An exploration of the strategic implementation of marketing communication within social networking communication context
Taking into consideration the dramatic changes ushered in by the exponential growth of social networking, marketers are left without a dependable framework on how to implement social networking strategically and in alignment with other modern as well as traditional marketing disciplines. In light of this, the study aims to explore the strategic implementation of social networking within the context of a dependable marketing theoretical model, known as the marketing communications mix. During the study’s literary exploration, social networking’s capacity as a viable professional marketing tool was discussed. Thereafter, the study’s main theoretical underpinning, marketing communications was discussed and analysed. During the empirical phase of the research, a process of grounded theory was firstly followed in order to compile a list of typical social networking communications actions that are performed on social networking platforms. The list of typical social networking communication actions were then compared with the five disciplines of the marketing communications mix and consequently paired, based on their inherent similarities in regards to characteristics. In an attempt to illustrate the practical use of the paring of social networking actions and the disciplines of the marketing communications mix, the empirical study conclusively followed a process of action research in order to analyse an organisation’s social networking strategy. It was established that the model could possibly increase the strategic alignment of an organisation’s social networking initiatives but that it should only be used as a guiding and adaptable framework as to not hamper the creative capacity of social networking marketing. It was suggested that a follow-up study explore the ways in which social networking can complement and support other modern as well as traditional marketing initiatives as way to strengthen the case for an integrated approach to professional, strategic marketing.
- Humanities 
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