Great, you are like the 955 million people worldwide that are active users.
Keep your hand up if you have liked at least ONE brand owned Facebook “Page”Great: you are a showing your affinity for the brand in doing so.
Finally, keep your hand up if you regularly revisit these pages and interact with the brand or other consumers.You are the engaged people I was interested in investigating. Consumers are using these Facebook pages as avenues to communicate with the brand and other consumers. However, they are increasingly choosing to do this in a brand oriented space such as the Facebook page.
Advances in technology have shifted the dynamic in branding, and have created opportunities in which consumers can gain access to and influence the brand. As the future of marketing is increasingly being driven by technological advances, it is imperative for us as marketers to keep on top of consumer trends. Social media has achieved phenomenal rates of uptake over the last decade. At the same time, brands are following suit, determined to be where the consumers are. There are now large numbers of Facebook Pages dedicated to brands. SLIDEFacebook is still a new arena. Consumers have gained a lot of control. Facebook is a social platform, as we have to realise that as marketers and brands, we are intruding into their social space. With the choice for brands to participate in social media lies the responsibility to understand what is occurring online from both a customer and brand point of view.
Often consumers will join a brand owned Facebook page to congregate, socialise and share experiences related to the brand. As consumers begin to actively communicate with each other in a social manner, they can be regarded as being part of an online brand community. I looked to investigate the role of the firm on these customer-to-customer communications, in such communities. I focused specifically on word of mouth, knowledge sharing and reciprocation.
I utilised netnography – online ethnography – which was pioneered by Robert Kozinets as a new qualitative method, devised specifically to investigate the consumer behaviour of cultures and communities present on the Internet. Essentially, netnography is the application of ethnographic methods to an online context. Though netnography has been in use since the late 1990s in the fields of consumer behaviour and marketing in an online context, it is now beginning to be used to investigate Facebook.
Netnography, like ethnography in cultural anthropology and cultural studies, strongly emphasises full participation in the culture being studied, as a recognised cultural member. This therefore would involve the acceptance into, and participation in the group, beginning with a cultural entrée. In this case, entrée into the community was fairly easy because the group best suited to answer the research question was easily identified and located on the Internet. The entrée process evolved through the following four fairly distinct activities:
I had previously taken a cruise with P&O Australia, and had previously “lurked” on the P&O Australia Page, so I was already familiar with the Facebook Pages. They already had some knowledge of the Facebook Page, the community and its interests.
Though already familiar with the Page, full integration into such a community takes time. The gradual process that was taken, from lurking the Page, joining the Page, responding to other peoples posts and creating original posts, took 14 months.
On 30th march, facebook pages changed. According to the backlash afterwards, not for the better.
Experiences with Netnography data collection
Facebook Netnography: a lesson learned Sarah Sloan Griffith University 1