The effect of social media advertising on brand image of motor vehicles in South Africa

Hoeanat, Rethabile
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The automotive industry has experienced immense pressure as a result of global factors - inflation, competition, technology and political factors. Changing trends in consumer expectations have put the automobile industry under increasing pressure with more choices available. The practise of using Social Media Advertising by organisations and clients has revolutionalised the advertising and business landscape as it might be the most cost-effective way that organisations can promote their goods and services in the future. The marketing environment has evolved and marketers need to keep up and find innovative, cost effective ways to build brands. The main aim of this research was to examine the effects of Social Media Advertising on Brand Image of motor cars in South Africa. The study was grounded using 2 theories , AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) and DAGMAR models. Social media involved the use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin social media platforms. The study introduced the Keller Model of Brand Knowledge and investigated the relationship between Social Media Advertising, Brand Image, Types of Brand Associations, Benefits (Functional, Symbolic and Experiential) and Attitudes. The research design entails a quantitative approach and involves a cross sectional study design. The sample (N = 254) comprises owners and drivers of motor vehicles. A snowball sampling technique was used in selecting the final sample for the current study. This method was the most practical and feasible to arrive at the selected sample. The data involved a 2 phased approach. This study emphasises the use of Social Media Advertising in brand building strategies, particularly through social media platforms - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. The findings also suggest that through social media platforms consumers’ attitudes are influenced towards advertising, brands and intentions in forwarding messages to other users. The conclusions of this study have implications for brand managers. The study reveals practical value because it demonstrates that social media activities do have a positive effect on brands because they are supportive of the buying process.
A research report Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Management in strategic marketing In the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at the University of the Witwatersrand Wits Business School, Johannesburg March 2018
Hoeane, Rethabile, (2018) The impact of social media advertising on brand equity in the Automotive Industry in South Africa, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg,