To be where the consumers are - A Stakeholder Approach to Social Media Maturity:

Detta är en D-uppsats från Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för marknadsföring och strategi

Sammanfattning: The purpose of this thesis is to further the understanding of how companies develop their social media presence, as well as to lay the groundwork for a social media maturity model. In order to fulfill this purpose, stakeholder theory and organizational maturity theory were used to describe how different stakeholders are affecting the social media practices of companies. The thesis applies a qualitative research approach, with the main part of the study consisting of twelve in-depth interviews with representatives from the Swedish food and beverage industry as well as experts on social media.While concern has been raised over how well companies adapt to what existing literature defines as the main characteristic of social media, the need for two-way communication with consumers, the results show that the companies in this study have adapted rather well, spending time and effort on being accessible to consumers and replying quickly to their concerns. The people in charge of social media however believe that the disinterest from top management leads to less resources than needed being allocated to social media. This in turn leads to a large amount of discretionary power being assigned to the person in charge to develop the social media presence according to his or her own head. Although consumers were mentioned as the main reason to go on Facebook, they were found to have little influence on a company's social media maturity.In the final part of the thesis, a model for assessing social media maturity is presented, which can be seen as the major contribution. In addition, directions for further research are suggested. The social media maturity model would benefit from being validated and developed further. As this study does not assess the effect of social media maturity on a brand's success, this could be further examined through quantitative studies.

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