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Facebook (Trademark) as a Tool for Marketing Communications and Brand Building

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0044576/00001

Material Information

Title: Facebook (Trademark) as a Tool for Marketing Communications and Brand Building A Content Analysis of Top Global Brands Facebook (Trademark) Pages
Physical Description: 1 online resource (91 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Tan, Wanwei
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: brand-personality -- branding -- coca-cola -- facebook -- mcdonald's -- pepsi
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Advertising thesis, M.Adv.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Based on its large number of active users and capability for interactive communication, Facebook offers a great opportunity for brands to develop deeper relationships with a large number of consumers and build their brand identities on social media. Meanwhile, it challenges brand managers to post contents that fit their brand identities appropriately. The current study investigated three top global brands, namely, Coca Cola, Pepsi, and McDonald’s, and examined how these well-established brands utilize Facebook brand page to enhance their marketing communications and to build their brand identities. A content analysis was conducted to analyze 300 posts obtained from Coca Cola, Pepsi and McDonald’s Facebook brand page. The coding framework included forty- six variables: form of communication, type of content and forty- four brand personality traits. Aaker’s (1997) Brand Personality Scale was directly utilized for measuring brand personalities. The results showed that Coca Cola, Pepsi and McDonald’s employed various forms of communication and types of content to communicate with consumers and to build brand identities. However, all three brands did not appear to utilize these forms of communications and types of content to their full potential. In terms of brand personalities presented by three brands, the results demonstrated that “cheerful” and “sentimental” were frequently presented on Coca Cola’s Facebook page, “exciting,” “cheerful” and “young” were frequently presented by Pepsi, and “cheerful” and “wholesome” were frequently projected on McDonald’s posts. That is to say, all three brands presented distinct brand personalities on their Facebook brand pages, which can help them to differentiate from competitors. But these “brand personalities presented on Facebook” were largely inconsistent with three brands’ traditionally established brand personalities. Given the fact that brand consistency is crucial in the process of branding, brands need to consider the consistency between brand personalities on social media and those developed through traditional marketing communications when presenting their brand identities on social media.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Wanwei Tan.
Thesis: Thesis (M.Adv.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local: Adviser: Kim, Hyojin.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID: UFE0044576:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0044576/00001

Material Information

Title: Facebook (Trademark) as a Tool for Marketing Communications and Brand Building A Content Analysis of Top Global Brands Facebook (Trademark) Pages
Physical Description: 1 online resource (91 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Tan, Wanwei
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: brand-personality -- branding -- coca-cola -- facebook -- mcdonald's -- pepsi
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Advertising thesis, M.Adv.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Based on its large number of active users and capability for interactive communication, Facebook offers a great opportunity for brands to develop deeper relationships with a large number of consumers and build their brand identities on social media. Meanwhile, it challenges brand managers to post contents that fit their brand identities appropriately. The current study investigated three top global brands, namely, Coca Cola, Pepsi, and McDonald’s, and examined how these well-established brands utilize Facebook brand page to enhance their marketing communications and to build their brand identities. A content analysis was conducted to analyze 300 posts obtained from Coca Cola, Pepsi and McDonald’s Facebook brand page. The coding framework included forty- six variables: form of communication, type of content and forty- four brand personality traits. Aaker’s (1997) Brand Personality Scale was directly utilized for measuring brand personalities. The results showed that Coca Cola, Pepsi and McDonald’s employed various forms of communication and types of content to communicate with consumers and to build brand identities. However, all three brands did not appear to utilize these forms of communications and types of content to their full potential. In terms of brand personalities presented by three brands, the results demonstrated that “cheerful” and “sentimental” were frequently presented on Coca Cola’s Facebook page, “exciting,” “cheerful” and “young” were frequently presented by Pepsi, and “cheerful” and “wholesome” were frequently projected on McDonald’s posts. That is to say, all three brands presented distinct brand personalities on their Facebook brand pages, which can help them to differentiate from competitors. But these “brand personalities presented on Facebook” were largely inconsistent with three brands’ traditionally established brand personalities. Given the fact that brand consistency is crucial in the process of branding, brands need to consider the consistency between brand personalities on social media and those developed through traditional marketing communications when presenting their brand identities on social media.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Wanwei Tan.
Thesis: Thesis (M.Adv.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local: Adviser: Kim, Hyojin.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID: UFE0044576:00001


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1 FACEBOOK AS A TOOL FOR MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS AND BRAND BUILDING: PAGES By WANWEI TAN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL F ULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ADVERTISING UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012

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2 2012 Wanwei Tan

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3 To my parents

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Many people helped and supported me in this thesis. First and foremost, I would like to tha nk Dr. Hyojin Kim, my thesis advisor, for her assistance and guidance throughout this long and challenging process. Without her patience and responsiveness, I could not have been completed this thesis. Also, I would like to thank my committee members, Dr. John Sutherland and Dr. Cynthia Morton, for giving me valuable suggestions to improve this thesis My sincere gratitude also goes to my family for their unconditional love. I am so grateful that my parents and grandparents are always supportive of my deci sions and fundamentally provided a strong foundation for me I am confident and fearless because of their complete trust

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 10 CHAPTER 1 INTROD UCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 12 2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK: LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ....... 15 Branding ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 15 Brand Image and Brand Identity: Differences and Connections ............................. 16 Brand Image and Brand Identity in Relation to Branding ................................ ........ 18 Con ceptual Frameworks of Brand Identity ................................ .............................. 19 Brand Personality ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 21 The Emergence of Social Media ................................ ................................ ............. 26 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ............................... 29 3 METHOD ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 33 Research Design ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 33 Preliminary Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ 34 Sample Selection and Description ................................ ................................ .......... 36 Coding Procedure ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 37 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 42 Forms of Communication and Types of Contents ................................ ................... 42 Frequency of Brand Personality C ommunication ................................ .................... 43 Brand Personality Traits ................................ ................................ .......................... 45 Brand Personality Dimensions ................................ ................................ ................ 46 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ........ 51 Discussion of Findings ................................ ................................ ............................ 51 Forms of Communication ................................ ................................ ................. 52 Types of Content ................................ ................................ .............................. 53 Frequency of Brand Personality Communication ................................ ............. 57 Brand Personality Traits and Dimensions ................................ ......................... 59 Brand Personality Consistency ................................ ................................ ......... 61

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6 Implications for Marketers ................................ ................................ ....................... 63 Integrate Facebook into Marketing Communications ................................ ...... 63 Build and Maintain Distinct Brand Personalities in Facebook ......................... 64 Maintain Brand Consistency across Media ................................ ....................... 65 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 66 Suggestions for Future Studies ................................ ................................ ............... 67 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 68 APPENDIX A EXAMPLES OF POSTS WITH DIFFERENT FORMS OF COMMUNICATION, TYPES OF CONTENTS AND BRAND PERSONALITY TRAITS ............................ 69 Examples of Posts with Different Forms of Communication ................................ ... 69 Examples of Posts with Different Types of Content ................................ ................ 71 Basic Information ................................ ................................ .............................. 71 Online Advertising ................................ ................................ ............................ 71 Online Marketing oriented Public Relations (MPR) ................................ .......... 72 Online Sales Promotion ................................ ................................ .................... 73 Online Relationship Communication ................................ ................................ 74 Examples of Post s with Different Brand Personality Traits ................................ ..... 75 B CODEBOOK ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 78 C CODE SHEET ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 81 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 83 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 91

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 Dimensions and traits of brand personality scale ................................ ............... 32 4 1 Forms of communication by brand ................................ ................................ ..... 47 4 2 Types of contents by brand ................................ ................................ ................ 47 4 3 Frequency of brand personality communication by brand ................................ .. 47 4 4 Frequency of brand personality communication by form of communic ation ....... 47 4 5 Frequency of brand personality communication by type of content .................... 48 4 6 Brand personality traits by brand ................................ ................................ ........ 49 4 7 Brand personality dimensions by brand ................................ .............................. 50 B 1 Codebook ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 78

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3 1 Distribution of Coca posts based on months ................................ ......... 40 3 2 posts based on months ................................ ................. 40 3 3 posts based on months ................................ .......... 41 A 1 Form of communication example: Text ................................ ............................... 69 A 2 Form of communication example: Text with picture ................................ ............ 69 A 3 Form of communication example: Text with video ................................ .............. 70 A 4 Form of communication example: Text with link ................................ ................. 70 A 5 Type of content example: Basic information ................................ ....................... 71 A 6 Type of content exam ple: Online advertising ................................ ...................... 71 A 7 Type of content example: Sponsorship related marketing oriented public relations (MPR) activities ................................ ................................ .................... 72 A 8 Type of content example: Event related MPR activities ................................ ...... 72 A 9 Type of content example: Viral marketing related MPR activities ...................... 73 A 10 Type of content example: Coupons ................................ ................................ .... 73 A 11 Type of content example: Sweepstake ................................ ............................... 74 A 12 Type of content example: Con test ................................ ................................ ...... 74 A 13 Type of content example: Poll ................................ ................................ ............ 74 A 14 Type of content example: Discussion ................................ ................................ 75 A 15 Type of content example: Other interactive information ................................ ..... 75 A 16 Brand personality trait example: Cheerful ................................ ........................... 75 A 17 Brand personality trait example: Sentimental ................................ ..................... 76 A 18 Brand personality trait example: Exciting ................................ ............................ 76 A 19 Brand per sonality trait example: Young ................................ .............................. 76

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9 A 20 Brand personality trait example: Wholesome ................................ ..................... 77 C 1 Code sheet ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 82

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10 Abstract Of Thesis Presented To The Graduate School Of The University Of Flor ida In Partial Fulfillment Of The Requirements For The Degree Of Master Of Advertising FACEBOOK AS A TOOL FOR MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS AND BRAND BUILD PAGES By Wanwei Tan August 2012 Chair: Hyojin Kim Major: Advertising Based on its large number of active users and capability for interactive communication, Facebook offers a great opportunity f or brands to develop deeper relationships with a large number of consumers and build their brand identities on social media Meanwhile, it challenges brand managers to post contents that fit their brand identities appropriately The current study investiga ted three top global brands, namely, Coca Cola Pepsi and examine d how these well established brands utilize Facebook brand page to enhance their marketing communications a nd to build their brand identities A content analysis was cond ucted to analyze 300 posts obtained from Coca Cola Pepsi Facebook brand pages. The coding framework included forty six variables: form of communication, type of content and forty four sonality Scale was directly utilized for measuring brand personalities. The results showed that Coca Cola Pepsi employed various forms of communication and types of content to communicate with consumers and to

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11 build brand identities. How ever, all three brands did not appear to utilize these forms of communications and types of content to their full potential. In terms of brand personalities presented by three brands, t ly present ed on Coca Facebook page, frequently presented by Pepsi posts. That is to say, all three brands presented distinct brand pe rsonalities on their Facebook brand pages, which can help them to differentiate from competitors. But these brand personalities presented on Facebook were largely inconsistent with traditionally e stablished brand personalities Given the fact that brand consistency is crucial in the process of branding, brands need to consider the consistency between brand personalities on social media and those developed through traditional marketing communications when presenting their brand identities o n social media.

