Do we really have a say? Facebook and the concept of power : A study on how companies perceive their influence on Facebook.

University essay from Stockholms universitet/JMK

Abstract:

Social networking sites such as Facebook are a very integrated part of people’s lives and that means that Facebook has also become a huge advertising machine. Companies use Facebook for branding, advertising and as a customer service channel. We have seen protests on Facebook against authoritarian regimes and that is why this thesis is interested to study who holds power and has influence over others on Facebook. As Facebook has become a marketing machine this thesis focuses on company perception of consumer power online and studies this with a help of interviews from representatives of companies. According to the theoretical material people have either networked or individual based power that they can yield on Facebook. The companies on the other hand can exercise soft power over people, pay for visibility, or collect data and then use that information to target adverts to specific segments of people. The findings hinted that companies do not think that consumers have much power on Facebook, or if people have power, they are not using it. The findings are significant in the sense that they are filling a research gap in existing

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