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An Analysis of the Impact of Social Media Marketing on Brand Presence and Image:a Case of Oreo Cookies

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An Analysis of the Impact of Social Media Marketing on Brand Presence and Image:A Case of Oreo Cookies  


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                     About a decade ago social media marketing did not even exist but since then, it has flourished into an 11 billion dollar industry in terms of revenue. According to a report by Link Humans, from the 7 billion people on Earth, approximately 3.6 billion are unique mobile users and around 2.08 billion people have active social media accounts and the number is likely to reach 2.5 billion by 2018 (Humans, 2015). According to their March 2017 report Facebook alone has over 1.28 billion daily active users and 1.96 billion monthly users(Facebook, 2017). Similarly according to Omnicore Twitter and Instagram have 100 million and 400 million daily active users respectively. It is expected that social media spending in the United States will be $17.34 billion in 2019(LePage, 2016). Apart from that social media ad spending is likely to cross $35 billion this year worldwide(LePage, 2016).

In 2011 social media spending in the United Kingdom was around  £265 million and has exceeded £1.7 billion in 2016(Statista, 2017).

Building brand image and awareness has always been one of the most important things focussed on by marketers and will continue to be for a long time. Marketers have used various methods, both old and new, to build a good brand image and brand presence that is aligned with their business models. But now with the advent of social media marketing there is a disruption in the market research world. According to Forbes, in 2014 a staggering 64% of marketers reported that they closed at least one deal by using social media
(Biro, 2015).

Research Aim: To analyse the social media practices of Oreo Cookies that impact brand image and presence and and shed light on the issues and benefits faced by the brand.

Research Issue: One important thing to note is that social media provides a platform for users to share information about different brands among their peers(Stileman,2009). However, users are not always keen on welcoming and accepting of social media marketing by companies as they see this as intrusion of their social space(Boyd and Ellison, 2008). At the same time according to an infographic, “At least half of Twitter and Facebook users said they had become more likely to talk about, recommend or purchase a company's products after they began following the company on social media,”(Jackson,2011). That leaves us to decipher how social media campaigns can create the maximum awareness and positive impact of the brand’s image on the target audience. There are both advantages and disadvantages of using social media and companies are still experimenting with them today,

Why is it an issues: Today companies are growing ever so quickly and competition is at an all time high. Companies are using social media to build brand loyalty and awareness by customizing their campaigns in lieu with the wants of the customer. For example, Coca Cola on its main Facebook page displays user generated content and The New York Times fits news updates within the 140 character limit so its readers can view all the channels they are interested in with ease.  (Jackson,2011). Companies are using social media not only to promote their own brands but also to convert customers by having a positive interaction with them(LePage, 2016). This means that either you can convert customers from other brands or other brands might be able to convert your customers with a better social media campaign. Today with the rise of crowdculture, there are no geographical barriers and people are collaborating with pace and in large volumes(Holt, 2016).

Research Objectives

To shed light on the issues and benefits of social media marketing by brands like Oreo.

To see how users react to certain content posted by brands.

To analyse how Oreo Cookies use the social media platform to create positive Brand Image and Brand Presence.

To make recommendations by setting Oreo Cookies as an example in its brand category.

Structure of Dissertation

First the literature review shows how social media marketing is making an impact on brand presence and brand image by showing statistical data from websites and infographics that will show impact in terms of online likes, retweets, shares, views etc. Here the independent variable will be social media marketing and the dependable variable will be brand image and brand presence. Then the methodology will include statistical analysis of data obtained through websites, infographics and journal articles along with limitations of the research and ethical concerns if any. Following the methodology a brief data analysis will be presented which will primarily focus on showing growth in social media usage over the years in terms of users, online businesses, revenues generated from social media marketing and impact on brand presence and image. Then the key findings of the research will be presented and finally recommendations will be provided for future research.

Literature Review

In this literature review we will consider how social media marketing as an independent variable has affected brand presence and brand image of brands over the years and how that relationship is expected to grow. The main focus of this literature review is to show different views of marketing professionals, agencies and researchers and businesses with regards to social media marketing.

The literature review will be presented in the following way:

  • The growth of social media marketing over the years.
  • The growing acceptance of using social media as a marketing tool.
  • How social media marketing has impacted brand presence and brand image of various brands.
  • A brief view of the relationships revealed through the literature review.

Social media marketing is a  “connection between brands and consumers, [while] offering a personal channel and currency for user centered networking and social interaction.”(Chi, 2011). Social media has evolved from being a platform to stay connected with friends and family to an online marketplace where consumers can learn about the brands and products they love(Paquette, 2013).

Growth of Social Media Marketing

Currently the top five social media marketing platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Youtube(Corcione,2017). With 1.28 billion daily active users, Facebook is the most popular social networking website where half the users log in at least once a day(Facebook,2017). Instagram ranks in second with around 600 million daily active users who post around 95 million photos and videos per day(Parker,2016). In 2013 this figure was around 90 million which shows the exponential growth of users on Instagram(Statista,2017). Twitter had 30 million users in 2010 and after rapid growth it now boasts around 305 million daily active users(Digital Guide, 2017). One of the more recent platforms is Snapchat which has around 166 million active users(Statista, 2017). The most popular video sharing website in the world is Youtube which has been operating since 2005. It has approximately 1.3 billion users from which 30 million users visit everyday(Fortunelords, 2017). You can decipher from this data alone that in terms of growth social media has had made its impact on the world. The above mentioned platforms comprise of the majority of online social media users. Other noteworthy platforms include LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr and Pinterest. All of these come under different platform categories but their focus remains somewhat the same; to help people share and connect.



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