Social Technigraphic Profiles of Students at University of Pécs

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This is an MA dissertation of Gergő Molnár, former student at University of Pécs, Hungary.

Please do not forget the referencing if you would like to cite any part of this document!

Authors website: http://www.molnargergo.hu

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Social Technigraphic Profiles of Students at University of Pécs

  1. 1. DISSERTATIONSZAKDOLGOZAT Gergő Molnár 2011
  2. 2. Dissertation Social Technographics Profiles of Students at University of Pécs By Gergő MolnárInstructor: Dr. Krisztián SzűcsUniversity of PécsFaculty of Business and EconomicsBusiness Degree Programmes in EnglishMaster of Sciences in International Business14 Dec 2011
  3. 3. Executive SummaryIn the last few years the Internet changed people’s life and have became a dailyroutine; the part of everyday life. This dissertation provides an insight in socialmedia user habits of students’ who study at University of Pécs. With theappearance of Web 2.0 and Social Media, user habits have changed generally.People use the Internet for communicating, entertaining, purchasing,consuming, selling, gathering information, and further activities. Businessesuse social media for marketing purposes. They publish corporate blogs, andthey have presence in several social media services, instead of get to knowtarget audience and build a relationship based on which context are they able toreach. To help businesses, Forrester identified social computing profilesaccording to the participation level of users. Author of dissertation haveadapted Social Technographics Profiles for students at University of Pécs inorder to know how actively students participate in social computing activities.Although engage students is difficult because of the general lack of brandloyalty, according to the results they can be targeted in an effective way bylocal companies or business.
  4. 4. AcknowledgementI would like to express thank my supervisor Dr. Krisztián Szűcs who gave medirect instructions about writing my thesis.Since this is my master dissertation and I am hopefully going to graduate inJanuary I would like to denote my gratitude to my former lecturers who taughtme on the master and bachelor program.Above all I would like to say a big THANK my family for everything I havegot in my life: the support, the patience, the opportunity for further educationand many things.
  5. 5. Table of ContentList of Figures ......................................................................................................iIntroduction ......................................................................................................... 1Literature Review ................................................................................................ 3 Social Media & Web 2.0 ................................................................................. 3 Social Technographics Ladder ...................................................................... 14 Changing User Habits ................................................................................... 22Research methodology ...................................................................................... 32 Primary and secondary data .......................................................................... 32 Questionnaire Design .................................................................................... 34 Sampling ....................................................................................................... 34 Pilot study ..................................................................................................... 35 Field work ..................................................................................................... 36 Limitations .................................................................................................... 36Data Analysis and Findings .............................................................................. 37 Demographic data ......................................................................................... 37 How do students use social media ................................................................ 38 Social Technographic Ladder ....................................................................... 41Final Conclusion ............................................................................................... 44References ......................................................................................................... 46
  6. 6. List of Figures1: Types of bloggers 82: Motivations of bloggers 93: Social Technographics Ladder 164: The new communications paradigm 225: The loop of needs 246: Hierarchy of needs in online communities 257: The gender of respondent students 378: The age of respondent students 389: Spent time on social network sites 3810: Which device do students use to browse social network sites 3911: Social network sites by visit frequency 4012: Social Media profiles of students at University of Pécs (sorted individuallyby students) 4113: Social Media profiles of students at University of Pécs 4214: Social Technographic Profiles of European users (18-24 years) 4315: Social Technographic Profile rates at University of Pécs 44 i
  7. 7. IntroductionTitleThe proposed title of the dissertation is Social Technographic Profiles ofStudents at University of Pécs. The present dissertation research was conductedin order to design the Social Technographics Ladder in reference to thestudents of our university. The dissertation tries to give a picture aboutstudents’ online social behaviour, and their social computing profiles.Research objectives1. AIM – Identify Students’ Social Media Usage• To determine Who are the users?• To determine Which social network sites do they use?• To determine How much time do they spend on social network sites?2. AIM - To determine how students form groups according to Social Technographics Ladder• To determine How do they participate in social activities?Structure of ContentThe main parts of the dissertation are the followings below:  Chapter 1 In the first chapter is the introduction the topic and the field briefly. In the chapter the problem, the aims of the dissertation and the hypothesis are determined.  Chapter 2 In Chapter 2 author presents the literature review of the research. This chapter is divided into three parts:  Describe the relationship between social media and web 2.0; gives an exact picture of the possibilities in social media 1
  8. 8.  Describe what Social Technographics Ladder is and introduce social profiles  In the third part author introduces how social behaviour of young adults and students changed in online environment due to the spread of social media services Chapter 3 In the third chapter research methodology will be introduced: the procedure of research; the design and planning processes; and the execution of my research. Chapter 4 This chapter is to present and analyse the research results and collected data. Chapter 5 In the last chapter of the dissertation author describe the conclusion. 2
  9. 9. Literature ReviewSocial Media & Web 2.0As Constantinides and Fountain suggest (2007) people often use the two terms‘Social Media’ and ‘Web 2.0’ interchangeable. However there is a slightoverlap, professionals say Web 2.0 means the new web-based applications andSocial Media analyzes these Web 2.0 applications in social aspect. Web 2.0and social media are slowly attracting attention and yet there is no definition ofthese two terms that is enjoying general academic acceptance. (Karger andQuan, 2005; Biever, 2006)However there is still no comprehensively accepted definition of the Web 2.0and organized research that can prove its importance and the special effects onthe marketing practice, it is crucial for marketers and professionals to take intoconsideration Web 2.0 as a challenge or as a new type of commercial strategy(Constantinides and Fountain, 2007).As Madden and Fox (2007) dissert Web 2.0 has been used to signify paradigmshift from a broadcast, or information transmission, model of the web to a moresocial model that makes communication much easier and cooperation throughits platforms.Besides web 2.0 transforms peoples’ individual and group actions, has alsoaffected the balance of forces between corporations in the marketplace. Hencethe migration of power from businesses to customers is observable. Nowadayscustomers can provide such information to the community that were notaccessible before, so basically customers shape the web (Constantinides andFountain, 2007).Many authors tried to give the definition, but academics have always foundsomething that was not correct. Here are some definitions from differentauthors:“Web 2.0 is a collection of open-source, interactive and user-controlled onlineapplications expanding the experiences, knowledge and market power of theusers as participants in business and social processes. Web 2.0 applicationssupport the creation of informal users ’ networks facilitating the flow of ideasand knowledge by allowing the efficient generation, dissemination, sharing and 3
