How can organizations develop a sustainable competitive advantage through social media?

Szabó, Balázs (2012) How can organizations develop a sustainable competitive advantage through social media? Outstanding Student Paper, BCE, E-business szekció.

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This report analyzes the social media ecosystem with the purpose of discussing whether a company can gain a sustainable competitive advantage through utilizing social media, and, how a Big4 advisory can benefit from offering clients advisory services within this area. The scope of our study focuses on three specific industries in Belgium: retail banking, insurance and automotive. 1. Methodology To conclude whether or not there is a competitive advantage that can be created through leveraging social media, I have researched the current situation and trends as well as the current offering of the social media ecosystem. I identified and discuss three actors in this social media ecosystem: providers, customers, and organizations. Reacting to the growing costumer adaption companies are increasingly interested in the social media trend and have started following their customers on social media platforms. I have also conducted an analysis of the risks and opportunities related to the social media offering, and establish a BIG4 Advisorys position within the social media consulting industry. 2. Key Findings The findings suggest companies can in fact gain a sustainable competitive advantage by becoming a hyper-social organization through the utilization of social media tools. To aid organizations in their effort of becoming hyper-social, I have created a hyper-social maturity tool, which helps companies locate their current social position, and suggests associated steps to take to become hyper-social. The maturity model builds on the following key success factors for being hyper-social: human centricity, community focus, social messiness, trust, responsiveness and content. While social media has the potential to afford enterprises many benefits, during the implementation phase companies must also be aware of strategies to mitigate potential risks. The findings of the research also suggest that the social media ecosystem creates a business opportunity for an advisory firm. Currently few organizations have managed to full leverage the potential of social media and to become hyper-social. To this end, there is an opportunity for an advisory firm to provide advisory services to organizations about how they can leverage the benefits of social media. 3. Implications for the BIG4 advisory firm To take advantage of this business opportunity, a global advisory firm has to make investments to build key competencies and relevant experience. This could be completed in several ways, however I advise them to try and make use of internally controlled resources for gaining these enabling factors, as this would be less expensive than building key competencies and experience through the use or acquisition of external resources. Further, I also advise to try to differentiate their social media service offering (e.g. by specializing on a few specific industries). In this report I have examined the retail banking, insurance and automotive industries, and made suggestions on how a global advisory firm can approach companies within these industries.

Item Type:Outstanding Student Paper
Notes:2. helyezett
Subjects:Media and communication
Information economy
ID Code:5426
Deposited On:30 Oct 2012 07:45
Last Modified:02 Jul 2016 20:52

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