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12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The American Marketing Association defines symbol or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentia (Kotler & 48). There are a few mechanisms by which branding creates perceptions of differential values and benefits of a product or service identity, which is defined as a unique set of brand associations that represent the can and will do for consumers over time. For marketers, building a strong and unique brand identity is an essential step in branding. Meanwhile, br and personality is viewed as a facet or element of brand identity (Aaker, 1996; de Chernatony, 1999, Kapferer, 1997), thus playing an important role in the branding process. Specifically, the key to the branding process is to create differential values, co mmunicate them to consumers, and develop a brand consumer relationship. Considering that brand personality is part of a core or extended brand identity (Aaker, 1996), the brand differentiation can be achieved by establishing a unique and distinct brand per sonality. Though there has been much discussion about building brand personality in traditional media, little attention has been paid to this issue in the new media environment in the branding literature. According to Pew Research Center (2011), two

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13 thir ds of online adults (66%) used social media platforms in the United States in 2011. One of the most popular social media platforms is Facebook It has more than 800 million active users ( Ostrow 2011). Based on its large number of active users and capabil ity for interactive communication, Facebook offers a great opportunity for brands to develop deeper relationships with a large number of consumers. A 2008 report by Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) on social media showed that some brands created profi le pages on social networking sites, and the pages were used to provide a variety of information including basic facts about the company, products and services, promotional messages, and special events. Many brands have now launched their profile pages to present themselves and interact with their fans ( Saransomrurtai, 2011 ). According to SocialBakers (2012), there are 13,584 brand pages on Facebook and 30 brands have more than 10 million fans as of February 2012 While Facebook provides a great opportunity for brands to build and maintain a strong brand identity as well as to cultivate relationships with consumers it challenges brand managers to post contents that fit their brand personalities appropriately As Maries (2010) mentioned, it is crucial for a 19). T his study sel ects three brands, namely, Coca Cola Pepsi and seeks to examine how these well established brands utilize Facebook to enhanc e their marketing communications and to build their brand identity. Ultimately, this research aims to provide strategic implications for brand managers to build brand personalities and identities successfully in the social media environment.

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14 The outline o f this thesis is as follows. Chapter 2 provides a literature review on identity, i n which brand personality serves as an operational definition of brand identity. Subsequently, Chapter 2 provides a review of research studies on brand personality of Cha pter 2 discusses the social media environment including Facebook use of Facebook as part of online marketing communications. Following this literature, the selection of three brands examined in this thesis is explained and research questions are proposed. Chapter 3 introduces the design and method of the study. Specifically, it describes a detailed procedure of a content analysis from sampling to pretests, code scheme development and data analysis. Chapter 4 reports the results of the findings from the content analysis. Chapter 5 provides interpretations of the results and conclusions of the research. It also discusses the limitations of the study and recommendations for future research

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15 CHAPTER 2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWOR K: LITERATURE REVIEW Brand ing As a long established marketing concept, branding has proven to be an important performance and achieve competitive advantage in the long run (Mudambi, 2002). In order to gain knowledge about the concept of branding, however, one should first understand the concept of brand. The word brand originated from the Germanic word brandr 117). Modern branding originated in the American West as a tool to mark and identify cattle (Schmidt & Ludlow, 2002). Even today, researchers refer to cattle marks when talking to differentia Kotler and Gertner (2002), the American Marketing Association defines name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of the competitors (p. 249). Similarly, Bennett (1988) and Doyl e (1989) emphasize the term, sign, symbol, design, or any combination of these concepts, used to identify the good 18). And Doyle (1989) d efines symbol, design, or some combination which identifies the product of a particular o A product or service, therefore, becomes a brand when it is differentiated from other products or services based on its unique attributes.

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16 The process of creating a differentiated adv antage for the product or service is branding (Rooney, 1995). During the branding process, unique values are added on to the product or service (Keller, 1993). Unique values may be tangible product features such as enhanced product performance, or intangib le characteristics such as favorable product image. For a brand to gain a competitive advantage and to have positive impact in the marketplace, the unique values not only need to be substantially different from those of other products or services, but also be desired by consumers. The key to a then to create relevant marketing activities to satisfy them (Keller, 1998; Wood, 2000). Aaker (1996, p. 68) suggests that branding hel establish a relationship between the brand and the customers by generating a value proposition involving functional, emotional or self expressive benefits Consumers are able to select an appropriate product that meets their needs effectively when competing products are distinctively differentiated as a result of the branding process (Rowley, 1997). There are a few mechanism s by which branding creates perceptions of concepts underlying these mechanisms are brand image and brand identity. These concepts are explicated in detailed in the fol lowing section. Brand Image and Brand Identity: Differences and Connections As discussed earlier, marketers add distinctive values and benefits on to products and services during the branding process to achieve differential advantages. This process result s in a set of brand associations residing in the minds of consumers. Keller

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17 (1993, p. 3) explains informational nodes linked to the brand node are a set of attributes and benefits that characterize a brand and deliver meanings of the brand. According to Keller (1998), a collection of favorable, strong, unique brand associations plays an important role in determinin to stand out among competitors. Two properties of a brand on which brand associations are reflected are brand image and brand identity (Aaker, 1992; Keller, 1998). Brand image is a set of brand associations that are organized in a meaningful way by consumers (Aaker, 1992). Brand identity, on the other hand, is a unique set of brand associations that represent promise to consumers (Ghodeswar, 2008). Since both brand image and brand identity consist of brand associations, they are sometimes used interchangeably in marketing literature (Ind, 1990; Tauber, 1988). However, scholars point out important concept ual differences between these two properties of the brand. Nandan (2005) argue s that brand identity is company image is target audience by perceptions of the consumer (p. 268). In brand image is formed via consumer perceptions. Brand identity can serve as an inspiration and guide for the design of marketing activities, while brand image is rpretation of brand identity based on the marketing activities. In essence, brand identity represents what the company intends for the brand to stand for,

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18 and thus is developed internally by the company rather than dictated by the public (Aaker & Joachimst haler, 2000). Brand Image and Brand Identity in Relation to Branding Given the fact that brand identity is created first and brand image is formed later, there is a shift in branding literature from emphasizing the importance of brand image to brand identi ty (de Chernatony, 1999). Many researchers have recognized the critical role of brand identity in the branding process. Kapferer (1997) mentions that managers and employees make a brand unique through the development of brand identity. Aaker (1996) suggest s that it is critical for marketers to understand how to build and retain a brand identity to know what the brand stands for and to effectively communicate that identity through marketing activities. Researchers contend that creating and maintaining a br and identity is the first step to build a strong brand (Aaker, 1996; Keller, 1998) Kapferer, 1997, p. 71). In addition, brand identity represents what the company can and will do over time, and thus communicates values to consumers more effectively than other brand concepts (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000). Considering how significant brand identity is in branding, it is useful to explore how brand identity works during the branding proc ess. As discussed earlier, branding is an action of creating a competitive advantage by adding value to products or services, and differentiating a product or service from its competitors. S trong brands differentiate themselves from unknown brands by disti nct and favorable brand images that reflect Hoeffler & Keller, 2003) Since brand image often mirrors brand identity, it can be used to explain how brand identity works during the branding process. According to Meenagh an (1995), marketers design elements of

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19 marketing mix for a brand based on its brand identity, while marketing mix variables must create brand identity first, which then ma kes it possible for consumers to form marketers need to develop a desirable brand identity and design marketing communications to communicate that identity. In other words creating a favorable brand image starts from managing brand identity. In the next section, three conceptual frameworks of brand identity are discussed. Conceptual Frameworks of Brand Identity Many scholars suggest brand identity is formed by several ele ments, though these identity framework, brand identity is typically developed in terms of four perspectives: (a) brand as product, (b) brand as organization, (c) brand as per son and (d) brand as symbol. Brand as product deals with the product related attributes of the brand, such as product scope, product attributes, quality, and value. Brand as organization deals with ation. Brand as person deals with the personality aspects of the brand, including brand personality and brand customer relationships. Brand as symbol deals with the symbolic aspects of the brand such as visual imagery and brand heritage. brand identity prism is another conceptual framework, in which brand identity is divided into six categories, including physique, personality, culture (values), relationship, reflection and self image. As explained by Kap fer er ( 2008 ) the physique refers to the physical attributes of the brand, which is the backbone and up character that is

