Social Media Analysis And Customer Behavior Research Proposal
The world of social media is currently the most popular and highly trafficked Internet entity for sharing information and promoting products. The largest of the world’s corporations have been utilizing this amazing tool for the convenience of their buyers and even for providing pertinent information about their products and services. When online businesses and corporations learned of heavy consumer Internet traffic, the software and Internet designers and creators developed the tremendous idea of converting online presence into a monetization journey. Social media has evolved into an unavoidable presence online that owning a business without a website or web portal is virtually impossible to reach out to customers. Several social networks craftily utilize their tactics on almost website to draw consumer attention even with the most insignificant advertisements that generally and obviously lure them to at least navigate to the intended destination. It can be suggested that Twitter and Facebook have been noted for their intense attraction tactics in having millions of online users connect and share information whether for social or purchasing purposes. Hence, this report is a study of how social media impacts consumer behavior and the various methods used to continue drawing their attention toward products consumers so desire. Methods described are well utilized and popular while other methods used are effective but oblivious to many marketers. However, the key is to understand how marketers emotionally condition consumers with useful sales tactics without using enormous sales pitches. Social media has affected many online users regardless of their frequency on the Internet as the use of social media itself has affected everyone’s thirst or knowledge and information.
Keywords: social media, customer behaviour, purchasing social networking, information sharing, social marketing
The pioneer times of traditional and conventional marketing saw companies advertise their products to attract customers. This early direct sales trend occurred perhaps of product popularity and less competition. Nowadays, as opposed to the aforementioned, many companies compete aggressively against one another to grab customer attention. As a result marketers had to seek alternative and possibly more cutthroat methods of reaching out to customers. Hence the concept of social media has dominated the ideal marketing campaign as well as the internet. Online companies and marketers attempted sentiment analysis for many years to recognize consumer behavior. Although many tools have been formulated to accommodate this complex procedure, new approaches to interaction between consumers and among demographics had to be examined (Burn-Murdoch, 2013). Social media has revolutionized the internet with blogging and marketing when the internet was initially intended to act as a library of information. More websites are interactive for users to shop online and search for services not generally available from brick and mortar markets. Social media on the other hand altered consumer behavior on a large and global scale and also morphed their personalities and purchasing habits (Smelyanets, 2014).
Social media instigated consumer behavior with convenient access to unlimited information including product literature, public attitudes and opinions, and product reviews. It paved the way of how marketers communicate with their target audiences by digitally filtering only require customer information in order to streamline products meant for consumers by means of structural format (Carr, 2011). Following the trend of social media, branches of viral marketing and market sharing dominated internet media. The constantly changing trends are not only changing consumer awareness and expectations but also how consumers market products. The means in which marketers interact with consumers have changes conveniences with the introduction of mobile marketing strategizing all sorts of competition and access to products and information. But companies perform a multitude of endless media analysis without achieving the desired results of consumer behavior and how they arrive at purchasing decisions (Deep Dive, 2013). Therefore sentiment analysis was taken as one of the approaches to gather further insight into consumer behavior with social media.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The growth in social media over the last decade has drawn the attention of several marketers to take the advantage of reaching out to worldwide clients in seconds than would take several days or weeks. Even only a few social media giants such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, to name a few, accommodate millions of people alone every day. Marketers followed the increasing number of users once social media was introduced and recognized social media as the main communication channel for to gain customer information. Over the last ten years many marketers utilized online surveys to determine customer wants and needs as well as how many and how frequently customers preferred to purchase online instead of endlessly searching for products not available at local outlets. Social media provided accurate demographics as opposed to conventional data collection in order to forecast the market when new products are introduced.
As part of the marketing trend, social media allows consumers to share their opinions and recommend products and make well-informed decisions before making any purchases. Customer behavior was then predicted based on their comments and conversations throughout blogs and forums when discussing particular information and products (Godelman, 2013). Previously customers had to depend on what and how marketers promoted their products without being able to refer to any other reliable source. Only the marketers had the power of all product information based on their shared communication and personal preferences illustrated (Akhtar, 2013). Social media provided the tools to help customers feel more in control of their purchasing power. Communication among customers through social media has been provided as part of market sharing of products and played a major role in customer behavior and cognition. Hence one of the most influential factors with social media is enabling consumers to encourage more positive product branding and advertising traffic revolutionizing demographics of online presence and navigation (Klepic, 2014). Currently most popular product brands have experienced promotions through social media channels.
