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The impact of social media marketing communications on consumers perception of brands kayode adeola

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The impact of social media marketing communications on consumers perception of brands kayode adeola

  1. 1. The Impact of Social Media Marketing Communications on Consumers' Perception of Brands. by Kayode Adeola Olakunle (www.adeolakayode.com ~ @delola) Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) March 2012 1
  2. 2. CERTIFICATION This is to certify that this project; The Impact of Social Media Marketing Communications on Consumers' Perception of Brands by Kayode Adeola (S/0006112 ~ 01/PDA/0055 ) was undertaken under my supervision as a prerequisite to obtaninig a Professional Diploma in Advertising from the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). ________________________ Mr. Uche Aligbe, frpa Project Supervsor. 2
  3. 3. AKNOWLEDGEMENT In the beginning God... without him there's no beginning. You are my competitive advantage. 2011 was huge, let's make 2012 greater. To my late Dad, Otunba Z. O. Kayode you have always been a source of encouragement. I'll work to raise the bar higher. To my Mum, G.A. Kayode, thank you for your support especially in times of drought. On the day of harvest, you won't be missing. My siblings; the Famous Five, Tola, Dolapo and Folake; also Funmilola who went through the impossible to get the hard-bound copies of this project ready. To Teekay, Sisinmi and Aunty Yinka, may our tomorrow speak volumes. I ackowledge the support of alI staff in the Career Matters division of APCON. Thank you for the advice, attention and support especially when I come barging in. I am proud to recognize the contributions of my indefatigable supervisor, Mr. Uche Aligbe frpa. He gave me all the attention and support I needed to get this project done well and in good time. The advertising profession needs more like you. Finally to my wife Martha, thank you for your support. Thank you for letting me abscond during our wedding to get my exams done. Thank you for being a great cheerleader, support and booster. May we have greater opportunities to rejoice. Thanks for being there. 3
  4. 4. Table of Contents i. Acknowledgement ii. List of Figures iii. Chapter 1: Introduction iv. Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature v. Chapter 3: Research Methodology vi. Chapter 4: Data Presentation and Analysis vii. Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendation 4
  5. 5. Table of Charts i. Figure 1: Pie Chart showing if respondents respond to online advertisement (%) ii. Figure 2: Pie Chart showing respondents' responses to their membership of Brands' social pages (%) iii. Figure 3: Bar Chart showing respondents' responses to their motives for enlisting on Social Media pages (%) iv. Figure 4: Bar Chart showing their propensity to share brand experiences (%) v. Figure 5: Bar Chart showing respondents' motive for sharing brand experiences (%) vi. Figure 6: Bar Chart showing the significance of others' experiences on their buying decision (%) vii. Figure 7: Bar Chart showing which information platforms influence their buying decision on brands (%) viii. Figure 8: Pie Chart showing gender ratio of the respondents (%) ix. Figure 9: Doughnut Chart showing the gender of the respondents from Social Bakers Analytics (%) x. Figure 10: Bar Chart showing the age range of the respondents (%) xi. Figure 11: Doughnut Chart showing the age range of the respondents Social Bakers Analytics (%) xii. Figure 12: Bar Chart showing income range of the respondents (%) xiii. Figure 13: Bar Chart showing social presence of the respondents (%) 5
  6. 6. xiv. Figure 14: Pie Chart showing daily hours spent online by respondents (%) xv. Figure 15: Pie Chart showing daily hours spent on social media platforms by respondents (%) xvi. Figure 16: Pie Chart showing why respondents joined social networks (%) xvii. Figure 17: Pie Chart showing why respondents joined social networks (%) xviii. Figure 18: Pie Chart showing if the respondents have ever responded to online advertisements (%) xix. Figure 19: Pie Chart showing how respondents feel about online advertising (%) 6
  7. 7. Chapter 1: Introduction Background of the Study Social Media Marketing (SMM) refers to the process of disseminating messages, gaining internet traffic or attention through social media websites [1] in order to promote a personality, cause or business. It involves all methods, strategies, channels and platforms aimed at using social media platforms to communicate and engage a defined target audience in order to met a defined marketing objective . The convergence of technology and Social Media have changed the way people interact with one another and businesses can no more ignore these digital communities. The Internet has simplified business communication thereby improving the way companies sell, promote products and services. Product distribution has been made global and communication instantaneous; news travel within seconds making today‘s newspapers good only for yesterday‘s information. The effect on brands can be either extremely positive or negative depending on the perception of consumers. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of Social Media Marketing messages and how they have influenced consumer's perception of brands. Social Media Marketing Communications typically centres on efforts by an individual or organisation to create media content (music, article, video) that communicates marketing messages that attract attention and encourage its target audience to experience, interact and share information with their social networks (either online or offline) to meet a business objective. A corporate message on social media spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself [2]. This form of paid marketing is therefore an 7
