Expert Answer:Consumer Behavior: The Influences of Social Media

  

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Consumer Behavior
1
Consumer Behavior: The Influences of Social Media Through Branding and Advertising
By: Tiffiany McRae
Savannah State University
Consumer Behavior
2
Abstract
As we all know social media that is the biggest platform uses to stay connected to friends,
family, co-workers, we network with entrepreneurs or working men and women taking on the
careers we long for, we look for jobs post resumes and sometimes set up interviews. In today’s
generations social media is one of the major outlets used to catch up on the latest news that going
on in the world. It’s a major platform for businesses to advertise and market their products,
whether it’s a new products or updated features on an old one. Using social media can give the
company access to an immediate response on what consumers think and that they feel about a
product. Business use social media as an opportunity to conduct surveys, do give away, to see
how consumers respond to what’s being offered.
In this research we are going to look at several studies to understand how consumer behavior can
be affected through social media, how brand perception influence consumer buying behavior,
how businesses use social media to include consumers in certain decisions and how big of an
impact does social media have on consumers when it comes to advertising and branding?
Keywords: brand perception, advertising and branding, social media
Consumer Behavior
3
Consumer Behavior: The Influences of Social Media Through Branding and Advertising
Social media has become an integral part of people’s lives and is an important means of
connecting with friends and family, entertainment, catching up with current events, and most
recently, marketing and advertising. The arrival of popular social media platforms such as
Facebook, LinkedIn, and Myspace in early 21st century led to brands’ recognition of potential
content marketing on these websites, thus began a slow shift from traditional advertising
strategies to a more convenient and less costly form of advertising. Today’s estimated one-billion
users of various social media platforms can now actively interact with various brands, for this
reason social media has significantly impacted how businesses market their products and
services.
Most businesses have acknowledged the positive effect of social media sites presence;
therefore, majority have now created profiles in several social media platforms in order to reach
their target market. This positive effect is mostly because: on average, a social media user checks
their phones at least 150 times a day, and during these times, they frequently visit several
different social media platforms where various news and reviews of brands are posted. Today, all
successful businesses utilize social media as a mean of business branding, customer retention, for
research, and for ecommerce. Each social media user follows at least one brand online, with each
internet user expecting to easily locate their brand online for enquiries or for placing orders.
Today’s increasing social media use has opened new opportunities for businesses and
customers to interact conveniently and in real time. Customers are actively using social media to
seek out products and services, compare quality and pricing, and express their loyalty to favorite
brands. Social media has also become a referral platform, and as has been established by
Nielson’s Global Online survey, at least two out of three social media users have at one point
Consumer Behavior
4
been influenced to purchase a product, purely based on their family and friends’ social media
posts and recommendations (Klieb, 2018).
At least three out of five social media users have also reviewed products online, with
women being more likely to post their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a particular brand.
Today, at least 60% of customers are researching products on social media in order to learn
about the available specific brands. One in every four customers also claim to have been
influenced from buying a product, based on a bad experience shared on social media by their
friends and family (Klieb, 2018). This has rendered social media product reviews the most
preferred source of product information among customers, majority of whom are active on social
media platforms. This provides brands an opportunity to position their products and services
strategically and promote them on various social media platforms by highlighting their
uniqueness, quality, and discounts.
Through social media, brands can better understand their customers, especially by
reading through opinions about the brand and other shared insights. As a form of marketing,
social media has also impacted how customers express their grievances, questions, and concerns
about a brand. Most customers are now opting to communicate with brands openly through
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts which are visible to the general public. This open
interaction often compels recipients to respond promptly and ensure that the customer receives
assistance the earliest time possible (Perumal, 2018). This ultimately leads to better services. In
addition, this is an indirect form of advertising because it ensures better provision of services.
Therefore, social media has had a significant effect on branding and advertising. In this research,
I will investigate how social media has influenced customer behavior through branding and
advertising.