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20 ould be if it were ). The third f acet, culture, indicates the set of values feeding the bran inspiration. Kapferer states the importance of the culture facet in the brand identity 184). Th e relationship facet implies the customer firm relationship. The fifth b that when asked for their views on a certain car brand, consum customers (e.g. Porsche is for show offs!). While both reflection and self image are by others, while the self reputation gap model of brand model, de Chernatony identifies five elements that generate the notion of a brand identity: brand vision and culture, positioning, personality, relationship and presentation. As interpreted by de to devel op the models of brand building activities, etc (p. 167) and its personality can help it to be distinguished in the marketplace. As stated by de 168). The fou rth facet,

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21 relationship, includes the staff to staff relationship, staff to customer relationship, and so on. The final part of brand identity is its presentation styles. It is concerned with how the der to appeal to cha racteristics and to reflect stakeholders images According to de Chernatony ( 1999 ) these identity elements are interrelated and company needs t o create a positioning strategy that communicates functional attributes and a personality that communicates emotional attributes. The challenge with brand to gain m de Chernatony, 2010 p. 55 ). By creating a strong internal brand identity through a synthesis of various identity elements, the company is able to deliver this essence to consumers and stakeholders. In the works of Aaker (1 996), Kaferer (1998) and de Chernatony (1999), brand personality is considered as a dimension or a facet of brand identity, thus playing an important role in the branding process. As mentioned before, the key to the branding process is to communicate diffe rential values to consumers and establish a brand consumer relationship. Considering that brand personality is part of a core or extended brand identity (Aaker, 1996), the brand differentiation can be achieved by establishing a unique and distinct brand pe rsonality. In the next sections, the concept of brand personality is explicated in detail, followed by measurement of brand personality. Brand Personality like characteristics associated with 347). Like human, brands can be described in terms of demographics (gender, age, etc.), psychographics (interests, opinions, etc.) or

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22 personality traits (h u morous, charming, etc.) (Aaker 1996). It resembles human personality in a sense personality and is not likely to change much over time. Many researchers and scholars have stressed the importance of creating brand personality because it can help companies differentiate their brands from their competitors (Aaker, 1996; de Chernatony, 1999, Kapferer, 1998, Keller, 1998). As de Chernatony (1999) explained in his identity reputation gap model of brand (p. 168). Compared to functional features or tangible characteristics, brand personality can also help a brand to achieve differentiation in a better way (Biel, 1993). It conveys special feelings and emotions to consumers as they use the brand, and hence provides a richer source of competitive advantage than any functional features can (Sherrington, 2003). In addition, compared to functional features or tangible c haracteristics, personality attributes cannot be copied easily by competitors. Therefore, the differentiation created by brand personality renders the brand more sustainable and stands out in the marketplace (Ghodeswar, 2008). Another advantage of brand p ersonality is that it establishes a direct relationship with consumers (Ghodeswar, 2008). According to Aaker (1996, p. their customers more effectivel y and plays a major role in advertising and other promotional efforts (Aaker, 1996; Batra, Lehmann, & Singh, 1993; Plummer, 1985). A well

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23 brand, and produces greater consumer trus t and loyalty (Johnson, Soutar, & Sweeney, 2000; Siguaw, Mattila & Austin, 1999). Brand personality can also serve as a self expressive vehicle as it helps the consumer to express his or her own personality demonstrates that brand personality influences consumer preferences. According to as they decide whether a partic ular brand is the one for them As explained by Plummer, t he consumer I see myself in that brand, or I see that brand in myself f (p. 81), while a non favorer has looked at the same information and concluded that that brand is not for him. In this pro cess, brand personality can be transformed into the viewer's head into "appropriate for me" or "not appropriate for me". This benefit is especially advantageous for brands that have only minor functional differences. Considering the important role of bran d personality in the branding process, many researchers have attempted to develop a reliable scale to measure the concept. Early studies of brand personality are characterized by the use of brand personality items compiled ad hoc by advertising practition ers and by the use of human personality scales adopted from psychology research (Aaker 1997). The ad hoc items were designed for a particular brand in a specific context. Therefore, the scales consisting of these items had little theoretical basis and lim ited generalizability to other brands. The human personality scales, on the other hand, were theoretically derived and considered to better explain the link personality traits (McCracken, 1989). It was also deemed appropriate to measure brand

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24 personality because consumers sometimes perceive and treat a brand as if it were a person (Aaker & Biel, 1992; Batra, et al., 1993). However, items in human personality scales were found to be insufficient for measu ring brand personality since brand personality includes demographic characteristics such as gender, age, and class in addition to human personality traits. The demographic characteristics were useful to describe a brand and had been used in advertising pra they were not included in human personality scales. For example, upper class is a brand personality trait (Aaker, 1997), but cannot be considered as a human personality. Further, some human personality traits had not be en validated for measuring brand personality and thus it remained unknown whether some human personality traits were appropriate to describe a brand or not. In order to develop a more reliable and generalizable scale to measure brand personality, Aaker (1 997) systematically conducted a research study that combined 204 traits from human personality scales in psychology (John, 1990; McCrae & Costa, 1989; Norman, 1963) and 133 traits from personality scales used by advertising practitioners. In addition, she conducted a qualitative research study and identified 295 traits by asking participants to spontaneously associate personality traits with selected brands. The total of 632 personality traits were later reduced to 114 traits after dropping items that were redundant or found to be little descriptive of brands in subsequent studies. The findings generated a comprehensive list of potential personality traits and also yielded personality dimensions that group individual personality traits. f personality traits were tested on a representative group of brands selected based on three criteria: (a) the chosen brands should be salient and

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25 well known, (b) a wide variety of brands representing a spectrum of personality types should be selected to enhance the scope of the scale and (c) both symbolic and utilitarian product categories should be drawn upon to enhance scale generalizability (p. 349) Each of 114 traits was rated for its descriptiveness of multiple brands. The results revealed that t he traits could be categorized into five dimensions sincerity, fication identified 15 most representative facets for the five dimensions: down to earth, honest, wholesome, cheerful, daring, spirited, imaginative, up to date, reliable, intelligent, successful, upper class, charming, outdoorsy and tough. Aaker held that identifying different facets subsumed by each dimension could help select traits that enc ompass both breadth and depth of a theoretical construct underlying the dimension. Through the analysis of item to total correlations and test retest correlations, Aaker constructed the final Brand Personality Scale (BPS) that consisted of five dimensions and 42 traits (Table 2 1). The internal consistency of traits within each dimensio n was In studies exa mining cross cultural generalizability of the BPS, researchers found that some dimensions needed to be modified to more accurately reflect cultural differences. For example, the ruggedness dimension was replaced by peacefulness for Japanese products (Aaker & Benet Martinez, 2001). Also, a few items (e.g., cool, western, small town) were found to be more appropriate for a pa rticular sub culture in the United States (Davies, Chun, Da Silva, & Roper, 2003). However, a majority of

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26 dimensions and traits in the B PS have been shown to be applicable and highly reliable in a wide range of contexts. The Emergence of Social Media based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, a nd that allow the creation and Ellison (2008) defined social media from the functional angle and explained that social media are social network sites as Web based services that allow individuals to do the following: construct a public or semi public profi le within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within t he system (p. 211) The emergence of social media platforms provides increased capabilities for interactive commun ication and online information sharing (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010; Trusov, Bucklin, & Pauwels 2009). As explained by Park, Rodgers and Stemml e he participatory nature and instant feedback of social media add a degree of interactivity to online advertising and marketing by facilitating consumer control and involvement in content creation and dissemination With this interactive capabi lity, many companies have started integrating social media elements into their marketing communications and promoting interactive communication between brands and consumers (Tuten, 2008). Meanwhile, social media have a lar ge user base. According to Pew Res earch Center (2011), two thirds of online adults (66%) used social media platforms such as Facebook Twitter MySpace or LinkedIn in the United States in 2011.

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27 One of the most important and popular social media platforms is Facebook It has more tha n 800 million active users, and 50% of them log on to Facebook in any given day (Facebook 2011). An average user has 130 friends and is connected to 80 community pages, groups, and events. Based on its large number of active users and its capability for interactive communication, Facebook has great potential for brands to develop deeper relationships with a great number of consumers. A 2008 report by Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) on social media showed that some brands created profile pages on so cial networking sites, and the pages were used to provide all sorts of information. The brand pages allowed Facebook Facebook was no l onger a novel thing. According to SocialBakers (2012), there are 13,584 brand pages on Facebook as of February 2012. ook pages. As Wallace, Wilson and Miloch (2011) suggest, the most comm on forms of communication are links to external news items about the organization, photographs, video or audio files, message board, and discussion wall. Organizations can post announcements and answers to questions through these forms (Carrera et al., 200 8). Meanwhile, the types of contents are diverse in Facebook pages. B rands utilize Facebook pages as a tool for their online marketing communications. According to Jensen and Jepsen (2006), online marketing communication consists of four major component s: (a) online advertising, (b) online public relations (PR), (c) online sales promotion and (d) online personal communications.

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28 According to Jensen and Jepsen (2006), online advertising includes display advertising and paid search engine optimization. On line PR was defined by: online sponsorships related activities, online events related activities and viral marketing related activities (Holtz, 2002). However, the goal e conomic objectives, which, according to Harris (1998) should be categorized as online marketing oriented public relations (MPR ) whose purpose is to gain awareness, stimulate sales, facilitate communication, and build relationships between consumers and com confusion with classic public relations. edia and non media marketing pressure applied for a predetermined, limited period of time at the level of consumer, retailer or wholesaler in order to stimulate trial, increase consumer demand, coupons, contests and sweepstakes that aimed at increasing sales and encouraging involvement (Pickton & Broderick, 2004). Online relationship communica ( Jensen & Jepsen, 2006, p. 30) The following online marketing communication tools can be classified as online personal communication: email, web personalization, online com munities, and online games.

