Importance and Challenges of Social Media Intent Data

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Nevertheless, outcomes of social media activities are still disputed among practitioners and managers (Hoffman and Fodor, 2010). The effects of social media campaigns on consumers’ perception of products and brands as well as the impact on purchase decisions have yet to be better understood (Edelman, 2010; Barwise and Meehan, 2010). The potential drawbacks of SM activities like the spread of negative word of mouth and information overload causing disturbance and annoyance (McCoy et al., 2007), and the difficulties in measuring an added value of such efforts have kept marketing executives skeptical.

However, since brands cannot take the risk of being absent in such an influential communication channel, despite the risks and doubts, companies are investing increasingly into their social media activities (Divol et al., 2012).

This study therefore investigates how social media activities, specifically in the Facebook appearance of a car manufacturer, affect the perception of brands and influence consumers’ purchase decision process while considering the risk of creating annoyance. From a theoretical standpoint the results of this study contribute to our understanding of the value-enhancing potential of social media campaigns and demonstrate how the perception of brands is influenced through this new communication channel. For brand managers this study is of value, as it shows that social media activities do have a positive influence on brands as they support their management of the purchase process.

While the sources and process of gathering web users; purchase intent vary to certain extent, and the prospects outweigh the challenges.

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