Creating and destroying b2c stakeholder relationships on Facebooka multiple case study on Finnish companies<br />Euprera C...
Background and research design<br />Purpose: to study current practices of Finnish b2c organizations’ Facebook use in buil...
Reputation and PR on social media<br />Reputation is a discursive and cumulative construction based on narratives, beliefs...
Information strategy : providing information in order to help people form ideas, opinions and discussion. <br />Persuasion...
Reputationcategories<br />company reputation<br />product reputation<br />corporate culture reputation<br />(Weigelt & Cam...
Emotionality<br />The level of public involvement in organizational affairs is changing: publics no longer only want to pa...
Method and data collection<br />Explorative case study using the Facebook pages of four Finnish organizations<br />The dat...
Facebook is a social networking service with over 500 million active users, 50% of which are daily visitors (via Facebook)...
The cases<br />
VR  (national railways)<br />Least overall activity, also the least active initiator<br />Most passive likers, hateholders...
Blue1  (airline)<br />Mainly used for marketing & customer service<br />Dialogic approach (through the issue)<br />The imp...
Yleisradio  (publicbroadcastingservice)<br />Yleisradio: easy and heavy linking due to the nature of the product<br />Link...
Valio  (dairyproducts)<br />Lots of product-related discussions<br />the brand of “milk”<br />Stakeholders and affiliates ...
Initiating discussions<br /><ul><li>Organizations initiated roughly half of the discussions in the four Pages studied
During March 2011, Yleisradio was the most active poster or initiator of discussion (31 versus 16), whereas in VR case mos...
Persuasion is the most common strategy used in our sample in general (36% of all messages), but all strategies were well p...
General conclusions<br />Facebook pages are used more as a tool for customer service and marketing than as a tool for corp...
Thank you!<br />http://reputationproject.wordpress.com<br />@jahapaula<br />
Creating and destroying b2c stakeholder relationships on Facebook
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Creating and destroying b2c stakeholder relationships on Facebook

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A presentation on an academic research paper by Salla-Maaria Laaksonen & Susanna Neiglick, presented at the EUPRERA congress 2011 – Public Relations in a Time of Turbulence
Leeds, England (sept 2011)

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  • Defines and evaluates the organizationboth on an individual and on a collectivelevel.…isborn and fostered in discourses……and is build and modified in communicative action within the publics.According todictionaries:Reputation is somethingtalkedabout, toldstoriesaboutItofteninvolvessomesort of evaluation of itsobjectAnd existswithin the publics, withothers(Aula &amp; Heinonen 2002)Facebook and other social media services have increased the visibility of previously undetected multifocal communication, and also made it more frequent, thus changing the communicative environment in a way that requires a novel approach to organizational communication practices. We build on the view that Internet users and organizations meet within virtual arenas and that these encounters give meanings to the organization.We assume that in this new situation the organizations need to engage in bilateral communicative practices with their stakeholders.
  • One-way communication can be either informational or persuasive: either disseminating a flow of information and transmitting objective information or disseminating a flow of influence in a case where an attempt by a sender is made to produce a predefined attitudinal change in the receiver. Two-way communication can be either connotative or denotative: communication in this view is seen as an ongoing emotional process of co-creating meaning in a dialogic manner (dialogue) or as rational co-creation of new meaning (consensus-building). The two-by-two field depicting this approach Information strategy : providing information in order to help people form ideas, opinions and discussion. Persuasion strategy : the basis of advertising or propaganda, aiming to create a favorable basis for future relationships with the stakeholders and also targeted to change the opinions and behaviors of the receiver. Dialogue strategy : seeking consultation with the stakeholders, and is conducted by sending interactivity and informational messages on both sides. Consensus-building strategy : building bridges between the organization and the environment, and can be deployed when there are conflicting interest at stake, to cover a mutual agreement
  • a company as a totality can have multiple reputations: for example a good product reputation as a service provider but a bad corporate culture reputation as an employer reputations of the stakeholders are also involved, and that the issue at hand can affect the course of the conversation Thus, practitioners need to assess their reputation in relation with the issue and process at hand, and in relation to the stakeholders present
  • In order to trace the faithholders and hateholders in this study, we coded expressions of positive emotional content (e.g. laughing, smiling, positive locations and events, and commonly positively regarded things such as beautiful beaches). Respectively, negative content was categorized containing negatively perceived things (e.g. crying, moaning, screaming, disgusting objects, fighting or arguing).
