This paper aims to systematically find the main research differences and similarities between social media and social networks in marketing research using the bibliometric perspective and provides suggestions for firms to improve their marketing strategies effectively.Design/methodology/approachThe methods of co-word analysis and network analysis have been used to analyze the two research fields of social media and social networks. Specifically, this study selects 2,424 articles from 27 marketing academic journals present in the database Web of Science, ranging from January 1, 1996 to August 8, 2020.FindingsThe results show that social networks and social media are both research hotspots within the discipline of marketing research. The different intimacy nodes of social networks are more complex than social media. Additionally, the research scope of social networks is broader than social media in marketing research as shown by the keyword co-occurrence analysis. The overlap between social media and social networks in marketing research is reflected in the strong focus on their mixed mutual effects.Originality/valueThis paper explores the differences and similarities between social networks and social media in marketing research from the bibliometric perspective and provides a developing trend of their research hotspots in social media and social networks marketing research by keyword co-occurrence analysis and cluster analysis. Additionally, this paper provides some suggestions for firms looking to improve the efficiency of their marketing strategies from social and economic perspectives.
Nankai Business Review International – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2021
Keywords: Social networks; Social media; Marketing research; Network analysis; Co-word analysis
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