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Social networking and e-CRM: "Revolution" or "e-business as usual"?

: Jekimovics, Larissa; Wickham, Mark; Danzinger, Frank

Academy of Taiwan Business Management Review 9 (2013), Nr.1, S.153-162
ISBN: 1813-0534
Fraunhofer IIS ()

The line between 'social networking' and 'professional networking' has blurred considerably, as large firms begin to take advantage of relatively easy access to an international network of customers via social networking sites (SNSs). The evolution of SNSs (such as Facebook) has resulted in a new channel for marketing communications, and recent advances have led to the development of 'customer-relationship oriented SNSs' by the world's largest firms. Despite the time, money, and technologies many large firms have dedicated to electronic customer-relationship management (e-CRM)via SNSs, however, results have often been below expectations. Undertaking a longitudinal content analysis of nine of Australia's largest firm's Facebook pages, this paper seeks to gauge the extent to which the espoused 'SNS advantages' are utilised by large firms, and the extent to which these advantages provide valid bases for effective e-CRM. This study revealed that only two of the six potential SNS advantages (i.e. 'interaction' and 'transparency') were effectively utilised by the sample of firms over the study period. In order to increase the effectiveness of SNSs for building and maintain effective e-CRM by large firms, this paper recommends three main strategies: Enabling trialogue, designing tailored e-CRM strategies for SNSs, and creating enthusiasm in user communities.