Developing a Hierarchy Model for Selection of Social Media Manager

Developing a Hierarchy Model for Selection of Social Media Manager

Pi-Fang Hsu, Yi-Wen Su, Chia-Wen Tsai
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/ijea.2015010102
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With the fast development of the Internet, communication tools are no longer limited to traditional media. Enterprises have become aware of the rapid emergence of social media in recent years. Social media marketing has become an important field that demands attention, especially its changing marketing strategies. It is necessary to designate a professional to manage the social media platforms of an enterprise to attract consumers. Hence this study develops a two-part model to assist employers in choosing the ideal social media manager. The first part derives criteria for choosing a social media manager by conducting a thorough literature review and employing the modified Delphi method. The second part applies the analytic hierarchy process to calculate and identify the best suited social media manager by ranking candidates according to the relative weights of the evaluation criteria. In addition, a renowned Taiwanese restaurant chain is used as an example, to demonstrate how a social media manager is selected by applying this model. The results show that enterprises emphasize social media capabilities, professional skills, innovation, personal characteristics, and social skills.
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1. Introduction

With the ongoing development of technology, the Internet has become is one of the necessities of daily life and a crucial communication medium. The Internet not only eliminates the gap between people but also offers prompt and efficient global communication. It is both the easiest and fastest means of information exchange. In parallel with the development of the Internet, network application services or social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn have become the latest trend. Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.” Social media have substantially changed the way organizations, communities, and individuals communicate.

Studies show that the online world has gained considerable influence (e.g., Weinberg 2009). Social media provide automated social network platforms, including resources and sharing of information, experiences, and perspectives. It can take different forms such as forums, blogs, social networks, podcasts, virtual online games, and videos. According to Sterne (2010), there are six types of social media: forums and message boards, review and opinion sites, social networks, blogs, micro-blogs, and media sharing. Kietzmann et al. (2011) present a honeycomb framework that defines how social media services focus on some or all seven functional building blocks—identity, conversations, sharing, presence, relationships, reputation, and groups. For instance, the building blocks observed for Facebook users are relationships, identity, reputation, conversations, and presence.

As of September 2011, Facebook’s global user statistics reached 700 million (Checkfacebook 2011)., a famous marketing website, predicts that two out of three people will be users of social networking in 2014 (Willianson 2010). It is therefore reasonable to say that social media represent a revolutionary new trend that should be of interest to enterprises operating in the online space. Furthermore, 70% of marketers plan on increasing investment in social media marketing ( 2012). In fact, an increasing number of enterprises and marketers are using social media to boost their sales. Social media marketing is useful not only for generating sales but also for developing consumer relationships. The significant difference between traditional marketing and new media marketing is noteworthy.

According to the European Journal of Social Psychology, a key component in successful social media marketing is building “social authority.” Social authority is created when an individual or organization establishes themselves as an “expert” in their given field or area, thereby becoming an influencer in that field or area (Brauer and Bourhis 2006). It is the process of “building social authority” that makes social media effective. Qualman (2010) showed that the marketer function has transformed from the creation and promotion of the message into listening and participation in response to current and potential customer needs. In other words, the business model is changing, requiring companies to restructure to cope with changes brought about by social media and influence.

Social media marketing has gained significant enterprise attention and continues to do so even today. However, some agencies’ surveys show that enterprises are finding a dearth of professionals with the skills needed to manage their social media platforms. An investigation by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) reveals that 84% of surveyed enterprises rated themselves “poor” in a social media platform operation. The investigation agency Alterian contacted 1500 members of marketing and media agencies, digital marketing companies, system integrators, and other businesses for a social media marketing survey. Its results showed that only 30% of marketers have the ability to analyze the content of social media dialogue or deal with social media crises. Also, it indicated that 38.6% use tracking tools to measure the social media conversation with consumers (FIND 2011). These numbers show that many enterprises have weaknesses in the area of social media.

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