media is the new form of today's communication. People spend a lot of time on social media to be informed about and to interact with the happenings in their social environments, and in the meantime they want to reach their favorite brands. Therefore, many brands have started to open brand fan pages in different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get in touch with their consumers. There are many factors which have led brands to use social media in external
more » ... media in external corporate communication; however, these are not pointed out in detail in the literature. This paper aims to cover the factors which have motivated brands to use social media in external corporate communication. The paper first explores the reasons behind the decline of trust towards traditional advertisements and the advertisements on the Internet. Afterwards, it discusses why websites have recently lost their popularity against social media platforms. Lastly, it looks at why consumers want a presence of brands in social media. The results show that today's consumers tend to trust electronic word of mouth in social media platforms more than traditional advertisements since they can learn online the experiences of people who have tried the products and services of brands. Furthermore, many consumers feel bothered from the advertisements which drop into their e-mail boxes and the Internet banners which pop up. Interactivity in social media is the main factor which has caused social media to get one step more forward than the websites. Today's consumers want to engage in dialogues with their favorite brands and have in touch with them on social media. This paper will contribute to the literature of corporate communication from the aspect of social media. On the other hand, with the fast spread of Internet and social media people can now read the comments about tons of products and services easily online. While traditional word of mouth Additionally, websites have lost their popularity compared to social media tools. Websites are often designed no different than brochures, they convey one-way information to the stakeholders and they are static (Alikılıç, 2011, p.63). Since websites don't give the opportunity of two way communication and since they don't support instant talk, brands have started to use social media while communicating with their fans (Özel and Sert, 2015, p.17). Nowadays, every consumer who search for information want their favorite brands to have a presence on social media because it is easier to get in touch with brands on social media rather than websites. In other words, one of the main reason why social networking sites are preferred more than websites is that websites don't allow dialogues. Brands which use websites in corporate communication are insufficient in giving answers to the questions of their stakeholders. Therefore, the usage of social networking sites is preferred more for brand to consumer communication nowadays. Griffiths and Mclean (2015, p.148) who resembled the websites of brands into "store windows" said that the only way to communicate with consumers via websites is the e-mail address taking place in the "contact with us section" and the e-mails which are answered usually stay in simple scenarios and they are far from giving real answers to the questions of consumers. Briefly, websites only permit one way communication from the brand to the consumers. On the other hand, social media allows two way communication and this way brands not only learn the views of their stakeholders but also can answer their comments. Thanks to social media brands can answer the requests and suggestions of their consumers and create a dialogue with them. This way interaction occurs. Therefore, today many brands create a connection from their websites to their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages (Abacıoğlu, 2014, p. 236). Businesses don't forget to put the slogan of "follow us on Facebook" on their websites (Çağıl, 2017, p.17). Furthermore, in order to braodcast a news on social media, brands don't need to the help of traditional media professionals any more. They can convey any information about their brands to
doi:10.20472/ss2019.8.2.005 fatcat:urntr3xvmvelhhm2siunjlaeaq