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Stakeholders’ Engagement and Strategic Management of Social Media

Literature Review

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Journal of International Business Research and Marketing
Volume 3, Issue 6, September 2018, Pages 47-56

Stakeholders’ Engagement and Strategic Management of Social Media

DOI: 10.18775/jibrm.1849-8558.2015.36.3004
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.18775/jibrm.1849-8558.2015.36.3004

Leila Meratian Esfahani, Lester W. Johnson

1 2 Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Abstract: Social media is becoming integral to many organizations as a tool for marketing, customers’ service management, interacting with employees, etc. However, recent research shows that organizations are still struggling to find an effective way to strategically manage social media and engage with various stakeholders. As a result, there is a need to investigate the issue in depth. Therefore, in this paper, we develop a comprehensive conceptual model for organizations to engage with stakeholders and strategically managing social media.

Keywords: Strategic management, Social media management, Social media engagement, Engaging stakeholders

Stakeholders’ Engagement and Strategic Management of Social Media

1. Introduction

Social media refers to any activity or behavior of people who gather online to share information, communicate together and create and share user-generated content (UGC) online (Safko 2010). There is general agreement that social media is fundamentally changing the way people communicate, consume and collaborate (Hays, Page & Buhalis 2013; Wu, Sun & Tan 2013). Social media has integrated itself into many aspects of personal and professional lives by using a broad range of applications from instant messages, to blogs, Wikis and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter (Correa, Hinsley & Zúñiga 2010; Kaplan & Haenlein 2010).
While social media is primarily designed for individual use (Goh, Heng & Lin 2013), its use has extended beyond individuals and attracted the attention of businesses (Kane et al. 2014). This is due to the fact that social media has revolutionized the way organizations operate, enhancing their communication with their stakeholders and provides organizations with an agile, cheap, fast responding, and reliable tool for their marketing and communication strategies (Harmsen & Proper 2013; Kim, Lee & Lee 2013; Li & Li 2013; Lin, Featherman & Sarker 2017). The use of social media can potentially improve customer service and increase the satisfaction of stakeholders (Nicholson 2012).

Social media allows information and ideas to be quickly spread (Goh, Heng & Lin 2013). It also enables organizations to contact the target market easier than traditional media. These functions transform social media into an integrated part of organizations’ branding and marketing strategies (Cawsey & Rowley 2016; Mangold & Faulds 2009). Moreover, it enhances the communication and collaboration between employees within the organizations, so many organizations use it as knowledge management and product/service innovation tool (Grovera & Froesea 2016; Harmsen & Proper 2013; Kim, Lee & Lee 2013). Some researchers assert that the use of social media by organizations can increase their level of transparency and accountability because it makes some of their activities, policies, and their stakeholders’ concerns and claims visible (Jaeger, Bertot & Shilton 2013; Qualman 2009). In summary, by engaging socially to build trustworthy relations with stakeholders and society, social media allows organizations to build a reputation through social capital which indirectly can improve the organizations’ performance (Mandviwalla & Watson 2014; Paniagua & Sapena 2014).

Organizations can also monitor their business partners or competitors on social media to evaluate the market and adjust products and services in response to changes in the external environment, see how competitors work and realize what users are saying about them (Luo, Zhang & Duan 2013; Mayeh, Scheepers & Valos 2012). During social media monitoring, organizations do not create content to engage with their stakeholders, instead, organizations need to listen to others and monitor competitors’ social media to obtain the required information. However, our focus here is only on the use of social media by organizations to interact with their stakeholders.
Despite the use of social media, its popularity and growing body of literature about its use and potential benefits to organizations, research into social media is still in its early stage (Ahmed, Stockdale & Scheepers 2014) and there are many unexamined issues. For example, practitioners’ research show that despite the numerous claimed benefits from the use of social media, it is not necessarily effective and efficient, and there are very few organizations that are near to achieving the full potential benefit from its use (Chui et al. 2012). Social media applications may be underutilized or mismanaged, and thus prevent organizations from reaping intended outcomes and benefits of its use (Hoffman & Fodor 2010).