  8. 8. earned media rather than paid media because of the degree of trust earned by those who share it. Social Media Advertising is gaining the attention of businesses and brands because of basic advantages which include; it's relatively lower costs, targeted advertising, measurement, personalised messages, and a great opportunity to drive traffic from leading social networking sites to business and brand's personalised platforms (or business websites). Statement of Problem: As with other countries around the world; social networks and blogs continue to dominate times spent online by users. In the United States, social networking accounts for nearly a quarter of total time spent on the Internet with nearly 4 in 5 active Internet users visiting social networks than they do on any other U.S. website [3]. Nigeria has an internet penetration of about 43.9 million representing a population that is 4 Million less the entire population of South Africa; a combined internet population of Egypt, South Africa, Morocco and Kenya [4]. The country also represents one of the fastest growing countries on Facebook, the world's largest Social Networking website with about 4,312,060 people in Nigeria [5]. While most businesses and top-level executives agree to the rise and rapid adoption of social media as a platform for communication and digital conversations in Nigeria, there's the usual reluctance of testing new ideas and understanding the impact of these platforms on brands. Some have adopted the basic online strategies of setting up adverts through mobile phones and major websites. According to InMobi 2011 report, Nigeria shows the fastest mobile advertising growth in mobile markets in Africa from February to May 2011 representing 2 of every 5 mobile ads across the continent [6]. 8
  9. 9. But beyond the ideas of push advertising, the online environment includes several distinct factors that engender brand loyalty. As consumers become more savvy about the Internet, the impact of their behaviour, perception and interactions will influence brand loyalty [7]. Social Media Marketing communication is beyond advertising on Facebook and Yahoo, it involves a lot more. People can instantaneously respond to businesses' offline tactics, online adverts, marketing policies and even rumors. The implications is not about when brands willl adopt online platforms, it is about how. The development, nurturing and maintenance of consumer brand trust on the internet needs to be integrated into companies‘ marketing plans and promotion mix, Fournier, S. and Yao, J. (1997) proposes it will become very important especially in the face of highly competitive markets with increasing unpredictability and decreasing product differentiation [8]. Research Objectives: Because of the wide acceptance of Social Media platforms and its ability to enhance communication and interaction both between brands and consumers on one hand, and among consumers, it has become imperative that today‘s brands especially in Nigeria take advantage of the opportunities that exist for constant communication, targeted advertising, low cost per lead, customer engagement and interaction across these platforms. Constant and consistent two-way communication will help brands not only create superior products or services but build long-term relationships with consumers. This increases brand equity and loyalty, which ultimately positively impacts the bottom line and the competitive edge and sustainability of the brand. In the light of the foregoing, the objectives of this Project include the following; i. To ascertain the online social media habits of prospective media content consumers 9
  10. 10. ii. To measure how their online activities influence brand perception iii. To measure the impact of their response to SMM messages iv. To measure the effectiveness of SMM and engagement campaigns on consumer perception v. To explore how Nigerian agencies are engaging their target audience vi. To examine their attitude towards messages received through SMM messages vii. To measure the degree of reliability of SMM messages Research Questions/ Hypothesis: The research is designed to test the following hypothesis which tends to propose the following concepts; H1 – People find social media advertising as a very useful channel in getting information about products and services. Social Media and online advertising is supported by strong analytic and targeted metrics such that adverts are seen by people who see the adverts as relevant to them. While it may be intrusive, it is expected that people who see online adverts should see them as relevant. H2 – It is opined that social media is a veritable tool to nurture Brand Loyalty With Social Media being unique through User-generated content (UGC) and two-way communication, it is a veritable tool for building Brand Loyalty. The 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study found that of the 60 percent of Americans who use social media, 93 percent believe companies should have a presence in social media. 85 percent of this population also believe a company should not only be present but also interact with its consumers via social media and 56 percent of users feel both a stronger connection with 10
  11. 11. and better served by companies when they can interact with them in a social media environment [9]. Steve Outing in his own book, Enabling Social Company opines that ―when companies listen to what the audience is saying—and build online venues that encourage consumers to express themselves, they can innovate faster and more intelligently.‖[10] H3 - Conversations going on in social media platforms have a great influence on consumer perception and buying behaviour With technology is now aiding Word-of-Mouth Marketing, digital conversations, peer comments, tweets, blog posts, and product reviews will have a huge impact on consumer behaviour. According to Heinze and Hu [11] and the theory of impression management, individuals can form impressions of organizations based on interactions with organizations‘ websites. While examining customers‘ attitudes toward company Web sites, Heinze and Hu evaluated the importance of competition and said that a company must maintain pace with its industry. It should incorporate features and technology that consumers deem important. Managers should focus on using the features that have the greatest effects on customer perceptions [12]. Significance of the study The significance of the study has various implications for different fields, analytics and marketing communication strategy employed by organisations. The study aims to determine the effectiveness for organisations and businesses using social media tools in reaching their target audience and to increase their bottom-line. It will also examine the importance of online reputation and the need for organisations to develop innovative approaches in reaching their target audience. This study will also ultimately conclude if social media helps organisations differentiate themselves in the market place. The significance of the study will have implications in the following areas; 11
