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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2013
Thesis number: 13516
The new era of corporate marketing: Building and managing corporate identity in social media
Author: Kostamo, Uuna
Title: The new era of corporate marketing: Building and managing corporate identity in social media
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; viestintä; communication; brandit; brands; identiteetti; identity; sosiaalinen media; social media; yhteisöt; communities
Pages: 88
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_13516.pdf pdf  size:721 KB (738300)
Key terms: corporate identity; business identity; corporate profile; corporate identity management; social media; brand community

This study seeks to broaden the understanding of corporate identity management by exploring it in a new context - social media. The idea is to study how companies can successfully build and manage their corporate identity in this context. The objective is to determine the strategic and tactical approaches business managers can and should use in this process by unraveling the rationales behind the identity-related decisions made by successful social media managers.


The study was conducted among managers of eight Finnish b-to-c companies that have proven to be successful in utilizing social media in their business operations. In order to dig deep into the mind-sets and decision-making processes of the managers, the research followed a qualitative approach. The data was collected via semi-structured interviews. The data was examined and interpreted utilizing the theoretical framework on corporate identity management by Cornelissen & Elving (2003). The goal was to investigate how well this framework could be applied to the context of social media and how should the new context reshape the framework.


Social media influences the corporate identity management process in a multitude of ways and changes the underlying logic of the process. Successful identity-related social media management processes resemble the characteristics of the organization and environment. Successful companies incorporate useful practices into these processes, such as having a personal tone of voice, consistent and authentic style of communication, communicating various dimensions of the identity, using various channels, engaging the audience, and utilizing design elements/tags. When presenting corporate identity in social media, successful companies also note and utilize the special characteristics of the media. The meaning of the company's identity is constituted in co-operation with the social media stakeholders. This interaction produces a feedback element to the process, which has both direct and indirect influences to the identity-related social media management processes and organizational characteristics. Thus, social media changes the entire operational logic of corporate identity management by making it receptive and co-operational in nature.
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