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In this volume, the authors apply insights from a variety of perspectives to explore the alignment among strategy, organization design, process and human resource management, and e-business practices on developing successful social networking programs—with particular regard to applying such initiatives against the backdrop of the global financial crisis and challenges to traditional business models. Showcasing in-depth case studies, the authors present emerging approaches to analyze the impact of investment in social networking sites, aligning internal resources, and measuring effects on positioning, branding, and new business creation.

The fact that a growing proportion of the world population has a relationship with social networking sites could prove very valuable for companies. The question is whether this represents a business opportunity, whether companies know how to make the most of it and if they will make the necessary efforts to adapt to these new platforms. In the modern world, social networking sites have enormous potential for large as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); most companies are aware of the need for a presence on social networking sites, but at present their e-business strategies are part of their medium and long-term strategic planning and only a small percentage have been put into practice.

In short, this book attempts to answer the following questions: Is there a business opportunity for companies on social networking sites? Do they know how to make the most of it? Are they willing to make the necessary effort to adapt? Can e-business strategies contribute to company creation and the success of already existing businesses? And if so, how?



Chapter 1. Positioning in Online Social Networks Through QDQ Media: An Opportunity for Spanish SMEs?

Online social networks (OSNs) have gained enormous popularity in recent years. The emergence of OSNs has had a significant social impact and has profoundly changed daily life. People use the Internet as a social medium to interact with one another and expand their social circles, to share information and experiences and to organise communities and activities. Internet users are playing an increasingly important role, as they not only interact with each other, but also make their communication visible to thousands of millions of people. Currently, they have the power to influence consumption behaviour through their recommendations. Companies have realised this and begun to use OSNs to announce their products and/or services to the markets. Thus, many businesses strive to invest in OSNs to create values for themselves. This work studies the specific case of the company QDQ Media which offers its customers (SMEs) positioning in OSNs to help them grow or to soften the effects of the drop in consumption due to the current economic crisis.
Marta Peris Peris-Ortiz, Diana Benito-Osorio, Carlos Rueda-Armengot

Chapter 2. Modelling the Influence of eWOM on Loyalty Behaviour in Social Network Sites

Social network sites (SNS) have become part of the daily reality of Internet users in recent years. Firms have recognised the importance of electronic recommendation (eWOM: electronic word-of-mouth) and its influence on consumer decisions. They use SNS as a two-way communication with their current and potential customers. In this context, this chapter means to establish a modelling of causal relations analysing the effect of eWOM communication on the affective commitment developed by SNS users and its effect on the behaviour of loyalty. In this model proposed, the online reputation, the consumer’s satisfaction and the user’s social involvement in SNS are considered as antecedents. The model’s central variable proposed is eWOM communication. This is an efficient means of capturing and retaining customers, as it presents a high level of credibility to developing long-term value relationships as relational marketing suggests. The model proposed, the justification of the relationships and the measurement scales aim to understand, explain and predict how eWOM communication influences loyalty behaviour in users’ SNS.
Ángel F. Villarejo-Ramos, Manuel J. Sánchez-Franco, Elisa M. García-Vacas, Antonio Navarro-García

Chapter 3. Crowdsourcing as a Competitive Advantage for New Business Models

The current organizational environment is characterized by the evolution and transformation of information and communication technologies, the eruption of social networks, and, with it, the growing importance of the participation of customers and other contributors in the behavior of these firms. Participating customers are increasingly influencing the development of marketing initiatives in the production process of firms, while the development of social networks and online communities has engendered new business or strategic models where diverse participants in social networks are becoming the crucial element for success. Taking into account these facts, this chapter focuses on the importance of this participation through the development of “crowdsourcing”. The chapter defines the concept, analyzes its possible uses for the improvement of different organizational areas, and finally explains the crowdsourcing implementation process via a series of steps. The study is important as it opens up new areas of research in the literature and also provides some practical analysis and examples of its use by organizations.
Fernando J. Garrigos-Simon, Yeamduan Narangajavana, José Luis Galdón-Salvador

Chapter 4. Analyzing a Successful Incubator Business Model: The Case of Barcelona Activa

Successful business incubators have a critical role in the development of local, regional, and national economies through the creation of jobs and the generation of profits, technology development, and innovations. Business incubators are recent and popular organizational forms that are created, often with the help of economic development agencies, to support and accelerate the development and success of affiliated ventures. The chapter examines Barcelona Activa as a successful business incubator in Catalonia (Spain), analyzing the incubator’s supply and demand for products and services from the resource-based view approach. Empirically, the chapter is based on qualitative methodology analyzing in depth the case of Barcelona Activa. The findings of the study show that the incubator model’s adjustments between the supply and demand of products and services generated are the main reason for the low mortality rate of new firms and the substantial increase in incubators’ turnover. This research has important implications for both researchers and government agencies.
Geovanny Perdomo, Claudia Alvarez, David Urbano

Chapter 5. Website Effectiveness for Tourism Accommodation Companies

Being well positioned among the Internet search results of potential clients can be an important choice criterion for the customer. In this work, we analyse the online visibility concept, alongside with the Web design, taking into account the different search strategies of Internet users and proposing a method to measure website effectiveness for small- and medium-sized accommodation companies. Current online visibility measurement methods are based on measuring the number of links from other websites, listings in online directories, and online search visibility. These methods are focused on brand visibility but they do not take into account average customer search preferences. In this study, we propose a method based on the Internet search results of a potential customer sample, taking into account the information sought and the habits of the average customer. The method was tested measuring the online visibility of a sample of small- and medium-sized hotels. The conclusions extracted from this test are that the difficulties found in an objective procedure for imitating an actual costumer’s search behaviour can be overcome by the evaluation of online visibility by real costumers.
Carlos Devece, Rafael Lapiedra, Daniel Palacios

