Social media marketing and relationship marketing: revolution or evolution? A first step analysis

Purpose of the paper: By relying on the value creation perspective from a knowledge economy viewpoint, the aim of the paper is to verify if the introduction of Social Media may be considered as an evolution or as a revolution of Relationship Marketing.

Methodology: A wide range of online databases were searched by means of keywords in order to analyze both academic and professional literature. Afterwards we used the snowball method in order to identify related references.

Results: Identification and description, according to an economic-managerial perspective, of the constitutive elements of a theoretical framework which allows us to analyze the relationship between RM and Social Media Marketing.

Practical implications: Definition of the operational elements concerning the distinction between RM and Social Media Marketing so that the decision maker of firms may identify the innovative elements of Social Media within marketing strategies and policies, in particular with regard to operational tools (ICT and managerial).

Limits of the research: Since this is the first phase of a larger research, the study mainly deals with the analysis of RM literature by highlighting only the main contributions in the field of Public Relations.

Originality of the paper: Identification of specific operational relationships between Social Media Marketing and RM by relying on the knowledge economy perspective of Italian strategic-managerial matrix. Identification of specific research questions which economic-managerial research has to answer in order to solve the relation between RM and PR in the context of Social Media.

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