  • In order to study the current practice of Finnish b2c organizations&apos; Facebook use in building stakeholder relationships, we chose four different Finnish corporations’ Facebook pages as our data. We chose to study the Facebook pages of Valio, Blue1, VR and SuomenYleisradio (YLE). Our main focus was on b2c organizations, as we find that customer-centered marketing enabled by social media plays an especially prominent role within these companies. In addition, all of them are popular Facebook company pages as measured by the count of likersNotbyanymeansreliableorvalid in statisticalterms, sincethis is a case study, but an interestingqualitative/quantitativepeak to the practisesused
  • - FB page is notonly a staticpagefocusing on the organization and for one-waycommunication, it’s a powerfultool for dialogueThe organizationcanchoosewhether to opentheirwall for usercomments as well – all 4 orgheredidsothoughwehave no means to controlafterwardsifsomepostsweredeletedby the pageadministratorsEventheorists (such as Grunig) havetalkedabouttwo-waycommunicationalstrategiesalready in the 80s, it’sbeenonly the lastfewyearsthat the situationhasactuallychanged in practice.Differentways of interaction: liking, commenting, posting.
  • In order to study the current practice of Finnish b2c organizations&apos; Facebook use in building stakeholder relationships, we chose four different Finnish corporations’ Facebook pages as our data. We chose to study the Facebook pages of Valio, Blue1, VR and SuomenYleisradio (YLE). Our main focus was on b2c organizations, as we find that customer-centered marketing enabled by social media plays an especially prominent role within these companies. In addition, all of them are popular Facebook company pages as measured by the count of likers (Finland FB pages most popular: Angry birds 7 million fans, next Nokia 4 million, then some bands.)Notbyanymeansreliableorvalid in statisticalterms, sincethis is a case study, but an interestingqualitative/quantitativepeak to the practisesusedValio has been actively promoting their presence in social media and their new social media strategy on 2010-2011. An issue regarding Valio’s connections with nuclear plant building in Finland has been lately brought up by ecological NGO’s, especially Greenpeace, and this has provoked a great deal of conversation on Valio’s social media sitesYle has been actively pursuing social media strategies since spring 2009. VR has a very difficult winter with lots of technical weather-related problems and that’s why it’s reputation has experienced a backlash
  • VR was the onlyoneusing the like-option to fan comments
  • Posting a lot of detailsabouttheirdestinations
  • Active social media strategy
  • - An issue regarding Valio’s connections with nuclear plant building in Finland has been lately brought up by ecological NGO’s, especially Greenpeace, and this has provoked a great deal of conversation on Valio’s social media sites
  • - Most likes go the company initiated posts and marketing-related content =&gt; might be becausefb doesn’t snow fan posts in newsfeed - The content of the posts and the topics have a great effect on the ensuing conversations (Blue1 &amp; holiday vs. VR &amp; inland commuting)
  • Creating and destroying b2c stakeholder relationships on Facebook

    1. 1. Creating and destroying b2c stakeholder relationships on Facebooka multiple case study on Finnish companies<br />Euprera Congress 2011Leeds, UK, September 7th - 10th<br />Salla-Maaria Laaksonen, PhD candidateCommunications Research Centre CRCUniversity of Helsinki<br />Paper co-authored with MA Susanna Neiglick<br />8.9.2011<br />1<br />Faculty of Social Sciences / CommunicationsResearch Centre CRC<br />
    2. 2. Background and research design<br />Purpose: to study current practices of Finnish b2c organizations’ Facebook use in building stakeholder relationships<br />Communicative means utilized by organization / stakeholders: strategies, functions and issues<br />A framework for analyzing stakeholder relationships and corporate reputation in social media?<br />Theoretical background:<br />Hallidayan systemic-functional grammar (Halliday & Matthiessen 2004) <br />PR strategies proposed in van Ruler (2004) <br />Reputation categories (Weigelt & Camerer 1988; Mahon & Wartick 2003) <br />
    3. 3. Reputation and PR on social media<br />Reputation is a discursive and cumulative construction based on narratives, beliefs and evaluations<br />The increased use of social media makes reputation formation a collective and communal process<br />Social media makes multifocal communication more visible than before<br />Platform for monitoring and communicating but especially for dialogue and engagement<br />
    4. 4. Information strategy : providing information in order to help people form ideas, opinions and discussion. <br />Persuasion strategy : aiming to create a favorable basis for future relationships with the stakeholders and to change their opinions and behavior.<br />Consensus-building strategy : building bridges between the organization and the environment, e.g. to cover a mutual agreement<br />Dialogue strategy : seeking consultation with the stakeholders, interactivity and sending informational messages on both sides.<br />(van Ruler 2004)<br />The communication GRID<br />
    5. 5. Reputationcategories<br />company reputation<br />product reputation<br />corporate culture reputation<br />(Weigelt & Camerer 1988), <br />issue reputation<br />stakeholder reputation<br />(Mahon & Wartick 2003)<br />
