Social Networking: An Effective Tool of Virtual Marketing?

Social Networking: An Effective Tool of Virtual Marketing?

Shivani Arora (Delhi University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7470-7.ch022


This chapter aims to explain the impact of social networking websites on the youth of India. Their usage pattern being the focus which would go on to establish the efficacy of usage of social networking websites to expand the business. The build-up of the chapter is not only theoretical but also provides an analytical opinion derived from the results of a study. For the purpose of the study, questions were administered to around 500 avid users of social networking websites from Delhi University (150 completed questionnaires were received). The representative sample would go a long way in forming an opinion on whether it is worthwhile to use social networking to promote brands to the segment studied or not.
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Social Networking sites are being extensively used. The Facebook id, LinkedIn id, twitter handle, all have become a part of the identity of a person. As SNS are increasingly popular with millions of users connecting within and beyond the platform, it is important to understand the effects of SNS use to identify the potential benefits and costs to personal relationships. The extensive use of Facebook by its users makes it an interesting to study it further, according to the study conducted by Vancouver based social media and promotion agency, Popcorn, half a million comments are posted every minute, around 3,00,000 updates posted and 1,40,000 photos are uploaded every minute. Twitter has around 1,20,000 tweets rolling out per minute (Laura,2012).

A detailed note of the earlier studies in the field of Social Networking has been done to observe which areas have been explored and which need further investigation, in order to formulate the objectives and undertake productive research. The review has also been undertaken to earmark the problem areas related to social networking. Besides, these studies would provide an insight into the various efforts directed towards better understanding of the competencies and complexities of the social networking.

The study “Social Media Update 2013” by Pew Research Internet Project studied 5,112 users revealed that 74% of women were users of social networking sites as compared to 62% of men. The use of social networking sites among young adults (18-29 years) jumped from 9% in 2005 to 90% in 2013.

Marianne Stenger, in her article, Social Media Usage provides Educational Benefits Research Shows, shares the studies by researchers from the University of Science & Technology of China and the City University of Hong Kong. They found that social networking sites can help students to become academically and socially integrated, and may even improve learning outcomes rather than otherwise believed to be causing problems in studies of the youth.

The study, which collected data from students aged between 16 and 18 over a period of six months, found that social networking sites helped students to practice their technology skills, develop creativity and communication skills, and be more open to diverse views (Stenger, 2013).

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