Brand new knowledge : how knowledge-intensive startups use social media to build their corporate brand
Abstract: Building a corporate brand is as a crucial resource for the survival of companies. Social media as a tool for branding practices has been emphasized in research about startups. In such research, less focus is on certain groups of startups, such as Knowledge-intensive startups (KI Startups). This is peculiar as such startups differ in societal contributions and how they are constituted. Thus, as social media branding practices might enhance the survival rate, it is important to extend this research about KI startups. The purpose of this thesis is to understand how and why KI startups in Sweden use social media to build their corporate brands in regards of four different branding elements. The thesis has an exploratory and interpretivist philosophy with an abductive approach. A qualitative method was chosen to collect the empirical data. Firstly, a pilot study which contained a questionnaire was sent to a sample of KI startups to attain an initial understanding of the field. Secondly, semi-structured interviews with six KI startups were conducted for a main study. The findings indicate that the interviewed KI startups use social media to build brand awareness, influence and engage customers, attract new employees, and to build reputation. The findings also indicate that some KI startups use social media to attain a credible and knowledgeable brand perception. Our findings may help other KI startups when choosing a social media channel, and what content to post in the brand building process. Suggestions for further research are a similar, but more extensive study in Sweden, or a study in a country that is different to Sweden.
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