  10. 10. editing / refining of informational content” (Constantinides and Fountain, 2007p.232-233)“Web 2.0 is both a usage and a technology paradigm. It’s a collection oftechnologies, business strategies, and social trends.” (Murugesan, 2007 p.34)And finally here are the competencies according to Tim O’Reilly (2005).O’Reilly has summarized the main features of a Web 2.0 service:  “Services, not packaged software, with cost-effective scalability  Control over unique, hard-to-recreate data sources that get richer as more people use them  Trusting users as co-developers  Harnessing collective intelligence  Leveraging the long tail through customer self-service  Software above the level of a single device  Lightweight user interfaces, development models, AND business models.”Several professionals (O’ Reilly, 2005; Daconta et al., 2003) have determinedand analysed the main elements of Web 2.0 web-services. Based on theirresearches, Constantinides and Fountain have identified the key innovativeelements that typify these new Web 2.0 applications. Authors summarized asthe three main principles of Web 2.0:  “1. Focus on service-based, simple and open-source solutions in the form of online applications.  2. Continuous and incremental application development requiring the participation and interaction of users in new ways: not only ‘consuming’ but also contributing, reviewing and editing content.  3. New service-based business models and new opportunities for reaching small individual customers with low-volume products.” (Constantinides and Fountain, 2007 p.235) 4
  11. 11. As Cormode and Krishnamurthy (2008) described some relevant and importantsite features that have to be included by websites or services that labelled themas “Web 2.0” web-service:  “Users are first class entities in the structure  The ability to form connections between users (via links)  The ability to post content in many forms: photos, videos, blogs, comments and ratings  Other more technical features, including a public API to allow third-party enhancements and “mash-ups”. (Cormode and Krishnamurthy, 2008 p.6)Giving an exact definition of social media is complicated because manyprofessionals and academics describe the term in a different way. There areseveral approaches that will be presented.Constantinides and Fountain (2007) states social media has the power to affecthow users communicate, make decisions in the social community and even inreal life, who they learn and entertain themselves or how and whom theyconnect on the social web.Blackshaw and Nazzaro (2006 p.2) draw this phenomenon as the new onlinemedia that ‘‘describes a variety of new sources of online information that arecreated, initiated, circulated and used by consumers intent on educating eachother about products, brands, services, personalities, and issues’’.According to Gunelius (2010 p.10), social media “are the online publishing andcommunication tools, sites and destinations of Web 2.0 that are rooted inconversations, engagement and participation.”Gillin (2007) says the social media provides a brand new phenomenon,becoming the new source that encourages creativity, influence andempowerment of consumers.In the traditional marketing and media paradigm, the key components of thepromotional mix are coordinated to develop an integrated marketingcommunications strategy, and the content, frequency, timing and place ofcommunications are allocated by the advertiser organization and theadvertising agency or Public Relations Company. Social media is a compound 5
  12. 12. element of the promotion mix because it mixes characteristics of traditionalintegrated marketing communications tools (business-to-customer) with a moreeffective form of word-of-mouth (customer-to-customer) (Mangold & Faulds,2009).As social media services support the connectivity, the number of subscribers tothese services is continuously increasing, and these users are spending the mostof their time online engaged in social media activities (M2PressWIRE, 2010).CityVille on Facebook that was developed by Zynga reached 100 million usersworldwide in 43 days (GKIeNET, 2009). The greatest advantage of socialmedia it enables customers to talk to another one. This is an extended versionof traditional word-of-mouth communication (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Thesocial networking phenomenon is infecting the business life such as the privatelife. Generally the most of business software developers add new features totheir core products to provide more connected working processes forcompanies and institutions (M2PressWIRE, 2010).According to Mayfield’s (2008) characteristics, social media is much morecomprehensible. The main characteristics of this new media are the followings:  Participation: social media encourages users who are interested in a given topic to contribute and give feedback contributions and feedback from everyone who is interested. Social media obscures the broad between audience and media.  Openness: However, sometimes it occurs that the content is protected by password, social media services support online voting, comments and the sharing of information, so most of them are able to giving feedback through them.  Conversation: In front of the traditional approach of media when the content is simply provided to the audience, social media is a two way communication channel  Community: Due to social media, customers can form communities and communicate each other quickly. These communities share information 6
  13. 13. and different kind of contents that is related to their common interests, such as hobbies, a political issue or a favourite athlete and so on.  Connectedness: Social media services mostly increase accordingly their connectedness, which means how many peers are connecting to each other and how frequently they sharing content, sending messages, or commenting.According to Constantinides and Fountain’s (2007) classification, social mediais divided into five categories that are based on the types of social mediaapplication:  Blogs: Blogs are known as also Web Logs. Blogs are often combined with podcasts, that is, digital audio or video that can be streamed or downloaded to portable devices.  Social networks: These are the most known and most increasing category of Web 2.0 applications. Social network applications give users the chance to build personal websites that can be viewed by other users.  (Content) Communities: Websites organising and sharing different types of content.  Forums/bulleting-boards: On these sites visitors can share and exchange ideas and information about their fields of interests.  Content aggregators: These applications allow users to collect the web content accordingly their own interests. These applications are known as Real Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary (RSS).BlogsAccording to Reuben (2008), blogs are a new form of online journal. Blogs canbe edited by only one or even several authors. In most cases visitors can leavecomments on blogs post as a response for the discussed topic. Chiang andHsieh (2011) determine the term of blog as a continuously edited and managedwebsite whose main purpose is recording separate articles and post them in a 7
  14. 14. time line. Saxton (2008), studying blogs, notes that most blogs are informationfilters with the author’s comment.Blogs and podcast are powerful marketing tools. The influence power of blogsis increasing just as the audience and reader-basis (Gillin, 2007).As Dave White (2008) states bloggers are heterogeneous people they can besegmented only by their type of blogs. White determines three main types ofblogs. These are personal, professional and corporate blogs. However millionsof people write about their everyday life and using blogs just as a public diary,personal blogs are moderately popular today. In general, the most visited blogcategory is professional blogs. These blogs are written in specific topic likefootball, engineering, biology, or gastronomy. By a corporate blog, companiesare allowed to write and communicate in more informal style than they havedone it in traditional newsletters and brochures that let them become a morehuman organization (Mayfield, 2008). Figure 1: Types of bloggers Source: Technorati (2008)Cox (2008) suggests three basic principles for companies if they would like toapply outside bloggers:  “Be aware. Corporate managers should find and monitor influential blogs related to their companies and industries.  Engage. Establish relationships with independent bloggers when possible.  Respond quickly and appropriately”. (Cox et al., 2008 p.7) 8
  15. 15. The different kind of unique characteristics distinguish blogs from otherelectronic media and communication tools. Over against short message service,multimedia message service or email, blogs can be linked each other thusvisitors can jump from post to post. These linked blogs can allow visitors andreaders to make relationships or form a community. The most important blogcharacteristics are links and trackbacks, opportunity to leave comments andsubscriptions via Really Simple Syndication (RSS) (Mayfield, 2008).Year by year increasing influence of bloggers (Technorati, 2011) causedrapidly growing reader engagement. To get more of frequently visiting readers,bloggers have to provide quality content. This is not so simple because readersspend less than two minutes to read a blog. This time in most cases not enoughto engage visitors and transform them frequently readers. (Chen et al., 2010)Information creating and consuming by bloggers basically origin twobehavioural orientations of blogging: information search and social interaction(Huang et al., 2007). Figure 2: Motivations of bloggers Source: Huang et al. (2007) 9
