Social media as a promotional tool: a comparison betweenpolitical parties and companies

University essay from Luleå tekniska universitet/Industriell ekonomi och samhällsvetenskap/Industrial marketing and e-commerce

Abstract: In recent years, with the appearance of social media, traditional print andbroadcast media as main promotional tools have faced major challenges, asmany newspapers and television channels have suffered audience reduction.Overwhelmingly, the majority of marketers, both business and political, havestarted to use some form of social media for promotional purposes. Theoverall purpose of this research is to characterise the similarities anddifferences of the use of social media as promotional tool by politicalparties and companies.This research is exploratory in nature and the data collected is qualitative.In order to conduct this research, we have interviewed two political parties(Miljöpartiet de gröna and Centerpartiet) and two companies(Stockholm-Arlanda Airport and SJ AB). Taking into account the newcommunication paradigm from Mangold and Faulds as a base, we asked questionsabout how they use each element of the promotional mix in social media. The findings showed that the use of social media for promotional purposes was rather similar between the companies and political parties. Analysed data showed that political parties, in their social media activities, were focused on public relations and personal selling in a form of online interactions with voters, while the companies only focused on public relations.This research demonstrates that both political parties and companies stillhave not fully integrated social media for promotional purposes and that they still rely on traditional media for promotion.