The Valuable Alliance between Social Media and E-Commerce: Social Networks as a Tool for Transparency, Dialogue, and Sales

The Valuable Alliance between Social Media and E-Commerce: Social Networks as a Tool for Transparency, Dialogue, and Sales

Neus Soler-Labajos (Open University of Catalonia, Spain) and Ana Isabel Jiménez-Zarco (Open University of Catalonia, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch157
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1. The Web 2.0 Phenomenon

“When we talk about Web 2.0 we refer to a second generation of Internet services that are based on the online collaboration, the interactivity and the ability to share content among users. Technological development has allowed a much deeper change than programming languages and tools of content publishing. For this reason we speak of the 2.0 phenomenon as something that transcends the barriers of technology, it is a new paradigm of relationship and knowledge, similar to that came with the advent of printing” (Levine et al., 2000).

The Cluetrain Manifesto lists 95 conclusions whose message, created in 1999 and published in 2000, has been reaffirmed over the years. The authors argue that consumers no longer expect companies to notify them of the benefits of their products; they themselves will share their experiences and opinions on the Internet. They therefore claim that markets are conversations, and that companies should participate in them, communicating with customers.

The ideas offered by the Cluetrain Manifesto to understand the 2.0 phenomenon focus on the importance of people, the way they relate socially and the intelligence acquired by markets, which forces companies to humanize themselves, listen to the markets and provide answers to the needs of people.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social media: Applications, platforms and online communication tools that facilitate the relationship, interaction, collaboration and content generation and distribution between users.

Social Networks: Communications platforms on the Internet where users share content and interact with those who have their own tastes and interests. They represent a powerful 2.0 tool that provides very significant advantages to the company, a source of great opportunity that allows it to more widely disseminate its news and updates on products, increase customer interaction and loyalty, provide personalized attention and obtain greater brand visibility.

E-Commerce: Any form of transaction or exchange of information for commercial purposes in which the parties interact using information and communications technology (ICT). That is, the distribution, sale, marketing and delivery of information about products or services over the Internet.

Social Commerce: Selling through social media, adding a social component to the advantages of e-commerce. It relies on the interaction the company has with its customers and that they have with other users, motivating and participating actively in the act of purchasing products and services.

Consumer Empowerment: The control the customer obtains over certain aspects until now belonging to companies or brands, such as product characteristics, derived from their active participation and collaboration with them.

Social Media Marketing: It enters social media on the Internet as a component of the corporate marketing strategy, such as advertising, communication, market research and product development, care and customer loyalty.

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