Social Media Engagement: Reshaping the Consumption Patterns of Generation Y Caribbean and Latin American Consumers

Social Media Engagement: Reshaping the Consumption Patterns of Generation Y Caribbean and Latin American Consumers

Kathy-Ann P. Fletcher (University of East London, UK) and Christiana M. Emmanuel-Stephen (University of East London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0282-1.ch010
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Generation Y is at the forefront of the rise in consumer engagement with brands due to the participatory nature of social media. Social media is largely user generated and is instrumental in the information uprising facilitated by the internet (Kamel & Hussein, 2014). The platform of social media has changed how people interact with each other and even with brands as well as how they make consumption decisions. This transformation has led to research to determine the parameters of said influence on the consumer-decision process within the developed world. This chapter reviews this research and gives directions on future research to include developing nations within Latin America and the Caribbean. Research in this area is important due to the fact that there are limited studies addressing the developing world's use of social media to inform consumption decisions even though consumers within these markets are using these platforms similarly to their developed world counterparts.
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Chapter Structure

The structure of this chapter focuses on Latin America and the Caribbean. With AMI (2014) reporting that this market will grow to nearly 700 million consumers and over ten percent of the world’s population by 2020, it is important for professionals to understand the motivations of the individuals who were worth over billions of dollars in revenue to multinational corporations (Forbes, 2015). The nationals of this region consume many local and international products ranging from FMCG to luxury apparel and vehicles to reflect a standard of living that matches the developed world (Pfeiffer et al, 2014; Andrews & Bianchi, 2013). However, there is little research to understand their consumption patterns especially as it relates to social media engagement. Therefore this chapter will discuss the aspects of the consumer decision process and how this is influenced by social media, Generation Y involvement and Latin American and Caribbean characteristics in helping to formulate a way forward for academic research into social media and consumer behaviour within this lucrative and populous region. The chapter covers the following topics:

  • Theoretical Focus on Social Media Engagement and the Consumer Decision-Making Process.

  • Research Directions on Generation Y - Their Social Media Engagement Behaviours and How This Influences Their Consumption Behaviours.

  • The Literature on Latin America and the Caribbean Consumer and Social Media engagement.

  • Suggestions for Future Research Directions.

  • Conclusion.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC): Latin America and the Caribbean are those nations in Central and South America and the archipelago of islands south of the United States of America. This region is diverse in racial, ethnic, and cultural consistencies and have a mixture of European descendants, African descendants and Amerindian or Native American Populations.

Web 2.0.: The transition of the internet from a one-directional tool of communication to a multi-directional avenue due to social networks, blogs and wikis among others. The key feature of Web 2.0 is the collaborative nature of the media between internet users.

Social media: The range of online social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc), forums, blogs and digital apps that allow people from all over the world to connect with each other, governments and organisations, creating content that influences friends as well as strangers globally by driving conversation in areas as diverse as politics, entertainment, economics and business to name a few.

Generation Y: The generation of the global population born between the late eighties and the early noughties according to various estimations, widely considered to be ‘digital natives’ as they were born during or after the digital revolution.

Consumption Patterns: The process by which individuals identify, purchase and consume products and services to fit all their needs.

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