Brand followers: Consumer motivation and attitude towards brand communications on Twitter

Reference: Sook Kwon, S., Kim, E., Sung, Y., & Yun Yoo, C. (2014). Brand followers: Consumer motivation and attitude towards brand communications on Twitter. International Journal of Advertising, 33(4), 657-680


Nowadays, with the rise of social media and social networking sites and applications, there is an importance of building and sustaining relationships with the customers, and is possible with the existence of social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. It is now an advantage for brands to be present on social networking sites, and in this article the focus goes for one particular social networking site, Twitter. Twitter combines the social network sites, blogging, and text messaging, with the ability to follow brands, family, friends, companies, celebrities. People can also unfollow, recommend things or places, tweet about what are their thoughts of the day, re-tweet what others might have said and could also just be passive users and not contribute to any of the above mentioned. With more than 2oo million active users tweeting 400 million messages a day, nearly 90% of those users are brand followers on Twitter. This study revolves around twitter and it tries to identify the reason behind consumer’s motivation to follow brands on Twitter since consumer’s attitudes are always changing it is essential to keep up with their attitudes in order to have a relationship and sustain it. So the two main objectives behind this article are “identify and explore consumer motivation for following brands on Twitter, and determine how and which consumer motivation and attitudinal factors may affect the effectiveness of social media marketing on Twitter.

A survey of 400 brand followers on Twitter with an aim for this study to provide a baseline understanding of both motivation and relationship between identified motivations and key consumer-brand relationship variables including: “brand identification, brand community commitment, relationship continuance intention and brand recommendation intentions.” Moreover, what was found concerning the reasons behind people’s motivation to following a certain brand are four main reasons which are, incentive seeking, social-interaction seeking, brand usage/ likability, and information seeking. The latter three reasons were found to be significant predictors of the consumer-brand relationship variables.

Social media and human need satisfaction: Implications for social media marketing

Reference: Zhu, Y., Chen, H. (2015). Social media and human need satisfaction: Implications for social media marketing in Business Horizons, Article in press


Social media has become an integral part of people’s lives whether they intentionally access social media platforms, or they come up as suggestions on phone applications or internet pop up sites. Moreover, it has become a tool for companies to communicate messages to their customers, so a B2C communication tool.

An increase of investments in advertising on social media platforms was what most US based companies did in order to stay connected to their customer and also attract potential customers’ and serve them better. However, studies have proven that most of these advertisements on social media platforms didn’t impact most of the consumers’ buying decisions and left people with negative feelings towards these ads. One of the main reason for that finding, is that people connect themselves on social media for the purpose of interacting with other people and finding long lost contacts from the past or maybe just to be entertained on the web, whereas, marketers’ main goal with their presence on  social media platforms, is to sell their products or services and persuade people to do so. There is no coherence between what the customers want and what the marketers have to offer them, and most of the time people ignore any advertisements provided to them on social media platforms. Marketers need to go deeper in understanding of why people connect on social media, and for what purposes, in order to create a need-congruent lens, meaning, to adapt people’s expectations and needs to what the company and the message conveyed on social media can offer. For this reason, this articles wants to answer the question: “what exactly are the needs behind these purposes and how should we use this knowledge for social media marketing?” To be able to answer this question,  two things must be taken into account: the type of messages posted by the person on his/her social media accounts and what basic human needs is answered and satisfied when a person is connected on social media, will help marketers identify the different needs conveyed by different people.

As mentioned in the article: “ social media marketing campaigns must help people satisfy their needs, whether this takes the form of building relationships, enhancing self-presentation, feeding self-esteem, finding solutions, or simply admiring beauty”. So this is a challenge most marketer face nowadays, to decide on the precise social media platform to be present on depending on the message they are trying to convey and the type of product or service they would like to present and make people aware of, and also to target the right people and answer all kinds of needs, from primary and basic to luxurious needs.