  16. 16. Social NetworksThe different kind of social network sites provide several technologicalsolutions to support the wide range of users’ perceptions according to theirinterests and practises (Ellison and Boyd, 2008). Social networking is onecharacteristic type of social media, where individual users can share their ideas,interests, join online communities or can meet people with similar personality(Reuben, 2008).Ellison and Boyd (2008) defined social network sites as web-based servicesthat allow individuals to 1. “Construct profile that can be public, semi-public or private within a bounded system, 2. Edit a list of other users with whom they share a connection, 3. View and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.” (Ellison and Boyd, 2008 p.217)As Ellison and Boyd (2008) states people often use the terms “social networksite” and “social networking sites” interchangeably that is not wrong, but theysuggest using “network” instead of “networking”. As they have described, theterm “networking” means literally relationship initiation, often betweenstrangers. However networking is possible on these sites, people usually usethem to make connection with friends.In most social network site, people are prompted to inviting real-world contactsand friends to join the social network (Mayfield, 2008). The label ofconnection is varying on social network sites. The most popular labels areFriends, Contacts, or Fans. On many social site is needed a bi-directionalrelationship confirmation in order to avoid spamming. (Ellison and Boyd,2008)Businesses are able to talk to their consumers or any external actors throughsocial network sites. They can promote, recruit, building brands on theseplatforms (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Until many social network sites’ goal tospread and increase user base exponentially, there are some platforms thattarget a niche market and seek narrower audiences (Mayfield, 2008). Socialnetwork sites differ greatly in their user base and most features. Some of them 10
  17. 17. are able to send instant messages, upload videos, or write a blog inside theplatform (Ellison and Boyd, 2008).Facebook is the most popular social networking site that allows people to makeconnections with friends, colleagues, classmates or build businessrelationships. Most of people use Facebook to stay connected with theirfriends, upload photos and videos of their lives, share links and different kindof content, and just get more information about new people who they met.Facebook was founded by Harvard students and initially it was made theirclassmates. Later on, Facebook was expanded to any other schools and anyonewho are older than 13 (Reuben, 2008).Facebook consists of five main components: profile pages, status updates,groups (schools, interests, and companies), applications and fan pages(Reuben, 2008). According to GKIeNET’s research (2011), 3.5 millionHungarian users have a Facebook profile that is 85% of Hungarians withInternet access and 42% of the Hungarian population. One of Facebook’s keysuccess factors is the “open-up” system that allows anyone to developapplications and run them on the Facebook platform without any charging fee.Due to this move, users can play chess, managing online farms, restaurants,compete with each other, send gift cards and they have much more possibilitiesthat can engage people (Mayfield, 2008).Micro-blogging is an online platform that mixes the features of instantmessaging, blogging and social networking. Twitter allows users to post shortstatus updates within 140 characters (Reuben, 2008) instantly to differentsocial media platforms (Mayfield, 2008). Twitter users can “follow” theirfriends, send messages directly, retweet their updates, publicly reply, or postquestions and comments as a status update (Reuben, 2008).Another social networking site is LinkedIn that allows people to buildrelationships with professionals and make business connections (Mayfield,2008). According to SocialTimes’ statistics (2011), until November of 2011,174 266 people have registered a profile on LinkedIn.The Hungarian social networking site, iWiW has lost continuously their usersin the past few years. After spreading of Facebook in Hungary, iWiW’s visitorsper day ratio started falling dramatically. Its developers tried to copy someFacebook features, but this movement was not successful. 11
  18. 18. Content CommunitiesAccording to Mayfield (2008), content communities are a bit similar to socialnetworks. Users have to register or sign up; they can log in to the site and makeconnections with friends. The main difference between social networking sitesand content communities is people make the content and rate it, but on socialnetworking sites users usually just share the content (Mayfield, 2008).Constatinides and Fountain (2008) identifies basically four types of contentcommunities:  Video-sharing sites  Photo-sharing sites  Wikis  Online bookmarking sitesYouTube is the biggest online video-sharing service. Its initial goal was toentertain and attract people by uploading and sharing their own videos that areaccessible across the Internet. Since then many content provider started usingYouTube to share videos in various field (Reuben, 2008). According toGKIeNET’s survey (2009), in Hungary 2.9 million users visit video-sharingsites in a month.The two biggest online photo-sharing sites are Picasa and Flickr. These sitesare an online photo site where users can upload and organize their their photosin sets of collections. Basically these sites are a private online photo album, butusers can share their photos with friends and public. Public photos can beviewed and rated by anyone (Reuben, 2008).As Mayfield (2008) describes wikis are websites on that users can contributeor edit content. Wikis are great for collaborative working for students, orprofessionals. Leuf and Cunningham (2001) identified three main features ofwiki sites:  “A wiki service invites all users to edit any page or to create new pages within the wiki by using only the web browser without any add-ons 12
  19. 19.  Wiki promotes significant topic relations between different pages by making page easy-to-use  A wiki is not a well-designed site for casual visitors. It rather encourages the visitor to creating and collaborating projects that constantly changes the web site landscape.” (Leuf and Cunningham, 2001 p.64)The most visited social bookmarking sites are Digg.com and del.icio.us. Theprimary use of these online bookmarking services is to store bookmarks onlinethat allows users to access their online bookmarks from different PCs and addbookmarks from anywhere to their profile. Bookmarks on these sites are ableto be organized by tagging (Reuben, 2008).Content Aggregators and WidgetsDue to innovation has increased in the last few years, the reach of weblogs andpodcasts a technology named RSS (Really Simple Syndication) appearedwhich makes people able to subscribe to websites and blogs (Mayfield, 2008).Really Simple Syndication is a kind of Web feed formats used for seedingcontent from blogs or Web pages. Generally, RSS is an XML file that providescontent for users (Murugesan, 2007). RSS technology is highly importantbecause it makes it much easier to become part of an online community(Mayfield, 2008). RSS is now being used to collect information about aspecific field, push not just notices of data updates, including stock quotes,weather data, and photo availability (O’Reilly, 2005).Forums, Bulletin Boards, ReviewsThe websites for exchanging information and ideas around special interests areanother growing phenomenon on the internet (Constantinides and Fountain,2008). Internet forums are the oldest form of social media. Forums usuallyexist around specific topics and interests (Mayfield, 2008).The main characteristic of forums is the structure of discussion in which postand respond to questions and comments are allowed. (Farayd and DeSanctis, 13
  20. 20. 2010) In a forum each discussion is a thread, and the different threads can becontinuously active in same time. On the top of the forum hierarchy, there is anadministrator or admin who moderate comments and remove spam andirrelevant posts (Mayfield, 2008).Forums are able to build a strong community. Some forums are highlyenclosed from online social media activity and have no connection to otherforms of social media (Mayfield, 2008). Online forums often called virtualcommunities or electronic discussion groups, which provide an opportunity forpeople to exchange ideas and experiences through group discourse around acommon topic (Farayd and DeSanctis, 2010). As Schultz (2000) states onlineforums raise the interactivity of the mass media generally by widening thescale of opportunities for users’ communication. In order to encourageparticipation and change knowledge, these online forums have to develop asense of ‘we-ness’ or sense of belonging. These online communities often builtup just as a real life community: there can be different character roles likebossy, smart guy, and so on (Farayd and DeSanctis, 2010).Moe and Trusov (2011) states, in the last few years, online product ratings andreviews have become more important in the consumer’s decision procedure. Asthey argued, product sales are highly affected by product ratings from onlinecustomers. The common basic statement of researches that study the effect ofcustomer reviews on product sales is that posted ratings reveal the customers’experience with the product independent from other customers’ ratings (Moeand Trusov, 2011). Against Moe and Trusov (2011) studies, Schlosser (2005)and Godes and Silva (2009) argued that community influence posted productratings. A person’s posted rating for a product is affected by the previouslyratings.Social Technographics LadderIn 2007, Forrester Researcher introduced the term of Social Computing that is“a social structure in which technology puts power in communities, notinstitutions.” (Li and Bernoff, 2007)Due to social activity shift online, that gives opportunity for small businessowners and marketers – who would like to take control of their presence on the 14