Chapter 6. Gender in the Elderly Internet Users

The world’s population is getting older. Despite the stereotypes, the elderly use Internet increasingly more. The aim of this work is to analyze gender influence in the elderly’s Internet adoption process. This generic goal results in two specific objectives. Firstly, the Internet adoption process in the elderly is studied. To do so we propose a TAM-based model that will be tested via PLS. The second aim we set out is to analyze the differences in the Internet adoption process that can be explained via considering gender-based divergences. To achieve this we combine multi-group analysis via PLS and the t test for our independent samples. The results obtained partially support the model proposed and point out certain differences between elderly men and women with respect to their perception of ease of use and Internet use.
Jorge Arenas-Gaitán, Begoña Peral-Peral, María Ángeles Ramón-Jerónimo

Chapter 7. Search Engine Optimization and Ethical Leadership Strategies

The information technologies and media organizations embody the twin challenges of business ethics and leadership strategies. This chapter study of ethical leadership strategies (ELS, in advance) in media company management and their relationship with the search engine optimization (SEO, in advance). Analysis of the strategies and tactics used in the SEO and its results in the medium and long term. Comparative of ethical and unethical behavior in organizations based on information technologies. Deep studies through the strategies followed by search engines recognized in the market for information management. Analysis of the correlation between ethical behaviors in Web positioning strategies, and tangible and intangible results at information based organizations. This correlation would partly explained by a number of key factors such as integrity, commitment, people orientation, and transparency in communication. Finally, this chapter establishes a user guide that enables companies to have basic reference information on which to act at the strategic and operational on the SEO of your organization, taking into consideration the ethical codes of behavior.
Francisco J. Lara

Chapter 8. Search Engine Ranking: A SEO Strategy

Internet means immediacy. Whatever happens now is almost instantly no longer valid, so being well ranked in the search engines is as ever of paramount importance. This is particularly relevant in the media, as a source of information for the user. If your competitors are better ranked than you are, you lose out on users, visits, pages visited and, consequently, you generate less income. Therefore, big media groups increasingly develop their SEO strategy in the short, medium, and long term, in order to be highly ranked in each and every search engine, which is something that involves different elements in the productive process. Our case study shows how a reputable newspaper improved its SEO strategy for its online edition so as to become more competitive and raise its ranking against its competition.
Enrique Simarro Sanchís

Chapter 9. The Integration of Social Networks in the Competitiveness of Cooperation Networks: An Analysis to be Applied in Pharmacies

Concepts such as “virtual spaces” “networks”, “interactivity” and “interconnectivity” are an essential part of the literature used by authors to refer to the future of the information society and knowledge. These days, there is considerable discussion about the use and impact of ICT in the development of enterprises. The research carried out in this paper is based on the evaluation of key variables for the implementation of social network and communication solutions in the pharmaceutical sector (and in other companies in the same industry). This research aims to validate the proposed model and thus generalise its use. The application of the model shows us coherent results, which encourages its validation and facilitates the analysis and diagnosis of the impact of the diverse solutions of social networks on the different needs of a range of sectorial groups.
Camilo Prado Román, Maria Pilar Conesa García, Jose María Merigó

Chapter 10. How are New Media Changing the Working Environment? What are the Challenges?

This chapter studies the changing communication environments of the modern business world. Our focus is on the new media that provide companies and individual people new possibilities for recovering from the economic depression. But, they are not only opportunities, but also threats as well. We take an ethical approach to the phenomena in focus. Data protection law plays an important role here. What are the affects of communication environments on an employee’s working conditions and on his or her responsibilities and legal rights? Is Labor Law keeping up with the speed of development? This is another big issue.
Lea Isopoussu-Koponen, Ismo Koponen

Chapter 11. Improving User Experience: A Methodology Proposal for Web Usability Measurement

This work focuses on the concept of web usability. The objective of this research is to analyze, and improve on, currently available tools for measuring web usability, and propose a new evaluation methodology which will reduce the uncertainty that is inherent in the tools that currently exist. With this aim in mind, and taking as a starting point, the web usability evaluation framework proposed by Hassan and Martín (2003) and Suárez-Torrente (2011) a new collection of evaluation criteria with a high degree of disaggregation has been developed along with an associated metrics. We believe that the existing methodologies have been improved upon as the subjective elements of the evaluation process have been considerably reduced. The proposed improvements hold two main advantages: firstly, its use is less sensitive to a change of evaluator, thus offering greater robustness; secondly, expert evaluators are not necessary for its application.
Alexis Bañón-Gomis, José-Vicente Tomás-Miquel, Manuel Expósito-Langa

Chapter 12. The Importance of Trust in Information Security in Interconnected Organisations

The introduction of technology into massive personal and professional environments, initially by gathering information and then handling and processing it for increasingly important functions while managing systems as interconnected entities, has a number of positive aspects, yet it also entails a progressive increase in risk in all information areas.
M. Pilar Conesa García, Ignacio Gil-Pechuán, Jose Miguel Albarracín Guillen


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