The adoption of social media in reaching and interacting with customers: Case - The Finnish telecommunications industry

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School of Economics | Master's thesis
Information Systems Science
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Purpose of the study The purpose of this study is to look into the usage of social media in business to reach and interact with the customers. The study builds upon earlier research on social media, social network theories and theories of user acceptance of technology. The aim of this study is to get a clear view of the adoption levels and the activities taken in social media in the Finnish telecommunications industry via three chosen case companies. Methodology First an extensive overview of previous research related is conducted. The aim of this is to get a profound understanding of the foundations and constructions of social media as well as the attributes behind user acceptance and acting in social networks. Based on this knowledge a research framework is formulated to provide a structure for the empirical research. This research framework is translated into focus points that guide and support the empirical research. The empirical part is qualitative, conducted via observations and interviews of the case companies. The observation is conducted during a 14-day period in which every company’s activities are mapped three times. The observations are conducted in 5 particular social media tools chosen for this research. Interviews are conducted for gaining a deeper insight into the results of the observations as well as to ensure all possible activities have been taken into account. Findings The key finding in this research is that the usage of social media varies greatly from company to company and has not yet been adopted to its fullest potential. Even though the companies may have extensive efforts in some tool, the overall usage of the tools and especially linking them into a larger context seems to be problematic for the companies. All three case companies have activities in social media, but use the tools very differently with different objectives. The involvement in social media varies from true interaction and collaboration with the customers to a simple passive presence. The interviews also reveal that the companies do not consider social media as more than one channel among others, but still recognize potential in it when able to attract enough users.
social media, telecommunications, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, corporate blog, crowdsourcing
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