Working with Social Media in Japan. In the case of H&M, Ikea and Volvo Corporation
Abstract Social media is an evermore important tool for companies to utilize in marketing, as it no longer is a question of if, but how social media can be employed for communicating to current and potential customers. However, it is also a tool that holds its complexities, and one in which companies are resistant to use. Therefore it is of interest to investigate how in particular MNCs work with social media in a foreign market, as the marketing medium thus holds both opportunities and challenges, as well as cultural mechanisms and behavior affecting usage on local markets. The purpose of this study is to investigate social media usage of Swedish companies H&M, IKEA, and VCC in Japan, in order to develop a framework of how MNCs work with social media, as well as identify factors that affect how foreign companies work with social media on a local market. This was done through semi-structured interviews conducted in Japan with the three case companies, as well as interviews in Sweden. Further, we have introduced the PIE model as a framework for social media usage and concluded distinctive factors that influence presence of Swedish MNCs on the Japanese market including: reachability, applicability, popularity, and professionalism. Moreover, to create interest among users, the distinctive factors of commercial information, inspiration, tutorial, and competition effect utilization. Lastly, to enable conversation and engagement the distinctive factors of adaptability, sociability, and caution influence social media usage on the local market of Japan.