Enhancing the effects of social network site marketing campaigns. If you want customers to like you, ask them about themselves

Reference:  Van Noort, G., Antheunis, M.L., & Verlegh, P.W.J. (2014). Enhancing the effects of social network site marketing campaigns. If you want customers to like you, ask them about themselves in International Journal of Advertising, 33(2), 235-252


Social networking sites (SNS) and social media platforms have become tools for marketers to be present on the internet and a reason to have a more personal relationship with their customers, or people who visit their page. Social networking sites are now not only platforms where people can connect to one another, but also used to promote brands, products and services. Interactive advertising campaigns can be defined as all forms of online, wireless and interactive television advertising, including banners, sponsorships, e-mail, keyword searches, and referrals, slotting fees, classified ads and interactive television commercials.

Here in this article, the main focus goes for the interactive advertising campaign on social networking sites (SNS) , and in this interactive advertising campaign three components make it up: the advertising, the campaign and the viral feature or the “tell a friend” feature. Benefits of social networking campaigns include creating brand engagement with the customers and page visitors, and gathering personal information on people in order to personalize further future marketing efforts to sustain the relationship with the customers. The main question that is asked in this article is: how consumers’ self-disclosing would breed linking for the brand?

Social networking sites campaigns are developed as interactive brand games so that people could relate and enjoy participating, and not feel like this is an obligation. Self-disclosure plays a central role in the development and the sustainability of relationships. When people disclose of personal information to other people, they unconsciously form a bond with that other person and a sense of liking. In comparison to the marketing context, and specifically in consumer brand-relationships the studies concluded and found that disclosing personal information to a brand in an online marketing campaign creates a feeling of ‘liking” towards the brand and even the intention to purchase as well as communicate to others and engage in word-of-mouth. “Disclosure enhances the virality of marketing campaigns and the willingness of people to share the campaign with others present in the same network.”

Digital marketing and social media: why bother?

Reference: Tiago, M.T.P.M.B., Veríssimo, J.M.C. (2014). Digital marketing and social media: why bother? Journal of Business horizons, 57,703-708


Nowadays, we notice a difference in how consumer behavior was in the past, and what it consists of now, where people are more demanding and specific on their product or service needs. That is why marketers should follow the consumer behavior and keep up with the changes that are happening. It is not a question of the people connecting to the internet or not, it is more today a question of where are they connecting to? What are they looking for? And what interests them? However in this article the firm’s describe “their efforts in the digital marketing strategies”. It is up to the companies now to follow what interests their customer and try to adapt marketing strategies online to be able to answer to their needs.

A study was made on Portuguese companies, since internet adoption in Portugal has increased and people are now more connected to the virtual world via smartphones and mobile phones. The question asked in this article is to know “what are the main reasons for which companies are present in a digital form these days?” Many reasons behind that and the most important ones to mention are external competition, internal efficiency for the firm itself, and a facilitator for top-down directives. Not only it is important to be present online and virtually, but also it provides the company with additional benefits such as “customer support, easier market research, brand building, relationship building, and buzz marketing”. However, how do marketers measure their digital marketing effectiveness and evaluate what to do and what not to do? A cluster analysis was done in order to better answer the question out of which a digital engagement matrix was created to see the relationship between perceived benefits and digital marketing usage. Four profiles were suggested. “Engagement, Qualification, Discovery, and Dead-road.”

  •  “Engagement” is a mixture high investments in digital media usage as well as high perceived benefits and is referred to as interactive.
  •  “Qualification” also involves high investments in digital media, but has low expectations regarding its benefits and is referred to as “digital”. Moreover, –
  • “discovery” has weak digital marketing usage and low benefit perception. And finally,
  • “dead-road” reflects the “inefficiency of an unbalanced approach, high perceived benefits but low commitment to digital marketing”.

It is up to marketers to decide in which quadrant they want to be present in depending on how much they would like to invest and how much they perceive their benefits will be on the long term, keeping in mind the importance of the efforts which should “lead to increased engagement, stronger relationships with customers, and subsequent customer engagement”.