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29 According to a content analysis of 36 Facebook brand pages, Saransomrurta i (2011) found that all of these types of contents (online advertising, online MPR, online sales promotion and online personal communication) were prese nted in Facebook He also suggests that brand may post basic information about the company ( founded year, headquarter location, mission, etc) product, and service on their Facebook pages, and included it as the fifth type of content in his study. A list of examples for each type of content can be found in Appendix A. The b brings challenges to marketers in terms of presenting its brand identity. Consumers interact with brands as though they were people (Aaker, 1997). It is a l ogical extension that such consumer behaviors are applied to the new media platform as well. From the contents posted by brands on their profile pages and their interaction with consumers, consumer can perceive certain types of brand personalities. As disc ussed earlier, brand personality is important in the process of building a distinguished brand identity, differentiating a brand from competition and communicating its unique values to consumers. Establishing a distinguished brand personality and presentin The popularity of social media such as Facebook poses a new challenge for brand consumer relationship in this new media environment. Research Questions Based on the above literature review, this study seeks to determine whether traditionally well reinforce their brand personalities. Particularly, this research exam ines prevalent forms of communication and types of contents the brands use on Facebook and also any brand

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30 identity they project on Facebook This study also tries to investigate different forms of communication and types of contents that are used to proj ect brand personalities. Three traditionally established brands were chosen for these research purposes based on the following criteria: (a) The brands should be long established and successful brands in the market, (b) they should have a brand page in Fac ebook with a sizable number of fans the United States. The first criterion was intended to identify successful brands with n Facebook profile pages can offer valuable suggestions for other brands to improve their social media marketing communications. The second criterion was chosen because it is equally important that the brand has a significant presence on social media such as Facebook and has actively used it as a brand communication tool. The third criterion served to address issues raised about ( BPS ) As discussed earlier, the BPS has greater relia bility and applicability for United States (U.S.) brands than for foreign brands. As the BPS is adopted for this research, U.S. brands were selected to measure brand personality. To identify three brands that meet the above three criteria, the researcher first reviewed top 30 brands on the 2012). All the brands personalities that are dif ferentiated from other brands. They are also viewed as successful brands due to their expertise in marketing activities. Second, the researcher referred to SocialBakers (2012) to find top 50 brands with most Facebook fans as of

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31 February 9 th 2012. SocialB akers is a w ebsite that provides statistics of major social media sites (e.g. number and growth of fans, average engagement rate). Third, the researcher cross SocialBaker s site, and then identified Un ited States brands among them. Three brands that resul ted from this process were Coca Cola Pepsi The following are specific research questions posed in this research. Research Question 1a: What forms of communicatio n and types of cont ents do Coca Cola Pepsi utilize on their Facebook pages? Research Question 1b : How are the three brands similar or different in the use of various forms of communication and types contents? Research Question 2a: How frequently do Coca Cola Pepsi communicate their brand personalities on Facebook pages? Research Question 2b: How are the three brands similar or different in the frequency of brand personality communication on their Facebook pages? Research Question 3a: What forms of communication are more likely used to present brand personalities? Research Question 3b: What types of content are more likely used to present brand personalities? Research Question 4: What brand personalities are portrayed on Coca P Facebook pages? Research Question 5: What dimensions of brand personality are popularly displayed on Coca Facebook pages?

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32 Table 2 1. Dimensions and traits of brand p ers onality s cale Dimensions T raits Sincerity down to earth family oriented small town honest sincere real wholesome original cheerful sentimental friendly Excitement daring trendy exciting spirited cool young imaginative unique up to date independent contemporary Competen ce reliable hard working secure intelligent technical corporate successful leader confident Sophistication upper class glamorous good looking charming feminine smooth Ruggedness outdoorsy masculine western tough rugged

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33 CHAPTER 3 METHOD Research Design The research questions were addressed via content analysis. Content analysis is 8 ). New man (1995) points out that content analysis is a technique for collecting and analyzing the content of a text. The content may include words, meanings, pictures, symbols, ideas, themes, or any message that can be communicated. Content analysis has b een used as an effective method of identifying characteristics of Web site communications (Dou & Chou, 2002; Ghose & Dou, 1998) and analyzing brand personality (Okazaki, 2005; Santos, 2004). For instance, Okazaki (2005) used content analysis to explore bra content urism advertisements in the United States and revealed T his study content analyzed Coca posts on their Facebook pages in order to examine forms of communication, types of contents, and brand personalities. As the researcher sought to examine brand personalities that posts by the brand and excluded comments written by fans, namely, visitors of the page. Only the contents showed on Facebook brand pages were analyzed. The initial code sheet and codebook were designed based on the literature previously reviewed.

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34 Preliminary Ana lysis For the purpose of refining the coding system, before actual data collection was begun, a preliminary analysis of Coca Facebook pages from January 1 st 2011 to December 31 st 2011. The year 2011 was selected because it was the only year that all three brands posted content on their brand pages for the entire year. In the first stage of the preliminary research, the researcher went through all the posts available on Facebook to examine the posting date of each post. By doing this, the researcher identified the year 2011 as the only year that all three brands posted from January to December. In other words, the researcher could only acquire enough samples from the year 2011. Three hundred posts were selected from all t he posts in 2011. The sampling method and sample description were introduced in next section. In the second stage of the preliminary research, the researcher went through all the posts in 2011 after excluding the main data set of 300 posts. Four forms of c ommunication were identified among these posts. They were (a) text, (b) text with picture, (c) text with video and (d) text with link. So these four forms were used as co by Jensen and Jepsen (2006) and Saransomrurtai (2011) were found among these posts. They are (a) basic information, (b) online advertising, (c) online marketing oriented public relations (MPR) (d) online sales promotion, and (e) online relationship commun ication s However, for some types of content, the contents on three Facebook pages were not exactly the same as what mentioned by Jensen and Jepsen (2006). According to Jensen and Jepsen (2006), online advertising includes display advertising and paid se arch engine optimization Based on the results of preliminary

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35 pages. Instead, there were printing ads, television commercials and in game advertising page. Therefore, the codebook was revised to guide the coders oriented public relations (MPR) mentioned previously, Jense publi relations. Based on the results of the preliminary research conducted by the researcher, all three types of MPR activities were presented on Facebook pag es: online sponsorships related activities, online events related activities and viral marketing related activities. ionship communication s from what mentioned by Jensen and Jepsen pages. Instead, brands posted interactive information to involve consumers and generate in teractions (e.g., polls, discussions and other interactive informat ion). These posts were not online MPR information, but they served as an important role in maintaining relationships with consumers. In terms of coding brand personalities, the Brand Perso nality Scale will be used directly for coding, since it is an established and reliable scale to measure brand personality. Each brand personality trait will be used as a variable. Therefore, besides form of communication and type of content, another forty two variables regarding brand personalities will be coded. Examples of different forms of communication, types of

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36 contents and brand personality traits can be found in Appendix A. The refined code sheet and codebook were presented in Appendix B and C, resp ectively. Sample Selection and Description There were a total of 921 posts in the sample universe, including 543 posts from Pepsi 259 posts from Coca Cola and 119 Each post was assigned a number, and then by using a random numbe r generator, 100 posts were randomly selected for each brand. For example, Pepsi has 543 posts in total and these posts were numbered from 1 to 543. Then by using a random number generator, 100 random numbers were acquired from 543 numbers. The s ame proce ss was applied to Coca Cola posts as well, resulting in 300 posts in total. Each post served as a unit of analysis. On Coca 259 posts in 2011, there were 16 posts from January, 27 posts from February, 28 posts from March, 17 posts from April, 23 posts from May, 17 posts from June, 17 posts from July, 20 posts from August, 23 posts from September, 24 posts from October, 21 posts from November and 26 posts from December. Among the 100 posts being selected, there were 6 posts from Jan uary, 10 posts from February. 10 posts from March, 5 posts from April, 9 posts from May, 5 posts from June, 4 posts from July, 12 posts from August, 5 posts from September, 9 posts from October, 11 posts from November and 14 posts from December. The distri bution of total samples and selected samples based on different months was examined, as shown in Figure 3 1. 543 posts in 2011, there were 19 posts from January, 19 posts from February, 21 posts from March, 36 posts from April, 45 posts from M ay, 51 posts from June, 53 posts from July, 62 posts from August, 58 posts from September, 55 posts from October, 62 posts from November and 62 posts from December. Among the 100

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37 posts being selected, there were 3 posts from January, 3 posts from February. 6 posts from March, 5 posts from April, 9 posts from May, 6 posts from June, 11 posts from July, 18 posts from August, 7 posts from September, 8 posts from October, 10 posts from November and 14 posts from December. The distribution of total samples and s elected samples based on different months was examined, as shown in Figure 3 2. 119 posts in 2011, there were 8 posts from January, 10 posts from February, 8 posts from March, 13 posts from April, 8 posts from May, 8 posts from June, 4 post s from July, 4 posts from August, 5 posts from September, 14 posts from October, 17 posts from November and 20 posts from December. Among the 100 posts being selected, there were 6 posts from January, 7 posts from February. 8 posts from March, 10 posts fro m April, 6 posts from May, 8 posts from June, 3 posts from July, 2 posts from August, 4 posts from September, 11 posts from October, 16 posts from November and 19 posts from December. The distribution of total samples and selected samples based on differen t months was examined, as shown in Figure 3 3. Coding Procedure The researcher served as the main coder, while a graduate student was recruited as the second coder. Two coders were trained by using examples in Appendix A, codebook in Appendix B and code s content based on the concepts provided in literature and examples provided in Appendix A. Further, in terms of coding bra nd personality traits for each post, the coders were given the opportunity to read the codebook (see Appendix B) carefully and have good understanding of each personality trait. All explanations for each personality trait were acquired from The New Oxford American Dictionary (McKean, 2005) For

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38 r, using the post from the Coca website (see site from where row is a mystery. Today is an contained pictures or videos with people smiling. A pretest was conducted on 30 posts to ensure two coders had reasonable intercoder reliability (10% of the total posts to be analyzed on each brand page). These 30 posts were selected from the sample universe, but excluded in the main data set of 300 posts. By using Recal, an online tool for calculating intercoder reliability, Krippendorf tested. Intercoder reliability using because it eliability coefficient developed to measure the agreement among observers, coders, judges, raters, or measuring instruments drawing distinctions among typically unstructured phenomena or assign 1). Unlike other coefficients, any metric or level of measurement (nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio, and more), large and small sample sizes alike (Krippendorff, 2011, p. 1). Once high intercoder reliability was achieved, the two coders coded the main sample. The researcher coded the entire sample (300 posts), while the second coder coded 20% of the entire sample (60 posts).

