Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Finance

Advisor

Jensen, Molly

Reader

Rapert, Molly

Abstract

Since the inception of popular social networking sites, such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, millions of people around the world are becoming members of their own virtual communities that continue to grow. Communication barriers flattened with the invention of the internet, and now social networking sites are creating an organized infrastructure within the vast cyberspace. Within my research, I plan to further pursue a research gap concerning the importance of the social context in which ads are displayed. Since it is well documented that social media users are sensitive about the amount of advertising and the kind of information marketers are utilizing, it is possible marketers could improve social media users’ perception by not only loading their messages with entertainment and informational value as Taylor, Lewin and Strutton (2011) suggest, but also by avoiding the placement of ads in sensitive contexts, unless the message can satisfy the immediate need of the user in that context by utilizing a congruent advertisement. The significance of the findings by this study can guide marketers as to which contexts to encourage and avoid displaying advertisements. Since social networking sites function as virtual communities, it is as if marketers are currently represented as the new member of the community that has found a way to learn as much or more about the user than his or her closest friends in a fraction of the amount of time. Such mining of information can lead to privacy issues and distrust. Therefore, marketers are not establishing a rapport with users, leaving them to feel vulnerable to marketers’ methods of data collection. By understanding the proper contexts to place advertisements within social media, marketers and social networking sites could not only establish a better relationship with the consumers that are engaged in social media, but also generate an even greater revenue stream.

Included in

Marketing Commons

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