Consumer Behavior
5
References
Klieb, L. (2018). Impact of Social Media on Consumer Behavior. International Journal of
Information and Decision Sciences.
Perumal, P. (2018). INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING ON CONSUMER
BUYING DECISION MAKING PROCESS. SLIS Student Research Journal.
I n t e r n a t io n a l J o u r n a l o f M a r k e t R e s e a rc h V o l. 5 6 Is s u e 3
A study of the impact of social media
on consumers
M. Nick Hajli
Birkbeck, University o f London
Social media have provided new opportunities to consumers to engage in
social interaction on the internet. Consumers use social media, such as online
communities, to generate content and to network with other users. The study
of social media can also identify the advantages to be gained by business. A
multidisciplinary model, building on the technology acceptance model and
relevant literature on trust and social media, has been devised. The model has been
validated by SEM-PLS, demonstrating the role of social media in the development
of e-commerce into social commerce. The data emerging from a survey show how
social media facilitate the social interaction of consumers, leading to increased
trust and intention to buy. The results also show that trust has a significant direct
effect on intention to buy. The perceived usefulness (PU) of a site is also identified
as a contributory factor. At the end of the paper, the author discusses the results,
along with implications, limitations and recommended future research directions.
Introd uctio n
The advancements in the internet in recent years have made new systems
available to business: social media such as online communities being a
good example (Lu et al. 2010). The general availability of the internet has
given individuals the opportunity to use social media, from email to Twitter
and Facebook, and to interact without the need for physical meetings
(Gruzd et al. 2011). This has been facilitated by Web 2.0 applications.
Web 2.0 is a new advancement, which has transferred the internet to a
social environment by introducing social media, where individuals can
interact and generate content online (Lai & Turban 2008). Web 2.0
has emerged to give users easier interconnectivity and participation on
the web (Mueller et al. 2011). With the rise of social media and online
Received (in revised form): 25 January 2013
© 2 0 1 4 T h e M a r k e t R e se a rch S o c ie ty
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38 7
A study of the impact of social media on consumers
communities, individuals can easily share and access information (Chen
et al. 2011a). Online communities and social networking sites (SNSs)
are an effective web technology for social interactions and sharing
information (Lu & Hsiao 2010). SNSs take centre-stage in e-commerce in
the current environment (Fue et al. 2009), where consumers make social
connections and participate in cyberspace (Mueller et al. 2011). Today’s
consumers have access to many different sources of information and
experiences, which have been facilitated by other customers’ information
and recommendations (Senecal & Nantel 2004). This is an important
point as customer involvement through social media is a key factor in
marketing (Do-Hyung et al. 2007).
Social media offer different values to firms, such as enhanced brand
popularity (de Vries, Gensler &c Leeflang 2012), facilitating word-of-mouth
communication (Chen et al. 2011b), increasing sales (Agnihotri et al.
2012), sharing information in a business context (Lu & Hsiao 2010)
and generating social support for consumers (Ali 2011; Ballantine &
Stephenson 2011). In addition, the networking of individuals through
social media provides shared values, leading to a positive impact on
trust (Wu et al. 2010). Today, with the expansion of social media and
SNSs, a study of consumer behaviour on these platforms is a research
agenda (Liang & Turban 2011) because social media are likely to develop
marketing strategies in firms through trust-building mechanisms and
affecting customers’ intention to buy online products.
The main thrust of this paper focuses on examining the role of social
factors on trust, which can influence an individual’s intention to buy. An
understanding of this issue can aid in identifying factors that establish
trust and social commerce intention through SNSs. This paper has
four objectives. First, the study examines how social media – namely
online forums, communities, ratings and reviews – can influence trust
in e-commerce. Second, it looks at the relationship between trust and
intention to buy. Third, this research examines the relationship between
trust and perceived usefulness (PU) of a site on intention to buy. In
conclusion, it examines the direct and indirect influence of social media on
trust and intention to buy. To these ends, the study presents the following
questions.
