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Social Media: A Case Study in Socially Connected Entrepreneurs

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The purpose of this study is to examine how social connectivity in a collaborative business environment translates to online social communication, namely to social media. Not a lot of academic

The purpose of this study is to examine how social connectivity in a collaborative business environment translates to online social communication, namely to social media. Not a lot of academic research focuses in-depth on how startups and entrepreneurs within the technology industry perceive social media, or how their work environment can influence the ways they see the role of these platforms. Gangplank was chosen as the subject of this case study based on the emphasis they as a coworking space put on connecting to others in order to accomplish mutual goals. Initial research showed that entrepreneurs using social media did so with a collaborative focus in mind. However, it was unclear if, by developing their businesses in a space devoted to fostering social relationships, entrepreneurs would be more likely to engage and interact with other users on social media platforms. Furthermore, it was unclear if their attitudes toward online and offline communication would be affected by spending time in a dedicated social workspace. In order to find how some entrepreneurs that started or worked closely in the beginning stages of a collaborative, connection-driven workspace used social media and see whether or not they used the platform to establish and build relationships and connect with others, three entrepreneurs from such a workspace were personally interviewed. In these interviews, each entrepreneur gave their personal feelings and opinions on the space itself, their view on the role of social media, and whether or not they connected their space to their social media use. The study also examined each entrepreneur's social media profile on one prominent social network to see how each was practically using the platform, and to analyze how each entrepreneur's use of the platform compared to his perceptions of social media as a whole. The study found that entrepreneurs who became established in a collaboration-oriented space definitely interacted frequently on social media. Each entrepreneur interviewed expressed the importance of working closely with others and forming valuable connections through both online and offline means. These entrepreneurs were established to have followed all the best practices of social media use outlined through research, and to have had a large number of personally engaging interactions and conversations on observed social media platforms.

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Date Created
  • 2015-12