An organizational perspective on m-business: usage factors and value determination

Reference: Picoto, W.N., Bélanger, F., & Palma-dos-Reis, A. (2014). An organizational perspective on m-business: usage factors and value determination. European Journal of Information Systems, 23(5), 571-592


Mobile technologies have become an essential part of individuals’ life, whether at work or in the comfort of their own homes. However, most studies are done to prove how mobile technologies have impacted the lives and changed the way people live and act, studies have ignored the fact that mobile phones have also touched the business and firms themselves, thus this study focuses more on the organizational context and organizational perspective on mobile business and analyses the value m-business can provide for firms.

Year after year, there is an increase in the purchase of smartphones, which means more and more people are connected on mobile services and this can also be seen as opportunities for business and opportunities for new digital marketing strategies, and thus the word “m- business” or mobile business.

What is highlighted in this article is the M-buisness unique value. Going further into detail, the mobile technologies unique features are its portability, its user identification, its localization, and its instant connectivity. Moreover, what the M-business can provide as unique value propositions is its ubiquity; the concept of anywhere, anytime. Also, its personalization, and its convenience. M-business can impact the business on many levels including and not limited to marketing and sales, internal operations, and procurement. In addition to that, with the technology-organization-environment framework or what is referred to in the article as TOE, diffusion of innovation theory and resource based theory as theoretical lenses, a proposed conceptual model is used to assess the post-adoption stages of usage and value of mobile business.

  • On the organizational level, the results provided important information about M-business fundamental values and “five new impacts were identified in the interviews: better information quality, improved employee learning, increased employee effectiveness, innovation incentive, and facilitating inventory management with the use of RFID technology.
  •  On the technological level, the RFID adoption was not surely a relative advantage for a certain company and it also highlighted that each person deals with technology on his or her own personal level. And finally, on the environmental level, “competitive pressure, partner pressure, and mobile environment are significant and positive antecedents of m-buisness usage.


When mobile is the norm: researching mobile information systems and mobility as post-adoption phenomena

Reference: Middleton, C., Scheepers, R., Tuunainen, V.K. (2014). When mobile is the norm: researching mobile information systems and mobility as post-adoption phenomena in European Journal of Information Systems, 23(5), 503-512


The rise of mobile devices and use have increased drastically during the past 7 years, where mobile subscriptions today are estimated to be equal to the number of people on this planet, almost 7 billion subscriptions in 2014 versus 2.75 billion subscriptions in 2006. Mobile technology has become a way to interact with family, friends, share news, enjoy entertainment, and access information. Mobile access in 2011 had a different meaning of what it is today, where everything is now accessible and a click away. We note that mobile emergence first started with the GSM digital cellular standard and ever since, we had a transformation from mobile phones that provided text and phone to handheld devices that are known as smartphones and tablets which combine a series of functionalities other than sound and text such as: e-mail, instant messaging, social networks, note-taking, camera, flashlight, payment methods, location services and maps as well as games and entertainment applications. The term that his highlighted in this article is “UBIQUITY” which is the ability to be anywhere, anytime especially when referring and talking about mobile phones, smartphones, and tablets. Information systems that are used in mobile devices; smartphones and tablets, are shifting and developing their services and functionality. Nowadays, we talk about mobile entertainment as well as communication media and social networking and vehicle services where the use of smartphones is basically for navigation purposes and GPS and information on road conditions. Applications that have entered the smartphone and tablet world can be referred to as highly complex “micro information system” that integrate computing functionality with content.