  21. 21. Internet - to get found, engage with and attract more qualified users to theirown website. (Beale, 2010)As Li (2007) expounds, companies usually do not have any information abouthow their customers use social technologies. They do not know how manyonline users or consumers read online blogs or use social network sites, andasked themselves how many of “my consumers” are engaged in SocialComputing. It is more important that marketers lack an understanding of whichfactors force the implementation of a new Social Computing method. It shouldbe important to know what the motivations of the users are to upload a videoon YouTube, read a comment or start writing a blog.Li (2007) states average marketers’ main challenge to identify the targetmarket’s profile that is explained by lack of experience. User-generated contentseems well-sounded buzz-word but implementation means difficulties.Marketing professionals were not have enough knowledge and skills to identifywhich approaches and technologies work in dissimilar situations and fordissimilar objectives or customers. A company’s Social Computing approachmust be flexible enough to fulfil these innovations. This challenge was one ofmany that caused Bernoff and Li (2007) framed the Social TechnographicsLadder. As Bernoff (2010) draw “social technographics classifies peopleaccording how they use social technologies”. Social Technographics Ladderwas made to reveal personal activity in social networking sites. SocialTechnographics Profiles group people who are using the Internet intooverlapping clusters based on their online participation. (Solis, 2011)According to Chow (2011) Technographics Ladder is basically a way ofmeasuring how the target audience partakes in social media, from the Creatorswho writes a blogs or publish videos on YouTube through Conversationalists,Critics, Collectors, Joiners, and Spectators and finally the Inactives.Social Technographics was consciously designed, rather as a profile not as asegment. Thats because the then data showed that users participate in multiplebehaviours, and if a user sits on a higher level that does not mean actually doesevery activities that is typical of lower rungs. (Bernoff, 2011)Josh Bernoff and his team have analyzed data for 13 countries, for businessbuyers, and even for voters. The researcher team have done profiles based on a 15
  22. 22. database that contained information about more than hundred clients. Profileswere designed like Wal-Mart shoppers, non-profit donors, and doctors. Figure 3: Social Technographics Ladder Source: Li and Bernoff (2008)According to Fridolf and Arnatuovic (2011) Social Technographics Ladderreport shows how companies can design strategies by using SocialTechnographics. Participation ladder have helped to figure out which socialstrategies to deploy first and also how to assist users to "climb up" on theladder, from being Spectators to becoming more engaged. 16
  23. 23. As Falls (2010) states Social Technographics Ladder has been the milestone ofnumerous social media marketing approaches designed in the last few years.By Social Technigraphics Profile it can be understood how social technologiesare being adopted by any group of users. By assessing where one’s clients fallin a space it is possible to make rational judgments about which socialtechnology will be most appropriate.(Chow, 2011) According to Bunzel (2010)organizations apply this profiling tool to appraise their target even if it is amarket segment, interest group, constituency, or any other potential pool ofusers for social media.„In their latest report (2010), Forrrester has revised the Technographics Ladderand added another rung named “Conversationalist”. The profile contains userswho update their status and actively using Facebook or Twitter. (Falls, 2010)As Bernoff (2010) have wrote “one thing has been bugging me: there was noplace for Twitter” before. So he added the Conversationalists rung to theladder.‘Conversationalists’ reflects two changes: 1) It includes people who update social network status to converse, not just Twitter members; 2) It includes only people who update at least weekly, because anything less is not a conversation. (Bernoff, 2010)Comparing the results of previous years with results of the current year, thereport shows increases across the board in the percentage of peopleparticipating in each rung, except of course the “inactives” which dropped.(Falls, 2010)Creators„At the top of the ladder are Creators that mean they are the most activeparticipants on the Internet.Creators characteristics are publishing blogs, maintain websites, or uploadvideos to sites like YouTube at least once per month. As Li (2007) suggests,Creators is an elite group and they are generally young (average age is 39).Their contribution in creation activities is wide-ranging. 17
  24. 24. Creators are the users who create the key, initial content for a community ornetwork and make the most obvious contributions to the community. Creatorswant to form and convince the other members in the community and want their‘products’ to be read critically. Thus, creators will often trigger personalattacks, flaming, and what constitutes valid forms of evidence in persuasivearguments. The users in this profile necessitate knowing they are being readand having impact on their community, even in case if that impact is notconstructive. (Howard, 2010)Conversationalists„Conversationalists were added to the model later. This cluster is also creating,but only to facilitate communication and conversations. They would like toreflect themselves in their status updates and trying to converse with theiraudience. Conversationalists say their opinions to other people through socialchannels such as Facebook, Twitter and other Social Networking Sites. (Fridolf& Arnatuovic, 2011)According to Bruce’s (2010) criticism, Conversationalists sit above Critics,which is not definitely pertinent because Critics produce much more useful andrelevant content than Conversationalists.CriticsBasically, critics are the reverse of the conversationalists: people in this profilerespond to status blogs, articles, status updates, websites, forums, and so on.There is a significant overlap among Creators, Conversationalists and Critics.Critics are a very important rung in the ladder because for creators andconversationalists, this group is important to interact. However, there is asignificant overlap in these three segments (creators, critics andconversationalist).Essentially people in this group participate in two ways:1) Commenting on blogs or other sites2) Posting ratings and reviews on sites. (Li, 2007) 18
  25. 25. As Li (2007) explains, this level of partaking not as much intense as being aCreator because Critics choose where they will share their expertise and oftenpublish other blog posts to support their contribution.Commenting on other users’ contents needs less energy and effort thanproducing the original material. Critics need to know how popular theircontents are and or how others think about their reviews and comments.(Howard, 2010)Four out of 10 Critics are Creators as well. (Charlene Li, 2007)CollectorsPeople in this group use online resources to process information, or to reflectwhat they are interested in. Li (2007) explains when people save links via web-based online bookmarking services they create metadata that is shared with thewhole virtual community.By collecting and aggregating information Collectors become important in thesystem because they structure the online information that are produced byCreators and Critics.According to Howard (2010) Collectors influence social networks andcommunities because they are able to systematize the content created byCreators and Critics into ranked categories. They are satisfied if they knowtheir archived information will help the community.JoinersJoiners just maintain profiles in social networking sites and build their onlinerelationships. The joiners are present at Social Media websites to maintain theirown profile and their relationship circle. They also share information toimprove their own knowledge, however not at extent of the collectors. Thisgroup is using social networking sites like Facebook and Youtube. They arehighly likely to engage in other Social Computing activities. Joiners are theyoungest among the Social Technographics groups. (Charlene Li, 2007)Howard (2010) states Joiners need to see that their profiles have been viewedby others. 19
  26. 26. SpectatorsAs Li (2007) describes Spectators they are just viewing from a distance. Theycollect information about different topics, products, services, friends,celebrities, and they are not active participants in the community. The mostcommon activity for Spectators is reading blogs, watch peer-generated videoand so on.„This group benefits from and consumes what the rest produce. They watchvideos read blogs and forum postings. This is the largest group. Since being aspectator requires so much less effort than the other activities among the rungs.Spectator category dos not occupy the bottom rung of the „ladder” becauseconsumption is still a form of participation requiring some effort. If Spectatorsfeel neglected or ignored, they may leave a community or network and stopsupporting it through their consumption of the content that the Creators andCritics generate.”(Howard, 2010. p.88)InactivesImplicitly inactive people are not present on social media and they are notdoing anything at all.According to Li (2007) about 52% of online adults do not partake in socialcomputing activities.They do not spend time and energy to be a part of the social network thusInactives appear on the lowest rung. Inactives do not create, collect or organizethe contents and information. People can be Inactives without or by losingmotivation. Based on Howard’s (2010) theory creators who see that they arenot having influence will stop creating messages, just as Critics will stopcommenting or as Spectators will stop consuming.The Eighth RungMany marketer and strategists have issued criticism about the SocialTechnographic Ladder. For example the GlobalOne Blog (2011) states theLadder needs a new rung named “Requester”. This user type maybe represents 20