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39 This study used random selection of content samples for re liability testing. As Wimmer and Dominick (1997) suggested, between 10% and 20% of the body of content should be tested. Therefore, this study used 20% of the samples for reliability testing. After finished the coding independently, inter coder reliability o variables. After finished coding independently, two coders discussed the items with disagreements to reach agreements. The discussed results were recorded in SPSS for data analysis.

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40 Figure 3 1. Distribution of Coca C posts based on m onths Figur e 3 p ost s based on m onths

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41 Figure 3 3. Distributio posts based on m onths

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42 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Forms of Communication and Types of Contents Research question (RQ) 1 is concerne d with forms of communications and types of contents the three brands employ on their Facebook pages (RQ1a) and any similarities and differences in them among the three brands (RQ1b). The results showed that overall, text with link (46%) was the most popu lar form of communication pages, followed by text (28%) and then by text with picture (13%) and text with video (13%). As for types of contents, a majority of the posts contained contents related to online relationship (51%). The second most popular type of content was online marketing oriented public relations ( MPR ) The contents related to online advertising and online sales promotion comprised 16% and 11%, respectively. Only a small percent age (2%) of the content s com municated basic information. To examine any differences or similarities among the three brands in terms of their use of various forms of communication, Chi square tests were conducted. The results showed a significant difference among the three brands, 2 = 61.47, p < .001. was different from the other two brands in its uses of various forms of communication, whil e Coca Cola and Pepsi were similar to each othe r (Table 4 1). Compared to Coca Cola (21%) and Pepsi s heavily relied on text with link to communicate with their fans (73%) In contrast, the majority of Coca posts were text (both 39%) or text with link (21% and 33%, respectively). These two brands did differ in terms of the use of tex t with pi cture and text

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43 with video. Coca Cola tended to use text with picture (21%) more often than Pepsi (9%), whereas Pepsi used text with vi deo (19%) more often than Coca Cola (8%). Similarly, a Chi square test was conducted to examine any differenc es or similarities among the three brands in terms of their types of contents. As Reinard (2006) suggests, when performing a chi square test, data must satisfy the following assumption: the sample size must be large enough so that the expected count in eac h Square test since the expected count in these two cells were less than 5, which did not satisfy the basic assumpt ion of chi content types, 2 = 17.76, p < 001 (Table 4 2). Although online relationship communication s was generally the most popular type of content on the thr F acebook pages, Coca Cola (58%) and Pepsi (65%) used this type of content more frequently than McD (31%). Meanwhile, Coca Cola (30%) used their posts for online MPR more frequently than Pepsi (17%). In terms of online sal (15%) and Pepsi (12%) had m ore relevant contents than Coca Cola (6%). Although basic information and online advertising were excluded in the Chi square test, the results showed that the three brands rarely provided basic informa tion on their Facebook heavily utilized Facebook for online advertising compared to the other two brands. Frequency of Brand Personality Communication Research q uestion (RQ) commu nication of brand personalities on their Facebook pages. The results showed

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44 that more than a half of the total posts coded (52%) communicated some elements of brand personality. However, a Chi square test revealed that the frequency of brand personality c ommunication was significantly different among the three brands, 2 =10.63, p < 005. Coca Cola was the most active in communicating its brand personality (65%), followed by Pepsi (42%) (Table 4 3). In fact, less than a hal posts contained messages related brand personality. Research q uestion 3 is concerned with what forms of communication and types of content were more likely to present brand personalities on Facebook To examine any differences or similar ities among the forms of communication in terms of the frequency of brand personality communication, Chi square tests were conducted. As shown in Table 4 6, there is a significant difference among four forms of communications, 2 = 13.54, p < .004. Among d brand personalities, fol %) and 4). Similarly, a Chi square test was conducted to examine any differences or similarities among the types of contents in terms of the frequency of brand personality Square test since their frequencies were less than 5. The results showed there was a significant difference among the four content types, 2 = 17.81, p < .000 (Table 4 5). P osts with the content related to online marketing oriented public relations ( MPR )

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45 (75.0%) presented brand personalities frequently than other three types: online advertising (55.3%), online relationship communication s (46.8%) and online sales promotion (36 .4%). Brand Personality Traits Research q uestion (RQ) 4 examined individual brand personalities projected on pages. Among 42 personality traits examined, a total of 20 traits were present on Coca Facebook page, 13 trai Facebook Facebook page (Table 4 6). The most popular perso nality traits displayed on Coca page was cheerful (24%), followed by sentimental (11%). The other personality traits that were also present but at a much lower frequency were family oriented (5%), honest (5%), imaginative (5%), cool (4%), sincere (3%), exciting (2%), confident (2%), glamorous (2%), young (1%), trendy (1%), contemporary (1%), unique (1%), intelligent (1%), successful (1%), go od looking (1%), charming (1%), outdoorsy (1%) and masculine (1%). Traits that were not displayed on Coca page were wholesome, honest, small town, friendly, down to earth, real, original, independent, up to date, daring, spirited, reliable, corpora te, hard working, Facebook page, exciting was the most frequently shown personality trait (24%), followed by cheerful (15%) and young (13%). Traits that were present much less frequently were sentimental (5%), cool (4%), family oriented (2%), imaginative (2%), independent (2%), small town (1%), up to date (1%), daring (1%), good looking (1%) page. They were down to earth, sincere, real, wholesome, friendly, honest, original, trendy, contemporary, spirited, unique, reliable, intelligent, successful, hard working, technical,

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46 leader, secure, corporate, confident, upper class, feminine, glamorous, charm ing, smooth, western, rugged, masculine and tough. The personality trait that was most followed by family oriented (7%) and exciting (7%). Also present but less frequently were sent imental (3%), corporate (3%) and friendly (1%). Traits that were not displayed page were down to earth, sincere, real, small town, honest, original, daring, cool, up to date, trendy, young, independent, imaginative, contemporary, spirited, u nique, reliable, intelligent, successful, hard working, technical, leader, secure, confident, upper class, good looking, feminine, glamorous, charming, smooth, outdoorsy, western, rugged, masculine and tough. Altogether, 4 traits were displayed on all thre oriented, exciting. Fifteen traits pages: down to earth, real, original, spirited, reliable, hard working, technical, leader, secure, upper class, femin ine, smooth, western, rugged, tough. Brand Personality Dimensions Research q uestion (RQ) 3 was concerned with dimensions of brand personality pages. To examine RQ3, individual brand personality traits were aggregate study. Overall, sincerity was the most prevalent dimension of brand personality shown pages (58%), followed by the excitement dimension (34%). Competence (4%), sophisticati on (2%), and ruggedness (2%) were not common pages (Table 4 7).

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47 Table 4 1. Forms of communication by b rand Coca Cola Pepsi Row Total Text 39(39%) 39(39%) 6(6%) 84 (28%) Text w ith photo 21(21%) 9(9%) 10(10%) 40 (13%) Text with video 8(8%) 19(19%) 11(11%) 38 (13%) Text with link 21(21%) 33(33%) 73(73%) 138 (46%) Column Total 1 100(100%) 100(100%) 100(100%) 300(100%) 1 2 =61.47, d.f.= 6, p < 001, N = 300 T able 4 2. Types of contents by b rand Coca Cola Pepsi Row Total Basic Information 4(4%) 2(2%) 0(0%) 6 (2%) Online Advertising 2(2%) 8 37(37%) 47 (16%) Online Public Relations 30(30%) 13 17(17%) 60 (20%) Online Sales Promotion 6(6%) 12 15(15%) 33 (11%) Onl ine Relationship Communication s 58(58%) 65 31(31%) 154 (51%) Column Total 1 100(100%) 100(100%) 100(100%) 300(100%) 1 2 =17.76, d.f.= 4, p < 001, N = 247 Table 4 3. Frequency of brand personality communication by b rand Coca Cola Pepsi R ow Total Brand Personality Communication 65(65%) 53(53%) 42(42%) 160 (53.3%) No Brand Personality Communication 35(35%) 47(47%) 58(58%) 140 (46.7%) Column Total 1 100(100%) 100(100%) 100(100%) 300(100%) 1 2 =10.63, d.f.= 2, p < 005, N = 300 Tabl e 4 4. Frequency of brand personality c ommunica tion by form of c ommunication Text Text with picture Text with video Text with link Row Total Brand Personality Communication 39 (46.4%) 26 (65%) 29 (76.3%) 66 (47.8%) 160 (53.3%) No Brand Personality Communication 45 (53.6%) 14 (35%) 9 (23.7%) 72 (52.2%) 140 (46.7%) Column Total 1 84 (100%) 40 (100%) 38 (100%) 138 (100%) 300 (100%) 1 2 = 13.54, d.f. = 3, p < 004, N = 300