1.3 Objective of Study
As another point of social media and Internet, research objectives have been easier to derive by monitoring and recording traffic through each major media icon. Consumer behavior can be monitored through virtually and Internet tool wherever there is high volume of information sharing and exchange. Each major icon (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) has variable online users present on a daily basis with variable intents and purposes. These icons often have traffic and communication with various services that influence decisions (Redsicker, 2014). But in the long term the numbers of active users including consumers and their purchases have precise numbers being present on the Internet. Their presences often get extended within social media as much information is transferred continuously. Studies have shown that many consumers feel comfortable on social networking sites to retrieve the data they seek (Goh, Heng & Lin, 2012). Even if individual consumers and users only spend a few hours a month on social media, the accumulative hours end up in the millions. This states that social media marketing triggers contemporary marketing.
On the other hand, social media can imply a multitude of topics including promoting the most popular games online. Additionally, as an example, many blogs and forums are centred about popular video games for hints and suggestions to complete the games. Some games require online purchasing and become in high in demand in conjunction with consumable products and are available through many social icons. Social media is a relatively broad subject and can be confusing for researchers and marketers to converge on their target audience. The most prominent factor for this objective study is to narrow the topic to how consumers make decisions and ultimately become part of the social media trend by how much time is spent on social platforms (Barry, Markey, Almquist & Brahm, 2011). The examples and literature to follow explain how and why consumers make purchasing decisions and maintain contact with their marketers for future considerations. The reasons further illustrate how marketers through social media entice consumers to purchase their products, whether consumable or informational, the pitfalls and the promises awaiting virtual companies facing challenges in an uncertain and heavily visited domain.
1.4 Purpose of Study
The purpose of the study regarding social media is to specifically illustrate the tactics utilized by marketers in communicating with their consumer base and how to retain their loyalty whether consumers purchase products or not. Some lesser tactics will be explained to entice a returning consumer base by the use of social media regardless if consumers purchase products. Most readers imply that products mentioned are consumable and operational where the fact those informational products are just as beneficial for individual usage. In fact consumers find all sorts of benefits with online information that it is implies that social media is actually designed to enhance emotional and impulse buying online (Keller, 2013). When products through social media are described as providing impressive results, consumers immediately race to acquire those products because often they are often in limited supply. The methods in which markets arrange their online sales advertisements posted on popular social icons are craftily manipulated to encourage consumer emotional reaction with some methods including readable links and popular branding images (Deighton, 2011).
For the interests of readers planning to comprehend social media utilization for consumer attraction, a few strategies of Internet marketing will be explained and recommended in targeting the proper audience. Following the main tactics, a few examples of effective social media marketing are shared to increase online buying and traffic to web portals. The examples soon to be provided are essentially sources coupled with ideas from the author as well. They are not anymore descriptive than the usual way of marketing, but some fully known practices many marketers are unaware of and are essentially effective.
1.5 Significance of Study
The significance of the study is to demonstrate why consumers act or react upon impulse when they discern online products that have been tried, reviewed, and experienced many times before. Communal blogs have shown immense influential power and magnifying consumer decisions (Sema, 2013). Each marketer has a unique sales technique to draw consumers to sales websites even if products are not purchased. Additionally the location of one popular product encourages widespread searches for other similar products. Some consumers continue to purchase products although they felt that their previous products have not met their expectations. This may raise the question as to how companies actually reach their target if they reach it at all (Ray, 2014). This is because marketers understand the behaviors affect consumption through channels of verbal communication and opinionated reviews, but it is not fully known how much marketers are engaging with their target audience or client base (Dooley, 2012). Consumer behaviors are also based on information search on products while simultaneously attempting to verify the authenticity of products from testimonials and others’ opinions. Once consumers are highly satisfied with their purchases, social media becomes the ultimate communication tool to share their satisfaction or disappointment once they have experienced their product.
