BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Twitter is a social media network that allows users to follow one another and send 140-character messages. Unlike other social networking platforms, Twitter relationships can be completely one-sided. One user may, for example, follow another without the latter being required to do so. Twitter debuted in March 2006, with a simple user interface that contrasted sharply with its competitors, who at the time were offering users complete personalization of their personal pages, resulting in a cluttered, garish appearance (Experian, 2009).
Third-party developers have always been welcome on Twitter, which offers a flexible application programming interface (API) and has unrivaled celebrity appeal (Twitter Counter, 2010). Despite its great popularity and significant coverage in the mainstream media, Twitter’s growth has lagged behind that of Google and Facebook after their respective first three years. There are 18 million Google users, 27 million Facebook users, and 8 million Twitter users (Battelle, 2009). Twitter is no longer a new kid on the block as it approaches its fifth year of existence, but many people are still unsure of its purpose or whether it has any value for them. According to Twitter, it’s “for finding and sharing what’s going on in your life right now.” While this is correct, since most of the stuff uploaded is, by definition, ‘pointless chatter,’ it overlooks Twitter’s economic potential (Java et al., 2007). The internet advertising sector grows year after year, and thanks to technology improvements, there are now more ways than ever to advertise items and businesses. On the other side, the “people” now desire authority, and they have the “acute editing ability” to listen to whatever messages they want to hear. With the capacity for consumers to stop media messages from being exposed to them, marketers must find a way to communicate with their customers without them recognizing it is advertising. Media purchasing, according to Curran, O’Hara, and O’Brien (2011), is “the process of contacting the owner of a website and acquiring advertising space on their website, often in the form of a banner placement.” Popular websites such as YouTube and Facebook provide media buying positions. Each Social Networking site includes a number of features that can be used to promote a business. Users can post links, movies, images, fan pages, organizations, and even adverts on certain social networking sites. Users can create generic pages, and businesses can do the same. After the page is up and running, you can add ‘friends’ in the hopes of obtaining more followers through ‘word of mouth’ marketing. Events can be planned and more friends invited once the original set of friends has been exhausted. Unlike YouTube and Facebook, however, Twitter has enormous potential to develop a lively and imaginative ecosystem of users, businesses, and media sources, allowing individuals to engage in discourse about topics that are important to them. They wanted individuals to provide real-time updates on what was going on in their lives. As the program’s popularity grew, it began to evolve naturally. Users began to share information in real time on a global scale, businesses were involved and promoted brand conversation, and news began to spread faster and more effectively through the platform than through traditional mainstream media services. As a result, Twitter’s motto has been altered to “The best way to find out what’s new in your world,” which is more appropriate and relevant to the service it offers. However, there is still the question of how this potential might be realized and put into effect.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Some companies, such as Rite Foods Limited, are interested in using Twitter as an advertising delivery method because it may provide a high level of reach and frequency while also targeting specific demographics at a low cost. Twitter may be used to acquire new customers, remain in touch with existing ones, and promote new products, sales/offers, and events, all while generating high-quality, company-specific PR. It goes without saying that they would want to sell their products to a market that is growing at such a healthy rate.
However, because of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Twitter ban, Rite Foods Limited will be unable to reach the enormous number of customers that frequent Twitter, thereby hindering their increasing brand’s visibility in Nigeria.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The following are the study’s objectives:
1. Determine the extent to which Rite Foods Limited’s brand recognition was impacted by the Twitter ban.
2. To determine the impact of the Twitter ban on Rite Foods Limited product sales.
3. To look into how Rite Foods Limited continues to build brand awareness after the prohibition was lifted.
This research is guided by the following questions:
1. To what extent has Rite Foods Limited’s brand awareness been impacted by the Twitter ban?
2. What impact would the Twitter ban have on Rite Foods Limited’s product sales?
3. What strategies did Rite Foods Limited employ to maintain brand awareness?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research will be significant because it will highlight the risks that the Twitter ban poses to various expanding brands, as well as the importance of having such means for contacting key target customers available at all times for businesses. This research will also benefit the academic community because it will provide materials for other scholars to use when undertaking research on a similar topic.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will only look at Twitter and not other social media platforms. It will investigate the impact of the Twitter ban on Rite Foods Limited’s brand recognition in Lagos, Nigeria.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The researcher’s only constraint during the course of conducting this investigation was a lack of funding.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. BRAND AWARENESS: Brand awareness refers to a customer’s ability to recall or recognize a brand under various circumstances.
2. BAN: A ban is a formal or legal prohibition on a certain item or conduct. A ban in this study refers to Twitter’s formal prohibition.
3. TWITTER: A social media platform used to communicate with a specific recipient or audience.