The Impact of Cosmetics Industry Social Media Marketing on Brand Loyalty: Evidence from Chinese College Students

By Qiutong, Man; Rahman, Md Jahidur | Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, January 1, 2019 | Go to article overview

The Impact of Cosmetics Industry Social Media Marketing on Brand Loyalty: Evidence from Chinese College Students


Qiutong, Man, Rahman, Md Jahidur, Academy of Marketing Studies Journal


INTRODUCTION

Social Media Marketing is increasingly applied by many companies around the world to communicate their messages and build better customer relationships. The increasing use of private computers, smartphones, the Internet, e-commerce, and social media technologies has brought drastic changes to the methods and strategies of corporate marketing (Saravanakumar & SuganthaLakshmi, 2012). Vast numbers of people have become social media users, for instance, the 1.32 billion people who use Facebook every day (Donnelly, 2018). In this new reality, it has become increasingly important for marketers to influence customer preferences and purchase intentions through social media networks (Kumar & Mirchandani, 2012). Through such networks, companies can communicate with their customers directly, and the customers can talk to other customers on social media platforms (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Social Media Marketing has a positive relationship with stronger customer relationships, purchase intentions, and brand loyalty (Erdogmus & Cicek, 2012; Kim & Ko, 2010; Kumar & Mirchandani, 2012).

In the past, cosmetics companies mainly relied on traditional methods for advertising, such as television and magazines, but in recent times they have increasingly sought to contact their customers through social media (Kumar et al., 2006). According to Shen & Bissell (2013), most of the posts on the social media platforms of six representative cosmetic brands (Estee Lauder, MAC Cosmetics, Clinique, L'Oreal, Maybelline, and CoverGirl) concern entertaining, interactive features such as beauty polls, Q&As, surveys, activities that offer rewards, or various applications. Alongside such activities, the cosmetic brands post promotional information and let their customers engage in discussions of their products. The contents generated by the users often help to improve the brand image, and to inform the development of new cosmetics-related products (Bartl & Ivanovic, 2010; Petty, 2012).

Most companies around the world realize that brand loyalty has an enormously important effect on their sales revenues, market share and profitability (Oliver, 1999; Keller, 2008; Aaker, 1991; Kapferer, 1997). However, it has become increasingly challenging to maintain brand loyalty and many researchers contribute to this area (Chaudhuri & Halbrook, 2001; Bennett & Rundle-Thiele, 2002). Many methods are used to build and maintain brand loyalty, and Social Media Marketing is one of those methods. According to the studies by Balakrishnan et al., (2014) and Erdogmus & Cicek (2012), there is a significant relationship between Social Media Marketing and brand loyalty.

To date, a few types of research have sought to investigate the relationship between Social Media Marketing and brand loyalty in the Chinese cosmetics industry. Some kinds of social media have already gained considerable benefits for the cosmetics industry such as network broadcast platform and WeChat. However, the impact of Social Media Marketing on cosmetic brand loyalty, particularly among college students is notably lacking. This relationship is conceptually intriguing because Chinese college students became more likely to use cosmetics (Liu et al., 2016). The Chinese cosmetics industry is developing now. So it is necessary to investigate more in the Chinese cosmetics industry. Our research seeks to fill this gap by examining the Impact of cosmetics industry Social Media Marketing on brand loyalty. The retail sales of steady cosmetic increase. However, the Chinese did not have a positive attitude towards the national brand (Zhang, 2018). Therefore, to develop the Chinese domestic cosmetics brand and compete with foreign competitors, more research should be done about the Chinese cosmetics industry.

The main aim of this study was to identify the effects of Social Media Marketing on brand loyalty among cosmetics customers. The chosen setting for this research is China, as online purchasing is very prevalent in that country. …

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