How can companies interact successfully with consumers in online communities?
For a lot of people, if not all of us, our opinion depends on those in our social context. Whether unconsciously or not, we want our choices to reflect who we are and that we belong in a certain community with similar interests, preferences and beliefs (Churchill and Halverson, 2005; Miller, Fabian, and Lin, 2009; Swann, Rentfrow, and Guinn, 2002). Online communities are not necessarily different. Even though it can be anonymous and it is more accessible than face-to-face meetings, the opinions posted there can be equally or even more influential in the choices that you make. And people are spending an increasing amount of time online, so a lot of the opinions that our opinion is based on, are coming from online communities.
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As the internet and rise of online communities has changed the role and possibilities of word-of-mouth (WOM) for both companies and consumers, companies are increasingly looking into techniques to influence WOM. The reason is simple, happy customers are the best advertisers that you can have (Sernovitz, 2006). Kozinets et al. (2010) studies the current situation that marketers are facing and how to employ social media marketing methods in order to leverage online WOM.
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For a very long time, the electrical infrastructure has remained unchanged. But over the last couple of years, the smart grid has been developed as a new type of electric power system (Güngör et al, 2011). Factors that have contributed to this change are the growing demand for energy and climate change considerations (Farhangi, 2010). Both of these drivers request for a more efficient energy system which will allocate electric resources better and give more insights in our personal and professional usage of energy. Part of the solution is delivered by the increased amount of data that is collected, stored, and analyzed. This has motivated companies to research the possible value which they can extract from the data in order to achieve a competitive advantage (Provost and Fawcett, 2013). The combination of the need for better understanding of the allocation and usage of resources and the increased availability of information on these matters have accelerated the potential of the smart grid.
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