There is some academic research on the tactics organizations optimally can use social media. For example, Goh et al. (2013) study the organization’s tactics concerning content creation on one specific social media platform. Another example is a study related to the organization’s tactics in leveraging social media for influencing word-of-mouth effects and seeding the right market (Dou, Niculescu & Wu 2013). However, academic researchers claim that little is known about organizations’ higher-level strategies about overall social media strategies. Specifically, there is a lack of academic research on how organizations should organize, govern and evolve social media capabilities and how organizations should interact with their various constituencies through social media (Heath et al. 2013a). Due to the use of social media by organizations, it is becoming important for organizations to understand the best practice to integrate social media strategies into overall organization strategies, while there is a dearth of academic research in the existing literature (Aral, Dellarocas & Godes 2013). Why are organizations still struggling to find an effective strategy for using and managing social media? Social media use requires a fundamental change in an organization’s processes and roles including a mental and management shift (Li & Bernoff 2011). This shift often increases complexity and has consequences in the way organizations approach stakeholders’ needs and concerns through business strategies (Hvass & Munar 2012). These all consequently impact the outcome of social media use. Due to the importance of social media in a competitive environment, it is necessary to understand these consequences and explore how organizations can use social media to engage with stakeholders more effectively.

Different stakeholders’ groups have different expectations and motivations to engage with an organization’s social media. By using social media, customers/potential customers expect to be able to compare products and services from organizations around the world, compare prices and find out other customers’ experiences. In fact, in the era of social media, customers are not as much under the influence of traditional media advertising and rely more on their peers’ and friends’ recommendations that mostly is taking place online on different social media platforms (Rohm & Weiss 2014). Thus, they are not passive participants in organization-customer relations. They expect two-way conversations and timely and updated information. They no longer want to be talked at; they expect organizations to support them, engage and listen to them (Berthon et al. 2012; Kietzmann et al. 2011). Therefore, social media can play an important role for marketing (Harmsen & Proper 2013; Luo & Zhang 2013), customer services (Kim, Lee & Lee 2013) and as a source of information (Rishika et al. 2013; Shi & Whinston 2013) to engage customers and potential customers.

Employees are another important stakeholder group. The expectation is that using social media inside the organization can improve communication and collaboration among employees, knowledge management and product/service innovation in organizations (Fulk & Yuan 2013; Hanna, Kee & Robertson 2017). Social media can also solve some challenges within organizations like the location of expertise, the motivation for sharing knowledge and creating social capital inside the organization (Gonzalez et al. 2013). Such deployments have implications for the organization’s performance and can help organizations optimize employees’ career paths (Harmsen & Proper 2013; Krüger, Brockmann & Stieglitz 2013; Leonardi, Huysman & Steinfield 2013). Moreover, it helps organizations to capture and reuse knowledge (as one of the organizations’ most important assets) of their employees (Grovera & Froesea 2016).

Social media is all about users’ participation. Without users’ participation, social media has no value (Hvass & Munar 2012). In the case of using social media by organizations, users of social media will be the organizations’ stakeholders. Thus to get value from social media, organizations need to encourage more stakeholders to actively participate in their social media platform (Culnan, McHugh & Zubillaga 2010). Mohammadian and Mohammadreza (2012) claim that attracting the attention of stakeholders to attend to the organizations’ social media is the most important key in an increasingly competitive social media environment. Now the question is, how can organizations get attention from more and more stakeholders on social media? Organizations require having different strategies to encourage different stakeholder groups to actively participate in social media in alignment with the organization’s goals. Also, they require particular strategies for engaging employees through creating communities and social capital inside the organizations’ social media.

Aral et al. (2013) emphasize the dearth of scholarly work on a comprehensive strategy for managing social media. The little information available is mostly from practitioners and white papers (e.g., Dutta 2010; Owyang et al. 2011). These are useful; however, there is a lack of theory and scholarly research to help organizations to develop a comprehensive strategy for social media engagement. In the absence of theory and academic research to provide organizations with an appropriate level of conceptualization, social media engagement is critical and challenging for organizations, resulting in many failure outcomes. For instance, the research by Miller and Tucker (2013) shows that, while the primary goal of social media in their study’s healthcare system context was integration with clients, employees played a more active role in using the organization’s social media compared to clients.

Encouraging different stakeholders to participate in social media is not a simple process. Social media is a dialogic medium where people participate in a conversation around topics of shared interest. Thus, the key component of social media engagement is content that is of interest to many participants (Zeng & Wei 2013). Organizations need to create content based on their strategy and values and their stakeholders’ needs. Thus to generate the right content in social media, organizations must understand to whom they should engage in social media. For what purpose do they need to use social media? Which sort of information do they need to create for each purpose of using social media? How can they engage stakeholders in social media? If organizations do not have this clear perspective, they cannot create the right content.

