The authors chose the social media Facebook since it currently has 629,622,400 people using it (Checkfa-cebook, 2011), and 200 million of them are using it on their mobile devices. Facebook’s own statistics says that they have more than 500 million active users (Facebook, 2011b) and 50 percent of them log on every day. Below a presentation of Facebook will be found for the reader to get an insight of the development and characteristics of this media.
The average user of Facebook has approximately 80 community pages, groups and events on their pages. People spend more than 700 billion minutes on Facebook, every month (Facebook, 2011b). In Sweden 4,112,180 people, which is approximately 50 percent of the Swedish population, are using Facebook and the largest group are between the age of 18 to 34 and they have 45.1 percent of the total users (Checkfacebook, 2011). In August year 2008 Facebook reached 100 million users, until today they have approximately 600 million users, which indicates an increasing of 200 percent per year, in three years (Medlemmar på Facebook, 2011).
When Facebook was founded in 2004 (Facebook, 2011a) the idea was to use it at Harvard University to help students to get in touch with each other. From this point it started to grow and turn into a global phenomenon and more and more people came in contact with Facebook and started to use it. Facebook is a media that allows people to have contact with their friends, post things on the Wall, upload pictures and videos, and see a flow of things that happens on their friend’s pages (Facebook, 2011a). Nowadays Facebook could be seen as a part of the human living without any limitations to University’s (Facebook 2011d). Fa-cebook put focus on giving people control over their experience so they can express in the way that they want, and that they know that their information reach the one they want (Fa-cebook, 2011a).
The purpose of Facebook is to create networks between people, companies and groups that the users are interested to have a relationship with. Anyone can create a group or page on Facebook and this is often built on mutual agreement, just as a friend request, where both parties must agree to the relationship. A company has two different opportunities when they are creating a business group or page. The first opportunity: become friends, al-so mutual agreement (Facebook, 2011b). The other way, which the authors see as a more ”perilously” is that the person just push the ”like”-bottom, also no mutual agreement needed. Why the authors see this as a more negative way is because of our own expe-riences. No interaction between member and company needed, just take share of the busi-nesses deals that are posted on the Wall.
The Facebook platform makes it possible for companies to integrate with the homepages and get access to million users through the social graph. (Facebook, 2011a) In December 2009, 1.6 million active pages existed, with 700, 000 pages for local businesses, and a raw total of 5.3 billion fans (Eldon, 2009).
The loyalty ladder explains the customer’s steps from being a stranger against the company, to how the cus-tomer becomes a partner and establishes a partnership with the company. This model is profitable for a company to have knowledge about, since it explains how the company should act in each step to attract and not lose the customers. This model and its steps can be used when we look at Facebook. It shows how the persons how have a relationship with a business page interact, and also which person that there are the ones that just “like” the company. This theory will be used when analyzing the empirical findings in all three re-search questions.
The lowest step is called strangers. In this stage, the customer has not had any interaction with, and in some cases not even have any knowledge of that the companies exist. The company’s goal with these potential customers is to try to establish a communication with them to attract and acquire their business (Gummesson, 2002; Zeithaml, Bitner & Gremler, 2009). By adapting marketing correctly, the company can attract the customers (Zeithaml et al., 2009). In the case of Facebook this is mainly made through members’ Walls when they interact on the company’s business page. This interaction can be seen by the customers’ friends, which works as a way to create awareness of the company.
The next step is when the customer goes from a stranger to be-ing an acquaintance to the company. The base for a relationship between company and customer is created here (Gummesson, 2002; Zeithaml et al., 2009). In this phase the company wants to satisfy customer and give them better value proposition compared to the competitors. In this step the customers reflect on if the company is of value for them or not. If they find the company interesting the customers explore more deeply what they offer and hopefully establish a relationship with the com-pany and in this case became a member of the business page. When a relationship is developed the company get more know-ledge about the customers, and because of the relationship the company can adjust their marketing and offers against each customer (Zeithaml et al., 2009).
Fig. 1 Own design of the “loyalty ladder”
In the third step the customers becomes a friend to the company and the products can be more customized, because the company has a better insight about what they are looking for. Here the company gets knowledge about what the customers wants to see on the busi-ness page and can therefore adapt the content on the page after customer’s requirements. Further, the customers’ credibility against the company grows and becomes stronger in this step (Gummesson, 2002; Zeithaml et al., 2009). The company wishes to create customer retention at this point of the relationship (Zeithaml et al., 2009).
The fourth and last step, where the customers are called a partner, arises when the company can see the customers more as a partner than a customer (Gummesson, 2002; Zeithaml et al., 2009). A strong relationship between both parties arises. The company are willing to sell more customized products to these “partners” since they trust that customer really are going to pay for it. Further, the customer is more involved and more committed making them a more reliable customer because they will not look for a “better alternative”. They are satisfied with the already existing relationship they have and become more and more loyal to the company. To make the customer feel important and special within the compa-ny it is important, from a company perspective to have all information needed for each customer – create a database for etc. In that way the company can make customized offer-ings (Zeithaml et al., 2009).
1.2 Problem & Opportunity discussion
1.4 Research Questions.
1.7 Previous Researc
2.1 Social Media and Network
2.2 Loyalty ladder
2.3 Push and Pull Marketing
2.4 Word of Mout
2.5 Different types of Communications
3.1 Research Approaches
3.2 Data Collection
3.3 Data Analysis
3.4 Good Measurements
4 Empirical Findings and Analysis
4.1 Research Question 1
4.2 Research Question 2
4.3 Research Question 3
5 Summary of Analysis
6.1 Further Research
7 List of References
GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT
Companies on Facebook How many of the 100 largest Swedish Companies have a Facebook page, and how do they use it?