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The Role of Social Media in Branding in the UK - Dissertation Example

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This research seeks to investigate social media and critically outline its characteristics in an attempt to define its role in branding. This research will specifically be confined within the United Kingdom. An investigation on social media either within the academic sources or over the Internet would reveal numerous and diverse definitions. …
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The Role of Social Media in Branding in the UK
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"The Role of Social Media in Branding in the UK"

Download file to see previous pages This research seeks to investigate social media and critically outline its characteristics in an attempt to define its role in branding. This research will specifically be confined within the United Kingdom. An investigation on social media either within the academic sources or over the Internet would reveal numerous and diverse definitions. Since its invention back in the 1980s, the Internet has rapidly evolved with the equally robust advances in information and communication technologies that enabled it to achieve the speed, coverage and accessibility crucial in the introduction and real-time delivery of rich media content, sophisticated web applications and systems. This development has allowed the Internet to become a major component of the strategies and platforms by which business enterprises operate. The social networking website is one of such breakthroughs. Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, Blogspot/Blogger and Twitter are some of the most popular forms of this Internet application/system. By the year 2000, the usage of this web system exploded to billions of users combined. Facebook alone, through the analytics tool provided by Google Ad Planner, has more than 600 million users worldwide and 25 million of these are British. (Google 2011) The statistics is further reinforced by the fact that the website has 770 billion page views and 23-hour average visitor use. (Google 2011) If one has to consider the users of other social networking websites that are popular across the World Wide Web, the staggering figure could reach up to 1 billion. Facebook is, in fact predicted to achieve its one-billionth user by next year. (Business Wire 2007) In the British experience the figures are as impressive. For example, the percentage of social media users jumped from 22 percent four years ago to 44 percent in 2009 and approximately 35 percent of these users logging on to their favorite social networking site(s) at least once every week. (Shayon, 2010) The significance of these developments and figures for advertising and branding is tremendous. As a communications technology, social media has the power to influence individuals and groups. The humungous number of social media users highlights the degree of its import. Research Objectives This research seeks to investigate social media and critically outline its characteristics in an attempt to define its role in branding. This research will specifically be confined within the United Kingdom. To this end, the following goals would be pursued: Define and explain social media; Explain how social media can enhance branding; Identify emerging branding techniques within the social media sphere; Identify and explain existing cases of successful branding undertaken through or with the help of social media in the UK experience; Pitfalls and limitations of the social media in the branding context; Outline potentials and future development of the technology in the context of its role in brand building in the UK. What is Social Networking? An investigation on social media either within the academic sources or over the Internet would reveal numerous and diverse definitions. For this study’s purposes, the term social media would follow Paul Clark’s general assumption which explains social media as the ultimate democracy of expression, one that is “typified by e-mails, blogs, podcasts, video- and photo-sharing, voice-over IP, message forums and boards, and wikis” constituting some form of organic conversation that involved the production and access of contents by individuals using computers and the web. (Clark, 2010) Social networking websites such as Facebook can be an amalgamation of these social media elements and web applications. For example, they may offer their users photo and video-sharing services, blog/micro blogging functionalities, messaging/chat applications, boards and mail systems. The point is that the web is in constant flux and applications and functionalities are often being developed and integrated in order to provide richer and more complete ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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