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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2015
Thesis number: 14253
Utilization of social media in market entry strategies: A case study of multinational companies in China
Author: Long, Feiya
Title: Utilization of social media in market entry strategies: A case study of multinational companies in China
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; strategia; strategy; sosiaalinen media; social media; kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; Kiina; China; market entry; market entry
Pages: 114
Key terms: social media, social media marketing, market entry decision-making, foreign market entry, market entry strategies, Chinese market, extensive case study
The main objective of this thesis is to uncover and propose ways to utilize social media in foreign market entry strategies. The context of this study is based on Chinese market entry of multinational companies and social media as part of the emerging phenomenon is the central underpinning of this study. The current literature contains insufficient analysis of social media's role in market entry decision-making and how the utilization of social media can benefit multinational companies in foreign market entry. Hence, understanding how the foreign market entry decision is made and what are the key drivers in decision-making sheds light on discovering how social media can be utilized in market entry strategies.

Extensive qualitative case study research method was used to examine research question and develop theory in where grounded theory methodology was approached. This study benefited from both primary and secondary data in order to pursue a better result. Primary data was collected through semi-structured interviews with representatives from 5 selected case companies while secondary data was collected through reviewing of the contents of various relevant publications and reports as well as direct observation of case companies' social media presence. Followed by grounded theory methodology, data analysis was led by a concept-indicator model that was generated from empirical data and conducted with the method of constant comparison.

As concluded, a framework of key drivers (demand, competition and culture) in market entry decision-making was introduced and used as the concept-indicator model for data analysis. The central findings illustrated that social media helps decision-maker to be more confident and knowledgeable in making market entry decisions. More specifically, first, social media helps companies understand the market demand before entry and better meet the market demand during the entry; second, social media enables companies to better understand their competitive advantages when making entry decisions and enhance their competence when entering into new markets; last but not the least, social media provides an easy access for companies to learn the culture of target markets and improve companies' internal culture.

In addition, the introduced framework of key drivers in market entry decision-making had been proven to be beneficial in conducting the empirical research and theoretical building. Moreover, this study identified the opportunities and challenges of social media with focus on foreign market entry related factors and presented in-depth insights of Chinese major social media's landscape. Furthermore, this study shed light on conducting a research with a felicitous combination of extensive case study and grounded theory methodology, which had been testified to be advantageous in developing a new theory from empirical data.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.