  12. 12. 1. Spread The survey will assess the involvement of social media in the lives of different categories of the Nigerian populace. It will also affirm the rapid involvement of brands within the marketplace. The study will also highlight the disposition of people to social media marketing messages and the response of the sample population to advertising messages. 2. Traffic This is one of the more obvious ways of measuring social media benefits for brands. While social media evokes a community for conversations, it has tremendous potential for driving traffic for businesses with online portals, pages and website. Once businesses have official pages online, marketing helps drive traffic to their official website for further communication, marketing, they can also serve as platforms to promote sales and promotional campaigns. 3. Interaction The differentiating factor for social media platforms is the instantaneousness and the opportunity for brands to participate in social media two-way conversations. So many challenges can be solved through these means. It is also a valuable indicator of public perception and the impact of the product and marketing policies on the target market. Negative and de-marketing information can be corrected and influenced through these means. An engaged customer is a highly valuable one since interaction will reveal a lot more similitude of a market research. Interaction can be anything from leaving comments, to participating in support forums, to leaving customer reviews and ratings. 4. Sales As Nigeria gradually shifts toward e-commerce solutions, online payment and non- contact transactions, the study will reveal the perception of the population to online transactions, how the new cashless policy being proposed [13] is affecting them and the 12
  13. 13. prospects of whether the target audience can respond to marketing messages of products and services presented on social media platforms. 5. Lead Generation While most companies in Nigeria are not fully engaging in online transactions, marketing communication can be used to drive Leads/footprints for sales or events promotion. If peer-to-peer interaction on these platforms have a high degree of reliability or perceived to be respected, social media platforms serve as a potent platform to drive entry of new projects , advert campaigns with a resultant impact on the number of people eventually coming for the products, product sampling and event attendance. 6. Search Marketing As most search engines favour content from social media, the Search Engine Optimisation factor cannot be understated. Social media can be far more powerful in this regard than can be easily realised. With Google introducing new changes to its search algorithm to include social media and personalised history [14], Blog entries, product reviews and consumer experiences may outrank original company websites. A well written and optimised story / video / image on a site like Digg will generate a lot of traffic. 7. Brand metrics/Analytics One angle with which the significance of the study will bear on is the measurement of marketing efforts or marketing analytics. Unlike traditional media, social media and other digital media platforms are concise and precise on measurement. The direct measurement of digital marketing efforts is available on so many digital platforms and offer insight into consumers' response to social media marketing communication messages. 13
  14. 14. 8. PR The nature of public relations and reputation has changed, forever with the advent of social media. With the advent of social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter e.t.c.) giving people and organisations the power to respond to branding and marketing propositions and the attendant impact of blogs and other user-generated media. Since Search Engines have a powerful control on influencing consumer perception and opinions about products and services, what Search Engines tell them has a lot of impact on the brands. This study will have important implications for the distinct worlds of PR, Customer Service, and Marketing. References: [1]. "What is Social Media Marketing". Search Engine Land, 11 January 2012 http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-social-media-marketing [2]. "Seven Best Practices for Lead Generation on Social Media Networks" [3] Neilsen: State of the Media: Social Media Report: Q3 2011 [4] Mobile Africa Report 2011 (http://www.mobilemonday.net/reports/MobileAfrica_2011.pdf) [5] Social Bakers March update: http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/nigeria [6] Inmobi http://www.inmobi.com/press-releases/2011/07/18/african-mobile-advertising- market-grows-with-37-9-over-three-months-according-to-inmobi-mobile-insights-report- may-2011-edition/ [7]. Chow, S. and Holden, R. (1997), ―Toward an understanding of Loyalty: the moderating role of trust‖, Journal of Management Issues, Vol. 9, pp. 275-98. 14
  15. 15. [8]. Fournier, S. and Yao, J. (1997), ―Reviving brand loyalty: a re-conceptualization within the framework of consumer brand relationships‖, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Vol. 14, pp. 451-72. [9] Cone. (2008, September 25). Cone finds that Americans expect companies to have a presence in social media. Boston, MA: Author. Retrieved October 9, 2008, from http://www.coneinc.com/content1182 [10] Outing, S. (2007, September). Enabling the social company. Boulder, CO: Enthusiast Group LLC. [11] Heinze, N. & Hu, Q. (2006). The evolution of corporate web presence: A longitudinal study of large American companies. International Journal of Information Management, 26, 313-325. [12] Ibid. [13] Further Clarifications on Cash-less Lagos Project: http://www.cbn.gov.ng/cashless/ [14] Google SEO: Algorithm Changes - February 2012: http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2012/02/27/google- algorithm-changes-february-2012.aspx 15
