Professor Glen Urban Sponsor: BMW
Social media offer many opportunities to influence brand relationships. Most firms have Facebook pages and post stories and brand items to pages of their fans. But social media has evolved to become much more than a tool for gathering information. Today, social media has gotten more complex with real-time micro-blogging updates and combined interactions between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. Consumers are increasingly taking control of social media with, for example, Twitter comments that may be negative as well as positive. Brands can broadcast brand-to-customer (B2C) measures, but cannot control the consumer-to-consumer (C2C) information very tightly. Consumers are telling real and imagined stories about their experiences and expectations about brands. The purpose of this project is to better understand the impact of social media and, specifically, storytelling upon consumer-brand relationships with BMW. In 2013 BMW funded a project to examine the effects of social media exposure on brand image and consideration. This scope of work is for continuing and expanded work in this area of making social media more effective in brand building and sales generation.