Skip to Content

The Library

  • Email
  • Print
  • Share

Hot Topics: The Business of Social Networks

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have changed the way individuals communicate in their personal life and increasingly in their business life.

The articles, books and other resources listed below will discuss the evolving effects of the social networking phenomenon on the business world.

Selected articles

Due to contractual arrangements, access to some articles may be restricted to the Stanford community, and subscribers of the "Library Databases" offered through the GSB Alumni's Lifelong Learning Program. Inclusion below does not imply University endorsement of the ideas expressed.


2011 Social Media Stocks Review.
San Francisco Chronicle, 12/29/11
It's been a big year for social media stocks.
View article

Six Social Media Trends for 2012. Harvard Business Review, 12/12/11
Each year at this time, David Armano looks forward and predict trends in social media for the coming year.
View article

Global X Funds Launches First Social Media ETF. Sacramento Bee, 11/15/11
The Global X Social Media Index ETF attempts to capture this global industry in a single ETF, and includes companies from all over the world that provide social networking, file sharing, and other web-based media applications.
View article

A Print Focus on Social Media. New York Times, 10/16/11
Four new monthly magazines advising business owners on how to use social media tools will go on sale on Monday. Each publication focuses on one of the major platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Google and LinkedIn.
View article

State of the Media: Social Media Report. Nielsen, 9/29/11
Nielsen’s “State of the Media: The Social Media Report – Q3 2011” presents a snapshot of the current social media landscape and audiences in the U.S. and other major markets.
View article

In Turn to Politics, Facebook Starts a PAC. New York Times, 9/26/11
Social media companies are integrating with the political landscape in a season in which these businesses are growing presences in the campaign conversation.
View article

Google+ may pass Twitter, LinkedIn, survey shows. San Francisco Chronicle, 8/7/11
Google's new social-networking service may grow to claim 22 percent of online U.S. adults in a year, passing Twitter and LinkedIn to be the second-most-used social site after Facebook, a survey found.
View article

Social networking for bricklayers. Fortune, 7/21/11 wants to prove there's a job site for skilled tradespeople somewhere between the white collar networking of LinkedIn and the anarchy of Craigslist.
View article

Facebook, Zynga, Groupon are social-network stars. San Francisco Chronicle, 6/5/11
The smashing Wall Street debut of Mountain View's LinkedIn last month intensified the spotlight on social networking, whetting the appetite of investors who hope to eventually buy stock in social games maker Zynga of San Francisco and Palo Alto's Facebook.
View article

Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Websites. eBizMBA, 5/2011
Here are the 15 Most Popular Social Networking Websites as derived from our eBizMBA Rank which is an average of each website's Alexa Global Traffic Rank, and U.S. Traffic Rank from both Compete and Quantcast.
View article

The 5 Biggest Investors In Social Media. San Francisco Chronicle, 4/25/11
After a relatively quiet decade, the latest social media firms have reinvigorated many leading industry players and set capital in motion to try and take advantage of what is projected to be a steady stream of initial public offerings from the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Groupon. Here are five of the largest social media investors and the current companies they are investing in.
View article

Measuring Social Business Success. PC World, 4/12/11
How do you measure for success when it comes to devising a social business strategy?
View article

Is Business-centric Social Networking a Revolution -- or a Ruse? Knowledge@Wharton, 3/2/11
Programs like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have become a popular way for families and groups of friends (or groups of strangers) to share information and organize their lives. Now corporations are hoping they can tap into those capabilities as a way to improve employee productivity, collaboration and communication on the job.
View article

TV Industry Taps Social Media to Keep Viewers’ Attention. New York Times, 2/20/11
As more and more people chat in real time about their favorite shows — on Facebook, Twitter and a phalanx of smaller sites — television networks are trying to figure out how to capitalize.
View article

Restaurants Reach Out to Customers With Social Media. New York Times, 1/19/11
Restaurants and bars thrive on repeat business, but customers increasingly expect more than just good service, food and drinks. They want to be engaged and entertained, and some food establishments are turning to location-based social media to help keep customers happy and loyal.
View article

Social media IPOs: Eight investment issues of social network companies., 1/12/11
Is the social media market poised for a roster of IPOs?
View article

