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May 30, 2011 | by  | in News |
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PHD Confirms Facebook is Awesome

Research by A recent Victoria University PhD graduate has confirmed the power of social media for promoting business.

Dr Nick Thompson’s investigation reveals that the use of sites like Facebook and Twitter can encourage consumers to act as “unofficial ambassadors” for brands, promoting them in discussion with peers.

“We all know that word-of-mouth recommendations are really valuable and social media can make that happen,” he explains.

Thompson’s research focuses on Air New Zealand’s brand, which he says is seen as likeable and patriotic. He argues social media plays a vital role in creating this image.

“Air New Zealand is also talked about a lot online with, for example, people getting in touch with friends and family to tell them about the daily Grabaseat deals or their experience flying with them to overseas destinations. That helps strengthen customer relationships”.

A number of businesses on Victoria University’s campus use social media to market themselves.

Students spoken to by Salient attribute the most effective use of social media by an on-campus organisation to VUWSA. The students’ association’s Facebook page is connected with 2,084 people.

“It tells me stuff that I probably wouldn’t find out about otherwise… like it’s more effective than the posters around uni”, says one student.
VUWSA President Seamus Brady says the association realises the importance of connecting with students through social media.

“Our survey of students last year clearly showed that communication was a major priority for us and that social media was an extremely useful tool to get our message out. It also gives students an easy way to communicate and find out things from us in a less formal way. We have plans to make the page more interactive in the next few months.”

Although Salient was outdone by VicBooks in a recent student survey about which services they use, the magazine appears to be more popular online. Salient’s Facebook page has 1637 ‘likes’ compared to the book shop’s 399.

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