Title

Do tweets matter? : assessing the value of social media marketing.

Date of Award

5-1-2016

Document Type

Thesis

School

College of Liberal Arts

Degree Name

Bachelor in Arts

Abstract

This thesis explores whether marketing on Twitter increases firm value as measured by stock price returns. For years, companies have tried to quantify the effects of marketing on business performance. Now that social media provides new platforms for marketing, companies may still be searching for the value in marketing campaigns on sites like Twitter. It is unknown whether companies invest in social media marketing because they truly know its worth, or if they are simply doing so because other companies are choosing to be active on social networking sites. This thesis searches for value in social media marketing on Twitter while using the social media activity of ten retail companies on the Fortune 500. Daily sales data was not available, so stock returns were used as a proxy for sales. Appealing to the efficient market hypothesis, if Twitter does have an effect on the business performance of a company, then information would be quickly translated into stock prices. Volume of shares traded was used to test an alternate hypothesis that share price results from technical market movements rather than a fundamental evaluation of net present value. After hand-gathering data over a three-month period in November, December, and January in 2015 and 2016, this research found that Twitter did not significantly affect the business performance of the ten retail companies studied. Although the evidence provided in this paper suggests that Twitter does not affect a company's business performance, the data used for this research is limited. Given a longer time period and/or larger set of companies across various industries, researchers may come to a different conclusion about the value of social media marketing to companies.