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Advertising And Social Networking Sites Media Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 2117 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Advertising is broadly defined as the non-personal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media.(Bovee, 1992) Upon dissection of this definition for clarity, it can be seen that the process and the industry of advertising is a one way flow of communication from a party that pays for the communication to the target audience, who are intended to be prompted by this mode of communication into becoming consumers.

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Social networking sites (SNS) are an emerging and almost increasingly indispensable trend in the present decade. The current trend of increasing use of cyber space has resulted in large number of people all over the world using e-mail & SNS; this is not only because of the entertainment and connectivity that it allows, but also because of the ease of access and sharing of several types of data that is possible through these sites. The sharing might be updates regarding home, family, work, health, or of pictures, audio, and even links to other interesting websites on the Internet. The users of SNS are not restricted to youth alone; its popularity and advantages have resulted in several adult and older adult populations becoming as users of SNS as well.

The popularity of SNS makes it an excellent and a natural choice as a platform for advertising to transcend to, simply because it has the attention of potential customer while they are relatively vulnerable to advertising methods. The users of SNS are there for entertainment and advertising in this arena is possibly not something they are expecting. It could be a boon and a bane for advertisers when the target audience are unaware of their presence being construed as potential customers for a product or service.

The present study aims to demonstrate that social networking sites are increasingly being used as an advertising platform by users and advertisers, using a survey that analyzed the general population’s opinions of the same.

1.2 Background information

The form of online advertising that uses SNS as a platform has come to be known as social network advertising and the relationship between SNS as a platform for advertising and advertising as a concept have been investigated by few other researchers. These studies provide a comparative analysis of the success or failure of social network advertising to conventional media.

There were studies that aimed at examining the relationship between the two variables of advertising and SNS, or establishing the validity of one over the other, or even analyzing the advantages of social network advertising for companies themselves.

The relevance of this topic is vital as can be seen by the recently released “B-to-B Marketing Leadership Study,” which revealed that over two-thirds of B-to-B marketers intend to decrease spending on print advertising during the next “two to three years.” The study was conducted jointly by American Business Media, the Association of National Advertisers, and consulting firm Booz & Co., The study also found that 67 percent of B-to-B marketers intend to increase spending on social media during the same period, and that 64 percent said that they planned to increase digital spending.

The 2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report on the use of social media to market the businesses revealed that companies with enough manpower for marketing or those that aren’t computer literate may not be interested in social media but many service providers like electrical contractors and electricians may find that an optimized website is adequate for marketing, while companies that are willing to spend time and advertising budget could benefit greatly from social media as it may offer a venue to address criticisms and correct misconceptions of customers regarding products or services.

1.3 Concept of Social Media Marketing

Finding a universally accepted definition of social media marketing may not prove to be extremely hard, but the industry and the field have not progressed to such a degree that there is a popular accepted definition for social media marketing and advertising.

However, several definitions for the same have been hazarded. It is simplistically the use of SNS in online advertising. There are three major classifications of SNS based advertising; however, these are not properly defined and broad: direct advertising that is based on your network of friends, direct advertising placed on your social networking site, and indirect advertising by creating ‘groups’ or ‘pages’.

There are no well-defined indicators to measure the success of social media marketing, but one factor has a lot of weight in deciding the fate of social media marketing and advertising: finance. With regard to finance, the concept of Return On Investment (ROI) is an indicator that is commonly used to measure the financial successes of social media marketing and advertising in terms of cost reduction and consequent increases in margin.

Ryan Deutsch defines ROI as one of several commonly used tools to evaluate the the financial consequences of business investments, decisions, or actions. Most forms of ROI analysis compare investment returns and costs by constructing a ratio, or percentage.

There are few case studies on the monetization through SNS, which precludes the presence of studies on advertising in SNS. To date, ROI is the most popular indicator along with Key Popular Indicators (KPI), and the Lead Generation Funnel.

KPI has three components to track: expanded reach to new audiences, influencer sharing behaviour, and conversions and monetization. Nicole Kelly elaborates that exposure, influence, engagement, action/convert are the key items in the Lead Generation Funnel model.

1.4 The Relationship

There is no doubt that social media and advertising are a power combo, combining entertainment with marketing, and convenience with advertising. This phenomenon extends to the larger picture of advertisement on the whole. SNS have gone the extra mile to monetize on their services through advertisers that they have sometimes compromised on the privacy of the users. These & other negatives issues are being addressed but still in nascent stage

Facebook Places was one such option in the SNS Facebook, which allowed organizations to track the whereabouts of users, therefore pitching the demographic- and ethnic-appropriate products and services. This is an example of a negative aspect of monetization of what was previously just entertainment.

