DRIVERS AND OUTCOMES OF SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING ENGAGEMENT: A SURVEY OF UNIVERSITY OF GHANA STUDENTS

0
334

ABSTRACT

Increasingly, advertisers and marketers have taken advantage of social media platforms to complement marketing and advertising. Social media offer firms a cheaper alternative to target prospective customers and as such firms are devising ways to trigger engagement from social media users since these users are mostly online for a plethora of reasons. This research was guided by the Elaboration Likelihood Model to examine drivers and outcomes of social media advertising engagement. Survey responses from 180 students of the University of Ghana were collected and a regression model was used to test four hypotheses. Findings indicated that social media addiction, market mavenism and product involvement were drivers of social media advertising engagement. Additionally, ad sharing is an outcome after respondents engaged with ads on social media. The study revealed that respondents tend to focus more on the creativity in ads when engaging with social media ads than to scrutinize the message and the implication is that advertisers must tailor their messages in a creative manner in order to trigger engagement. Importantly, a measure for social media advertising engagement was developed since there was none currently existing – this is to help future studies in the area of social media advertising engagement and for advertisers to know the nature of engagement of social media users.

CHAPTER ONE

            INTRODUCTION

This section serves as the introductory chapter. It contains the background, statement of the problem, objectives, hypotheses, significance of the study and the summary of the chapter.

                BACKGROUND

Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snap chat are gaining prominence as channels through which organizations engage customers with persuasive messages. The new media, specifically the internet, is today expediting two-way interaction between brands and their targets online (Otugo, Uzuegbunam & Obikeze, 2015).

These social media sites have provided interactive platforms where organizations can communicate, advertise and receive feedbacks from their customers. In Ghana for instance, organisations like Vodafone Ghana and Tigo are using these sites to advertise to their customers and also persuade prospective customers as well. These brands are noted for their attractive hashtag campaigns on Facebook and Twitter – notable amongst them are the #VodafoneYeTwiKor promo and #TigoTribe. Murdough (2009) refers to social media as online platforms that facilitate numerous of activities like interaction, content sharing and creation, and this represent a progressively more significant strategy for brands to connect with audience fragments.yMfieald (2008) explains that social media facilitate engagement, directness, tête-à-tête, public and private interaction between online users. Trusov, Bucklin and Pauwels (2009) explain that the fundamental of social media sites lies in the fact that individuals are able to create profiles and add

their private details. These social media users are able to voice their opinions, emotional state, hobbies and preferences.

According to Needleman (2010), popular social network sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube have about five million regular users and they have to be considered as a very essential hub for advertising. Brodie, Hollebeek, Juric and Ilic (2011b) add that brands are now noticeable on Twitter and Facebook and their presence have been dubbed as brand communities. These brand societies on these social network sites give both businesses and customers new ways to interact with each other. This strategy can expand client–brand relationships, help advertisers unearth shared themes in shopper response, and convince customers to engage with online content (Murdough, 2009).

Branded social campaigns also provide supplementary touch points to inspire ongoing communication between the user and the campaign story all through the day (Murdough, 2009).

Ling et al (2004) have recommended that brands should put effort to maintain visibility across social media platforms with posts that are new and recurrent and contain motivations for customer engagement.eTxhpilsains why companies in Ghana are utilizing the hashtag feature on their social media platforms to promote their products and to engage with their customers. Other scholars like Algesheimer et al (2005), have proposed that brands should aim at interacting with devoted users, persuading members’ views on the business, circulating messages, and gaining insights from and about consumers. Schau, Muniz and Arnould (2009) revealed that consumers get worth through the multiplicity of activities that they engage in both offline and online.

In this regard, it is prudent for firms to devise ways to get the attention of users who are engaged in a multiplicity of activities online. A study by Ashley and Tuten (2014), established the significance of regular updates and enticements for involvement. A number of imaginative

approaches were related with consumer engagement, especially distinctiveness of messages (Ashley & Tuten, 2014). In a reasonably small period of time, businesses have incorporated social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for a multiplicity of advertising and marketing goals comprising sales promotions,  purchaser  relationship  and  branding  (eMarketer, 2013). Advertisers have numerous alternatives within the social media landscape for branding including employing paid display advertising, contributing as a brand enhancer, developing engagement strategy opportunities for consumer contribution within social network channels (Tuten & Solomon, 2014).