It may appear that the same consumers are buying but the technique may vary as not all customers have the same preference (Conley, 2014). Naturally even the most positive reviews and opinions are subjective based on the consumer. But another significant method marketers use is to promote products owned by other marketers. Simply they act as the middleperson to online purchasers and leave the actual transaction details and follow-up criteria between the consumer and the marketer. With social media both positive and negative feedbacks are provided and marketers still manage to entice consumers to buy.
2.0 Literature Review
2.1 Traditional Forms of Measuring Social Media Analysis
Social media cost comparisons are also known as media equivalents or equivalencies because of the comparisons between social media strategy costs and other categories of media management. Although using this comparison brought unfavourable attention and reputation to some marketers because of their use of it to magnify their advertising servers, it still helps with social media in the long run. Marketers have to rely on uncertainties after careful analysis and selection of what the uncertainties may unfold. Many advertisement servers act equivalently to physical world advertisements as a marketing assumption. But various target audiences have different opinions on how they want to view the advertisements. For example postings on popular social icons such as Twitter may be identical (equivalent) to viewing a television or computer screen. But the viewer may prefer a choice between the two screen types.
When it comes to enticing viewership and traffic, various social media types have advantages and disadvantages. Whether viewing objects on social media or on television each with impressive colors and pixel tuning, different target audiences experience different effects of each media tool. Social media somehow delivers objects associated with branding and the equivalency is identically broadcasted but the meaning is different with comparative impacts on viewers. Marketers then determine from social media traffic and length of time spent in each section (pages, links, blogs, etc.) by a cost-based analysis. This is achieved by assigning cost per click or cost per thousand and weighing out the costs against every click made throughout the medium. Another strategy is the cost per viewing where each click is equated with the number of clicks on a particular viewing page.
2.2 How Social Media Is Measured
Social media can be measured in various ways with its main factors dealing with viewing time, page navigation and clicks. Understanding how social media is measured is as important as understanding its effects on customer behaviour. A distinct comparison is the processes of monitoring and measuring. When monitoring social media, it implies consumers or information searchers corresponding to their first page impression on the topic they are searching for because early impressions are what normally count (Priluck, 2013). Usually monitoring helps filter unmatched searches and irrelevant links which is highly important to customer behaviour and reaction. Most customers feel utmost frustration when they navigate to unintended matches.
Measuring social media on the other hand has a contrast to monitoring. Social media in this scenario is designed as a sophisticated entity seemingly on its own accord. Many of its measuring functions include link collecting, sentiment processing, and influence scoring on the rightful pages when navigated. When consumers are searching for particular information or products, the data the pages consist are transmitted and displayed intricately for the consumers to understand (Melin, 2011). How the data is interacted with is totally depending on the consumer and is designed solely for the consumer to interact. The arrangement of real-world and online events has impacts on the data and in turn, impacts on the opinion of consumers. For example, if a product entailing how to become healthier is introduced online, the activity on blogs, news sites or social media pages makes a difference. Consumers have the choice of which media stream will entice them to draw closer to the product. The words read on each selection dictate the influential triggers upon consumers (Thorogood, 2013). Only individual consumers viewing the same products make the decision because each one of them know and understand the product and the company that promotes it.
Marketers have to compete with one another in order to effectively gain consumer guidance in making well-informed decisions. When measuring the data for consumers, marketers streamline the navigating platform to render consumers with ease of reaching their intended goal (McGehearty, 2010). Marketers establish inflection points and measure them against the latest web presence. They follow where the topics are migrating to and what is driving consumers to the migration point. Some marketing tactics such as product insets are deliberately implanted to measure how many consumers actually navigate toward the inset and decide between the two opposing products (Dawkins, 2013). Marketers have at their fingertips the analytical data and social channels they formerly did not have.
3.0 Research Methodology
The research methodology defines the purpose of identifying the driving force behind consumer decisions and how they arrive at them. Social has become the center of comparison between traditional marketing and social media marketing since its presence on the Internet. The resources for the most part are clearly selected as recently dated or dated within the last five years. The purpose of selecting recent sources is because of the change and evolution of various social media tools where some applications remain usable for other tools. The research coupled with the author’s experience in social media provide a concise picture and illustrates the relationship between marketers and target audience consumers and how they each share common utilization with social media impacts. Essentially both sides of the social market make decisions, however diverse, but require yielding identical results. Marketers search for monetary, traffic volume and customer satisfaction results, where consumers seek easy navigation, product satisfaction, and relevant information access.