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48 Table 4 5. Frequency of brand personality communication by type of c ont ent Online Advertising Online Marketing oriented Public Relations Online Sales Promotion Online Relationship Communication s Row Total Brand Personality Communication 26 (55.3%) 45 (75.0%) 12 (36.4%) 72 (46.8%) 155 (52.7%) No Brand Personality Commun ication 21 (44.7%) 15 (25.0%) 21 (63.6%) 82 (53.2%) 139 (47.3%) Column Total 1 47 (100%) 60 (100%) 33 (100%) 154 (100%) 294 (100%) 1 2 = 17.81, d.f. = 3, p < 000, N = 294

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49 Table 4 6. Brand personality traits by b rand Dimension Traits Coca Cola P epsi Row Total Sincerity Cheerful 24 15 12 51 Sentimental 11 5 3 19 Family oriented 5 2 7 14 Wholesome 0 0 12 12 Honest 5 0 0 5 Sincere 3 0 0 3 Small town 0 1 0 1 Friendly 0 0 1 1 Down to earth 0 0 0 0 Real 0 0 0 0 Origin al 0 0 0 0 Excitement Exciting 2 24 7 33 Young 1 13 0 14 Cool 4 4 0 8 Imaginative 5 2 0 7 Independent 0 2 0 2 Up to date 0 1 0 1 Trendy 1 0 0 1 Daring 0 1 0 1 Contemporary 1 0 0 1 Unique 1 0 0 1 Spirited 0 0 0 0 Competence Corporate 0 0 3 3 Confident 2 0 0 2 Intelligent 1 0 0 1 Successful 1 0 0 1 Reliable 0 0 0 0 Hard working 0 0 0 0 Technical 0 0 0 0 Leader 0 0 0 0 Secure 0 0 0 0 Sophistication Good looking 1 1 0 2 Glamorous 2 0 0 2 Charming 1 0 0 1 Upper Clas s 0 0 0 0 Feminine 0 0 0 0 Smooth 0 0 0 0 Ruggedness Outdoorsy 1 1 0 2 Masculine 1 0 0 1 Western 0 0 0 0 Rugged 0 0 0 0 Tough 0 0 0 0 Column Total 73 72 45 190

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50 Table 4 7. Brand personality d imensions by b rand Coca Cola Pepsi Row Total Sincerity 44 (65%) 22 (36%) 33 (77%) 99 (58%) Excitement 15 (22%) 37 (61%) 7 (16%) 59 (34%) Competence 4 (6%) 0 (0%) 3 (7%) 7 (4%) Sophistication 3 (4%) 1 (2%) 0 (0%) 4 (2%) Ruggedness 2 (3%) 1 (2%) 0 (0%) 3 (2%) Column Total 68(100%) 61(61%) 43(43%) 172(100%) Note: The presence of personality dimensions is not mutually exclusive. Multiple personality dimensions can be present in a single post.

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51 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCL USION Discussion of Findings In 2007, Facebook began allow ing brands to create a profile page dedicated to developing interaction with their fans ( Interactive Advertising Bureau, 2008 ). Am ong some top brands, Coca Cola joined Facebook on December 15, 2008 ( Coca Cola Facebook page, 2012 ); Pepsi joined on Janu ary 12, 2009 ( Pepsi Facebook page, 2012 on June 2, 2009 ( Facebook page, 2012 ). However, it was not until 2011 that all three brands posted contents from January to December. According to Weaver (2012), Facebook to Meanwhile, starting from 2009, brands were allowed to do contests and prom otions on Facebook to grow their fan bases. Though all three brands shared a trend of increasing usage of Facebook brand pages, they had some differences in terms of the frequency of posting contents. As mentioned in chapter 3, Coca Cola posted 259 pos ts in the year 2011, about 15 to 25 posts per month. In other words, it had a relatively stable frequency in posting. Pepsi had 543 posts in total, with a trend of increasing their posts gradually. Specifically, it had less than 20 posts per month from Ja nuary to March. But from April to July, it increased its posts from 30 to 50 and in August to December, and there were more than 50 posts posted 119 posts in 2011 and most of the contents were p osted from October to December.

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52 Despite the differen ces in terms of frequency, Coca Cola Pepsi and also posted various contents with different forms of communication, diverse types of contents and personality traits. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of how these top global brands utilize Facebook brand page as a tool for marketing communications and brand building. Through a content analysis of their Facebook posts, this study revealed prevalent forms of communication and types of contents employed by these three brands. This study also uncovered primary brand personalities these brands projected via Facebook Forms of Communication Various forms of communication, namely, text, text with picture, text with video and t ext with link, were used by all three brands. Among them, text with link was the most popular form of communication. On three Facebook pages, most of the links (2010 ), links on Facebook with other Facebook more than two thirds of its posts were te xt with link. As Mabry and Porter (2010) suggest, brands could promote marketing campaigns more effectively by integrating social networking sites with official connected Facebook and its official websi te together by ad ding links in its marketing activities. The space for introducing a new product is limited on Facebook tried to lead consumers to its own website and provide detailed product information by adding a link to the product websit can increase, contributing to higher sales (Keller, 1998).

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53 On the other hand, Coca Cola and Pepsi relied on text heavily for comm unication. Perhaps because Coca Cola and Pepsi are in the same product category (carbonated soft drinks), they showed a similar pattern of using text. which was more likely to post product related inform ation via text with link, Coca Cola and Pepsi frequently used text only to post int riguing statements or questions in order to generate quick interactions. For example, Coca Cola like childhood mem ories and drinking experiences. While these two soft drink brands generally had a similar pattern in using two iffer slightly in their use of pictures and videos in conjunction with text: Coca Cola used text with picture more frequently, and Pepsi used text with video more frequently. Particularly, Pepsi mainly used tex t with video to introduce its public relati ons (PR) activities and present past television commercials, while Coca Cola mainly used text with picture to post PR related information and basic info rmation related to the company. Types of Content Overall, the three brands utilized Facebook for onli ne relationship commun ications and online marketing oriented public relation (MPR) activities more frequently than online adverti sing and online sales promotion This pattern is consistent ding to the network nature of Facebook The network nature of Facebook promotes social interaction

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54 ( Downes, 2007), which is well suited for online M PR activities and online relationship communications. Particularly, online relationship communication s wa s the most prevalent type of content used by the three brands. All three brands realized the importance to communicate with consumers and tried to use Facebook to develop a deeper relationship with them. pages, there were ma inly three types of online relationship communications: polls, discussions, and other interactive information (e.g., interesting news stories, holiday greetings). According to Sniderman (2011a), Facebook polls can be a great method to engage consumers wi th questions that build loyalty or to provide them with useful feedback. Sniderman also suggests that the brand needs to pay attention to the nature relevant or topical ones that can generate useful feedback from consumers. Most importantly, the brand needs to be clear about the purpose of their polls (e.g., for generating loyalty, product feedbac k, brand exposure, etc.). Keeping these guidelines in mind can help the brand design the poll more appropriately. Consistent with these Facebook polls were real questions, (e.g., polling about ing) or brand relevant questions (e.g., polling about Pepsi icon). Unlike Pepsi Coca Cola conducted fewer polls, but As found in Coca posts, discussions can be consumer related, br and both brand and consumer related. Cola would be a dance, which one

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55 moment, billions of people are smiling. Ar related open ended question. Other interactive information includes posts containing resonant information, interesting news, holiday greeting s, etc. engagement, brands need to put u p things that people care Borrow Equity From Other Social Media Stars para. 3 ). For example, Coca Cola received more than 27,000 likes and 2100 comments (Coca Cola Facebook Page, 2012) Facebook report related to an underwater bedroom. Such news articles can be eye catching for consumers, and in turn, useful for generating conversations Holiday greetings posts are also an example of interactive information. For example, McDon a While online relationship communication s was a popular type of content o n all thre Cola and Pepsi used this type twice as much as Considering that online relationship communication s Jensen & Jepsen, 2006, p. 30) this resul t implies that Coca Cola and Pepsi are more concerned with developing and maintaining relationships with their consumers on Facebook

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56 The content related to online MPR was m ost frequently provided by Coca Cola On Coca Faceboo k page, the majority of MPR related posts were associated with the following three types of information: (a) sponsorship related information, (b) events related information and (c) viral mark eting related information. Coca Cola is an official sponsor fo r all ten seasons of American Idol (Coca Cola 2012), and its Facebook page was used as a media outlet to release information related to A merican Idol For example, Coca Cola used its Facebook videos related to America n Idol participants. It also encouraged its fans to vote for their favorite American Idol song. Meanwhile, there were many posts about a real time mar 5 Cola fans were invited through i ts Facebook page to participate in Maroon5 composition. Additionally, Coca Cola launched a viral marketing campaign that featured a magical vending ma chine that gives away free cola and pizza, with related videos and texts posted on its Faceb ook page as support to this viral marketing campaign. Among the three brands, Pepsi had the least MPR information, but did use its Facebook o Sniderman (2011b), the Pepsi Refresh ideas that can change the world. This campaign was designed to better involve consumers with the brand. In addition, Pepsi pos ted information related to the show it sponsored (Factor X ) and, in turn gained a reputation of being an ac tive participant in pop culture (Sniderman, 2011b).