What social networks reveal about interaction. Irish Times, 12/10/10
Aresearch team at Parc – the Palo Alto Research Centre in Silicon Valley, where much of modern computing was invented in the 1960s – thinks these social network systems reveal insights valuable to businesses and organisations about how groups can efficiently analyse, filter and use information, harnessing the “wisdom of the crowd”.
View article

A Business Creator Sees Big Returns From Social Media. New York Times, 11/17/10
Eric Lefkofsky, a businessman with an estimated worth of $750 million, extols the virtues of Groupon, a social-coupon Web site he bankrolled.
View article

Many users find LinkedIn to be an effective business tool. New York Times, 10/3/10
LinkedIn, the social network for business professionals that is often perceived as a workaday cousin to the social butterfly of Facebook. ButLinkedIn is actually more than just a place for job seekers to post a resume.
View article

Making Lunch a Social Networking Game. New York Times, 8/13/10
A burger was created on the Internet and broadcast to Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook, part of a multiplayer online game, and my order was checked in by a receptionist with an iPad.
View article

Flock, MyWeebo help take control of social media, other online accounts. San Jose Mercury, 8/9/10
One of the few Silicon Valley social startups with a name that actually makes sense, Flock calls itself "the originator of the Social Web Browser."
View article

B-Schools All A-Twitter Over Social Media. BusinessWeek, 7/26/10
With interest in social media growing, B-schools are adding courses to teach students what it means for business.
View article

How Social Media Drives New Business: Six Case Studies. TechCrunch, 7/17/10
Businesses both big and small are flocking to social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Foursquare. The fact is that a presence on these platforms not only allows companies to engage in conversations with consumers, but also serves as an outlet to drive sales through deals and coupons.
View article

Social networks overtake Google in UK web hits. The Independent, 6/9/10
Facebook's battle for internet supremacy with Google has intensified after social networks received more internet hits than search engines for the first time in the UK.
View article

Why social media are ‘absolutely crucial’ to businesses. INSEAD, 5/13/10
In today’s age of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace, social media constitute “an absolutely crucial part” of doing business, as many consumers around the world use social networks, says Thomas Crampton, Asia Pacific Director of 360 Digital Influence, an internet marketing communications arm of Ogilvy Public Relations.
View article

Quick'n'Dirty: Twitter's unsung heroes of social media. ZDNet, 4/26/10
The overall mission of the Quick’n'Dirty podcast, which Jennifer Leggio co-hosts with Aaron Strout, is to highlight the doers, the rebels, the unsung heroes of social media who are on the front line.
View article

New social networking hubs to boost African mobile innovation. infoDev, 3/30/10
infoDev and the volunteer networking organisation Mobile Monday have launched new social networking hubs in Uganda and Kenya.
View article

Honey, Don’t Bother Mommy. I’m Too Busy Building My Brand. New York Times, 3/12/10
Boot Camp is at once a networking and social event, bringing together virtual friends for some real-time girly bonding, and an educational seminar designed to help the participants — about 90 percent of them mothers — to take their blogs up a notch, whether in hopes of generating ad revenue and sponsorships, attracting attention to a cause or branching out into paid journalism or marketing.
View article

Getting Older Without Getting Old. New York Times, 3/5/10
FACEBOOK now has more than 400 million active users, up from only 50 million as recently as 2007. If social networking still resembled a young, hip downtown nightclub scene — one day a site is hot, the next it’s not — we might expect the crowds to decamp soon.
View article

The Olympics On Twitter. Forbes, 2/9/10
Athletes are using social media to share their glory and build their brands.
View article

How to Use Social Networking Sites to Drive Business. Inc., 1/25/10
Advice for small businesses on using social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, and how to integrate these tools into the marketing and recruiting efforts of your small business.
View article

Businesses adopting social networking without IT involvement, Cisco survey finds. NetworkWorld, 1/14/10
Most companies that use social networking for business purposes have failed to implement formal processes for adopting the tools, and even fewer say their IT departments are directly involved in the social networking initiatives, a Cisco-sponsored survey has found.
View article

First, Facebook and Yahoo hook up. Now Twitter and Google do the same. VentureBeat, 12/2/09
An announcement from Google today shows that it’s trying to stay in the fight by integrating Twitter across its 9 million Friend Connect web sites.
View article