  16. 16. Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature Social media will include all web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 and that allow the creation and exchange of user- generated content."[1] Social media is media for social interaction as a super-set beyond social communication. Enabled by ubiquitously accessible and scalable communication techniques, social media has substantially changed the way organizations, communities, and individuals communicate [2]. The strength of these platforms is owing to the fact that it enhances the consumers‘ ability to communicate with one another and subsequently limits the amount of control companies have over the content and dissemination of information about their brands [3]. Social Media Platforms Social Media platforms are online portals driven by technology and enhance the use, streaming and sharing of multimedia content (data, voice, and video). These platforms have become the fast growing 'virtual communities' in the emerging global village. The easy accessibility to anyone anywhere across the world with internet access makes it a potential marketplace where brands also come to promote their products and engage the target audience. Increased communication on social media platforms for organizations fosters brand awareness and often, improved customer service. Additionally, social media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for organizations to implement marketing campaigns. 16
  17. 17. Social Media platforms include Blogs, Social Networks, Newsgroups, Photo-sharing, Blog Aggregators, Micro-communities and Wikis. Some examples of these include; Blogs Perhaps the best known form of social media, blogs are web applications built as shared online journals where people can post daily entries of information: personal experiences, business, hobbies or pleasure. i. WordPress iii. Typepad ii. Blogger/BlogSpot iv. Movable Type Social Networks These sites allow people to build personal web pages and then connect with friends to share content and communication. i. Facebook v. Bebo ii. Google Plus vi. LinkedIn iii. MySpace iv. Hi5 17
  18. 18. Newsgroups/ Forums These are web applications built for online communities and promote discussion. They are built around specific topics, interests or location. Forums came about before the term ―social media‖ and are a powerful and popular element of online communities. i. Nairaland iii. Naijapals ii. Naijabestforum iv. Warriorforum Blog Aggregators/ Communities i. Vox vi. Blogged ii. BlogCatalog vii. B5Media iii. MyBlogLog viii. Afrigator iv. NetworkedBlogs v. Bloglines Content communities (multimedia) These are online communities which organise and share particular kinds of content. Most of them allow for people to upload, download and share different kind of content; music, video and photos. a. Video Sharing i. YouTube iii. Vimeo ii. Ustream iv. Hulu 18
  19. 19. b. Music Sharing i. iTunes ii. Napster iii. Notjustok c. Photo Sharing i. Flickr Micro communities Social networking platforms which allow small-sized blogging, where small amounts of content (‗updates‘) are distributed online. People can share and distribute among friends. i. Twitter vi. Jaiku ii. FriendFeed vii. Microblogs iii. Identi.ca viii. Tumblr iv. Plurk ix. Posterous v. Yammer Micromedia (Subset of micro communities, driven by multimedia) i. 12 seconds iii. Twitpic ii. Seesmic iv. Twitvid 19
  20. 20. v. Twitpic vii. Lifestream.fm vi. SocialThing Instant Messengers i. Black Berry Messenger iv. Skype ii. Whatsapp v. Google Chat iii. Yahoo Messenger The top three social media platforms include the following; Facebook: Facebook, an online social networking service is the world's largest and most used online community and website (January 2009, Compete.com) was launched in February 2004. The company is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. [4] and was founded by Mark Zuckerberg alongside his college roommates and fellow students; Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The Web site's membership was initially limited by the founders to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities before opening the platform up to high school students, and eventually anyone aged 13 and above [5] The Facebook online platform allows users to create personal profiles, own their own virtual spaces, invite and add others as friends, exchange messages, receive automatic 20
  21. 21. notification of friends' activities. These boutiques of technical functionalities were expansive enough to attract a wide variety of early adopters which later extended into friends, acquaintances and associates regardless of race, colour and gender. This online community has resulted in creating the largest online community with more than 800 million active users making it; if it were a country, the third largest in the world [6]. Social Media Marketing Communications is a major channel through which Facebook makes its money [7]. This source of revenue for Facebook evolved when businesses and brands found a place within this online communities; creating pages, pushing messages, pictures and videos to pre-defined target audience. It also allowed individuals to offer their products and services to the online community through social media advertising campaigns to sell their offerings through display, word and banner advertising. Microsoft which owns 1.3 % of Facebook ownership structure [8] is responsible for serving banner advertising, [9], [10]. It is reported that Facebook makes over $9 million per day from advertising [11]. YouTube: YouTube is a video-sharing website, founded by three former employees of PayPal (Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim) in February 2005[12]. It is built on a technology that allows users (individuals and organisations) to view, display and share a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos which users can upload, view and share videos [13]. As a result of this explosive growth, media corporations now use the platform in sharing content through a partnership programme; CBS, the BBC, VEVO, Hulu including Nigeria's Channels TV. The site grew rapidly, and in July 2006 the company announced that more 21
