Benefits of Social Media from a Networking Perspective

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Benefits of Social Media from a Networking Perspective
Anneke Zwart, Moderator
A theoretical foundation that can explain the nature and impact of social media is the idea of “networking capability”. Networking capability is a key benefit of social media and helps to explain their importance. The article “Social Media and International Advertising: Theoretical Challenges and Future Directions” mentions 3 ways social networks are being leveraged from a networking capability perspective:

1. Easily Generate Networks: Social networking is an efficient way to generate networks easily and in a cheap way. Due to this easiness and cheapness, weak relational ties – defined as network with a low level of personal interaction among network members – will probably increase. This is important, because these weak ties are useful in bridging parts of different networks and are therefore often seen as a possibility to obtain and increase strategic advantages.
2. Vehicles for Word-of-Mouth: Social networking sites are strong vehicles for electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM)-communication. eWOM is a powerful tool that eases the exchange of information, gathers people together and it is a way to spend time in a recreational way.
3. New Resource Configurations: Social networks enables companies to develop approaches that create “new resource configurations and the firm’s capacity to integrate, reconfigure, gain and release resource combinations” (Mort and Weerawardena, 2006). For example, Social networks are an important way for companies to better communicate with their clients through social media.

>> What other reasons, from a networking perspective, do you see that explain the immense popularity of social networks?

Okazaki, S. and Taylor, C.R. (2013 ) ”Social Media and International Advertising: Theoretical Challenges and Future Directions” International Marketing Review Vol.30 Iss.1 pp. 56-71
Mort, G.S. and Weerawardena, J. (2006), “Networking Capability and International Entrepreneurship: How Networks Function in Australian Born Global Firms” International Marketing Review, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 549-72.



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