Female bloggers and the party crashers

In the ever-changing society, neither marketers nor consumers are behaving in the same way as they did 10 years ago, new rules have changed the game. Not only have the focus changed from marketing being a one-way communication, also the people performing the marketing have been alternated. Blogs have introduced the world to a new form of consumption, where young girls have become today’s entrepreneurs, but how did this happen?

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The temporary democratization of the fashion industry: An illustration of today’s fashion blogosphere

Fashion blogs emerged in the beginning of the 2000s and have grown exponentially ever since. Over time, the fashion blogosphere evolved from early non-commercial amateur street styles, inspirational blogs and personal diaries to successful lifestyle brands with celebrity bloggers, such as Hanneli Mustaparta or Chiara Ferragni. These style icons are now regular guests at the runway shows of the big fashion houses (Figure 1) and sit in the front row next to the global style authorities Anna Wintour and Suzy Menkes (Titton, 2010; Crewe, 2012).

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Online word-of-mouth and its key characteristics to manage it effectively

Online or electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) has been defined as “any positive or negative statement made by potential, actual, or former customers about a product or company, which is made available to a multitude of people and institutions via the Internet” (Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner, Walsh & Gremler, 2004, p. 39). Moreover, eWOM also includes opinions and share of information not only about products but also about services and brands (Jalilvand, Esfahani, & Samiei, 2011). In this post I will address the question: what are key characteristics of eWOM that companies need to know in order to manage it effectively?

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Social Media Monitoring – 3 reasons why companies should do it Part 2

In the first part I provided three reasons why companies can benefit from Social Media Monitoring. In this part I will present well executed best practices that reinforce these reasons.

Best Practice 1: Old Spice listens to its audience and gets personal

In 2010 P&G’s brand Old Spice launched a campaign, which is a great example of how Social Media Monitoring can serve as a basis for interaction with the customer. It started with a spot called “the man your man could smell like”, which aired a few days before the big Super Bowl game on Youtube and Facebook. It was 30 seconds long and showed an attractive man who talked about how everything is possible with old spice body wash. The spot became a viral hit, capturing 76% of all online conversations about male body wash brands, and reached 10 million views on YouTube in a few months (Effie Awards, 2011).

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Your Brand under Attack: Negative electronic Word-of-Mouth (eWOM) and online Firestorms in Social Media Part 2

Although the importance of this topic seems to be extremely high, research is still in its infancy. There is a wide variety of academic articles available that describe the changing paradigm of word-of-mouth, yet there is only limited literature available that examines how brands can deal with negative electronic word-of-mouth and online firestorms within the social media context. This may be connected to the fact that its emergence, its development and its consequences happened in a rather short period of time. However, from popular press articles, Thomas et al. (2012) gathered and analyzed a variety of company examples. Thereby, they identified five general coping strategies, delay, respond, partner, legal action, and censorship, which will be illustrated with cases below. 

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How is eWOM becoming a part of marketing strategies? And what are the consequences? Part 1

Customer advocacy is defined by marketers’ attempt on building mutual “transparency, dialogue and partnership” (p. 5) and is becoming an essential part of a marketing strategy (Lawer and Knox, 2006). However, the marketers’ presence in the user’s activities online can been seen as avoided or causing irritation (Cho and Cheon, 2004). Therefore, the following paper sets the question of how can marketers influence customer advocacy and word-of-mouth (WOM), without causing irritation or avoidance. As a result, the paper will begin by identifying the problem of advertising avoidance on the internet and the three main reasons for it (Cho and Cheon, 2004), followed by e-word-of-mouth marketing (eWOMM) as a phenomenon and eWOM types. The aim of the paper is to give the ground understanding of who talks online – the marketers, the influencers or the end users. Part II would provide a follow up on the topic, which will explore the notion of avoidance in eWOMM and the theory in practice, meanwhile providing implications for building customer advocacy while minimising the threat negative response.

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The Power of Personal Branding in Social Media Part 2

To illustrate the opportunities social media present to individuals I would like to look at some examples where everyday people have been able to create strong personal brands and become new type of celebrities- celebrities of social media. Lets first look at second biggest social media platform YouTube, it has more than a billion users, every minute more than 300 hours of videos are uploaded on the site and everyday people watch billions of videos (youtube, n.d.).

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Power of Personal Branding in Social Media Part 1

Internet emergence of Web 2.0 has tremendously empowered individuals by providing the tools for successful personal branding. The advantage of Web 2.0 is that no longer the knowledge of complex coding language is necessary, this provided anyone with the opportunity can generate their own content online, upload their pictures or videos and directly share it in virtual world. (Labrecque, Markos and Milne, 2011). The information that people generate online leaves a digital footprint that indirectly results in personal branding.  (Lampel and Bhalla 2007; Madden et al. 2007 cited in Labrecque, Markos and Milne, 2011). As such, social media has become an essential tool through which people express and present themselves and learn about others (Vazire, Gosling 2004 cited in Labrecque, Markos and Milne, 2011).

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Users’ 5 Needs When Seeking eWOM in Online Travel Communities Part 2

With its online travel communities Flying Blue Club Africa and Flying Blue Club China, the Dutch airline KLM offers its business travelers a digital meeting place to connect and network with fellow travelers. On the platform #1 social needs are addressed as customers can share experiences, either travel- or business-related, maintain valuable contacts as well as learn from others’ insights into the Chinese/African business world. The stimulated knowledge exchange fosters the required reciprocity and social ties. By starting discussions, the airline attempts to promote communication and the integration of members. This form of active moderation needs to be considered critically, though as users might feel disrupted in their freedom of posting travel experiences or opinions and thus, possibly perceive the brand community as an implicit advertising tool. The airline places strong emphasis on stimulating #2 intellectual needs. KLM considers its online travel communities as rich sources of expertise which allow the exchange of invaluable experiences and knowledge (KLM, 2015). Several steps are taken to ensure high-quality: the continuous monitoring of user-generated content as well as the airline’s effort to thoroughly check travelers’ subscription first in order to keep the brand communities’ nature of exclusivity and expertise.

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Users’ 5 Needs When Seeking eWOM in Online Travel Communities Part 1

Times are gone when travel experiences only started at the chosen destination. In times of online travel communities like-minded users can already build relationships, share travel experiences, information and tips during their planning process. The Web has turned into a ‘travel square’ (Wang et al., 2002) that allows the stimulation of interaction and exchange, also known as electronic word of mouth (eWOM), to happen on a common platform. Speaking of those, travelers can choose from numerous opportunities such as social networking sites, fan sites, travel forums and blogs or brand-based sites. Focusing on user-generated content in online travel communities, special emphasis is placed on the latter, namely brand communities in the tourism sector. This form of firm-consumer-consumer interaction represents a renewed version of traditionally applied firm-customer engagement methods.

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