When it comes to the mobile user himself/herself, what can be identified is that some users own more than one mobile device whether it is two smartphones, one smartphone and one tablet, or a work phone, a smartphone and a tablet. Users not only care about the functionality of these devices but also on the aesthetic aspect of design that encompasses their devices. The user identified in this article can be a private, social person. He can also be an employee, an entertainment user, a professional, a citizen, or even an activist, and each one of these characteristics define the way and how the user exercises “choice” and degree of usage by taking action to maximize usability of devices and ensure benefits from use. Some research questions that were asked in this article included and are not limited to:

  • How the infrastructure can be enhanced to enable IoT ( Internet of things)
  • How can persistent digital devices be addressed?
  • How can we increase accessibility to mobile networks and services for those who are currently not using them?

The context of use that were discussed in this article also became a central concern especially when reflecting on the multiple, and potentially overlapping roles of an individual and the potential overlapping contexts of mobile technology use. Some positive consequences of mobile use are apparent however some contradictions are highlighted as well. Moreover, mobile computing is enabling new behaviors flowing from the same individual as private, national, and global user. In addition to that, the global service providers are coming up with new ranges of services and applications and are clearly shaping the way individuals connect to each other, influence from each other and learn from each other. However, to each new invention its drawbacks, and in this case it is the deterioration of the traditional phone booth and landline as well as newspapers, bookstores, maps, and an increased invasion of privacy, identity theft and higher surveillance on the internet searches.


Mobile information systems and organizational control: beyond the panopticon metaphor?

Reference: Leclercq – Vandelannoitte, A., Isaac, H., Kalika, M. (2014). Mobile information systems and organizational control: beyond the panopticon metaphor? In European Journal of Information Systems, 23(5), 543-557


The focus in this article is on organizational context and individuals as employees in the work place as well as outside the workplace. As mobile technology is innovating day after day, their uniqueness of being ubiquitous, meaning being present anywhere, anytime and easy to carry around, have made it easier to shift work to other places, anywhere and anytime whether at home, in the car, at the park. Connectivity, ease of carrying, exchanging information on the spot, getting in touch with people, all are many reasons why people work away from the office sometimes even after their usual working hours. However, for control reasons, this particular aspect makes it more challenging for higher level management to keep track on what is happening when people work outside the work premises because they somehow have to “follow” their employees outside of the workplace. A metaphor is used to portray the use of control in ancient times, the panoptic metaphor which illustrates the idea of a prison. The panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by the English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century. The concept of the design is to allow a single watchman to observe all inmates of an institution without the inmates being able to tell whether or not they are being watched. Although it is physically impossible for the single watchman to observe all cells at once, the fact that the inmates cannot know when they are being watched means that all inmates must act as though they are watched at all times, effectively controlling their own behavior constantly. The main question asked in this article is: “can control systems in the mobile age be reduced to the Foucauldian panopticon or does the advent of mobile information systems herald the need for another model of social and political organization? Does the enactment of mobile information system in the work place support an extension of panoptic IT-based control systems, as might be enabled in enterprise systems, or does it include other logics of control?”

This paper investigates whether the way mobile information systems are engaged in the workplace reinforce panoptic control systems or generate other types of control logics. “This qualitative exploratory case study reveals the emergence of a subtle, invisible form of “free control” through mobile information systems: a shift in location of authority, a time-related discipline, a deep sense of trust, and adherence to organizational norms that the professionals themselves co-construct”. “Through the concept of free control, the study makes visible the invisible control logics that operate through mobile information systems and illustrates the dissolution of the boundaries between professional and private lives intentionally reinforced by the users”. A sense of trust between managers and employers was developed and people are now more productive than before when given the freedom to work from the comforts of their own homes. They take responsibilities of their actions and do the tasks as asked and answer when needed with the help of the all-time connectivity. So the adoption of the free control inside the organizations has shifted authority and observability and has created a sense of trust and co-operation between employers and employees and were able to dissolute the boundaries between higher level management and employees. However, one thing to keep in mind is the limitations this study offers since it was only done on a small company with a low level of formality, unlike most other companies who are bigger in employee size and have a more top down management style, rather than a flat line management style just like in the case of the company studied in this article which was referred to as “Bankco” to protect its confidentiality.