    6. 6. Emotionality<br />The level of public involvement in organizational affairs is changing: publics no longer only want to participate, they also show and express emotion (Luoma-Aho 2009) <br />Hateholders : the mostmistrustingparticipants<br />Faith-holders : the mostcommittedstakeholders<br />“we have moved into a time of emotional publics, where feelings toward organizations range from love to hate, and the different stakeholders have several ways of showing their emotion and recruiting others to join in and comment on their feelings”(Luoma-Aho 2009, 1)<br />Word-of-mouth: emotional content is being spread and is shared more likely both in offline and online social networks (see e.g. Berger & Milkman 2010, Hansen & al. 2011, Sweeney & al. 2005)<br />
    7. 7. Method and data collection<br />Explorative case study using the Facebook pages of four Finnish organizations<br />The dataset under analysis was coded using ATLAS.ti and spans March 2011. It contains 142 wall posts of which organization-initiated were 69.<br />In addition to qualitative study and category frequencies the interplay with different categories was studied using the Co-occurence Table Explorer tool provided by ATLAS.ti (their co-occurrence in all documents and a normalized coefficient of probability).<br />
    8. 8. Facebook is a social networking service with over 500 million active users, 50% of which are daily visitors (via Facebook)<br /> Finland: 2 039 000 users (via Socialbakers), accounting for 45% of internet using population<br />
    9. 9. The cases<br />
    10. 10. VR (national railways)<br />Least overall activity, also the least active initiator<br />Most passive likers, hateholders<br />Negative tone is present in the conversation<br />…but VR knows how to show minimal interest!<br />
    11. 11. Blue1 (airline)<br />Mainly used for marketing & customer service<br />Dialogic approach (through the issue)<br />The importance of the issue at hand: travelling is a rather positively viewed topic in general<br />
    12. 12. Yleisradio (publicbroadcastingservice)<br />Yleisradio: easy and heavy linking due to the nature of the product<br />Links to their online service initiate discussions on product reputation<br />Most laid-back mode of answering and a lot of dialogue<br />they clearly have code of adding the respondent name at the end<br />Informational, non-marketing strategy utilized in connection to Fukushima accident<br />
    13. 13. Valio (dairyproducts)<br />Lots of product-related discussions<br />the brand of “milk”<br />Stakeholders and affiliates are present (tv shows, organizations)<br />Using stakeholder reputation to create positive image & conversations<br />Nuclear plant discussion commanded by Greenpeace <br />Hateholders & faithholders can be found – relating to company or to an issue<br />
    14. 14. Initiating discussions<br /><ul><li>Organizations initiated roughly half of the discussions in the four Pages studied
    15. 15. During March 2011, Yleisradio was the most active poster or initiator of discussion (31 versus 16), whereas in VR case most of the intiatives came from the users (mainly customers, 18 versus 7).</li></li></ul><li>Organizational functions and public relations strategies<br /><ul><li>Facebook pages are mostly used as customer service platforms (46% of total), and after that as marketing platforms (26%).
    16. 16. Persuasion is the most common strategy used in our sample in general (36% of all messages), but all strategies were well present</li></li></ul><li>Reputational interplay<br /><ul><li>The most discussed category of reputation is product/service reputation (60% of all reputation related content).</li></li></ul><li>Formality and informality<br />Comments made by page fans were more informal than comments or wall posts made by page admins<br />Majority of the fan comments are short opinion statements: “Yes, a good product” “I watched the show and liked it”<br />Response strategies of the organizations<br />Valio’s textual approach in replying to comments was most formal, starting with a clear letter-type opening greeting and ending with a signature<br />Yleisradio representatives are less formal and undersign their messages with first names only and dropping opening greetings, whereas VR representatives normally begin with a formal greeting but the letter-type ending is less formal, just “-mikko”. <br />Blue1 representatives do not indicate at all who speaks.<br />
    17. 17. General conclusions<br />Facebook pages are used more as a tool for customer service and marketing than as a tool for corporate communications or for actual b2c conversations<br />Stakeholders are clearly willing to use the opportunities of interaction offered<br />A key factor in creating conversations is the content and the topic<br />Often the likers or criticizers were left chatting by themselves: the organization didn’t follow up with the discussion it initiated<br />Most likes go the company initiated posts and marketing-related content<br />Hateholders and faith-holders are present – but especially faith-holders are not addressed in any special ways by the organization<br />What strategy is the most efficient?<br />
    18. 18. Thank you!<br />http://reputationproject.wordpress.com<br />@jahapaula<br />

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