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Publication Information

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Title: Forest Products Industry in a Digital Age: A Look at E-Commerce and Social Media

Author: Montague, Iris; Gazal, Kathryn Arano; Wiedenbeck, Jan; Shepherd, Jean-Gabriel;

Date: 2016

Source: Forest Products Journal. 66(1-2): 49-57.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: The business of marketing, promotions in particular, has changed substantially during the past decade. Physical means of promotion (e.g., newspapers, magazines, radio, billboards) have seen a decline, and the use of social media as a marketing tool has increased significantly. While a number of studies regarding the use of social media among Fortune 500 companies have been conducted, very limited information is available regarding social media use in the US forest products industry. This article presents part one of a two-part series and addresses the first three of the following five objectives: (1) identify the type(s) of e-commerce and social media tools forest products companies use, (2) identify and describe the reasons a company chooses to use or not use social media as a marketing tool, (3) identify and describe perceptions held about social media as a marketing tool, (4) examine factors affecting the use of social media marketing in the forest products industry, and (5) examine the effectiveness of social media marketing. The study included a questionnaire that was mailed to US forest products manufacturers in late 2013. Results show that close to 58 percent of respondents currently use some form of social media. The most common social media tool implemented was Facebook. Increasing company exposure and branding were cited as the most important reasons for using social media. Security of sensitive information and the cost of implementing a social media marketing strategy were the top concerns about adopting social media. The information collected from this study can be used in assisting the forest products industry in understanding the social media marketing world and developing an effective social media marketing strategy.

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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Montague, Iris; Gazal, Kathryn Arano; Wiedenbeck, Jan; Shepherd, Jean-Gabriel 2016. Forest Products Industry in a Digital Age: A Look at E-Commerce and Social Media. Forest Products Journal. 66(1-2): 49-57.

 


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