The Value of Social Media




Social media is important to creating business value - just how important is it? This research paper answers that question. It introduces a "social media ecosystem" framework to help understand what businesses and customers accomplish using social media - using this as a basis to develop specific measures for activities that have a direct relationship with business value.

Abstract Embodying a new gestalt in firm-customer communication, social media is a nascent yet critical concern for researchers and practitioners alike. Organizations lack valid and reliable measures for social media effects, without which they remain unable to align their social media initiatives with organizational goals and ultimately create business value. This essay presents a “social media ecosystem” framework, explicating the social-media-enabled relationships among stakeholder groups and suggesting how future researchers can address research questions based on this model. Focusing on the customer/firm segment entitled the “[email protected] Social Media Dyad,” the article deconstructs the phenomenon of social media into multiple layers of firm-initiated and customerinitiated actions and provides a theoretical understanding of what firms and customers accomplish using social media. It sets the stage for developing measures of those firm/customer social media activities with a critical bearing on firm performance.


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