  27. 27. already in the Critics, Joiners, and Spectators, but the author thinks “in a sales-driven environment, the amount of requests can far outweigh the content beingproduced by the marketing team (creators) or the sales support organization(joiners).” According to Ben Foster (2009), another opinion about possible newrung is “Surfacers”. Surfacers are users whose links on social networking siteswe regularly read. Actually these users do not comment or create content, butthey have a huge role in what we click, read and after that share.The Surfacers should be within the Top 5 rungs with these its characteristics: 1) Takes pride in ability to share new information 2) Digests massive quantities of content through RSS feeds, their friends’ content, and their own curiosity 3) Focused primarily on sharing information with friends, not with broader community 4) Avoids posting content that is super-popular 5) Credits friend/source of information. (Foster, 2009)Social Technographic Ladder applies a brand new approach of social mediaand reaching customers on the Internet. Marketers, online strategists andprofessionals have to think about how they could engage with their customersand create content, features, and functionality that create a way forparticipation. According to Li (2007), if marketers would like to use SocialMedia effectively they have to:  Analyze the Social Technographics Profile of audience or at least check sites that audience frequently visit  Figure out how users will participate in the present and in the future. Make a plan how consumers will interact on the sites and how they will engage with the brand or product.  Create multiple participation points because marketers never know how users will want to interact and engage.  Secure easy-to-access content to Spectators  Prepare organization for criticism and consumer responses. Sometimes people converse rude in social media about a product or brand and these have to be handled by the operator or administrator. 21
  28. 28. Changing User HabitsTo better understand how students use social media it is indispensable tounderstand how customers’ expectations and motivations have changed by theappearance of social media. Before wide spread of social media, companiescommunicated with customers both individually (personal sale, telemarketing,direct letter) and in mass media (traditional advertising) (Gallaugher andRansbotham, 2010), but the most trusted way of promotion have been word ofmouth (Evans, 2008). Formerly, regardless of the medium, customers were notable to connect with others to observe, change experiences or influence about afirm or its product (Gallaugher and Ransbotham, 2010). Today, in the age ofsocial media, customers have the tools to tell even ten million people if theyare dissatisfied. It was unimaginable few years ago and took long time to onlytell ten or twenty people their dissatisfaction. (Gillin, 2007) Figure 4: The new communications paradigm Source: (Mangold and Faulds, 2009)As Mangold and Faulds (2009) states, networking opportunities can beeffective even without social media, but people communicate more likely onsocial media platforms when they are engaged with products or services thatresults a much more efficient word-of-mouth marketing. However on the socialweb, people are seeking information, instead of different promotions (Evans,2008), users are actively trying to impress their engagement with popular 22
  29. 29. brands (Universal McCann, 2010). Social media raised the firms’ opportunityto communicate in firm-customer dialog, enhancing firm-to-customer andcustomer-to-firm interaction (Gallaugher and Ransbotham, 2010).Modern technologies nowadays offer various communication channels thatencourage people to produce and consume content. Similar to traditionalmedia, social media provides two options: 1. It supports the interaction between customer and the firm. 2. It encourages firm and customer to observe what other people expect and think about the firm. (Gallaugher and Ransbotham, 2010)Due to these two options, people communicate more intensively than before.Social media affect continuously and change consumer behaviour (Dutta,2010) because consumers trust each other even in the digital environment. Thisis a visible change in consumer attitudes. Consumers like to interact with otherpeople who have common interest and desires with their own. Organizationsneed to recognize and capitalize this phenomenon by creating onlinecommunities of like-minded people (Mangold and Faulds, 2009)(Constantinides and Fountain, 2007). People become more engaged withbrands and businesses if they can feedback or able to response (Mangold andFaulds, 2009).The change in customer behaviour has been also seen in the increasing demandfor online services, for example in case of Web 2.0, where users can alsoaccess peer communities, besides cooperate with businesses. The differentonline services and applications are becoming continuously popular becausethey provide different advantages to users. New customer needs can betriggered by other customers’ conversation and former buying attitudes(Constantinides and Fountain, 2007). According to Foux (2006), consumersperceive a much more trustworthy presence in social media than before intraditional media. Firms need to provide creditable information in order to keepcustomers’ attention because the fact people is more and more turning awayfrom traditional advertising. They also spend more time to choose whichmedium they will consume, because it is perceived to access information easily(Vollmer&Precourt, 2008). 23
  30. 30. Internet and social media are much more influence customers’ buying habitsthan other media types. As Wolburg (Wolburg et al, 2001 p.38) say “buyingtrends and new products are expected to come and go almost as rapidly asyoung adults can find new websites.” According to Mangold and Faulds(2009), customers become more engaged by online contests, voting; ratingproducts; playing games online and gather extra information about thecompany.Marketers were challenged by customers’ changed perceptions. They werevery confused due to the Internet, the new online communication channel.Changing user habits can be the consequence of motivation change in thedigital environment. Understand users’ behaviour and their motivations meantan unsolved problem. According to Whipperman’s (Trendbüro, 2008)approximation to the changed behaviour that Maslow’s pyramid transformed toa feedback loop that mean “in the process that is never completed self-actualization remains the individual’s basic motivation and is increasinglycoming to the means of self-optimization.” (Trendbüro, 2008 p.11) Figure 5: The loop of needs Source: Trendbüro, 2008Without any doubt, motivation has transformed in the last few years that iscaused by the Internet and social media. Abraham Maslow kept thatmotivational needs of people is ranging from basic survival to self-fulfilment,and until the lower-level needs will not be satisfied, neither will be the higher-level ones. Bowman and Willis (2003) used Maslow’s pyramid of needs toclarify the goals and needs of online community participants. 24
  31. 31. Figure 6: Hierarchy of needs in online communities Source: Bowman and Willis (2003)Net GenerationIn order to give a clear picture about online consumption habits of students,younger generations’ behaviour in the digital environment need to beunderstood. In several literatures young people are named as Net Generation.Members of Net Generation were born between 1980 and 1994 (Kennedy2007) that means principally university and college students belong to thisgroup of people. Net Generation –or as known as ‘Digital Natives’ (Prensky,2001), Generation Y or Yers (McCrindle, 2006) – uses as often as it can socialnetwork sites (Pempek et al., 2009). This is the first generation, which growsup with technology presence in their lives from their birth. Such things likecomputers, laptops, video games, cell phones, iPod, Facebook accounts areintegrated into their everyday lives but this is just the beginning of the moderntechnology (Nikirk, 2009).According to Tapscott (2009) Net Generations have eight characteristics thatform them as a generation:  Freedom – The basic characteristic of Yers the demand of free choice in all field of everyday life. It is bear in relation to their career, leisure time, choosing the right higher education organization and so on. 25
  32. 32.  Customization – Former generations - like Boomers and Generation X (McCrindle, n.d.) – have accepted goods that were produced to the mass. Nowadays youth adults prefer services and products that can be purchased with individual product features just as computers, cars, or even distemper. Scrutiny – Net Geners scrutinize any kind of information they come across and filter the noise and irrelevant information based on their instinct. To communicate with; and promote to this generation it is indispensable to be honest and open. Integrity – Integrity is expected by Yers. They require honest and correct behaviour in their job and cannot accept harmful and unfair manner. Collaboration – Youth adults prefer collaborative work because it is a natural way of work for them. Working alone is less effective during their work and studies. Collaboration is often applied in co-creation processes like in case of Wikipedia articles. Entertainment – Young people relatively much better love to be entertained does not matter where they are. They consume different kind of offline and online content that provides that provides a unique experience. Speed – Generation Y frequently uses electronic devices to texting, instant messaging that is supported with high speed telecommunication technology. This devices – cell phone, computers – and Internet connection become much faster and they expect to occur everything quickly. Rapid answers are demand. Innovation – Net Generation pays attention to innovative products and technologies. 26
