Attitudes Toward Product Messages on Social Media: An Examination of Online Shopping Perspectives Among Young Consumers

Attitudes Toward Product Messages on Social Media: An Examination of Online Shopping Perspectives Among Young Consumers

Christina Chung (Anisfield School of Business, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Mahwah, NJ, USA) and Kristine P. Austria (Anisfield School of Business, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Mahwah, NJ, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/jesma.2012100101

Abstract

This study investigates consumers’ motivations behind social media usage and attitudes toward product messages on social media sites and how the product messages affect consumer online shopping perspectives. An integrated conceptual model is proposed based on the Uses and Gratifications theory and the concepts of hedonic shopping value and impulsive shopping behavior. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is used to test the structural model and hypotheses. The proposed conceptual model shows a good model fit. The results and findings found from this study are explained in detail further in the article.
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Social Media And Social Networks

Social media has been defined as “the media that is published, created and shared by individuals on the Internet, such as blogs, images, video and more” (Stokes, 2008, p. 350) or “online tools and platforms that allow internet users to collaborate on content, share insights and experiences, and connect for business or pleasure” (Strauss & Frost, 2009, p. 326). Social media encompasses various platforms such as social networking sites, user-sponsored blogs, multimedia sites, Wikipedia, company-sponsored websites, collaborative websites, podcasts, etc.

A social network is “a type of web site model where individual members become part of a broader virtual community” (Stokes, p. 125) or “the practice of expanding the number of one’s business and social connects by making connections through individuals online” (Strauss & Frost, p. 183). Thus, “Social media can be called a strategy and an outlet for broadcasting, while social networking is a tool and a utility for connecting with others” (Cohen, 2011). A social network is a part of social media and includes sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc.

Originally, social media and social networks were used for people to share their opinions. Social media has been growing phenomenally and there is no doubt the growth will continue. The power of communication on social media sites provides marketers a way to reach target markets. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are among the most popular forms of social media. Social media, however, takes many different forms and social media usage differs among individuals. Particularly, product messages are available on various websites such as company websites, online review sites, social networking sites, and other sites. Thus, this study focuses on social media in general in order to examine the effectiveness of product messages on social media and consumers’ online shopping perspectives.

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