Social Network Citizenship

Social Network Citizenship

Mina Seraj (Bogazici University, Turkey) and Aysegul Toker (Bogazici University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-168-9.ch017
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This chapter describes and discusses the specificities of membership commitment to online social networks. While delineating these specificities, we introduce the concept of social network citizenship (SNC) to define the characteristics of committed network members. A conceptual model involving commencement, creation, change, and commitment is developed in order to establish the antecedents of this new concept. In addition, the implications for marketing practice are discussed to reveal how companies can acquire social network citizens to retain their social media marketing strategies successful.
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A social network is a group of individuals or entities that are connected through various factors such as common topics of interest, similar demographics, friendships, purposes of knowledge or commercial exchange, online self-presence, and a sense of belonging. These phenomena have been studied under different names such as virtual communities (Rheingold, 1993), virtual communities of consumption (Kozinets, 1999), online communities, electronic tribes (Cova, 1997; Kozinets, 1999; Cova, 2002; Adam and Smith, 2010), etc. Therefore, literature on these themes as well as extensive studies on computer-mediated communication, social ties, WOM, and social media all provide different perspectives to derive a model for understanding social networks and the issue of commitment.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Ties: Connections among people that are used for sharing information, knowledge, feelings, and experiences. Social ties can be weak, strong, or latent based on the extent of exchanges and interactions between two nodes.

Commitment: Showing self-imposed or voluntary loyalty to a person, an organization, or an idea. In this context, it is the loyalty towards an online community culture. Commitment encloses the idea of involvement, but is more comprehensive as involvement is engagement with a subject without necessarily being committed to it.

Online Community Culture: Culture created through a group of people interacting in online platforms. It encompasses the goals, rules, traditions, rituals, and beliefs of the online community.

Social Network: a [REMOVED HYPERLINK FIELD]social structure of individuals who are connected through various interdependencies such as common interests, friendship, financial exchange, beliefs, knowledge, etc.

Co-Prosumption: Prosumption is the simultaneous act of producing and consuming. Co-prosumption refers to these simultaneous actions performed together by a group of people or community.

Social Network Citizen: A devoted member of a social network who works toward the betterment of the online community through active participation, contribution, and value creation.

Word-of-Mouth (WOM): Information passing from one person to another via story and experience sharing. The oral communication tradition has become written with the emergence of electronic WOM in online platforms.

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