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Virtual brand-communities using blogs as communication platforms and their impact on the two-step communication process: A research agenda

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Nowadays people are part of global social networks and prefer relying on each other to gather information and to exchange their experiences. Postmodernism shows that individuals are continually moving towards re-socialisation and engaging in new forms of communities. Networked computers enhance connectivity among consumers and help to rebuild the lost “sense of community”. Interactive communication platforms, which are hyperlinked social networks, respond to these new conditions and help to spread the word about a brand. However, these interactive communication platforms might also change traditional communication processes; marketers need to understand how to effectively manage such social networks. This literature review for virtual brand communities and opinion leadership offers an overview of some of the key works conducted in the area; it gives some ideas with regard to the challenges companies have to face, and the changing communication flow in virtual communities. It further outlines some research propositions, addressing those challenges.
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Keywords: BLOGS; BRAND COMMUNICATION; OPINION LEADERS; VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES; WORD-OF-MOUTH

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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