We're all connected: The power of the social media ecosystem

Published on May 1, 2011in Business Horizons6.361
· DOI :10.1016/J.BUSHOR.2011.01.007
Richard C. Hanna15
Estimated H-index: 15
(College of Business Administration),
Andrew J. Rohm22
Estimated H-index: 22
(College of Business Administration),
Victoria L. Crittenden22
Estimated H-index: 22
(BC: Boston College)
Consumers are adopting increasingly active roles in co-creating marketing content with companies and their respective brands. In turn, companies and organizations are looking to online social marketing programs and campaigns in an effort to reach consumers where they 'live' online. However, the challenge facing many companies is that although they recognize the need to be active in social media, they do not truly understand how to do it effectively, what performance indicators they should be measuring, and how they should measure them. Further, as companies develop social media strategies, platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are too often treated as stand-alone elements rather than part of an integrated system. This article offers a systematic way of understanding and conceptualizing online social media, as an ecosystem of related elements involving both digital and traditional media. We highlight a best-practice case study of an organization's successful efforts to leverage social media in reaching an important audience of young consumers. Then, we conclude with several insights and lessons related to the strategic integration of social media into a firm's marketing communications strategy.
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