  33. 33. According to Wilson (2007) Generation Y has three typical features:  Multi-tasking: Due to this generation is busy in the everyday life they are able to run several projects in same time.  Creativity: People of net generation believe they are highly expressive, accordingly they try to show their creativity and individuality.  Immediacy: As the Yers get used to obtain anything they want, long waiting time in consumption is not preferred.Despite there is a general lack of brand loyalty on the part of Net Generation(Wolburg et al, 2001), they expect the active communication and interactionfrom firms they purchase products or services (Tapscott, 2009). Advertisersand marketers cannot agree what Generation Y wants and how to approach andengage them (Milman, 2010). Marketers need to think differently and approachYers on alternative ways. These young adults have met with a lot ofimpressions since their childhood and are able to ignore much kind of ads byusing modern technological tools (Wilson, 2007). Rather than approach themwith traditional ads, companies should build relationship with them (Tapscott,2009). Digital natives act differently than older generations when they watchan advertisement. They much prefer direct messages that they receive atfrequently visited places than online or cable television ads (Wilson, 2007).According to Wilson (2007) grassroots marketing, local events, unusualpromotions can be effective to reach this generation.According to Tapscott (2009) Generation Y has an addiction to their computersand think digital technology has to be granted in any circumstances. Theyassume continual access to computers and to Internet via phone, computer andother devices. Despite they have grown up with television, Yers spent moretime with surfing on the Web than watching television (Wolburg et al, 2001)(Barnikel, 2005). As Williams states (2005) young adults do not read longarticles, because all they need is pure information without any circumlocution.They frequently use mobile devices and reading long texts are not comfortable.“This is the true multimedia generation" (Williams, 2005). Yers frequently use 27
  34. 34. several mobile technologies such as Bluetooth, GPS, 3G (Bradley 2007); spenttime with online gaming and play Xbox and other video games (Milman,2010); download music, movies via iTunes, or applications and software(Reisenwitz and Iyer, 2009). Generation Y prefer communication through e-mail and short message service against face-to-face conversation (Barney,2011). They live in a technological environment that let them be plugged in24/7 (Wilson, 2007), (Barney, 2011). Almost every member of Net Generationuses the Internet actively: they read blogs, leaving comment, and recommendlinks, so they do not want to be passive receivers. They have developed brandnew social skills on the Internet (Tapscott, 2009). As Kennedy (2007) citedPhilip (2007 p.1), Net Generation expects “technology will be an importantpart of their education” (Philip, 2007, p.1). Accordingly Net Gen’s demands,higher education need to integrate technology in courses to stay competitive(Tapscott, 2009). According to Milman (2010), these people constantly stay intouch through different electric devices, and frequently influence friends, shareopinion. Due to Yers are perceptually connected, they can influence othersrelatively in a more effective way than brand advertising could do (Wilson,2007). As Reisenwitz and Iyer (2009) dissert, against older generations,Generation Y has more expertise in technology and solve several problemsthrough collaboration.Unlike boomers, Net Generation is racially and ethnically heterogeneous. Thisgroup was born in the age of Internet and computers (Wilson, 2007). Theseyoung adults cannot be called to action through older messages and filter outirrelevant and boring media messages; they are looking for creative brandmessages (Wolburg et al, 2001), (Wilson, 2007). Since this generation isbrand-savvy and has spending power, they can influence buying decisions fromthe early stages of their lives. Gen Y can quickly recognise the hype orunreliable products and can be engaged by authentic brands (Wilson, 2007).Young adult prefer humour in advertising (Wolburg et al, 2001) (Wilson,2007). For this generation product attributes are much more important thanproduct image (Wolburg et al, 2001). In comparison with Generation X orBoomers, adulthood comes later in Yers’ life. For boomers, being a singleadult ended in their early 20s. Today young adults become parents in their 30s. 28
  35. 35. The reason is these young adults expect different life circumstances and focuson career rather than get married and have children. As Wolburg (Wolburg etal., 2001) discourse, earlier generations came family plans true after themilitary service or university. However Yers have greater responsibility in theirfamily and social life than earlier generation, they rather study at Universitiesthan get married in order to stay “children”. Many young adults have part-timejob during their studies to support their parents. (Auby, 2008)StudentsStudents are important part of Net Generation (Wolburg et al., 2001). AsEberhardt (2007) states to maintain a profile and using social network sitesactively has become a routine behaviour for university students.The young generations are not media experts; they have to learn so manythings about the Internet and privacy. Students usually do not care about whatthey share. They share awkward photos and update their statuses precipitatelyand these contents can be harmful in their studies or in their future career(Shorey, n.d.). Students try to build a little different identity on social networksite profile and want to keep out parent of their online social circles. Manyyoung people decline friend requests from their parents because they wishavoid awkward moments (West et al., 2009).By using one-to-many communication style on Facebook and on other socialnetwork sites also, students are able to act like creators when they disseminatecontent among their friends. Students use Facebook to demonstrate an identitywith religious and political view, workplaces and schools and to interact withfriends with whom they have built offline relationship (Pempek et al., 2009).As Subrahmanyam (Subrahmanyam et al., 2009 p.420) states “young adultsmay use several online contexts to strengthen different aspects of their offlineconnections.” According to Subrahmanyam’s researches students communicatewith their friends face-to-face, by instant messaging and on social network sitesthat mean two of three is transacted on the Internet (Subrahmanyam et al.,2009). According to ICMPA’s research (2011), email is still popular butstudent use rather for formal communication for example with professors and 29
  36. 36. lecturers. Students preferably use text messages or Facebook to communicatewith classmates and folks, launch voice call if they want to talk to their parents.According to Nealy (2009) higher education institutions need to develop socialnetworking strategies to inform student what is appropriate and what isprohibited. Few students may show too much about themselves that can beviewed be academic leadership. Despite Facebook has several privacy option,student does not really care about their shared information. (Nealy, 2009)In the last few decades the spending power of students has increasedcontinuously that means youth market have became significantly larger thanthe earlier (Wolburg et al, 2001).According to Wolburg (2001), marketers marked the market of universitystudents as one of the most coveted of all segments. As they describe, thereasons of it are:  “Their sheer size makes college students an important market.  Students are often put in the role of trendsetters to the thousands of visitors who attend events on college campuses.  College students acquire preferences for goods and establish brand loyalties that continue long after the college years.  Students are expected to attain a high standard of living after graduation.  College students set examples to the remainder of the population by being more receptive to new products.  Students influence parental choices for major purchases” (Wolburg et al, 2001 p.44).Students usually get information and news via friends. The term News does notmean only political or economical information for students. News is both whathappened to friends and worldwide. In their everyday life students read newsthat appear on social network sites that practically means they do not search fornews, rather news find students in social media (ICMPA, 2011). An interesting 30
  37. 37. fact is that was reported by ICMPA’s research (2011) is youths in highereducation could spare television and newspaper but they cannot live withoutmedia and their iPods. Students do not watch television they rather listen theentertaining shows while using computers. TV is also a background noise intheir lives (ICMPA, 2011). Most students who was asked by ICMPA (2011)said they check emails, Facebook updates after wake up and before go to sleep.Based on the collected and examined literature it is ascertainable that mediabecame a part of students’ life and they extended their private life to socialmedia. To reach students effectively with commercial purpose, the mosteffective communication channels could be the online social platforms.Another conclusion is that students are a highly heterogenious segment thatmeans they can be engaged differently. In the following part of my dissertationI will conduct a research that analyzes how students at University of Pécs formgroups according to the Social Technographics Ladder. 31