It is not correct to place blame entirely on the owners of SNS either, as their endeavours in providing an online socializing experience for users has to be monetarily sensible as well.

These issues aside, the breaches in privacy and the consequent outcry only proves the magnitude of scope and potential available for monetization through SNS, and advertising is one of the primary paths to such a monetization.

1.5 The Relationship: Indianised

A look at the present scenario of the literature available about the relationship does not reveal much. A global perspective of the same has limited literature on it as it is an emerging field for study and a budding opportunity for the market.

The scope of advertising through SNS in India is perhaps not as effective as it might be abroad as the number of Internet users in comparison to the country’s population as a whole is still not very significant, but never the less growing at a rapid pace. However, there is a potential for huge financial stake is involved, in terms of cost reduction, increase in demand for product & service to vast majority of potential customers to be tapped at a quicker pace & the addition revenue generation and earning opportunity for many, especially when the Indian-based ads cater to the global market.

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This study has obtained the opinions of Indians on the subject of advertising as a prospect for them; however, it need not necessarily reflect the choice of Indians as a whole, or even for the city of Bangalore. It is however, a window into the ideas and desires of the modern urban youth with regard to advertising in SNS.

If the attitudes of the youth from a country regarding advertising and marketing through SNS, that is only just shedding its Third World status is favourable, the attitudes and beliefs of the youth from developed countries with higher cash flow through the Internet will be predictably phenomenal.

The purpose is to look at global prospects in advertising and marketing through SNS, even while taking into account the possibility of the same in the Indian context and demographic.

1.5.1 Hypothesis

The existing literature suggests the need for a study based in India. In this regard, the following hypothesis is developed, analyzing the opinions and attitudes of persons in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. . This could be supplemented by similar studies in other urban centres, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmadabad & Pune.

‘The youth favour and endorse advertisements in social networking sites’

1.5.2 Data Treatment

Taking the case of 10 subjects from Bangalore, Karnataka, India, the opinions and attitudes toward advertising and marketing through SNS was analyzed. The data were administered through a Likert Scale type of survey, developed specifically for the present study.

The study uses the tabulated and interpreted variant of this data to draw conclusions that support and disprove the aforementioned hypothesis. The scale measures four aspects of the respondents’ opinions: personal belief regarding marketing and advertising in SNS, use of SNS for another party/person, individual purchase as a result of ads in SNS, and belief in the impact of SNS.

The data are separately and generally analyzed.

1.6 Justification for the study

An indigenous and localised study is important to understand the nuances of a grass root level picture, even though in a cosmopolitan city like Bangalore, there could still be further sub groups in terms of ethnic back ground, culture, personal preferences. The data reveals the opinions of urban youth in Southern India.

The field of social media marketing is burgeoning globally, though not at the same pace in the national context. It is therefore important to record the opinions and attitudes of Indians regarding the issue under consideration which might act as a window to the receptivity of the country to a globally popular concept

Thus, it should be noted that components of study that are determined by various socio-cultural and economic and literacy patterns, determine the extent of development when they work in liaison.

1.7 Chapter Plan

To explore and evaluate the beliefs and opinions of South Indians on the issue of advertising and marketing through SNS the study is divided in five chapters.

Chapter one gives a brief insight about the study bringing forth the need for the study

to be conducted while tracing evidences of background information. Chapter two elaborates on the previous studies and findings. Chapter three describes the methodology and the treatment given to the data collected and the statistical methods adopted for analysing the data collected. Chapter four gives a detailed account of the behaviour of the data by presenting the findings of the study and illustrates the relationship between the variables. The data, in this section, is treated with statistical analysis and the results are interpreted thereof. Chapter five summarises the key findings and draws theoretical and policy implications. This chapter also suggests avenues of further research in the area including privacy & legal issues & Patent, and intellectual property rights related issues.

1.8 Key Findings of the Study

For the formulated hypothesis that the youth favour and endorse advertisements in SNS, the study findings and analysis of the data during the study validates the hypothesis with exceptions.

1.9 Conclusion

The beliefs of youth and Internet users in general, with regard to the hypothesis that they encourage and believe in advertisements from SNS, as interpreted from this study that used the Likert Scale, with the sample size of 10, is valid.


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