THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA: A QUALITATIVE STUDY INTO THE ATTITUDES AND PERCEPTION OF YOUNG ADULTS TOWARDS PREVALENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Agarwal, Shruti (2012) THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA: A QUALITATIVE STUDY INTO THE ATTITUDES AND PERCEPTION OF YOUNG ADULTS TOWARDS PREVALENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)
Technological advances in the past decade have lead to the emergence of online platforms like social-networking sites, blogging sites, discussion forums which are extensively used by consumers to articulate their opinions and share their experiences. These developments have equipped consumers with vast knowledge and tools and hence, consumers actively participate in all stages of the marketing exchange process. Thus, the traditional channels of marketing communications are not sufficient to keep pace with the technology-savvy consumers of the modern era. This study explores the thriving potential of these internet-based platforms collectively known as “social media” as a powerful marketing communications tool. The social and psychological benefits consumers reap by engaging in the diverse forms of social media have been discussed and insights into how companies can harness the potential of social media are provided. This paper also seeks to ascertain the impact of social media interaction on aspects on consumer behaviour such as brand perception, purchase intention and brand loyalty. Previous literature demonstrates that users primarily seek to address certain needs like entertainment, networking, information-seeking, self-expression and building relationships through use of social media platforms. This research builds on prior research by providing further empirical evidence on the nature of consumer’s engagement in online platforms. 18 semi-structured in-depth interviews with users of social media were conducted to gain insight into consumer’s motivation for engaging in social media platforms. Findings suggested that users predominantly use social media to communicate and interact with friends and family. The power of social media to influence consumer decision making and increase brand awareness has also been discussed.
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