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The 5C categorization of social media tools

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th International Academic Mindtrek Conference
Subtitle of host publicationOct. 17th-19th, 2016, Tampere, Finland
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-4367-1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2016
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventMindtrek Conference -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …


ConferenceMindtrek Conference
Period1/01/00 → …


Social media can offer potential business benefits in the company context. However, successful social media initiative calls for careful strategic planning and approaching social media tools as enablers for reaching a purpose. A categorization of social media tools is called for to help the strategic choices and evaluation between the tools. To date, no coherent classification exists, and those suggested approach social media tools from a substantival perspective of what a tool is. From strategical planning viewpoint it is more practical to take the functional perspective of what a tool does. In this paper, we present a framework for categorizing social media tools by the actions they enable. The 5C categorization is based on the action s enabled by the social media tools: communicating, collaborating, connecting, completing, and combining. In order to demonstrate how the 5C categorization can be used as a framework to assess social media tools we conducted an empirical study of social media based crowdsourcing platforms in business-to-business setting. The 5C categorization can be utilized in planning a social media strategy as it forwards the understanding of which tools are suitable for certain purpose and provides a scheme to evaluate and compare different social media tools and applications.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Social Media

Publication forum classification