University of Oulu

What and how do companies benefit from social media? : a review of seven company case studies

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Author: Sun, Jinou1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
Pages: 56
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : J. Sun, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-09-19
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Lanamäki, Arto
Reviewer: Rajanen, Mikko
Lanamäki, Arto


Social Media (SM) has turned into our daily life in the information society. People are showing an increasing tendency to build and nurture their online social relationship on SM platforms. Organizational SM has become an important research area for both scholars and practitioners who are interested in online technologies. It is worth of studying what the researches have been done related to the SM usage in organizations, and how the organizations have utilized the SMs for own specific purpose.

SM used in organization has grown continuously. Business enterprises quickly recognize the value of shared contents. They have been increasingly adopted in the workplace for decision-making, supporting corporate communication, knowledge management, facilitating communication both inside organization and the stakeholders outside organization, increasing the social capital, enhancing the brand value and promoting the marketing practice in organization, both in business to business and business to customers. Many corporations are using blogs, wikis, and social networking sites (SNS) as routine parts of their business operations. The performances of the usage of the SM can be generally classified as internal usage and external usage. All of them have the different purposes and tactics basing on various targeted users.

For the thesis work, a literature review was conducted by studying the existing empirical research on the usage of SM in organizations from selected existing scientific articles. The current status of the organizational SM usage has been investigated. Two theories have been chosen which are both the affordances of SM (Visibility, Persistence, Editability, and Association) and the honeycomb functional building blocks of SM (Identity, Conversations, Sharing, Presence, Relationships, Reputation and Groups). Based on them, the case studies in seven companies have been explored, aiming to search some of the four affordances and certain amount of the seven functional blocks in organizational SM activities, and explain how they influences the organizational behaviours. Applying such two theories shows that the organizations may participant the SM platforms efficiently and effectively in various ways. Some good practises of the SM usage have been portrayed. The risks related of using SM platforms have been mentioned as well. The future potential research works related the organizational SM usage has been discussed.

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Copyright information: © Jinou Sun, 2019. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.