Social Network Sites: Modeling the New Business-Customer Relationship

Social Network Sites: Modeling the New Business-Customer Relationship

Pedro Isaías (Universidade Aberta, Portugal), Sara Pífano (Information Society Research Lab, Portugal) and Paula Miranda (Polytechnic Institute of Setubal, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-444-4.ch014
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Abstract

The internet and the emergence of social technologies and platforms are at the origin of new consumer trends. The growing empowerment of customers is having a restructuring impact in business-consumer relationships and it is pressing businesses to uncover new strategies to engage their clients. This chapter argues that the presence of the corporate sector in Social Network Sites (SNSs) presents a successful method of building proficient relationships with customers that are more compliant with the new facets of consumers’ profile and behaviour. This research crosses classical academic literature with case studies available in social media to gather a compilation of challenges and potential solutions to the application of SNSs to business-consumer relationships. This compilation is preceded by an introductory section, which explores the definition and possible applications of SNSs in business, and a section dedicated to an overview of the novel consumer trends.
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Background

SNSs are a widespread phenomenon, presently integrated in the day to day of many internet users (Boyd & Ellison 2008). There are approximately 900 platforms of tools classified for the purpose of social networking and this number grows every day (Wilson, 2009). These online social networks allow people the opportunity to communicate in a variety of ways. Users can set up online profiles and create networks of contacts. They offer possibilities of community building, where users exchange knowledge and have the opportunity to easily contact with their peers (Constantinides & Fountain, 2008). SNSs are also being used for information search, efficiency enhancement and business networking (Morris, Teevan & Panovich, 2010).

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