An Explorative Investigation into the Effectiveness of Advertising on Social Networking Sites
Thomas, Kieran Liam
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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As the usage rates of social networking sites grow there is indication that this could be an effective platform for marketers. To better understand how advertising is applied on these new platforms, this study adds more academic research into the current domain. This thesis sought to investigate current usage on social networking sites (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) looking into the fashion brands that are situated in the greater Cardiff area. In doing so, a number of Cardiff Metropolitan University students were interviewed in a focus group fashion on their perceptions’ and behaviours with regards to advertising they are subject to on their social media pages. An inductive and interpretivistic stance was taken to create a subjective view to the research. In addition, a sample of 27 participants gave opinionated answers to this qualitative study, which was coded and interpreted to create a number of major assumptions of effective advertising on social networking sites. This is backed up with chronological literature review, which explored changes in consumer behaviours in the past 60 years along with evolving technologies. Results indicated that advertising is ineffective on online platforms because it is easier for people to communicate and give negative opinions. Consequently, this has an effect on the hierarchy of effects model that is discussed in the study. In addition, adverts on such platforms can easily be ignored and deemed annoying simply because users’ main objective is to communicate with friends. The results also indicated that fashion brands in Cardiff’s high street are not using the existing social networking sites to their advantage and this was seen as a missed opportunity especially for the large student community in the city. It appears that, social networking sites are a new phenomenon and understanding of its advertising potential is still fairly under-researched. Therefore, this prompted a further analysis and an evaluation on how effective advertising is on social networks in fashion brands around Cardiff’s high street, by employing a number of pychological and marketing theories.
BA (Hons) Business and Management Studies with Marketing
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