Social Media as a Nation Branding Tool

Upon finishing my second graduation – this time in ‘Business Informatics’ at the FH Technikum Wien, Vienna, Austria, I am very proud to have been given the chance to merge my professional life as Marketing Officer at the Commercial Wing of the Embassy of India, Vienna, with my academic course of studies by compiling my diploma thesis entitled “Social Media as a Nation Branding Tool – An Interdisciplinary Study with focus on the Facebook Social Media Behaviour of the Indian Foreign Mission in Vienna, Austria, and its impact on Nation Branding ‘India’.”

This piece of work was the result of a research carried in mid-2015, which included extensive literature research in the fields of Social Media Behavior, Social Media Marketing, Nation Branding and Public Diplomacy.

Since I believe such research is just too valuable to be kept on my bookshelf only, I hereby publish a summary of my thesis, and invite any interested parties to get in contact with me for further reference to my work and access to its results.


The use of social media enables entities to engage in branding and promoting specific persona to their audience, whether it is a corporation, a public figure, or even a nation. Nation Branding is also a discipline of interest for governments worldwide. And social media is one of the fastest growing tools in modern e-Government agendas in respect to Nation Branding.

The Indian Foreign Mission in Vienna has been using Facebook as social media platform to disseminate information to the Indian Community and friends of India in Austria since mid-2012 and currently counts with approximately 10,000 ‘likes’ (as of July 2015).

It was, therefore, of interest to the Indian Foreign Mission in Vienna to identify whether its Facebook Social Media Behaviour has been having an effect as a Nation Branding Tool for ‘Brand India’.

The task of the thesis was to analyse how Social Media is being used by the Public Diplomacy Division of the Indian Government in Vienna as a Nation Branding Tool. The motivation of the research was the social media behaviour of public diplomacy bodies applied to their nation branding efforts. The interface where technology meets business through the use of social media as a strategic tool used for nation branding in public diplomacy defines therefore the essence of the paper.

The paper introduces basic insights on the vast field of public diplomacy and social media marketing and behaviour by introducing the major interface where these disciplines meet. The research gets narrowed down to the implementation of social media campaigns using one specific platform, namely Facebook, and having the social media behaviour of the Indian diplomatic mission in Vienna as focus. Its framework is used as source of practical input as well as the context on which the empirical part of the research is carried out.

The paper was structured in such a way that the presentation of data was given in an additive way, focusing on answering the following research questions:

  1. Which Facebook-based Social Media Strategies are there to support the Nation Branding efforts by a Diplomatic Mission?
  2. What impact does the Social Media Behaviour of a Diplomatic Mission has in its Nation Branding efforts?
  3. Which are the best Facebook-based Social Media strategies to support the Indian Diplomatic Mission in Vienna in its Nation Branding efforts?

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