Furthermore, they cannot have a correct strategy to deal with different stakeholders who participate in the conversation. Thus, stakeholder engagement is a dynamic and multifaceted process that happens over time; and its understanding requires obtaining information and considering various interpretations from different perspectives (organization and stakeholders’ perspectives). How organizations can strategically manage the dynamic environment of social media is discussed in the next section.

2. Strategic Management of Social Media

Organizations need to find a systematic way and develop a strategy for managing social media to achieve their goals. Social media management refers to high-level strategies of organizations to organize, govern, fund, and evolve their social media capabilities (Aral et al. 2013). It is specifically about the ways organizations interact with their various constituencies in social media. It is not about managing stakeholders, but about managing conversations and dialogue happening in social media. It includes the way organizations realize the different purposes of using social media and identify their salient stakeholders for each of these purposes. Also how they develop their strategy to explore the proper social media platform for those purposes and the process of creating content and attracting the attention of different stakeholders. Thus, the main intention of social media management is on how organizations use social media to engage interactively with different stakeholders and stage social media experiences for them. In order to strategically manage social media, organizations require unique and difficult-to-replicate dynamic capabilities to continuously create, extend, upgrade, protect, and keep relevant the organization’s unique experience (Teece 2007). Teece (2007) argues that dynamic capabilities involve three stages: Sensing and Seizing opportunities and Managing threats.

Each organization has specific characteristics and pursues particular purposes for using social media, and each organization has different stakeholders who have different motivations for using social media. Furthermore, social media is a highly dynamic environment where things change rapidly, so the suggested strategy for managing it now may not be valid in the future. Therefore, there is no single successful approach to using social media for all organizations, in all social media platforms for all times. Each organization needs to develop its unique capabilities to manage social media and create unique social media experience for its stakeholders. The three stages of dynamic capabilities provide organizations with a guide to thinking strategically and having a timeless perspective on how they can manage social media. The dynamic capability framework of Teece (2007) is useful because, to strategically manage social media, organizations need to sense different stakeholders’ motivations and behaviors in social media to develop new capabilities to respond and seize new opportunities and manage new threats in a fast-moving social media environment. As a result, organizations adjust their social media conversation in response to stakeholders’ needs and expectations. Strategically managing social media includes three steps (Capturing, Developing, and Governance). These steps come from Teece (2007) and the synthesis of literature about social media use in organizations.

2.1 Sensing Opportunities

The main objectives of this stage are to develop a process to identify the target market, understand customers’ needs, select new technologies and tap competitor innovation. In a social media context, in this stage organizations need to capture information about different stakeholders and social media capabilities. The various processes of this stage are:

  1. A process to choose social media purposes aligned with organizational goals and choose an appropriate platform best match for each purpose.
  2. A process to identify the target market and salient stakeholders for each social media purpose.
  3. A process to understand different stakeholders’ motivations and expectations (functional and emotional) about the organization’s social media.
  4. A process to explore the topic of shared interest (for both organizations and stakeholders).

2.2 Seizing Opportunities

This stage is about architecture and design of the opportunity that is sensed and creating engagement among stakeholders. In a social media context, it is about developing content that meets stakeholders’ needs and attracts their attention to engage in social media to build social media experience. It includes:

  1. Delineating suitable sorts of information for each group of stakeholders.
  2. Creating content to attract the attention of the target market and salient stakeholders to accomplish each social media goal.
  3. Creating content to respond to stakeholders who asked questions in social media.
  4. Creating content around the topic of shared interest explored in social media.
  5. Creating ways to attract stakeholders’ attention (e.g., creating virtually attractive content, using techniques to monetize social media).
  6. Integrating information on all social media platforms and other organizations’ channels with the latest information.

2.3 Managing Threats

The last stage is about continuous alignment, and realignment of opportunities sensed and seized in previous steps and managing threats. In the context of social media, it is about managing crises and governance of social media platforms and conversations. Organizations should be:

  1. Continually checking social media to remain informed on threats.
  2. Creating content to respond to threats case by case.
  3. Avoiding controlling and steering the conversation around the threat, unless the threat is critical.
  4. Developing guidelines and terms for social media use and put it in each social media platform.
  5. Consistently training employees to make informed decisions that are in line with the organization’s values.
  6. Transparent with stakeholders about the threat, mistake or crisis that has happened.