  22. 22. than 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every day, and that the site was receiving 100 million video views per day [14]. Google Inc. bought YouTube for US$1.65 billion the same year and started operations as a subsidiary of Google in November 2006 [15]. Social Media marketing through YouTube can either make use of the user-generated videos or through YouTube's Advertising platform. This advertising platform is managed by Google through its AdSense. An example of user generated videos was used for building awareness for D'Banj's 'Oliver Twist' album. [16] LinkedIn: This is a business-related social networking site. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003 [17]. It is mainly used for professional networking and extending into a recruitment platform. With LinkedIn reporting more than 135 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories. [18, 19]. The site is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Russian, Turkish and Japanese and has over 21.4 million monthly unique U.S. visitors and 47.6 million globally [20]. Users use it to connect with friends and professional colleagues, to find jobs, business opportunities, employers now use it to find prospective employers and prospective employees can establish their profiles, Curriculum Vitae, experience and competence on the website. Web applications are increasingly being used to develop platforms that use LinkedIn for recruitment and selection for employment by organisations and are gaining wide adoption [21]. The impacts of communication on these platforms have huge impact on brands and consumer perception. In Gillin's Book, The New Influencers, he opined that ‗‗Conventional marketing wisdom has long held that a dis-satisfied customer tells ten people. But that is out of date. In the new age of social media, he or she has the tools to tell 10 million‘‘ (p. 4) consumers virtually overnight [22]. Social media is increasingly playing an important role in 22
  23. 23. how consumers search, research, and share information about brands and products. In fact 60 percent of consumers researching products through multiple online sources learned about a specific brand or retailer through social networking sites. Active social media users are more likely to read product reviews online, and 3 out of 5 create their own reviews of products and services. Women are more likely than men to tell others about products that they like (81% of females vs. 72% of males) [23]. Overall, consumer- generated reviews and product ratings are the most preferred sources of product information among social media users [24]. According to a research conducted by Nielsen, a global research firm, it gave empirical evidence that social media is increasingly a platform consumers use to express their loyalty to their favourite brands and products, and many seek to reap benefits from brands for helping promote their products. Among those who share their brand experiences through social media, at least 41 percent say they do so to receive discounts [25]. It is not whether businesses and organisations will evolve to meet these challenges, it is how. This is because the primary customers of their businesses, the customers are already evolving in their habits and attitudes and it will affect businesses. In the United States, most people rely on various types of social media websites as much as company websites for product and brand information. Seven out of ten (70%) consumers have visited social media websites such as message boards, social networking sites, and blogs to get information. Further, nearly half (49%) of these consumers made a purchase decision based on what they gathered [26]. References: [1] Kaplan, Andreas M.; Michael Haenlein (2010). "Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media". Business Horizons 53 (1): 59–68. 23
  24. 24. [2] Kietzmann, Jan H.; Kris Hermkens, Ian P. McCarthy, and Bruno S. Silvestre (2011). "Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media". Business Horizons P.54 [3] Christopher Vollmer and Geoffrey Precourt (2008). Always on: Advertising, marketing, and media in an era of consumer control. New York: McGraw-Hill [4] Eldon, Eric, "2008 Growth Puts Facebook in Better Position to Make Money" - December 18, 2008) [5] www.wikipedia.com [6] Socialnomics Report http://www.socialnomics.net/category/statistics/. [7] "Facebook's Ad Revenue Hit $1.86B for 2010"January 17, 2011 by Jolie O'Dell [8] Kirkpatrick, David (2010). The Facebook effect: the inside story of the company that is connecting the world. New York: Simon & Schuster [9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_banner [10] "Product Overview FAQ: Facebook Ads". March 10, 2008 [11] http://www.thesocialmediatoday.com/how-much-revenue-does-facebook-make-per- day/ [12] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YouTube#cite_note-usatoday-5 [13] (Hopkins, Jim (October 11, 2006). "Surprise! There's a third YouTube co-founder". USA Today. Retrieved November 29, 2008) [14] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YouTube#cite_note-13 [15] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YouTube 24
  25. 25. [16] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LinkedIn#cite_note-3 [17] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LinkedIn#cite_note-4 [18] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LinkedIn#cite_note-5 [19] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantcast [20] www.quantcast.com/linkedin.com. December 17, 2010. [21] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linked_in [22] Gillin, P. (2007). The new influencers: A marketer‘s guide to the new social media. Sanger, CA: Quill Driver Books [23] Ibid. [24] How Social Media Impacts Brand Marketing October 14, 2011, Nielsenwire http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/consumer/how-social-media-impacts-brand- marketing/ [25] Ibid. [26] The Impact of Social Media on Purchasing Behaviour, United States 2008 Volume One: Initial Findings, United States 2008 25