1.
2.
3.
388
Do social media in social networking sites affect the user’s trust?
Do PU and trust affect the user’s intention to buy?
Which factors (PU or trust?) are more important in determining the
user’s intention to buy?
I n t e r n a t io n a l J o u r n a l o f M a r k e t R e s e a rc h V o l. 5 6 Is s u e 3
To answer these questions, the study borrows from technology acceptance
model (TAM) constructs, along with concepts of trust, social media and
social support to build up an interdisciplinary model. The purpose of
this research is to investigate the role of social media and how they can
influence the consumer’s intention to buy and impact on a user’s trust in a
social commerce environment.
The paper is organised as follows. First, a literature review is provided
to identify the issues and gaps in the current literature that have driven
this study. The next section provides the research model and hypotheses.
The paper continues with research methodology and the structural model.
Finally, theoretical and managerial implications for the study are presented,
along with limitations, future research directions and conclusions.
Literatu re review and th eo retical background
With the advances in the internet and the emergence of Web 2.0, the
interconnectivity between individuals has expanded on the internet.
This development enables customers and businesses to collaborate on
the internet (Füller et al. 2009). This has emerged through social media,
which enable consumers to generate content and have social interactions
online via social platforms. There are a number of social platforms that
have facilitated information sharing. For instance, Wikipedia, a free online
encyclopaedia, is one of the most popular platforms and has the facility
for users to collaborate on information sharing (Chen et al. 2011a). Other
platforms with the ability to generate reviews and ratings, such as Amazon,
com, enable customers to review and rate products. In addition, members
of these platforms are cooperatively interdependent (Chris et al. 2008).
By using social media, consumers can create content and offer valuable
advice to others (Füller et al. 2009). This new development has seen online
communities and an electronic network of individuals emerge on social
platforms where members share information globally and quickly (Molly
McLure & Samer 2005).
With the rise in social networks, a new era of content creation has
emerged, where individuals can easily share experiences and information
with other users (Chen et al. 2011a). The next generation of online
businesses will be based on communities – a good tool for new customer
attraction (Bagozzi & Dholakia 2002; Ridings & Gefen 2004). Online
communities offer an opportunity to organisations to have a better
customer relationship management system (Ridings & Gefen 2004), for
instance, giving rise to a new development where businesses can improve
389
A study o f the impact o f social media on consumers
performance. Moreover, on those platforms where consumers have social
interaction, members can become familiar with one another, providing a
possible source of trust (Lu et al. 2010). This can greatly influence users’
intention to buy (Gefen 2002). Consequently, it is important for companies
to have a business model adapted to social commerce (Lorenzo et al. 2007;
Liang &c Turban 2011). Social commerce is a new stream in e-commerce,
which encourages the social interaction of consumers through social media
(Hajli 2013). Social media provide opportunities for businesses to become
more attractive universally (Chen et al. 2011b). Although social commerce
and social media are key phenomena in e-commerce and the marketing
literature, few studies, if any, have examined the concepts of trust and
users’ intentional behaviour. In the next section the literature related to
the model of study maps out the theoretical foundation of the research.
P e rc e iv e d u s e fu ln e s s
Perceived usefulness (PU) is one of the main constructs of the technology
acceptance model (TAM) (Davis 1989). Users’ acceptance of computing
facilities was one of the initial developments of this theory (Davis et al.
1989). The theory has since been developed by many scholars in different
areas (Adams et al. 1992; Gefen & Straub 2000; Gefen et al. 2003; Pavlou
2003; Hajli 2013; Kim 2012). TAM argues that constructs have a strong
influence in the acceptance of systems by a user (Pavlou 2003). The original
definition of perceived usefulness by Davis (Davis 1989) is ‘the degree to
which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his
or her job performance’. It is one of the main reasons why people are
receptive to new technology (Davis 1989). The constructs introduced by
TAM can be applied in a wide range of ways (Adams et al. 1992). These
can also be used to predict consumer behaviour in e-commerce (Gefen
& Straub 2000; Pavlou 2003). TAM is among the popular theories in
Information Systems (IS) as it emphasises intention to use a system. Its
instruments have been validated in different research (Pavlou 2003).