Once an organization passes through strategically managing social media, it will be able to engage stakeholders to participate in social media and to engage, and consequently, it will be able to stage a unique social media experience for its stakeholders. However, there are some challenges organizations face to strategically manage social media and engage stakeholders.

3. Organizations’ Challenges in Engaging Stakeholders on Social Media

Historically, organizations’ approach in traditional media focused on command and control of messaging around their brand. The organization was the only official voice for both external (e.g., marketing and customer services) and internal (interactions with employees) purposes. They interacted directly with stakeholders either individually (e.g., asynchronous media such as email) or in mass communications (e.g., Web and TV advertising; Gallaugher & Ransbotham 2010). During those transactions, stakeholders had limited ability to observe or influence other stakeholders (Luo, Zhang & Duan 2013).

Social media breaks this and it has transformed the organization’s relationship with their stakeholders as it provides a two-way channel to communicate to stakeholders (Wu, Sun & Tan 2013). The transformation needs a management shift in organizations as stakeholders no longer want to be talked at, they expect organizations to support them, engage them and listen to them (Berthon et al. 2012; Kietzmann et al. 2011). Managers need to accept a loss of control and share power with stakeholders (Bernoff & Li 2008). Different stakeholders create content on organizations’ social media. The amount of content created by people in social media has grown tremendously in the past few years (Lu & Stepchenkova 2015). The interesting content passes from one person to another and consequently, its value increases, because ‘it will be a content post from a “trusted source” [family/friend or expert] rather than one directly from the brand or organisation itself’ (Hopkins 2012 p.106). Research shows that the content created by users influences other stakeholders over 22 times more than the content created by organizations’ marketers (Goh, Heng & Lin 2013). Thus, it becomes a valuable business asset for organizations (Amaral, Tiago & Tiago 2014).

Moreover, academic research shows that some executives do not have consistent strategies for managing social media, so they may mismanage using social media. They also transfer traditional advertising strategies to social media as well (Baird & Parasnis 2011; Heath et al. 2013a; Hoffman & Fodor 2010; Lovejoy, Waters & Saxton 2012). Managers need to realize that the context of social media is about new relationships between organizations and different stakeholders, not just technology deployment (Li, Webber & Cifuentes 2012). Therefore a new approach is required to focus more on the social aspect of this new medium (Heath et al. 2013a). The new approach should explore how organizations can use social media to engage interactively with different stakeholders.

3.1 Organizations’ Stakeholders in Social Media

Stakeholders are defined in the literature as ‘any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the organization’s objectives’ (Freeman 1984, p.48). Also, they are identified by ‘their interest in the corporation, regardless of whether the organization has any corresponding functional interest in them (Preble 2005, p.409). From this perspective, participants who are interacting with the organization via social media are the organizations’ stakeholders. Many scholars classify stakeholders into categories of stakeholders who have an almost similar function or interests from the organizations’ perspective to help organizations to set a strategy to respond to each group (supplier, customer, potential customer, employee, etc.) (Chan & Pan 2008). All organizations have different groups of stakeholders, many of whom use social media. Social media users can affect, or be affected, by organizations via their participation in organizations’ social media. Thus, understanding their expectations and needs in social media, as a new environment, is essential for the long-term success of the organization (Freeman & McVea 2001).

Organizations need to have a clear perspective about their stakeholders for each activity of using social media. For example, when managers decide to use social media for marketing, their salient stakeholders are customers/potential customers, so they will be different from using social media for knowledge sharing within the organization (salient stakeholders are employees). If organizations do not have this clear perspective, they will not know the needs and interests of salient stakeholders to create content for them.

3.2 Social Media Management

Social media management refers to high-level strategies of organizations to organize, govern, fund, and evolve their social media capabilities (Aral et al. 2013). It is specifically about the ways organizations interact with their various constituencies in social media. It includes the way organizations realize the different purposes of using social media and identify their salient stakeholders for each of these purposes, and also how they develop their strategy to explore the proper social media platform for those purposes and the process of creating content and attracting the attention of different stakeholders. Thus, the intention of social media management is on how organizations should use social media to engage interactively with various stakeholders.