  26. 26. Chapter 3: Research Methodology A quantitative and qualitative research is designed to determine Nigerian consumer's perception towards organizations that use social media. Through this study a safe conclusion can be arrived at on the involvement of brands on social media. This research will also help organizations determine the potency of their social media campaigns and to anticipate the response of their target audience. Sample Selection The research will be conducted using an online survey. The survey will be designed using an online survey platform, Google Docs. Promotion and Publicity for the survey will be through online influencers and other social media platforms. Everyone receiving the information will be asked to fill the survey and also broadcast the message. i.e. take the survey, pass it along and ask others to complete it. This will result in a non-random, convenient, self-selected sample population. Data Collection Method The survey instrument itself will include 20 close-ended questions. The instrument will probe consumers‘ awareness, behaviour, opinions and perception toward social media platforms and how they want organizations to interact with them. The survey is available for review via http://www.yrn.me/4nw or https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFZLRUdPRUpBa3RkRHk2a1U 26
  27. 27. 1XzM4WHc6MQ&theme=0AX42CRMsmRFbUy1mYWM4NjFhMS1kMGY2LTRjODMtOGNj Ni02YjVjYmI0NGNiMDQ&ifq. A copy of the survey instrument can be found in Appendix A. Data Analysis Method The filled online form, which is automatically collated in a tabular form. This is then analysed using www.docs.google.com. The analysis will help us determine frequencies and percentages of the responses. The analysis will reveal and help evaluate the Nigerian consumer attitudes and behaviours towards brands that use or participate in digital conversation. This research will also determine if consumers want organizations to use social media to communicate with them and how they perceive organisations already using the platforms. The results from this four-part research, alongside conclusions and recommendations are found in the next chapter. References [1] Google Docs https://docs.google.com 27
  28. 28. Chapter 4: Data Presentation and Analysis A total of 164 respondents were collated between February 12 and March 4 2012. The results of the survey was collated and re-presented in Pie and Bar charts using the same online platform. Each hypothesis was tested and the findings were as follows; H1 – It is expected that people find social media advertising as a very useful channel in getting information about products and services. In the survey completed by Nigerian Consumers, 47% of the respondents say they have resonded to online advertsements displayed by organisations or individuals about products and services. Figure 1: Pie Chart showing if respondents respond to online advertisement (%) H1 – Supported 28
  29. 29. H2 – It is opined that social media is a veritable tool to nurture brand loyalty During the survey, 57% of the respondents say they are registered fans or followers in support of causes, brands, people or businesses on Facebook. Figure 2: Pie Chart showing respondents' responses to their membership of Brands' social pages (%) In another question proposed in the survey, 41% of the respondents say they are 'fans' because they want to show Solidarity or loyalty to the brands they 'like' ; 27% of the respondents say they are 'opt-in' fans on Social Media to see if the businesses will offer some kind of post-purchase or customer service support for their products or services Figure 3: Bar Chart showing respondents' responses to their motives for enlisting on Social Media pages (%) 29
  30. 30. while 16% of the respondents say they are hoping to get some kind of freebies/discount; another 19% say they follow/'like' brands to stay up-to-date with information and news coming directly from the company. 41% of the respondents say they 'like'/follow brands on social media to show solidarity. H2 - Supported H3 - Conversations going on in social media platforms have a great influence on consumer perception and buying behaviour Of the Nigerian Social Media consumers surveyed, 82% of the respondents say they have posted, commented and broadcast their experiences about a brand on Social Media platforms. Figure 4: Bar Chart showing their propensity to share brand experiences (%) 30
  31. 31. Figure 5: Bar Chart showing respondents' motive for sharing brand experiences (%) In another question exploring why respondents share brand experiences on social media, 31% of the responents say they do that to protect others from having the same experiences. Another 31% of the responents also said they share brand/product experiences to bond with others having the same experiences. About 15% however hope that the company responds/reacts to their feedback. These experience sharing however has effects on the purchasing behaviour of their peers. In another question proposed to test this hypothesis, more than 70% of the respondents said the opinions, experiences tweets and comments of others on social media is somewhat significant, significant and very significant to their purchasing decisions. 31
  32. 32. Figure 6: Bar Chart showing the significance of others' experiences on their buying decision (%) 69% of the respondents also say they trust the recommendation of others through their comments on forums, status updates and tweets ahead of company websites. Figure 7: Bar Chart showing which information platforms influence their buying decision on brands (%) 32