  38. 38. Research MethodologyThe literature basically distinguishes exploratory and descriptive researchmethods. The difference is exploratory research is carried out to establish thenature of problem; and descriptive research conducts to determine attributes ofphenomenon or population (Zikmund, 2003). Present dissertation containsresults of a descriptive research since Social Technograpics was analyzed. Theresearch approach can be inductive and deductive. Saunders (Saunders et al.,2009) states the main difference is in the approach of theory. Practicallyinductive approach is designing a theory and deductive approach is confirmingthe theory. This paper applies deductive approach.This study is a theory-led research since it is based on the various theories thatdescribe the how students are represented in social computing. The main goalof the research is to identify how students at University of Pécs form groupsaccordingly the Social Technographics Ladder.Primary and Secondary DataAccording to Malhotra and Birks (2003) the success of the research projectshighly depends on the data collection. The literature distinguishes two types ofdata collection method:  Primary data collection  Secondary data collectionPrimary ResearchI my dissertation I have chosen to conduct a primary research. Despite socialmedia is a quite new field of communication, marketing or sociology, there aremany studies that describe several related researches. However these studies donot provide fully sufficient secondary data.Primary data is the data that researcher gather in order to understand thespecific research project and find a solution if there are any (Zikmund, 2003).Primer data can be gathered in several way just like observing, experimenting,measuring, questioning. Primary data fit better to research project or research 32
  39. 39. problem but the data collection process usually needs more time (Ghauri andGronhaug, 2011).The primary research was conducted by a short online questionnaire. I have putmany online survey sites to the touch (KwikSurvey, SurveyMonkey, GoogleSpreadsheet, Free Online Surveys, Kerdoivem.hu) and Zoomerang seemed thebest choice so I purchased the PRO Account for a month for 19 $. I designed aquestionnaire that is introduced in Questionnaire Design subchapter.Secondary ResearchSecondary research consists of two processes: (1) gathering and reviewingsecondary data and (2) analyzing the collected secondary data.According to Zikmund (2003) secondary data are information or data that havebeen collected by other researchers for different purpose than the givendissertation at hand. Secondary data sources can be journal articles, books,project papers by others, or the Internet and other common resource (Gill andJohnson, 1997). In academic research papers the review of literature containsthe collected secondary data that were published in articles or books (Zikmund,2003). As Ghauri and Gronhaug (2011) states, secondary data are able to give amore exact view of topic and make the problem more comprehensible.Gathering secondary data is simpler than collect primary data and in manycases it is also more inexpensive and faster. On the other hand secondary datacan be obsolete and not necessarily meet the actual research topic (Zikmund,2003). As Zikmund (2003, p.741) describes, “Secondary data analysis is apreliminary review of data collected for another purpose to clarify issues in theearly stages of a research effort.”The secondary research I conducted based on journals and books that canfound in Dél-Dunántúli Regional Library & Learning Centre. However I havefound a lot of useful literature, EbscoHost online database was more expedientto gather literature that fits my topic. The third resource was the Internet. Ifound a big amount of good reading through Google Scholar or Google Booksand even websites and blogs have provided data, statistics and information. Ihave used literature of four different topics; social media literature, customerbehaviour literature, sociology literature about the different generations, and 33
  40. 40. methodology literature. I have checked sources and reference lists in books andarticles in order to know the used sources and see if they can be useful.Through this method I found more literature that I show in the ReferencesChapter.Questionnaire DesignIn case of a questionnaire the two main criteria in order to a successful researchare accuracy and relevance (Zikmund, 2003). Zikmund (2003) further states,the research problem determines how the information needs to be gathered.According to Milne (n.d.) questionnaire is a relatively quick way of gatheringdata and information. Questionnaire is a relatively objective way of collectinginformation and the response rate can be relatively high if it is delivered in theright time. However questionnaire is a good way of ask students, many of themprobably answer perfunctorily because they are not motivated in participationMilne (n.d.). Since I analyze social media habits of students, the simplestmethod for information gathering is designing a questionnaire. The title ofquestionnaire was “Felmérés a pécsi egyetemisták közösségi media használatiszokásairól” that roughly means Survey about the social media habits ofUniversity Pécs’ students. From the first question to third one are generalquestions about social media usage like “How often do students use the givensocial network sites?”, “How much time do they spend on social network sites”and “Which electronic devices do they use to browse social network sites?”.The fourth and fifth questions are related to Social Technographics Ladder. Inthese questions I have asked respondent about their most typical online habitsand how often do they do each activities. The sixth and seventh questions areasking demographic data like age and gender.SamplingThe target segment of the research is students from University of Pécs. In mydissertation I study how students from groups according to SocialTechnographic Ladder. The age of the defined target is between 18 and 25years but some student can be older. The research does not differentiatestudents by their faculties, class. Ghauri and Gronhaug (2011) states inresearches distinguishing each element would be costly and it would take time 34
  41. 41. hence researchers need to select a sample of the whole segment. In frame ofthis dissertation I am not able to finance a representative research thus I havechosen convenience sampling and judgement sampling that are nonprobabilitysampling methods. Convenience sampling is not able to provide representativeresults and statistics (Ghauri and Gronhaug, 2011). According to Zikmund(2003 p.380), “convenience sampling is the sampling procedure used to obtainthose units or people most conveniently available”. I applied conveniencesampling when I posted the link of questionnaire on my Facebook Wall inorder to my Friends who study at the University of Pécs will response. Thejudgemental (purposive) sampling is also a nonprobability sampling method inwhich researcher chooses the members of sample accordingly a specificcharacteristic (Zikmund, 2003). I applied this method through posting the linkon CooSpace (University’s community forum) and selected Facebook Pagesthat relate to University of Pécs.Pilot StudyIn order to transact a successful research, it is needed to conduct a pilot study.Pilot study is a “small-scale exploratory research technique that uses samplingbut does not apply rigorous standards.” (Zikmund, 2003 p.739)Improving the success and quality of methodology is the main objective ofpilot study. Pilot study results are applied to improve success and efficiency ofthe research (Beurskens A. J., de Vet H. C., Kant I., 1998). According toCrisnall (1997) the recommended pilot study sample size is 10 percent of themain sample. My perceived aim was 100 respondents that mean the sample ofpilot study contained 10 people. I sent the pilot-questionnaire ten of my friendon University via e-mail and asked them to respond. Some of them noticedthere are a few things about they have never heard before and do not knowwhat it is (Podcast, Tablet). In my opinion this is not a questionnaire problembecause if they do not know what Tablet is they have never used it before thatis pointless in the survey. 35
  42. 42. Field WorkThe questionnaire was shared on different Facebook pages and on CooSpacetha social site of the University.FacebookFirst I posted the link of survey on my profile and ask my friends to respond.After that the questionnaire was posted on Facebook Pages and Groups thatrelated to the students of University of Pécs: PTE ÁJK HÖT; PTE KTK HÖT;Pécsi Tudományegyetem (PTE); Pécsi TudományegyetemKözgazdaságtudományi Kar (PTE-KTK); Közgáz Szerda; PTE-s Gólyák(2011).Besides these sites I posted continuously the survey link on my Wall everysecond day from its launch. Besides these postings, 9 of my Facebook friendshave posted the link so my questionnaire reached students from severalfaculties of University of Pécs.CooSpaceCooSpace is the social site of the University where students can access coursematerial and public information. I left a comment in the forum of(KTK_Students) KTK Hallgatói színtér scene with a short introduction and thelink of the survey.I have no information about how many users have seen these postings but thesite where survey was designed measured 330 click-throughs. The total numberof respondents is 171 users from which 53 males and 118 females. Thedifference between genders is significant.LimitationsSince the research was conducted in online environment the result are notreliable in the aspect of the Inactives profile. If a user filled the questionnairehe/she met the questionnaire on Facebook or CooSpace that mean theydefinitely have to use forums or social network sites.Another limitation is that research was spread among my Facebook friends andsome of them reposted the questionnaire link on their wall so the results are notrepresentative. 36
