Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Shofoluwe, Musibau

Abstract

Social media conversational and digital technology has redefined the communication landscape between consumers and the providers of goods and services. It has created a conversational dual carriageway among all interest groups. Increasingly, organizations and corporations are participating in the social media conversation for some good reasons: to engage customers and to get business in creative ways. The goal of this study was to assess the role of social media in the construction industry, considering that consumers are increasingly influenced by social media information. The limited documentation regarding the construction industry despite distribution cravings in current social media was the main driver of this study. The study started with a literature review covering the influence of social media on industries’ business landscape with emphasis on construction industry. To acquire qualitative information, oral interviews were conducted. Participants were from four major construction companies operating in Southern to Midwestern states (Carolinas to Arizona and Hawaii) in the United States of America. The results acknowledged industries’ increased awareness of the influence of social media on the consumers. According to the study, industries that engaged their audiences on social media were banking on the optimism of social media audience, business, and information reach advantages and ability to build community of social network at affordable cost. Also, it was found that construction industry is not actively participating in the social media conversation like many other industries. Many actors in the industry decided to stay aloof because they believe that social media conversation is a double-edged sword and very dangerous.

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