A Review of Critical Factors for Communicating With Customers on Social Networking Sites
Babak Abedin, Behnam Abedin, Tala Talaei Khoei, Ahmad Reza Ghapanchi
The International Technology Management Review
This paper undertakes a systematic review to gain insight into existing studies on the application of Social Network Sites (SNS). Our systematic review of studies from 1995 to 2012 examines the background and trend of research in the area and provides critical factors that organizations should consider for effectively use social networking sites to communicate with their customers. We note a huge growth in the number of academic papers on the topic since 1998. Seventeen factors were identified
... s a result of review, which shaped two main themes: (i) A customercentric organizational culture, and (ii) SNS Know-How. The findings show that for a successful and effective use of SNSs, and in particular Facebook, a combination of good understanding of SNSs' tools and capabilities as well as a constant and transparent relationship with customers are essential. The findings show that for a successful and effective use of SNSs, and in particular Facebook, a combination of good understanding of SNSs' tools and capabilities as well as a constant and transparent relationship with customers are essential. businesses 35, 8 , more research needs to be undertaken to investigate critical factors that organizations need to consider to effectively communicate and interact with current and potential users and customers on social networking sites. The objective of this study is to address this gap by identifying a set of important factors that need to be properly managed if a business wants to use SNSs to communicate with new and potential customers. Through review of the literature, this study seeks to answer the following research question: RQ: What drives a successful implementation of social network sites in organizations for effective communication to their customers? Organizations and Social Networking Sites Social networking sites are "web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semipublic profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system" 6 . SNSs are computer-mediated communication environments serving as new channels for communication and collaboration by individuals who are eager to share and explore resources 22,23 . Through an SNS, people interact with each other in a common information space and participate in a variety of interactive and social activities such as posting information, photo sharing, tagging, organizing events, and so on Pallis et al. 31 . The large number of users has made social networking sites a great place for businesses to communicate with their existing and potential customers. SNSs, such as Facebook, allow businesses to have a two-way and personal relationship with their customers, compared to the one-way and impersonal connection in other advertising methods 15 . These sites provide many ways for organizations to establish and maintain relationships with customers. According to Kent and Taylor (1998) 19 and Taylor et al. (2001) 36 , organizations should develop relationships with customers on online communities through three strategies: Firstly, organizations should use SNS to describe their history and activities, to link their profile to their website, and to provide pictures and videos to allow users to establish a connection with the organization.