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57 its Facebook page was used for posting advertising related information ra ther than online relationship communication s and online MPR In fact, the page than the Facebook page, there were printing ads, television co mmercials, and in game advertising. All these three types of ads were new products (e.g., new Chipotle BBQ Bacon Facebook page reflects that this brand intro introduced and old ones phased out continuously. As a result, the brand needs to advertise its new products through online communications. This study found Facebook brand page was used as a tool to achieve this goal. Frequency of Brand Personality Communication In terms of frequency of brand personality communication, Coca Cola was most likely to present thems elves with brand personalities, followed by Pepsi and then by Specifica lly, more than a half of Coca online social media presence included brand personalities, which was significantly greater than McDonal As mentione d earlier, Coca Cola and Pepsi made significant efforts in promoting online relationship communication s and online marketing oriented public relations (MPR) activities on Facebook to get involved with consumers. These two lity communication on Facebook seems to reflect their overall social media marketing efforts. It suggests that these two brands seek to build brand identity on social media via active communication of brand personalities on Facebook

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58 Furthermore, an int eresting pattern emerged when examining how the brands utilized different forms of communication and types of content to communicate brand were more likely to be u than other forms of communication. The resu lts also showed that while Coca Cola T hese findings su ggest that Coca Cola and Pepsi have higher frequencies in presenting brand personality with visual forms of communications rather than textual forms (e.g., text only or text with links). In terms of types of content used by the three brands, 75 percent o f posts related to online MPR activities presented brand personalities. And this type of content was more likely to be used to present brand personalities than other four types. From the samples in this study, it was found that the majority of Coca posts with the type cheerful, exciting contents than other types of contents. For example, as I mentioned in the previous section, Coca Cola conducted a viral marketing campaign that featured a magical vending machine that giv es away free cola and pizza. This consumers. Meanwhile, the Maroon 5 activity contained a lot of exciting interactions between the band and their fans. Therefore, brand personalities have bee n presented through brand consumer interactions in these online MPR activities. The Results in this

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59 study showed that Coca more active involvement in online MPR activities seemed to contribute to its high frequency of brand personality communicatio n, compared to Pepsi Brand personality can help a brand to build emotional connections with consumers, and to produce greater consumer trust and loyalty (Johnson, Soutar, & Sweeney, 2000; Siguaw, Mattila & Austin, 1999). Frequent personal ity presentations on Coca Facebook pages can benefit these brands by facilitating a high level of interaction with consumers and building emotional connections with them, while generating online word of mouth reports and increasing br and advocacy (Keller, 2007). Conversely, the low frequency of brand personality communication on Facebook page indicated that the brand did not fully take advantage of these opportunities. Brand Personality Traits and Dimensions As many schol ars (Aaker, 1996; Biel, 1993; Plummer, 2000) have argued, a brand must have a distinct brand identity in order to achieve brand differentiation. Since unique and strong brand personalities can be very beneficial for a brand to stand out from competitors (A aker, 1996; Biel, 1993; Plummer, 2000), one essential step toward building brand identity is to create distinct brand personalities. This study found that for each brand, there were distinct brand personalities. Two brand personality traits, re frequently presented on Coca Facebook presented by Pepsi frequently projecte posts were distributed in October, November and December. Based on the samples, I

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60 might be able to explain why t In terms of brand perso nality dimensions, most of Coca Cola nsions. This suggests that Coca Cola and seek to be perceived as sincere brands, while Pepsi tries to be seen as an exciting brand. Thoug h Coca Cola and Pepsi have similar functional attributes, their distinct brand personalities and personality dimensions on Facebook may and preferences" ( Freling & Forbes, 2005, p. 409). Brand personality can also serve as a self expressive vehicle, as it helps the consumer to express his or her own personality (Aaker, 1996), and consumers typically select products on the basis that they perceive themselves as the kind of person who would use the product (Govers & Schoormans, and personalities, along with the distinctiveness distinct brand personalities with self expressive values can increase the attractiveness of brand personalities, thus leading to positive word of mouth reports (Kim, Han & Park, 2001). Moreover, since Facebook Facebook network, and help the brand gain more popularity. To appeal to consumers, therefore, brands must build distinct brand personalities with self expressive values for their consumers. One essential step in building distinct fa ns. When the

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61 brand pages gain a significant number of fans, brands can start analyzing their current fans and incorporate their findings in its Facebook communication strategies. Facebook ia performances (Facebook 2012). One of the features available on Facebook is the analysis of user demographics and consumption of content. From these insights, brands and thus present brand personalities in a more appropriate way. Brand Personality Consistency While the study showed that all three brands had distinct Facebook brand personalities, there was some level of inconsistency between their Facebook personalities and those found in the marketing literature. These were considered as traditionally. According to various m arketing literature, Coca brand personalities Paul & Lau, 2000, Pendergrast, 1993 (Ekinci, 2003; Lee & Rhee 2008; Plummer, 1985 brand personalities Cui, Albanese, Jewell & Hu, 2008 presented on their Facebook p ages Furthermore, none of Coca established brand personalities were present on its Facebook page. These findings indicate a high level of inconsistency between its brand personalities on Facebook and those established within traditional media.

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62 Acc ording to marketing literature, maintaining brand consistency is a key to the term success. Brand consistency in marketing communications is viewed as one of the most essential activities in branding (Aaker, 1996; de Chernatony, 2006; Hatch & Schultz, 2001; Ind, 1997; Keller, 1998). As highlighted by Berry, Lefkowith and Clark (1988), once a brand establishes a favorable identity and brand personalities, its major task is to ensure their consistency across all marketing communications and activ ities. Inconsistent brand personalities can cause consumers to become confused about the brand, and damage their brand preferences. According to Schultz, Tannenbaum and Lauterborn (1994), a person comes into contact with a brand in various ways, such as fr Brand identity is reinforced when the message from different channels work synergistically. Therefore, it is critical for brands to maintain consistent brand personalities across communication chan nels. The inconsistency of Coca brand personality may be explained by its social media strategy. Facebook suggested that brands need to detect brand identity is inh erently social? Why do people engage with it and why do people want to talk about 1). According t o them, the component that Coca Cola attempts to express via soci al media is "happiness." The findings of this study seem to reflect this as they showed a Coca Cola Facebook page. Given the fact that b rand consistency is crucial in the process of branding, brands need to

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63 consider the consistency between brand personalities on social media and those developed through traditional marketing communications when identifying brand identity ele ments for social media communication. Implications for Marketers This study can help marketers to gain a better understanding of how top global brands Coca Cola Pepsi utilize Facebook brand page as a tool for marketing communications and brand building. Based on the findings, this study suggests some feasible implications for marketer to manage their Facebook brand pages more effectively. Integrate Facebook into Marketing Communications The selected brands presented various forms of communication in Facebook : text, text with picture, text with video and text with link. Among them, text with link can help brands to integrate their Facebook brand page with other websites, e.g., official website, mini site for a specific activity. As Mabry and Porter (2010) suggest, brands could promote marketing campaigns more effectively by integrating social networking sites with official websites. Therefore, brands can use Facebook to promote marketing activities more effectively by adding links in their posts. Meanwhile, brands can use text only to post intriguing statements or questions in order to generate quick interactions. This study proved that brands could use various contents to interact with consumers: online advertising, online public relations, online sales promotion and online relationship communication s On one hand, there is great potential for brands to integrate Facebook with their advertising campaigns, marketing oriented public relations ( MPR ) campaigns and sales promotion acti vities. Specifically, in terms of MPR, brands can use Facebook to post sponsorship related information, events

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64 related information, and viral marketing related information. In terms of online advertising, brands could post printing ads, television commer cials and in game advertising for introducing products. On the other hand, it can be used for building relationship with consumers. For example, Facebook poll and discussion were great methods to engage consumers with questions that build loyalty or to provide them with useful feedback. Brands can also posted other interactive information such as interesting news and holiday greetings to better involve consumers. Build and Maintain Distinct Brand Personalities in Facebook A brand must have a distinct br and identity to achieve differentiation. One essential step toward building brand identity is building distinct brand personalities (Aaker, 1996; Biel, 1993; Plummer, 2000). In our study three successful brands Coca Cola Pepsi all pres ented their brand personalities distinctively and gained large number of fans. Therefore, when developing Facebook brand pages, brands should have a sense of building unique brand personalities through Facebook posts. Moreover, brands must build brand p ersonalities with self expressive values for their consumers to attract them. In order to achieve this goal, brands need to analyze their Facebook fans. analysis of user demographics and consu mption of content. From these insights, brands and thus present brand personalities in a more appropriate way. Furthermore this study suggests that Coca Cola and Pepsi seek to build brand id entity on social media via active communication of brand personalities on Facebook

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65 Facebook page indicated that the brand did not fully take advantage of these opportunities. In order to present brand personality more effectively, brands can use visual imagery more communication, which could be transferred to brand personality. Maintain Brand Consistency across Media In addition to present distinct and favorable brand personalities, brands need to consider the issue of brand consistency. The importance of brand cons istency in marketing communications has been acknowledged extensively in branding literature and is viewed as one of the most essential activities in branding (Aaker, 1996; de Chernatony, 2006; Hatch & Schultz, 2001; Ind, 1997; Keller, 1998). In the contra ry, impact brand preference. One step in maintaining brand personality consistency is to maintain consistency across different media platforms, e.g the consistency of br established brand personality projected in traditional med ia and their brand personality o n social media. This study found all three brands had some level of inconsistency between their established brand personalities and personalities in Facebook Some of Pepsi and acebook pages, and none of Coca established personalities have been presented frequently in Facebook According to Wasserman (2012b), Coc a bra nd personality inconsistency may be attributed its social media strategy. Given the fact that brand consistency is crucial in the process of branding, brands need to consider the