  43. 43. Data Analysis and FindingsDemographic DataIn order get an exact picture of sudents’ social media profile the first thing thatneed to be analyzed are demographic data. Gender and age were asked in thequestionnaire as demographic data. Class even would have asked but I thinkage is more expressive demographic data. According to the statistics of thequestionnaire, 69% of respondents were female and 31% were male. Figure 7: The gender of respondent studentsAs Figure 2 shows the ages of respondents. Twenty percent of respondents are23 years old. As it is shown the most respondents are from 21-24 age groupswith 66% of total responded questionnaire. Freshmen are represented at leastwith 9% that means 15 respondents. The second least represented students areprobably graduate students (25 years and above) with 15%. 37
  44. 44. Figure 8: The age of respondent studentsHow Do Students Use Social Media Figure 9: Spent time on social network sites 38
  45. 45. Most of students spend more than 30 minutes online on social network sitesthat means only 11 percent of respondent browse social network sites less thanthirty minutes. As pie-chart shows 30% of students are online for 30-60minutes and the rate of respondents who spend 1-2 hours are the same (30%).The figure furter shows 29% of students use these sites more than 2 hours and8% of them more than 4 hours a day. My assumption is that respondents do notspend this time with active browsing, the social network sites run in thebackground while they just surfing on the Internet, read blogs, or news portals.The following figure (Figure 4) shows what type of computer do students useto check their social media profiles. Respondents had the choice to givemultiple answers that mean thera are overlaps among the devices. Mostrespondents use notebook or netbook to browse social network sites. Slightlymore students use their phone to social networking than desktop computers. Aninteresting fact that only 2% of respondents use tablet (eg. iPad, SamsungGalaxy Tab) to log in on social network sites. Figure 10: Which device do students use to browse social network sites 39
  46. 46. Figure 11: Social network sites by visit frequencyResearch results suggest that students use Facebook and Youtube most likely.According to the results, 95% of students log in on Facebook daily and 2% ofthem weekly. It is interesting that 3% of respondents say they never use themost popular social network site. Probably they clicked through fromCooSpace to the questionnaire. Watching YouTube videos is also a dailyroutine for 66% of students. At first sight Twitter and LinkedIn seems as theleast engaging social network site among students. Twitter is visited at leastweekly by 15% of the respondents while this rate is 12% in case of iWiW. In amonthly sight iWiW performs better in aspect of visits because 36% ofstudents log in at least once in a month since in case of Twitter only 18% ofrespondents check in monthly. My assumption to explain this fact is that iWiWhas more members among University of Pécs’ students than Twitter has but theusers of micro-blog service are highly more engaged in comparison with theHungarian Facebook. The least popular site is obviously LinkedIn. There areno respondent who visits this site daily and 86% of students do not visit it at allor do not even have an account. 40
  47. 47. Social Technographic LadderAnalyzing students accordingly the Social Technographic Ladder is not easy.Due to the lack of time I was needed to conduct the survey quickly. The lack oftime and money are the reason I designed a questionnaire that is simpler thanthe one was made by Bernoff (2007) and his team. I have designed twoquestions in relation with the Technographic Ladder. Both questions have beendivided according to the activities that are characteristically done by eachprofiles or rungs. For instance instead of Creators I offered “Publish a blog”,“Publish own website”, “Upload videos” and so on. This is important becauserespondent does not need to know what Creators mean exactly. They mightunderstand questions and answers well by this way. In the fourth question Iwanted respondents to group themselves individually in conformity with theProfiles. I wanted to know how they evaluate themselves. Figure 12: Social Media profiles of students at University of Pécs (sorted individually by students)More than half of the respondents identified themselves Joiner that mean theymaintain profiles on several social network sites and regularly visits theseonline services. This result is not surprising because Facebook is apparentlypopular among young people. Relatively small numbers of students groupedthemselves in Critics and Collector Profiles. As Conversationalists, 15% ofrespondents update status messages on Facebook or Twitter. Almost twenty 41
  48. 48. percent of students stay in background and just listen to others as Spectators.They just read different contents but do not participate actively in onlinecommunities. On this pie-chart the most interesting profile is Inactives. 6% ofall respondents selected “None of these” answer from the possible activities.This data is strange since the questionnaire were promoted in social media sitesand forums. My assumption is respondents did not understand what the otheractivities mean or did not find answers like “Instant messaging”, “Sendingemails” or “Reading news”. Inactives are not people who do not use internet atall. They just do not create any kind of social content.The fifth question of the survey is more complex. Although profiles includepeople participating in at least one of the indicated activities at least monthly,Respondents had the opportunity to sign if they participate in each activityweekly or daily. Figure 13: Social Media profiles of students at University of PécsAs it was expected, the most students are Conversationalists, Joiners andSpectators. At first sight these results can seem incredible but accordinglyIMCPA (2011) result students are highly engaged with social media indeed. Ihave to note that there are overlaps among the profiles; this is why the sum ofpercents transcends 100 percent. Joiners are represented by 83% amongstudents of University of Pécs and 81% of respondents are Conversationalists.The 81% means 81 students of 100 update their status at least monthly. It can 42
  49. 49. be assumed that social network sites (eg. Facebook and Twitter) are highlypopular. Most students cannot live without check social profile once a day.Spectators are represented by 57% of the students. They do not participate inany kind of interactive communication; they rather just read blogs and gatherinformation by Social Computing. Students participate less in data andinformation gathering and appraising activities like posting comments on blogsand forums or use RSS feed and tag content. Figure 14: Social Technographic Profiles of European users (18-24 years) Source: Forrester, 2009Comparing result with the European average young adults, it can be stated thatstudents crate less content than European young people but they are moreactively collect contents than the average in Europe. It is important to note thatthese data were collected two years ago, in 2009 so it could be obsolete. As itcan be seen European young people are rather Spectators than Joiners againststudents in my results. The figure does not provide information aboutConversationalists since this Profile was added to the Ladder in 2010. 43
  50. 50. Final ConclusionAccording to the literature review social media have became the part ofstudents’ life. Young people in higher education use electrical devices andcheck their profiles using them. Posting comments or press the like button is adaily routine. As responses show, most of students check social network siteseven via mobile phone or smart phone. The most popular social network site isFacebook, but Youtube is also a highly visited site. Students rather prefer videocontent than texts, but the most important is to stay connected. The SocialTechnographic Profile groups of University of Pécs students can be seen on theladder below with the each percentage rates. Figure 15: Social Technographic Profile rates at University of PécsThe biggest limitation of the research that the survey was distributed in onlinecommunities (Facebook and CooSpace) and I applied convenience sampling. 44
  51. 51. The results might have been affected by respondents’ mood since in this periodof the semester many students share dissertation surveys on social networksites and respondents might be tired of helping others by fill the questionnaires.Although engage students is difficult because of the general lack of brandloyalty, according to the results they can be targeted in an effective way bylocal companies or business. Marketers should consider the result as it providesinsights to Students social media usage. In addition academic researchers canuse or verify the results. 45
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