Facebook - business is (not?) as usual: En empirisk undersøgelse af hvordan et brugerstyret medie skaber nye betingelser for virksomhedskommmunikation

Pernille Buus Mørkeberg & Sine Plauborg Madsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Facebook is a social media network with more than 400 million users worldwide. It is a user generated media where social relationships are the main focus. By using Facebook, companies can reach millions of potential customers in new ways. There is an increasing tendency towards users interacting with organisations because the alternative channels to reach young adults for companies are decreasing. The purpose of the thesis is to generate knowledge about the opportunities Facebook creates. Our research question is: What characterises the field of tensions between user and organisation on Facebook, and how can organisations conform to user expectations of communication on Facebook? To address the research question we use a grounded theory approach that enables us to explore patterns in the unknown research field. First we examine what the fundamental premises for behaviour are on Facebook In this way we will be able to understand what motivates young users to interact with organisations and this will show how organisations have to proceed. It is essential for the users to be able to use the relation in their own social network. They do this by sharing valuable information or as a part of their identity construction through the signals that are virally spread. Subsequently, the research focuses on how young adults want communication to take place on Facebook. The users want to be entertained when they are online as a kind of social diversion. Beyond this they want information and news that they cannot find other places. It is especially significant that the organisation creates content. If there is no content, the Facebook page is stagnant and irrelevant, and the user will consequently get no value and forget it. When creating content, it has to happen through interactions with users and in an informal way. Having examined what motivates users to interact with organisations, the analysis is summarized in six key findings. The key findings are formed by the friendship metaphor, identity construction, content, terms of the users, conversation and push/pull communication. We reflect on these empirical findings in relation to existing theories within relationship marketing and corporate branding. Elements in these theories help us understand some of our empirical findings, but the theories applied on our findings are not sufficient to understand the new terms. It is therefore necessary to add our framework. We conclude that Facebook can be a beneficial media for organisations that want to build and maintain long-term relationships with customers. Furthermore, it can be a strategic tool to involve customers in brand creation processes. However, this can only succeed if the key findings mentioned above are integrated.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages367