BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The main purpose of this study in qualitative section is to identify the factors affecting social media marketing in urban cyberspace and then in quantitative section, ranking these factors. Hence, the question has been raised as to what factors affect social media marketing in urban cyberspace?
METHODS: Due to the exploratory nature of this research, it is not possible to provide an initial answer or hypothesis to the aforementioned question, and the final answer has been obtained using the theme analysis approach. In addition, based on the Analytic Network Process multi-criteria decision-making technique, the priority of the elements affecting social media marketing was discussed. In order to collect the data and get the opinions of experts, professors of the Iran Broadcasting University and senior media managers, in-depth and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 participants who were selected using the theoretical sampling method as well as the snowball method.
FINDINGS: Through a reciprocal process based on the theme analysis, key concepts associated with the social media marketing in urban cyberspace were extracted and finally, 1 pervasive theme and 32 subthemes were identified and categorized within the 4 main themes including factors related to marketing, competitive, and managerial factors, as well as, factors related to the social media. Also, the results from Analytic Network Process shows the preference value (Φ) of these factors respectively include the parameters of: Marketing-related factors (Φ=0.169); Managerial (Φ= 0.163); Competitiveness (Φ=0.139); and Social media (Φ=-0.133).
CONCLUSION: Presence of media in novel communication space with its general and special audiences is an opportunity which should not be ignored by the National Media. Compared to the commercial advertisements in various radio and Television channels, marketing in this atmosphere is likely to make less money (particularly at the early days), but such presence is highly significant. According to the results, the most important factors affecting social media marketing in urban cyberspace are Marketing-related factors, Managerial, Competitiveness and Social media factors.
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