Profile of Corporate Social Media Consumer Segments

The trade and academic literature is replete with commentary about the need for companies to develop promotional strategies and to adopt media platforms that are more engaging and conversational with customers than the traditional top-down company directed one-way communication strategies of the past (Thomas, Peters, Howell and Robbins, 2012; Foster, West and Francescucci 2011; Deighton and Kornfeld, 2009). This viewpoint is supported by Christodoulides (2008) who reported that many customers view information about a company or brand that they obtained from blogs, social networking sites and the like as being more relevant, believable and important to them in their interactions with the company than similar company provided information. Social media savvy customers are by all counts a highly diverse lot and reaching them effectively requires the use of different messages for different groups (Heo and Cho, 2009; Stern, Rao and Gould 1990). For example, some social media users follow a wide variety of posts and enjoy the benefits of special offers while others have mixed feelings about being marketed to on social media websites. Interestingly, this new brand of customer also expects businesses to really know them, their life cycles, their personalities and the goods and services that they desire (Beauchamp 2013).