Paper Title
Short-term Promotional Activities as Social Media Stimulants: A Comparative Study within the South African Premium Chocolate Industry

This paper conducts a comparative analysis between Lindt and Ferrero Rocher Valentine’s Day short-term promotional campaigns in terms of the promotional activities employed and the resulting online engagement these tactics triggered. The confectionery industry is an increasingly competitive market with brands vying for consumer attention online and off-life. In South Africa the premium chocolate industry is dominated by two key players, Lindt and Ferrero Rocher, with similar attributes in terms of product, price and place. It is therefore the element of promotion which is used to differentiate the brand. The research question that this paper answers is therefore, of the promotional activities (advertising, personal selling, sales promotion and publicity) which activity triggers the most user-generated social media engagement? The research provides practical implications for brand management on the choice of, and motivations for, promotional activity selections during short-term marketing strategies in stimulating greater social media return for their company. Index Terms - Ferrero Rocher, Lindt, Marketing Mix, Promotional Tactics, Premium Chocolate, Social Media Engagement, Valentine’s Day.