3.3 User Engagement in Social Media

There is some research about customer engagement in social media (e.g., Cabiddu, Carlo & Piccoli 2014; Harrigan et al. 2017; Yoo & Gretzel 2011). Customer engagement is a customer’s behavioral manifestation toward a brand or organization, beyond purchase, resulting from motivational drivers. Customers’ behaviors include customer purchasing behavior, word-of-mouth activities, recommendations, helping other customers, blogging, writing reviews, and even engaging in legal action (Van Doorn et al. 2010). Customer engagement can cause sales growth, customer involvement in product development and feedback and recommending the organization to others (Harrigan et al. 2017).

While customers are one of the most important groups of stakeholders, other groups of stakeholders like employees, potential customers, suppliers are not considered in the academic literature on their engagement in social media. Stakeholders’ engagement is the interaction of stakeholders with one another or with an organization. The initiators of engagement can be either stakeholders or the organization and the medium is one of the organization’s social media platforms. The stakeholders’ engagement is the behavior resulting from motivational drivers manifested in consuming User Generated Content (UGC) like tagging and commenting, posting, sharing and forwarding organization’s UGC and referring others to the organization, responding to others’ questions and providing product/service feedback and new ideas to organizations (Rohm & Weiss 2014).

Social media engagement includes three types of users; the most prevalent users are individuals who browse and consume UGC but do not contribute it. The second group of users is content contributors who ask for the information they want from others. These two groups are mere ‘lurkers’ (Nonnecke & Preece 2001) as opposed to individuals who actively participate in social media to respond to others’ questions and create content (Yoo & Gretzel 2011). Thus, the concept of engagement is a process, starting when users understand that a particular organization has a social media platform, and then they start to browse information, contribute to social media and finally, users actively create UGC. Therefore, an organization first needs to inform their stakeholders that it has a social media platform, and then try to attract their attention to participate more from only a lurker user to an active participant. However, far too little attention has been paid to this in the existing literature.

After realizing to whom the organization should interact in social media, organizations need to understand the motivational drivers of various stakeholders to engage in social media. By realizing that, the organization can motivate stakeholders to engage in social media.

3.4 Motivational Drivers of Various Stakeholders for Using Social Media

Zyglidopoulos and Phillips (1999) claim that managers can realize stakeholders’ concern and take appropriate actions by analyzing their conversations in case of an event. As stakeholders have conversations around topics of shared interest in social media, organizations can identify stakeholders and realize their concerns via analyzing their conversations in social media. However, many organizations fail to extract information about different stakeholders’ needs and concerns from social media and consequently they mislead their stakeholders. One example of this mistake in identifying and managing the targeted group of stakeholders is the research of Miller and Tucker (2013) mentioned earlier. They found that employees play a more active role in creating active social media content than clients in a healthcare system, while the primary goal of social media was integration with clients because the content posted did not focus specifically around the clients’ needs. Therefore, they highlighted that if ‘firms wish to use social media primarily for client facing reasons, their efforts may be more effective if social media content posted is specifically focused around their clients’ needs and interests rather than being of broader organisational interest’ (Miller & Tucker 2013, p.53). Participation in social media is voluntary. Individuals can use social media to communicate with organizations and other stakeholders. Some of the individuals’ motivations to participate in organizations’ social media are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1: Individual motivation to participate in organizations’ social media

Individuals’ Motivation Description References
Self Presentation and Self Disclose Individuals have desire to disclose and reveal themselves to others in cyber space. This can include disclosing some information like name, age, gender, occupation. They also can express themselves by posting UGCs, responding to others and participation in discussion board. DeVito, Birnholtz & Hancock 2017; Djafarova & Trofimenko 2017; Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010; Schau & Gilly, 2003; Tang, Gu, & Whinston, 2012
Using Social Media as a Means of Communication with Organization and other Stakeholders Individuals like to use social media as a channel to communicate. Conversation can lead to friendship and relationship between strangers that would not otherwise happen and between ‘latent ties’ who may have some offline connection. Enders, Hungenberg, Denker, & Mauch, 2008; Kietzmann et al., 2011; Meijer & Torenvlied 2016; Michaelidou, Siamagka, & Christodoulides, 2011
Using Social Media as a Source of Knowledge/ Information Social media is a source of collective knowledge and information because it generates new sources of online information about users’ experiences. Users can get information/knowledge through content created by organizations and content created by other stakeholders (UGC). Ahmed et al., 2014; Grovera & Froesea 2016; Kietzmann et al., 2011; Lu & Stepchenkova 2015; Leonardi 2017; Malthouse et al. 2013; Song et al. 2016
Creating Sense of Community and Social Capital People can form communities in social media. Feeling of being part of community encourages users to interact and exchange their knowledge and information.  Culnan et al., 2010; Goh, Heng & Lin 2013; Hajli 2014; Kietzmann et al., 2011; Lin, Featherman & Sarker 2017; Xu, Ryan, Prybutok, & Wenb, 2012;
Building Professional Reputation


