oleh : Annetta Gunawan, SE, MM
In 2006, Time Magazine declared “You” the “Person of the Year,” noting how individuals express power and take influential roles in societies in which online communications are prominent (Grossman 2006). Time Magazine‘s choice of “You” instead of specific persons resulted from the vast number of ordinary people who express themselves through blogs, video-sharing Web sites like YouTube, and online social communities such as MySpace and Facebook (Cheong et al., 2008). Content in such Web sites is referred to as user-generated content (UGC).
The growth of online brand communities, including social-networking sites, has supported the development of UGC (Gangadharbatla, 2008). Kementrian Komunikasi dan Informatika (Kemenkominfo) reveals that the number of Internet users in Indonesia reaches 63 million people in November 2013. Of that number, 95 percent use the Internet to access social networking. Moreover, Indonesia ranks fourth largest Facebook users and fifth largest Twitter user in the world. MarkPlus Insight also reveals that the number of netizen (Internet users who spend more then 3 hours daily in the virtual world) increased from 24.2 million in 2012 to 31.7 million in 2013. So, Indonesian marketers should start to consider how to take benefit from UGC development.
The global development of information technology, especially social media, brings a lot of revolutionary changes in many facets of life. The social Web represents a paradigm shift in marketing communications. Brands that formerly were tightly controlled by their managers increasingly are being shaped by their consumer markets. It is, therefore, important for managers to understand the drivers of consumer online content creation and their subsequent impact on brands (Christodoulides et al., 2012). In addition, according to Arikan (2008), the content ?You? generate across websites can rival the impact on brand equity from news and advertising.
Sponsored content was found to generate more positive company attitudes, beliefs, and greater purchase intention than banner ads (Becker-Olsen in Stacks et al., 2009). But, the research implemented by Lab 42 in 2013 shows the result that only 3% of those surveyed described the claims made in ads as very accurate and also only 3% of them said sponsored posts on social media encouraged them to try a new product. Decision makers who are engaged in content that matters to them say that it makes them feel ?closer to the sponsoring company? and ?helps them make better product (purchasing) decisions? (Abel, 2012).
Besides that, Park et al. in Burgress et al. (2009) states that in the online context, eWOM (electronic Word of Mouth) occurs when consumers create their own information on the Internet to share their experiences and views about products they have purchased ? that is UGC. Park et al. found that the purchasing intention of consumers increased in line with the number of reviews that indicated that the product or service was popular. Therefore, brand-related UGC is a substantial factor to be considered in order to increase customers? purchase intention.
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