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Measuring the Impact of Social Media on Business Profit & Success

A Fortune 500 Perspective

Cong Li and Don Stacks

An organization can have a high number of «likes» on its Facebook page and lots of «followers» on its Twitter account, but does that mean anything from a financial perspective? Is it worth the organization’s effort to maintain an active presence on social media in order to generate more revenue? Is it possible to use social media metrics such as the number of «likes» and the number of «followers» to predict an organization’s «success» even though those metrics are nonfinancial indicators? Prior research studies have looked at how organizations should utilize social media, but few studies have provided strong empirical evidence to support how the outcome of using social media should be measured and why. Focusing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube, this book examines how Fortune 500 companies use social media. Collected over a five-year period, the authors assess the companies’ social media activities and their business performance data, such as stock return, total revenue, net income, and earnings per share. These data, both financial and nonfinancial, are matched and statistically analyzed to see whether a company’s social media activities are significantly associated with its business performance.
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CONG LI (Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is Associate Professor of Advertising at the University of Miami. He has published in a number of scholarly journals inside and outside the communication field, and has won the top paper award at national advertising and communication conferences.

DON STACKS (Ph.D., University of Florida) is Professor of Public Relations at the University of Miami. He has earned numerous academic and professional awards for teaching and research. His publications include the Primer of Public Relations Research (Second Edition 2010) and A Practitioner’s Guide to Public Relations Research, Measurement and Evaluation (co-authored, 2010).

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