Media tablets for mobile learning

Reference: Kaganer, E., Giordano, G. A., Brion, S., Tortoriello, M. (2013). Media tablets for mobile learning in Communications of the ACM, 56(11), 68–75

Main idea: This article focuses on mobile learning and understanding how media tablets might influence key dimensions of learning by working professionals.


In this article, the main focus goes around the introduction of tablets in the year 2010, notably the iPad, and whether or not organizations should have the initiative to integrate the use of tablet in the everyday work life.

Nowadays, mobile learning is seen as a tool that has many benefits which facilitate the learning experience, making it more personalized, providing access to information with ease and creating a collaborative experience with others. A series of studies have been performed in the domain of higher education with a focus on undergraduates and graduates, whose working needs may differ from those of working professionals, in order to interpret the effects of mobile tablets on learning and if eventually they can be carried on and implemented in the workplace. The key question that was asked when the study was being carried out was “understanding of how media tablets might influence key dimensions of learning and collaboration by working professionals”.

The study was carried out at IESE Spain, with 124 students enrolled in the EMBA program. 62 of these students received iPads with all the documents needed in digital formats through the iPad, and 62 others who had hard copies and printed versions of these formats. The main focus of this study was to “understand the adoption and usage patterns of the mobile learning solution and their influence on key dimensions of learning outcomes, communication/collaboration, and team dynamics”.

After having conducted their experiments, many findings were identified, some of which were positive while the rest was relatively negative. Most students appreciated the fact that everything was easily accessible and downloaded, thus no need to carry around plenty of documents, in addition to that, they pointed out the efficient browsing and search tools which saved them time and confusion. Adoption and usage was positive in this aspect where most students relied on iPad to read their documents, and relied on iPad for qualitative courses more than quantitative courses such as finance where the preference was still to print out the documents since it was easier to skim through when solving exercise. Many implications are to be thought about and well- analyzed before integrating the use of tablets in the workplace. Although there were many positive feedback from the study that was held concerning learning through mobile tablets, many other findings seemed to have a negative effect on the overall learning experiences. For instance, iPads caused disruption in personal work habits and teamwork practices by shifting the learning curve.  Team collaboration was also affected in the way students were using the documents; some had them printed from the iPad, some others downloaded them on the pc and the rest used the iPads which didn’t show much consistency when coordinating work among team members.

As mentioned in the article, “mobile learning initiatives should be viewed as long term; expected benefits may not come quickly, and management must guide and support learners through the process of evolving their practice”. It is a challenging environment to work in and implement such devices and get consistent results, and that is why organizations should have a long term view with the necessary support systems to facilitate the transition to a mobile tabled- based world.

New trends of intelligent E-marketing based on web mining for e-shops

Reference: Gerrikagoitia, J.K., Castander, I., Rebón, F., Alzua-Sorzabal, A. (2015). New trends of intelligent E-marketing based on web mining for e-shops in Procedia social and behavioral sciences, 175, 75-83

Main idea: Developing e-marketing strategies into the web environment to better answer consumers’ needs.


Over the past decade, internet use has experienced a rise in the numbers of users worldwide and has made life easier for people who do not have much free time on their hands, so more and more people are accepting the fact that it helps in information search as well as purchasing products online. Electronic commerce is now one essential competitive advantage for companies to be available at any time, at any place to cater to customer’s needs and satisfaction and create a sort of engagement and relationships with its online visitors and customers. However, it won’t be sufficient to just be present online but also, companies need to always be attentive to the implementation of their marketing strategies used online and alter them and adapt whenever necessary.  It doesn’t matter if the e-shop/ e-store was present on the web or social media platforms or in some cases both, it is necessary to give in time and effort in order to keep up with what customers want and when they want it.

