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Exploring the relationship between brands and Social media influencers from an Irish perspective

Murdoch, Liam (2017) Exploring the relationship between brands and Social media influencers from an Irish perspective. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Increasingly in today’s climate the way in which modern day companies communicate their brand messages to consumers has changed from the traditional method of using celebrities through endorsements to now using social media as a means to communicate the brands message. In that companies are now looking to utilise social media and social media influencers as a means of communication to their customers. It is increasingly becoming more and more popular for brands and companies to engage in this method of marketing as it could be seen as a more personalised approach to marketing. This concept of social media and social media influencers, needs to be explored in regards to their effectiveness as a communications tool for customers especially around the areas of brand awareness, brand attitudes and purchase intentions.

Aims and Objectives:
The main aim of this dissertation was to investigate the relationship that social media influencers are having in regards to the formulation of brand attitudes, brand awareness and purchase intentions around particular brands for customers. This topic of social media and social media influencers has gained considerable traction in parts of Asia, however there has been a lack of significant research from a European perspective but more so an Irish perspective. Hence it was paramount to try and understand it from an Irish context.

In order to suitably investigate these particular topics, the appropriate methodology was undertaken based on certain criteria of social media influencers such as the amount of followers they would have, their daily interactions on the different social media platforms and finally a relationship with companies in regards to the content they populate on their channels. The central method that was used was that of in-depth interviews. There was four interviews with social media influencers, there was two male and two female. The interviews lasted between 45-90 minutes in length and they followed a semi-structured approach.

Results and Findings:
The results of the interviews were derived via a thematic analysis approach, by engaging in this level of analysis it conveyed some level of clarity in regards to the topics of brand awareness, brand attitudes and purchase intentions. In that the main underlying themes from the interview process were:
1. Advertising exposure
2. Consumer preferences
3. Personalised celebrity
4. Monetary value
The connection was made how the themes of consumer preferences and personalised celebrity could be linked to the concept of brand attitudes. Furthermore, the theme of
advertising exposure could be linked to brand awareness and finally the theme of monetary value was suitably linked to the topic of purchase intentions.

Future recommendations:
In the future, these topics should be discussed with brands themselves and the followers of these social media influencers by doing so it may give a revealing insight which could benefit marketing practices in the future. Furthermore, these topics should be explored in other European countries like that of the UK, France and Germany. As their cultures would be slightly different to that of Ireland and may also give revealing insights to brands and companies who are engaging in social media as communications tool.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing > Branding
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4150 Computer Network Resources > The Internet > World Wide Web > Websites > Online social networks
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering > Telecommunications > The Internet > World Wide Web > Websites > Online social networks
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Science in Marketing
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2017 16:52
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2017 16:52

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