Social networks and niche media competitive advantage
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Based upon the Resource-Based View and social capital perspective, this research explored how ethnic media, primarily ethnic newspapers, in the United States effectively use and manage their social network resources to gain competitive advantages in local advertising markets. A comparative case study was conducted to examine ethnic media’s informal, formal social networks and ties with advertisers, and their values in approaching and maintaining ethnic and non-ethnic mainstream advertisers. The study found that formal social networks were more effective than informal networks in helping ethnic media to develop diverse advertising base of ethnic and non-ethnic advertisers, and ethnic media focused on building strong business ties with advertisers. The stage of company development, the complexity of market and ethnic group’s integration with the mainstream society influenced the types of social networks used by ethnic media to attract and maintain advertisers.