The Über-Connected Organization: A Mandate for 2010, Harvard Business Publishing, 11/11/09
There are a growing number of firms such as IBM, Toshiba, and Cerner Corporation that are becoming über-connected workplaces. Using social media tools such as wikis, blogs, microblogs and corporate social networks, they are connecting employees globally and are fostering mass collaboration.
View article

Should You Be Tweeting? Cell, 10/30/09
Twitter needs no introduction. This “microblogging” service has gained tremendous popularity in the 2 years since its launch. Yet, most scientists are steering clear of it. Laura Bonetta speaks to some who have found value in tweeting.
View article

2010 Predictions: Will social media reach ubiquity? ZDNet, 10/27/09
We’ve seen the explosion of a previously misunderstood social network as well as the rampant adoption of social media by major brands. We’ve seen these companies take big chances, some ending in success and others ending with harsh lessons learned.
View article

Global Workforce, Gen Y Driving Social Networking Adoption, Users Say. NetworkWorld, 9/29/09
Microsoft users say their global workforce and the arrival of Gen Y employees are making strong demands that IT can no longer ignore for new collaboration and social networking tools.
View article

Mining the Web for Feelings, Not Facts. New York Times, 8/24/09
The rise of blogs and social networks has fueled a bull market in personal opinion: reviews, ratings, recommendations and other forms of online expression.
View article

How to Leverage Social Networking. Journal of Accountancy, 8/2009
In an interview with the JofA, Hood recently made the case for social media as a strategy accelerator, discussed what has worked for MACPA, what might rise to become the next big thing, and how CPAs can get started. Here are excerpts from that conversation.
View article

Mom-and-Pop Operators Turn to Social Media. New York Times, 7/22/09
Today, small businesses outnumber the big ones on the free microblogging service, and in many ways, Twitter is an even more useful tool for them.
View article

Facebook Overtakes MySpace. eMarketer, 6/18/09
In May 2009, Facebook became the most popular US social networking site.
View article

Small Businesses Are Taking Tentative Steps Toward Online Networking. New York Times, 6/3/09
BY choice or necessity, successful small-business owners are earnest networkers. Online networking on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and newer niche sites can be instantaneous and far-reaching.
View article

Online Social Networking for Business: An Interview with Konstantin Guericke, Marketing VP, LinkedIn. Information Today, 5/20/09
Online social networking is a hot topic in Internet circles. These online communities claim to create networks of friends and business colleagues based on referrals from other friends and colleagues. They connect people based on who those people know rather than who they are.
View article

Social Networks Rescue Downsized Workers. PCWorld, 5/7/09
When you're looking for work, making the rounds at Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn makes a difference. Real people share their social networking success stories.
View article

More marketers are counting on social networks. San Francisco Chronicle, 5/3/09
The Domino's YouTube incident last month provided a vivid example of why businesses and marketing experts are increasingly turning to the popular and fast-moving social networks.
View article

Firms Seek Profit in Twitter's Chatter. Wall Street Journal, 3/26/09
In the three years since its launch, the messaging service Twitter has attracted millions of users, but its fast growth hasn't translated into significant revenue.
View article

More Articles

Recession lifts social networking site LinkedIn. Fortune, 3/24/09
With more job seekers on the prowl, LinkedIn's traffic has doubled and its multiple revenue streams have turned into profit. Take that, Facebook and Twitter.
View article

Social networking for business-plan less for less pain. Network World, 2/24/09
Productivity loss, information leakage, and defamation of fellow employees are all enough to get us fired from our jobs, unless, of course, it is done under the guise of a social network for the enterprise 2.0.
View article

Forrester: Social networking will be biggest enterprise 2.0 priority by 2013. ZD/Net, 4/21/08
Enterprise 2.0 will become a $4.6 billion industry by 2013 and social networking tools will garner the bulk of the money, according to a report by Forrester Research.
View article



Is this page helpful?

Not Helpful




Very Helpful


Your affiliation: (required)

**Please enter the number shown below (required):
(This field is required to circumvent spam.)

Feel free to include your name and email (optional):



Page updated by: Nora Richardson