Social Media

Essentially, social media are internet-based applications that allow users to create their own digital profile and generate and share various content with other users, leading to the creation of virtual communities. Because of this characteristic – referred to as useage openness – social media do not initially have a specific purpose in themselves, but rather derive their purpose from the goals of their embedded social entities (e.g., project collaboration, knowledge sharing, discussion of specific topics, or just plain fun).

Social media became known through its use in private. For over 20 years, people have been creating profiles on these platforms, networking with their friends and acquaintances, and sharing content. After an initial euphoria, the negative sides also became apparent: Social media use can trigger stress or lead to addiction symptoms. The team of the chair was significantly involved in the development of the theoretical understanding of social media stress and was able to prove causes and coping strategies for this type of technostress in various studies.

Spurred by the growing impact and capabilities of social media in the private sphere, companies increasingly began to use social media for their needs. By using public social media, companies can communicate with various external parties such as customers, vendors, potential employees, and the general public. Most companies that use public social media to communicate with external parties have a multi-pronged strategy that combines various public social media channels. For example, they maintain pages on popular public social networking sites like Facebook, and they disseminate messages on microblogging sites like Twitter. Their employees sometimes also write blog posts on news sites, and occasionally they host social tagging sites or YouTube channels. What all of these public social media have in common is that communications on these sites are outward-facing. Today, a public relations strategy that addresses communications across various public social media is widely considered critical to business success. In this context, the chair team has developed an approach that helps companies to develop their own social media strategy.

Enterprise social media is the second term derived from the umbrella term organizational social media and is defined as a social medium that supports internal communication, knowledge sharing, and interaction processes within a company or between organizations. Unlike the external use of social media, which spans many public platforms, most companies implement an integrated social media platform that includes multiple types of enterprise social media. For example, most internal social media platforms mimic popular social networking sites such as Facebook in appearance, operation and functionality. However, embedded within this platform are often blogs and wikis, as well as types of enterprise social media through which social tagging and document sharing can occur. In our research, we develop usage scenarios for enterprise social media and analyze usage behavior in the platforms to draw conclusions about the influence of social networks on digital work systems

The role of social media for corporate application contexts are the subject of the bachelor course “Enterprise Content and Collaboration Management“. Further concepts are also discussed in the master’s course “Enterprise Knowledge Management“. External company applications and the development of a social media strategy, e.g. in relation to recruitment, are addressed in the lecture “Electronic Human Resources Management” or in the “Media Literacy” seminar.


Selected publications

Selected talks