Companies on Facebook : How many of the 100 largest Swedish Companies have a Facebook page, and how do they use it?
The purpose of this thesis is to see if the 100 largest Swedish companies are present on Facebook, and if they are, how they use their business pages. Further the customers’ perception of companies’ use of Facebook will be included. To investigate this, three research questions were created.
As Web 2.0 and its application has changed, the use of Internet, both for companies and customers, there has been change in how information is delivered and how people take in information. One application of Web 2.0 is Facebook, and in this investigation the authors will look at the use of the application in companies marketing strategy. Many researchers and marketers (Constantinides & Fountain, 2008; Carlsson, 2009; Yang et al., 2009) recognizes the importance for companies to take advantage of this new media and sees a value generating process for both company and customer, but how this value generates profits is harder to identify. Further the market and possibility to reach customers is every day increasing as Facebook has gone from 100 million in 2008 to approximately 600 million members in 2011. Today in Sweden, over four million people have a Facebook account.
To gather empirical data the use of a coding sheet has been developed through content analysis when investigating the selected companies’ business pages. The companies were found from a list over the 100 largest Swedish companies ranked after turnover. Further to collect the customers’ perception of companies on Facebook a focus group were conducted. In the focus group a semi-structured interview approach was chosen to create an open discussion within the group but still maintaining on the subject in hand. To analyze the empirical findings theories about social media, customer loyalty and communication were used.
The authors of this thesis have determined three different appearance areas by companies on Facebook; support forum, advertising channel and just exist on the social media. Two main ways for companies to use Facebook is as a customer support page or as an advertising/promotion/publicity channel. In customers support pages the communication between the company and customer is more substantial and different types of communication are to be found such as B2C, C2B and C2C. By using Facebook as advertising /promotion /publicity page the companies communicate more through pictures and videos that is pushed out by the company. The customers interact through viewing and commenting the uploaded material.
The result from the focus group showed that the customer appreciated the advertising/promotion/publicity page as this corresponds with their perception of companies on Facebook. The participant saw the customer support page on Facebook as unserious and not a suitable way of communicating with a company.
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