In the present study, only perceived usefulness and intention to buy have
been selected as main factors to develop the proposed model. One of the
main reasons for omitting perceived ease of use from the present study is
that, it is argued, this construct has an indirect effect on user acceptance
through PU (Gefen & Straub 2000). Previous researchers have been
consistent in arguing that PU has a positive direct effect on acceptance
of a system (Gefen &c Straub 2000; Pavlou 2003). There are different
aspects that define PU in an e-commerce environment. For instance, the
390
I n t e r n a t io n a l J o u r n a l o f M a r k e t R e s e a rc h V o l. 5 6 Is s u e 3
quality of a website in terms of system, service and information quality
has a significant impact on perceived usefulness, which in turn encourages
consumers to buy (Ahn et al. 2007). Businesses can concentrate on
information, service and system quality to improve their websites, and also
enhance perceived usefulness in their consumers (Ahn et al. 2007).
T h e u s e o f s o c ia l m e d ia p la tfo r m s t o g e n e r a t e s o c ia l s u p p o r t
Today a large number of social media platforms have been developed that
smooth the progress of sharing information and generation of content in
an online context (Chen et al. 2011a). There are a number of social media
that facilitate these activities, such as Wikipedia, Facebook, YouTube
and Twitter. Individuals apply different social media tools, such as online
forums and communities, recommendations, ratings and reviews, to
interact with other users online. In fact, individuals are attracted online to
exchange information and receive social support (Ridings & Gefen 2004).
Reviews are one of the key areas that have emerged from social media.
Customer reviews are widely available for products and services, generating
great value for both consumers and companies (Nambisan 2002). In fact,
consumers are actively encouraged by firms to rate and review products
and services online (Bronner & de Hoog 2010). These activities produce
electronic word of mouth. This word of mouth, produced through social
media, helps consumers in their purchasing decisions (Pan & Chiou 2011).
Research shows that customer reviews have grown quickly on the internet
(Chris et al. 2008). Amazon.com is a good example of using customer
reviews, with almost 10 million available (Do-Hyung et al. 2007). Online
communities and forums are other examples of social media. Online
communities are now a place to share information and gain knowledge
about products and services (Chen et al. 2011a). Recommendations are
another tool widely used by potential customers. Research has shown that
potential consumers are more interested in other users’ recommendations
rather than merely vendor-generated product information (Ridings &
Gefen 2004). Hence, such interactions, provided through social media,
help increase the level of trust and reduce perceived risk.
Virtual worlds as electronic environments are another important
development of Web 2.0, a new way of generating and sharing information
on the internet (Mueller et al. 2011). They facilitate human interactions for
social and commercial purposes. One of the main characteristics of virtual
worlds is learning by doing, which enables users to learn and practise in
the virtual space (Mueller et al. 2011). However, with the widespread use
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A study of the impact of social media on consumers
of social media where individuals can easily post information and accounts
of their experiences, the quality of content posted by anonymous users has
become a challenge (Chen et al. 2011a). The anonymity of some users is a
concern in deciding on the quality of information provided and the content
shared by consumers (Chen et al. 2011a).
Towards these ends, when individuals join online communities and
participate in a group, they seek social support and friendship in the
community (Ridings & Gefen 2004). The perceived care, love and support
of members of a group is defined as social support (Cobb 1976). Research
shows that online communities and SNSs generate both informational
and emotional support (Ballantine & Stephenson 2011). Emotional and
informational support are two dimensions of social support in an online
context (Liang et al. 2011). Twitter is a good example, where individuals
provide social support for other users (Gruzd et al. 2011). It may also
attract many individuals to come online to search f …
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