Add Thesis

Relationship Marketing in the online social network context

A study on student attitudes

Written by J. Grunditz, E. Liljedahl & A. Nyström

Paper category

Bachelor Thesis


Business Administration>Marketing & Sales




Bachelor Thesis: Social Networks Online social networks are just an extension of traditional social networks constructed using modern communication technologies, and many of the same dynamics apply. This research attempts to link social network theory with behavioral patterns on online networks. The mode of consumer participation in virtual communities. They use statistical data to compare two settings of virtual communities; networks and small groups. By applying social identity and group norm theories, they aim to understand people’s motivations for joining these two social forums. Dholakia et al. (2004) attempts to group concepts from different genres based on similarity. The first category is groups with close relationships and frequent interactions. The second category is social networks and common identity groups. The second type of users tend to have loose connections and narrow relationships. Researchers use the term "group" for the first type of group, and the term "online community" for the second type (Dholakia et al., 2004). Since two different types of communities attract two groups of people with different motivations, those who manage the community must meet these needs. People who seek to join online communities often have clear goals or benefits, such as easy access to or sharing information, while those who choose to join small groups often have no obvious motives and more socially-oriented motives. This is consistent with the study conducted by McKenna & Bargh (1999), who believes that the motivation to join the Internet often stems from self-direction or social purpose. According to this research, people who are willing to accept relationship marketing will naturally tend to be the character type of the online community (Dholakia et al., 2004). They want the information and obvious benefits of joining the community without having to chat with others in the community. This is in contrast to the type of group that seeks other features such as real-time chat and social interaction. Dorakia et al. (2004) suggested that virtual communities should not include real-time chat functions, but should have a system in which it is easier to store information and previous conversations in order to attract users of the online community type. Because of the many different communication tools provided, Facebook is attractive to both groups. Joinson (2008); Huberman, Romero & Wu (2008) and many other researchers have found that an important driver of behavior and activity on online social networks is the number of “friends”. 2.1.2 Relationship Marketing This research examines attitudes towards online social network relationship marketing, which is part of a larger concept of creating added value for consumers of products or services. Traditionally, marketing research has focused on one-way marketing communication that creates and meets demand (Morgan & Hunt, 1994). In their book "Principles of Marketing", Kotler et al. (2005) The marketing process is mainly represented as a sequence controlled by the marketing organization. The process identifies a certain form of need or demand, describes the root cause of the demand, and then attempts to create, communicate, and deliver products or services to meet the demand or demand. It is only in the most recent version that tools such as the Internet and paradigms such as relationship marketing have attracted great attention. Kotler et al. (2005) describes marketing as a combination of four factors: product, price, promotion, and location. This research focuses on the latter two. In this traditional model, little attention is paid to communication from consumers to marketers, and even less attention to communication between consumers. However, there is evidence that reliance on the Internet as a tool for making purchasing decisions is growing at a very high rate. Green-span (2002) found that as many as one-third of people have used the Internet before making a highly engaged purchase decision. This form of pre-order research bypasses the traditional model of marketers having complete control over information. On the contrary, other consumers and unbiased third parties will change the information to reflect their views on the product, using online social networks and other tools to convey their views. This perception is not always based on actual products. Some organizations compete by providing additional services or additional features for their products; others compete by maintaining a superior brand image (Davis, 2000). Even though the performance of the product may be the same as that of a lower-rated brand, consumers may still prefer higher-priced high-end brands. One way to create additional value for consumers is relationship marketing. Before the industrial revolution, it was an important force in marketing, but as the market developed a more transaction-oriented focus in the industrial age, the importance of relationship marketing declined (Sheth & Parvatiyar, 1995). In recent years, competition for customers has intensified, so companies are looking for new ways to satisfy and retain existing customers. Relationship marketing has received a lot of attention in the past two decades as a way to counter the increasingly fierce competition ( Morgan and Hunter, 1994). Read Less