Adoption of Online Social Media Innovation: Who’s Inside the Spectrum?

Adoption of Online Social Media Innovation: Who’s Inside the Spectrum?

Khan Md. Raziuddin Taufique (M. H. School of Business, Presidency University, Dhaka, Bangladesh) and Faisal Mohammad Shahriar (Department of Business Administration, Leading University, Sylhet, Bangladesh)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/jebr.2013010102
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Abstract

Few but mentionable studies have been conducted in typifying the Online Social Media (OSM) users. Studies on innovations taking place within the OSM environment are also very much found. But gaps are present in linking OSM innovations and adoption of innovations by the OSM users. Precise and objective studies to put the OSM users in an adoption spectrum are close to nil, though such studies might carry great significance in this new but exploding field of business and marketing. This study focuses on proposing an ‘Adoption Spectrum’ for OSM innovations by the users by proliferating Rogers’s ‘Adoption of Innovation’ with the ‘Typology of OSM Users’. Absolutely conceptual and qualitative in nature, the study concentrates on assessing the speed and magnitude of adoption of OSM innovations by the users. The proposed spectrum is an alignment between Rogers’s work and the OSM user typology. Mentionable limitation of this piece of work may be forwarding the empirical justifications for further study. However, the study may be used as input for managing innovations by the firms that venture through OSM.
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2. Background And Significance Of The Study

The increased importance of technology platforms for social interactions has raised the interest of product marketers who seek to explore these as new advertising/promotion media (Katona, Zubcsek & Sarvary, 2010). Indeed, social networks’ revenue models are primarily based on advertising, although, so far, the use of (mostly) banner-type advertising has produced disappointing results.1 Increasingly, marketers believe that the efficient way of using social networks for marketing relies on harnessing WOM, by analyzing the network of members’ connections (Katona, Zubcsek & Sarvary, 2010). For example, Google has recently filed a patent for an algorithm that identifies so-called “influencers” on social networks (Katona, Zubcsek & Sarvary, 2010).

Mentionable studies have already been conducted on the rapid growth of the use of social media and its impact on people’s social life. Significant studies have also been found in categorization of different social media, their uses and their implications in business in general. Although the distinguishing feature of online social media is user-generated content (UGC), few studies have been found in this dimension. Another strong area of online social media that demands for researchers’ attention is the adoption of online social media and its changes. Although few studies have focused on the adoption of online social media, no specific study has been found so far on different types of users based on their profiles and their status in the spectrum of diffusion of innovation theory developed by Rogers.

Several studies have already recognized the importance of such research, though no study concentrated on both aspects of online social media – user profile and adoption. According to Kempe, Kleinberg, and Tardos (2003), of interest in all these studies is how one might maximize the spread of influence through a social network by selecting a subset of influential individuals to initially infect with an idea or product. It is equally important, however, to understand communities from the perspective of the individual user – to examine what motivates users to join and to participate in social media communities, to understand what influences their behaviors within and towards their fellow community members, and to observe the various stages of development and sophistication through which their engagement with social media communities may move (Bruns 2009).

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