  33. 33. This also agrees with the results of Nielsen‘s Global Online Survey which established that when researching products, social media users are likely to trust the recommendations of their friends and family most [1]. It also opined that consumer feedback on social media has a significant role to play in influencing the perception of brands. While 48% of the respondents say they will eagerly commend a good job on social media, 31% say they will broadcast poor product experiences in order to bond with others with the same issues. 31% also say they write reviews, make public digital complaints so as to protect others from experiencing the same. The Nielsen Report also concluded that nearly 1 in 4 say they share their negative experiences to ―punish'' companies [2]. In another report, it was demonstrated that consumers trust their friends and peers more than anyone else when it comes to making a purchase decision[3]. This type of peer recommendation is passed along as earned media (advertising that is passed along or shared among/to friends and beyond) H3 - Supported Other general findings from the research include the following; A. Gender Distribution: 62% of the respondents were Male and 38% are Female. There were more males than females among the respondents. 33
  34. 34. Figure 8: Pie Chart showing gender ratio of the respondents (%) This outcome agrees with a report from Social Bakers (Pie Chart above) which also conducted an analysis of all Nigerians on Facebook and opines that there are more males (68%) than females (32%) on Facebook, which is Nigeria's most widely used Social network [4]. Figure 9: Doughnut Chart showing the gender of the respondents (%) from Social Bakers Analytics 34
  35. 35. B: Age Distribution The survey revealed that the 30 - 39 age bracket accounts for about 40% of the respondents. This also agrees with the report from Social Bakers which puts the most active users of Facebook between the ages of 18 and 24(36%); and between 25 and 34(35%) [5]. Figure 10: Bar Chart showing the age range of the respondents (%) C : Income Distribution The survey also revealed that about 24% of the respondents earn between 2,000,001 and 5,000,000 million naira annually. Respondents with income less than 250,000 per annum represents 22% of the sample size. 35
  36. 36. Figure 11: Bar Chart showing the age range of the respondents (%) from Social Bakers Analytics Figure 12: Bar Chart showing income range of the respondents (%) 36
  37. 37. D: Popular Social Media Platforms 99% of the respondents say they have a profile on Facebook. Out of all the different social media platforms existing, almost all the respondents use Facebook. Thisaffirms the popularity of the platform in Nigeria. Social Bakers Analytics puts the number of Nigerians on Facebook at 4.3 million [6]. Figure 13: Bar Chart showing social presence of the respondents (%) E: Time Spent Online Figure 14: Pie Chart showing daily hours spent online by respondents (%) 37
  38. 38. Figure 15: Pie Chart showing daily hours spent on social media platforms by respondents (%) 56% of the respondents say they use Social Media to find and share information about brands and products.  To keep in touch with friends and family.   88%  To meet new people and share my experiences about life.   49%  To make professional and business contacts (gaining leads,members,customers)   48%  To share photos, videos, music and play games.   34% 38
  39. 39.  To find information and share feedback about brands and products.   56%  To promote a business or cause   43%  To search for jobs and other available opportunities   48% Figure 16: Pie Chart showing why respondents joined social networks (%) F: Device Accessibility 78% of the respondents say they access social networking platforms through their mobile phones Figure 17: Pie Chart showing why respondents joined social networks (%) This agrees with the Inmobi report which established that Nigeria shows the fastest mobile growth in mobile markets in Africa from February to May 2011 representing 2 of every 5 mobile ads across the continent [7]. G: Interaction with Online adverts 73% of the respondents say they have at one time responded to online adverts. 39
  40. 40. Figure 18: Pie Chart showing if the respondents have ever responded to online advertisements (%) These kinds of responses may include following a link, clicking a 'like' button, making a purchase, phone call, taking part in a competition, attending an event e.t.c. Over 90% of the respondents say they have found these online adverts somewhat useful (45%), very useful (46%) and love adverts (2%) on social media platforms. Figure 19: Pie Chart showing how respondents feel about online advertising (%) 40
  41. 41. References: 1. Nielsen report: http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/consumer/how-social-media- impacts-brand-marketing/) 2. Ibid. 3. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/consumer/global-advertising- consumers-trust-real-friends-and-virtual-strangers-the-most/ 4. Nigeria Facebook Statistics: http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/nigeria 5. Ibid. 6. http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/nigeria 7. Inmobi http://www.inmobi.com/press-releases/2011/07/18/african-mobile-advertising- market-grows-with-37-9-over-three-months-according-to-inmobi-mobile-insights-report- may-2011-edition/ 41
  42. 42. Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendation Social Media has created a powerful platform for consumer engagement. It has become a platform to turn a prospective consumer into a volunteer marketing army. It is also however a nightmare for cognitive dissonace, an unsatisfied customer can do more harm to a brand in seconds than it was ever possible before. This report tells us how much more power the consumers have in influencing a brand/prduct perception. Businesses will need to stay at the top of their game and improve the quality of products and services or their consumers will fight back. The social media space also presents a basket of customer opinions, perceptions and customer feedback. Businesses can reap a lot of user opinions or preliminary research for products/services in order to find suggestions, core values and propositions that can satisfy the cutomers' needs. Some businesses are still hesitating and some others are not sure how to aproach the ever dnamic worls of