The decision-making process provides the perception for online marketers to discern the promises and the setbacks with every new marketing trend emerging onto the social media surface. The prevailing channel of this report is to put to the test and share the marketing strategies from diverse approaches entailing practices both familiar and not well sought. Essentially many marketers refrain from seemingly unconventional marketing due to fear of suspension or expulsion from Internet marketing or banishment from particular social icons. Google for example has very strict rules against email spamming or heavy frequency of keywords. But many rules and regulations are either not practiced or obvious.
3.1 Research Methods
When conducting thorough research, the most dominant methods are quantitative and qualitative research. They entail both measurable and immeasurable factors to collaborating viable solutions. In the case of social media and its effects on consumers, the data is based on navigating the most popular blogs, sales web portals, and learning abut the various aspects that actually draw consumers into making decisions to purchase. Some researchers comment and favour one method over the other, but they need not always be compared. Both methods are relevant when analyzing consumer psychology and the response to social media. Additionally testimonials with actual Internet users may provide living proof to verify the product and information findings. It can be suggested that social media under many instances may have hindered progress in assisting marketers prompting consumers to making decisions because of the overwhelming information aspects associated with social media. The comparison between social media and traditional marketing need their detailed presences described in order to study their similarities and differences.
Although currently consumers find themselves in the information age, many aspects of information overload has paralleled with social media. But in addition to this research, a few sales methods are shared in order to analyze how marketing techniques take effect on consumers. The collaborative sources are marked by the author’s perspective only and not relying solely on the sources selected.
3.2 Sample Selection and Data Collection Process
In addition to data collection, some marketing strategies are included that are instrumental to drawing consumers by tapping into their behaviors. Predicting what consumers want serves as an initiative helps marketers make decisions by scrutinizing social media tools (Kilner, 2015). Many novice marketers are not attuned or receptive to receiving negative comments about their product or informational promotions. But collecting negative comments may actually keep marketers aware of the aspects of their products that may lack certain qualities included in competitors’ products (Social Media, 2014). When collecting data, it is essential to predict what consumers are looking for in product promotion. Examples below illustrate some methods leading to consumer decisions and how data is collected based on decisions.
Emotional Decisions – when consumers cannot locate a product meeting their wants and needs. It can be regarded as creating a sense of urgency to consumers. This is usually promoted as a limited time offer and stating the product will no longer be available for any better price or e out of stock. Another option is to forecast the number of limited time offers. Once the deadline or products have sold out, the doors will be closed. How many consumers actually purchased the products during the limited time period can monitor this method.
Predicted Consumer Actions – what the consumers do following a purchase they desire makes a difference between being a one-time or returning customer. Adding a premium to the product will lure their attention and will assure consumers will return since they have already acquired the product they have and associate it with new products. The data can be analyzed by how many consumers return to purchase any premiums or follow-up products.
Forecast of Product – establishing a product forecast one of the key elements with branding to maintain a few steps ahead of competition because the products may have characteristics that the competition may not possess. When launching the product, the brand is what determines the success or failure. The data collected may serve as a springboard for demographics forwarding what they dislike about the products.
Creating Urgency – many consumers experience information overload and will either accept or reject any products presented to them. However, if the products have all the credentials, they will definitely place the products and their marketers on the top of the list. Crafted marketers will mention many occurrences that other products are not beneficial, and the only products they must depend on are the marketers they consult with. Marketers may ingrain the urgency of purchasing their products through well-crafted sales pages that consumers will discern not to locate through any other offer.
Being Diverse – all products and their promotions need to be diverse. In other words the marketers may use social media to regain the confidence of consumers to purchase. However, many marketers make the error of encouraging purchase instead discouraging purchase. This tactic utilized revers psychology for consumers to make buying decisions. Marketers may encourage product by other marketers and instruct consumers to return once they have had negative experiences from other products. Most marketing analysts may regard this tactic as very unusual, however it is effective and does render promises of the success of the product by a sales pitch.
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