The Effect of Social Media Use on Building Brand Equity Among Three Star Hotels in Nairobi County, Kenya
There is no doubt that social media has taken the world by storm. While posing a threat to traditional marketing methods, it has also introduced a world of endless opportunities for brands. This study sought to investigate the effect of social media use on building brand equity with reference to three star hotels in Nairobi. To achieve this, primary data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires. The questionnaires were administered online through social media sites and email. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented in form of tables, pie charts and graphs. All participants had sufficient and regular experience with social media sites and were asked to discuss their experience in using social media to build the brand equity of their respective hotels. The findings demonstrated that the use of social media to build brand equity is in fact beneficial to the three star hotels in Nairobi County. According to the respondents, it increases brand awareness, improves brand image and brand loyalty, pointing to brand salience, fostering judgments and feelings and brand resonance respectively as per the brand resonance pyramid. Nonetheless, the use of social media may also affect all these aspects of a brand negatively leading to negative brand equity. This research only focused on the views of the marketing management and their equivalent. The researcher recommends a similar study to be conducted particularly with a view on the consumers of hotel services in Kenya. The researcher further recommends theoretical and empirical investigation into the use of social media with regards to the greater marketing field across industries.
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