social media. If your business isn't creating dedicated online experiences for mobile devices and social network integration, you might be looking over a tremendous opportunity to connect with consumers. As Brian Solis, a foremost Social Media enthusiast opined in his book, The End of Business as Usual, '' Social media democratized information and empowered consumers to take control of not only their online experiences but also those in the real world. As a result, social media is changing how customers shop, refer products and services, and ultimately make decisions. The relationship between customers and business is changing and will continue to evolve as new media permeates our culture and society'' [1]. Social Media as a form of marketing will present a whole new phase challenges. It will require businesses to develop their marketing strategy genuine relationship building. Some businesses have jumped into the uncharted world and they are raising ambassadors and advocates for brands through social media. They are increasingly 42
  43. 43. recruiting their fans and followers to spread word-of-mouth recommendations about their products and services, and they are tapping into the large youth market. It wil be great to see how things pan out. The marriage between social media and technology is fundamentally shifting the way business is done and businesses that plan to stay for a long time need to move - very fast and strategically too. Twenty years ago, it was the age of mass media; one-way massive broadcast, massive budgets, and not so massive ROI analysis. If you happen to be dissatisfied with a company's product or business practices, you'd probably stop buying from them. You might write an angry letter. You might even tell your friends and family not to patronize that business. But that was then; the game has changed, media is becoming more personal and the ROI is noew a common requisition in advertising budgets. If you are angry with a company, product or personality, the tools are there an the world is waiting to listen. The only limit is our creativiy and how far we want to go. Refrences: [1] The End of Business as Usual, Brian Solis 43
  44. 44. Appendix A: Online Customer Service Survey: This is a simple social customer survey. It involves simple and straight forward questions to highlight your habits, preferences and response to the emergence of business brands on Social Media platforms. Your honest and frank response is craved. It is designed not to waste your time. Social Media Channels include: Social Media Networks, Blogs, Forums, Microbloggers, Instant Messengers, Multimedia (Voice, Data, Music and Video) Sharing Online Platforms, Newsgroups and Aggregators. Questionnaire: A: Personal Data: 1. Please specify your gender a. Male b. Female 2. Please specify your age bracket a. Under 18 years b. 18 - 25 c. 26 - 29 d. 30 - 39 e. 40 - 49 f. 50 + above 44
  45. 45. 3. Please specify your marital status a. Single b. Married c. Divorced 4. Please specify your income bracket a. Less than NGN 250,000 annually b. NGN 250,001 to NGN500, 000 annually c. NGN 500,001 to NGN 1,000,000 annually d. NGN 1,000,001 to NGN 2,000,000 annually e. NGN 2,000,001 to NGN 5,000,000 annually f. More than NGN 5,000,000 annually B: Awareness 5. Please select all social networks for which you have created a personal profile (Select all that apply) a. Facebook b. Twitter c. LinkedIn d. MySpace e. Any online forum f. Other 45
  46. 46. 6. How many hours do you spend online each day? a. 0-3 hours b. 4 - 9 hours c. 10 - 15 hours d. 16 - 24 hours 7. How many hours do you spend on social networks per day? a. 0-3 hours b. 4 - 9 hours c. 10 - 15 hours d. 16 - 24 hours 8. Why do you use an online social network? Select all answers that apply. Please select all that apply. a. To keep in touch with friends and family. b. To meet new people and share experiences about life c. To make professional and business contacts (gaining leads, members, customers) d. To share photos, videos, music and play games. e. To find information and share feedback about brands and products. f. To promote a business or cause g. To search for jobs and other available opportunities 46
  47. 47. 9. How many friends do you have on your primary social network a. 1 - 500 b. 501 - 1000 c. 1001 - 2500 d. 2501 - 5000 10. How do you access Social Media Platforms? a. Desktop Computer b. Laptop Computer c. Tablets (iPad, Galaxy Tab and others) d. Mobile Phones e. I use a cafe f. Other Perception 11. Have you ever responded to an online advertisement? a. Yes b. No 12. How do you feel about advertising on social networks? a. Very annoying 47
  48. 48. b. Somewhat annoying c. Somewhat annoying d. Somewhat useful e. Very useful f. Interesting 13. Have you ever purchased a product or service based on an advertisement on a social network? c. Yes d. No 14. Do you use social media in an official business or professional capacity? a. Yes b. No 15. Are you a member of a fan page for a brand or product on Facebook? a. Yes b. No 16. Why do 'like' brands on Facebook? a. To show solidarity b. To try and see it they can solve a challenge you have (Customer service) 48
  49. 49. c. To be updates on latest news d. Discounts/freebies e. I don't know f. To open communication lines 17. Where do you go to as a preferred source for information about products/services you want to buy? a. Company's website b. Newspapers c. Send a mail to the Company d. Blogs and Forums e. Other Social Networks ( Facebook, Twitter) f. I consult Google first 18. Which has more influence on your perception of people, products and places online? a. Online Adverts b. Company/Brand Social Pages c. Company Websites d. Recommendation of others (forums, status updates, tweets) e. They all don't matter 49
  50. 50. 19. Do you share your experiences and perception of people/brands/products/services online? a. No b. Yes 20. Why do you share your brand experiences on Social Media a. To feel empowered b. To protect others c. To commend a good job d. To bond with others with the same experiences e. Expect the company to react/respond f. To punish the company 50

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