In this paper, e-marketing is defined as the “concentration of all the efforts in the sense of adapting and developing marketing strategies into the web environment. E-marketing involves all stages of work regarding a website, such as: the conception, the project itself, the adaption of the content, the development, the maintenance, the analytic measuring and the advertisement”.  Moreover, “consumer decision journey” is a key word highlighted throughout this article which mainly tackles the importance of companies gathering information about their customer and use data mining tools to track the customers’ preference, buying behavior, buying patterns which will give them the ability to know more about what their customers want and look for, and maybe suggest products or services that might interest the customer.

In this paper, a survey was conducted on 86 e-shops which are small to medium enterprises (SME) in Spain to test the necessity of these SMEs to become active users of web mining solutions. Moreover, after gathering the results, it showed that most of the companies have not yet integrated the use of data mining tools in a professional way, but have resorted to the use of outsourcing their hosting of their websites to other, and even if they did use the analytical tools themselves, they didn’t really make good use and take advantage of what the data mining tools can do to their relationships with their customers. It is highly suggested that companies know the importance of the data gathering tools they are using, and be aware that the process of the sales based on the e-commerce must be in accordance to what the customers want, and for this reason it is important to make good use of the data gathered from customers to ensure that they are getting what they search for, what they desire and what they might want in the future.

Why recommend a brand face-to-face but not on Facebook? How word-of-mouth on online social sites differs from traditional word-of-mouth

Reference: Eisingerich, A.B., Chun, H.H., Liu, Y., Jia, H., Bell, S.J. (2015).  Why recommend a brand face-to-face but not on Facebook?  How word-of-mouth on online social sites differs from traditional word-of-mouth in Journal of Consumer Psychology, 25(1) 120-128

Main idea: A comparison between traditional word of mouth and electronic word of mouth, and the impact of social media on the use of e-wom.


In this article, what is mainly discussed and highlighted on is a comparison between consumer traditional word-of-mouth, what is commonly referred to as WOM and the electronic word of mouth, what is known as e-wom but mentioned in the article as Swom (word of mouth on social sites). For starters, word of mouth receivers are mainly individuals and small group of people who have ties with the person giving out the information and the communication is done by one-to-one conversations and there is high interaction when exchanging information. However, receivers of Swom information are mainly present on social networks and do not necessarily have personal ties with the person giving out the information and communication is carried out in a one-to-many manner by posting a review on Facebook for example.

With the rise of social media platforms and social networking applications and sites, tendency to use Swom should also increase. However, what was found after conducting three studies was that people preferred not to engage in Swom as much as they engaged in WOM. Many reasons behind people’s preference to use WOM over Swom and one main reason behind people’s preference was the social risk attributed with the giving out of information that was not viewed as positive by the targeted audience. Moreover other reasons behind the preference for the use of WOM over sWOM are the need for self-enhancement and acceptance by others.  Basically, “it is a function of perceived social risk as clearly stated in the article. Thus, perceived social risk “mediates” the effect of communication mode on people’s willingness to provide word-of-mouth in study 1, and “salience” of social risk further magnifies the difference between people’s desire to offer sWOM and WOM in study 3. They also found that self enhancement need mitigates the difference between consumers ‘willingness to provide sWOM and WOM, regardless of whether they inherently possess a high self-enhancement need as in study 2 or when their self-enhancement need is temporarily evoked as in study 3”.

sWOM is more sensitive to self-enhancement motives and to social risk perceptions than WOM because of the high number of people involved. And as a wrap up to what the authors tried to find in their three studies was the difference between people’s desire to engage in sWOM and WOM is mediated by perceived social risk and amplified and increased when social risk is made noticeable. Moreover, they show that the consumers’ need to self-enhance lessen the difference in willingness to offer sWOM versus WOM.

What is suggested after these findings is that marketers find ways to encourage customers to engage more in sWOM without thinking about the negative consequences and threats and social sanctions. This study also only focused on positive word-of-mouth, however it would also be interesting to find out what happens when negative word-of-mouth is communicated on social media platforms and how companies try to regulate such incidents.