Individual expect to receive social rewards such as approval and respect by participation in social interaction. Thus, the perception that contributing UGC will enhance user’ reputation in the profession will motivate individuals to share their values, personal knowledge to others in the network. Forte, Larco, & Bruckman, 2009; Lin, Featherman & Sarker 2017; Wasko & Faraj, 2000; Tang et al., 2012;
Enjoyment of Helping Others and Hedonic Use of Social Media Helping others is an intrinsic motivation for individuals because they feel good to help other people. Social media use is sometimes considered as an enjoyable way to connect with organizations and other users. Lin, Featherman & Sarker 2017; Wasko & Faraj, 2000, ; Xu et al., 2012
Revenue Sharing Shared revenue provides an extra incentive for contributors who have joined revenue-sharing programs. Tang et al., 2012


Understanding the motivation behind using social media by individuals is useful to explain how social media engagement is working. Once an organization understands these motivations and behaviors, it can develop appropriate strategies in order to develop better social media engagement by tailoring the right messages for the right stakeholders to impart at the right time in the right social media platform to convert the individual to become engaged in the organization’s social media (Powell, Groves & Dimos 2011).

4. Contribution to Practice

Once organizations have decided to use social media, one of their managers’ main concerns is how to use social media to achieve organizational goals and engage with more stakeholders (Mohammadian & Mohammadreza 2012; Paniagua & Sapena 2014). This paper offers practical suggestions to managers and helps them to understand how organizations can engage with stakeholders in social media. Furthermore, this paper helps organizations to progress from isolated social media projects to having comprehensive social media management to stage a social media experience for different stakeholders that is unique to the organizations’ brand. It adds to an understanding of why and how different stakeholders engage (or do not engage) in organizations’ social media activities. It is useful for practitioners who are considering the utilization of social media for stakeholder engagement. Knowing how organizations should engage with stakeholders in social media gives organizations the opportunities to direct the engagement process and social media use proactively. In contrast, if organizations do not have a comprehensive roadmap for engaging stakeholders and do not have information on what stakeholders expect from social media, they cannot engage stakeholders, and ultimately it may undermine the value organizations can gain from using social media. This is a critical issue as many organizations increasingly spend on social media activities, as Forrester Research projected the spending on social media by organizations would increase from 7.52 billion U.S. dollars in 2014 to 17.34 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 in the USA (Statista 2015).

5. Suggestions for Future Research

Social media is a dynamic environment where organizations’ stakeholders are active. It can facilitate the way organizations interact with stakeholders directly. However, this process is more complicated than traditional environments because there is a huge amount of information available on social media and all users can participate in creating content. Similarly, as discussed above, to get value from social media use, organizations need to engage stakeholders in social media (Culnan, McHugh & Zubillaga 2010).
Despite its importance, there is a lack of support in the existing literature about these issues (Saxton & Guo 2014). While there are some academic and practitioner research papers and books on how organizations can use social media, they confess that the strategies of today are different from a few years ago because social media is a dynamic environment and changes rapidly (Rohm & Weiss 2014). Most academic research about how organizations are managing social media has been conducted on large organizations in the Fortune 500 (Culnan, McHugh & Zubillaga 2010) or multinational IT organizations like Infosys (Heath et al. 2013b). This research generally does not have a holistic view. For example, Gallaugher and Ransbotham (2010) considers an organization’s relations with only customers and disregards other stakeholders’ concerns and needs. Moreover, they overlook the internal use of social media (using social media by employees). Therefore, their lessons are not very practical and useful for other organizations, and there is a need to examine practices in non-IT/IS organizations.

This research paper extends the current knowledge of organizations’ social media management strategy to accomplish their social media related goals. It develops a guideline to thinking strategically and timelessly about managing social media in organizations. This can potentially address the issue of organizations that are struggling to find an effective management strategy for using social media as claimed by Aral et al. (2013).


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