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66 consistency between brand personalities on social media and those developed t hrough traditional marketing communications when identifying brand identity elements for social media communication. Limitations There are several limitations to this study. In terms of method, this study did not of each post as variables in coding. Without communication as well as diverse types of contents. These variables would help future researchers identify forms of comm and brand forms, e.g., text only, text with video and text with picture. Since different forms contain different amount of i nformation (e.g., text with video contains the largest amount of information, followed by text with picture, then text only) and different types of information (e.g., both text with video and text with picture contain textual and visual information, which text only contain textual information), using the same coding frame to code them and analyze them is inappropriate. This study only selected contents posted events) c ould provide a more comprehensive analysis as not all pictures, videos, and the samples for calculating intercoder reliability, which may cause bias. A more reasonable wa y is to calculate intercoder reliability between two coders after both of them finished 100% of the total samples. There were also limitations about the coders. Both the researcher and the second

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67 Meanwhile, one of the coder is the researcher, whose opinions might influence the Without these indicators, the coders need to interpret each post based on their understanding of different personality traits, which might ca use bias. Suggestions for Future Studies This study analyzed Facebook study may analyze Facebook to the post and attitudes toward it. A future researcher would also gain a better understanding of consumer response toward different forms of communication, types of content, personality traits, and personality dimensions. In addition, further research m ay study number of comments and likes can help marketers to identify particular communication activities on their Facebook Fur thermore, two brands in the same product category and another brand in a different category were selected in this study. Future study can choose several brands in the same product category to compare their marketing efforts in Facebook The results would be more valuable for less successful brands to learn from top brands from the same product category. Finally, this study provided some insights to brand personality consistency across traditional media and social media. Future studies can conduct interview

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68 media strategies. In this way, the consistency and inconsistency of brand personalities across media can be better explained. Conclusion In this study, a wide range of forms of comm unication and type s of content were found on Coca Facebook brand pages. These brands adopted a variety of ways to present information related to online advertising, online public relations, online sales promotion, and onl ine relationship communication s However, brands did not appear to utilize them to their full potential. This study also Coca Cola brand personalities on Facebook The results demonstrated that all three brands presented distinct brand personalities on their brand pages, which can help them to stand out from competitors. However, it was also found that brand personalities presented on their Facebook pages were largely inconsistent with traditionally established brand personalities. In conclusion, the findings of this study provide implications for brand managers to better utilize Facebook as a tool to communicate with their fans, and present their brand personalities a ppropriately.

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69 APPENDIX A EXAMPLES OF POSTS WI TH DIFFERENT FORMS O F COMMUNICATION, TYP ES OF CONTENTS AND BRAN D PERSONALITY TRAITS Examples of Posts with Different Forms of Communication Figure A 1. Form of communication example: Text Figure A 2. Fo rm of communication example: Text with picture

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70 Figure A 3 Form of communication example: Text with video Figure A 4 Form of c ommunication example: Text with link

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71 Examples of Posts with Different Types of Content Basic Information Figure A 5. Ty pe of content example: Basic information Online Advertising Figure A 6. Type of content example: Online a dvertising

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72 Online M arketing oriented Public Relations (MPR) Figure A 7 Type of content example: Sponsorship related marketing oriented public relations (MPR) activities Figure A 8 Type of content example: Event related MPR activities

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73 Figure A 9 Type of content example: Viral marketing related MPR activities Online Sales Promotion Figure A 10 Type of conten t example: Coupons

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74 Figure A 11 Type of content example: Sweepstake Figure A 12 Type of content example: Contest Online Relationship Communication s Figure A 13 Type of content example: Poll

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75 Figure A 14 Type of content example: Discussion F igure A 15 Type of content example: Other interactive information Examples of Posts with Different Brand Personality Traits Figure A 16 Brand personality trait example: Cheerful

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76 Figure A 17 Brand personality trait example: Sentimental Figure A 1 8 Brand personality trait example: Exciting Figure A 19 Brand personality trait example: Young

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77 Figure A 20 Brand personality trait example: Wholesome

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78 APPENDIX B: CODE BOOK Table B 1. C odebook No. Item Code Note 1 Form of Communication 1 = Text 2 = Text + Picture 3 = Text + Video 4 = Text + Link If the post only contains text, code as 1. If the post is a combination of text and picture, code as 2. If the post is a combination of text and video, code as 3 If the post is a combination of text and link to another website (not on Facebook ), code as 4 2 Type of Content 1 = Basic Information 2 = Online Advertising 3 = Online Marketing Oriented Public Relations ( MPR ) 4 = Online Sales Promotion 5 = Online Relationship Communication s 1. Basic Informat ion includes information related to the company, such as company overview, founded year, mission, etc. 2. Online advertising includes display advertising and paid search engine optimization. 3. Online MPR refers to those online activities that mainly func tioned to create a positive attitude toward the brand. The following activities can be categorized into online MPR: online sponsorships related activities, online event related activities and viral marketing related activities. 4. Online sales pro motion includes online competitions, samples, coupons, contests and sweepstakes that aimed at increasing sales and encouraging involvement. 5. On line relationship communications serve s the function of creating and sustaining relationships with customers, s uch as polls, discussions and other interactive information. Dimension: Sincerity 3 Down to earth 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence With no illusions or pretensions; practical and realistic. 4 Family oriented 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Family Oriented means that a person in particular likes to spend time with biological relatives, put family first. 5 Small town 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Of, relating to, or characteristic of a small town, esp. As considered to be unsophisticated or petty. 6 Sincere 1 = Prese nce, 0 = Absence Proceeding from genuine feelings. 7 Real 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Not imitation or artificial. 8 Sentimental 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Of or prompted by feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia. 9 Cheerful 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Noticeably happy and optimistic. 10 Wholesome 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Conducive to or suggestive of good health and physical wellbeing.

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79 Table B 1. Continued No. Item Code Note Dimension: Sincerity (Continued) 11 Friendly 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Kind and pleasant, (of a person) on good or affectionate terms. 12 Honest 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Free of deceit and untruthfulness. 13 Original 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence ideas; inventive an d unusual. Dimension: Excitement 14 Daring 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence (Of a person or action) adventurous or audaciously bold. 15 Cool 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Fashionably attractive or impressive. 16 Up to date 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Inc orporating the latest developments and trends, incorporating or aware. 17 Trendy 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Very fashionable or up to date in style or influence. 18 Young 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Relating to, characteristic of, or consisting of young p eople. 19 Independent 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Free from outside control; not depending on another's authority. 20 Exciting 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Causing great enthusiasm and eagerness. Indicator: exclamation marks, repeating words. 21 Imaginativ e 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Having or showing creativity or inventiveness. 22 Contemporary 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Belonging to or occurring in the present. 23 Spirited 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Full of energy, enthusiasm, and determination. 24 Uni que 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Being the only one of its kind; unlike anything, special. Dimension: Competence 25 Reliable 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Consistently good in quality or performance; able to be trusted. 26 Intelligent 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Having or showing intelligence, esp. Of a high level. 27 Successful 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Accomplishing an aim or purpose. 28 Hardworking 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence (Of a person) tending to work with energy and commitment; diligent. 29 Tec hnical 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Of or relating to a particular subject, art, or craft, or its techniques. 30 Leader 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence The person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.

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80 Table B 1. Continued No. Item Code Note Dimension: Competence (Continued) 31 Secure 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Not subject to threat; certain to remain or continue safe and unharmed. 32 Corporate 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Of or shared by all the members of a group. 33 Confident 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Feeling of showing confidence in oneself; self assured. Dimension: Sophistication 34 Good looking 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence (Chiefly of a person) attractive, beautiful, pretty, handsome, lovely. 35 Upper class 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence The social group that has the highest status in society, esp. The aristocracy. 36 Feminine 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Having qualities or appearance traditionally associated with women, esp. Delicacy and prettiness. 37 Glamorous 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Having the attractive or exciting quality that makes certain people or things seem appealing or special. 38 Charming 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Pleasant or attractive, (of a person or manner) polite, friendly, and likable. 39 Smooth 1 = Prese nce, 0 = Absence Having an even and regular surface or consistency; free from perceptible projections, lumps, or indentations. Dimension: Sophistication 40 Outdoorsy 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Of, associated with, or fond of the outdoors. 41 Western 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Living in or originating from the west, of, relating to, or characteristic of the west or its inhabitants. 42 Rugged 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Having or requiring toughness and determination, having attractively strong, rough he wn features. 43 Masculine 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence Having qualities or appearance traditionally associated with men, esp. Strength and aggressiveness. 44 Tough 1 = Presence, 0 = Absence (Of a person or animal) able to endure hardship or pain; physically robust.

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81 APPENDIX C: CODE SHEET Instructions: Code the following items for EACH POST carefully. Select only one choice for each item. 1. What form of communication is it? (1) Text (2) Text with p icture (3) Text with v ideo (4) Text with l ink 2. What type of content doe s the post contain? (1) Basic brand information (2) Online a dvertising (3) Online Marketing oriented public relations (4) Online sales p romotion (5) Online r elationship communication s 3 to 44: Code absence (0) or p resence (1) of each personality trait

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82 B rand name : Case number : 1 Form of c ommunication 2 Type of c ontent Sincerity 3 down to earth 4 family oriented 5 small town 6 sincere 7 real 8 sentimental 9 cheerful 10 wholesome 11 friendly 12 honest 13 original Excitement 14 daring 15 cool 16 up to date 17 trendy 18 young 19 independent 20 exciting 21 imaginative 22 contemporary 23 spirited 24 unique Competence 25 reliable 26 intelligent 27 successful 28 hardworking 29 technical 30 leader 31 secure 32 corpo rate 33 confident Sophistication 34 good looking 35 upper class 36 feminine 37 glamorous 38 charming 39 smooth Ruggedness 40 outdoorsy 41 western 42 rugged 43 masculine 44 tough Figure C 1 Code sheet

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91 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Wanwe i Tan was born in 1988. She was raised in Hunan, China. She got her Then she entered the University of Fl orida in 2010, completing her Master of Advertising in August 2012.