#Hashtag: the implication of it as a marketing tool on brand awareness in Twitter: A Study on the Sportswear Industry
Abstract: Title: #Hashtag: the implication of it as a marketing tool on brand awareness in Twitter: A Study on the Sportswear Industry Date of the Seminar: 31 May 2016 Course: BUSN 39 Degree project in Global Marketing, Master Thesis Authors: Bochen Zhang, Farhan Rashid Ahmed Ansari, Sky Preedanon Supervisor: Veronika Tarnovskaya Thesis purpose: The Purpose of this thesis is to explore how companies can use hashtags as a communication strategy to raise brand awareness. This research aims to develop a framework for practitioners to create effective hashtags that function as marketing communication tool. Empirical data: In this thesis, the researchers applied netnography to collect data on Twitter. The researchers first collected all the hashtags used by Adidas, Reebok, and Under Armour during the year of 2015. Secondly, the researchers observed all the tweets which contains the hashtags used by these three companies. Conclusion & Suggestions: From the theoretical point of view, this research gives a new understanding of how hashtags can be effectively used on Twitter. The researchers found that the effectiveness of the hashtags as marketing tool was mainly affected by how consumers interpret them. If the hashtags are misused, it will create confusion among other users and lead to failure on raising brand awareness. From a managerial standpoint, the present research explored the vital components of successful hashtags and further developed a framework to guide companies to effectively increase brand awareness by using hashtags. This framework highlighted four suggestions for creating effective hashtags. Companies should make the hashtag be specific and brand related, ensure effective integrated marketing communication plan, and try to avoid identical hashtags. If companies incorporated these three suggestions but the outcome still does not meet their expectations. They should create a complementary hashtag to give consumers a more distinctive message.
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