Social Media Branding : The case of Mykonos, Greece on Facebook
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The chapter aims at contributing to the sociolinguistic theorization of branding through a word-of-mouth marketing lens by delving into the ways whereby Mykonos is branded on Facebook. Place branding is investigated in the context of photos and posts found in the Mykonos fan-related Facebook groups. These digital multimodal texts are analyzed from a visual social semiotic perspective and the comments found below are dealt with through an interactive analytical lens with a focus on stance. The core argument put forward is that the Facebook groups that have been investigated employ branding as a bottom-up electronic word-of- mouth strategy prompted by photos and videos indexing elitism, luxury, and privi- lege. Positive branding techniques of Mykonos include the personification of spatial experiences, Mykonos-customized new year wishes with announced travel plans, treasure place hunting, and visual documentation of “successful hunting,” rendering thus the whole process “debranding.” On the other hand, negative branding techniques include decrying in a sarcastic way the so-called sardinization of the island, and the tax evasion that is claimed to take place there. As such, this Facebook group creates a controversial version of Mykonian reality to which people from all over the world respond, making the whole branding process into a grassroots one instead of a top-down one. As a result, people seem to construct a love-hate relationship with each other and to the Mykonos brand itself, which, however, is a successful branding technique contributing to the island’s high revenues from tourism.
- English Literature & Linguistics [82 items ]