1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The emergence of Web 2.0, one of the most significant developments in the history of commerce, was followed by the emergence of Social Media as an evolution based on Web 2.0. This technical revolution had a significant impact on traditional marketing approaches, ushering in a new era among marketers, an era in which social media changed completely the relationships between marketers and stakeholders, social Media is shifting the power from all users as customers will now be in touch with one another, sharing information about goods and services, which requires advertisers to adapt their old tactics to match the current needs of consumers, to contact them as personally as possible., especially in their buying behavior by using social media as marketing channel in both free as word-of-mouth and paid as social media advertising. Furthermore, advertising is simply one way that consumers learn about new products, learn about things consumers may want or need, because the more consumers know about products more choices they can make, as no one prefer to make poor choices when it comes to purchase, what social media provide is smart many choices more than poor or just many choices (Evans, 2018).
Thus, consumer’s buying behavior is often influenced by a leading brand. This value is created by generating demand (via repurchases) and securing of future earnings for the organization (Sullivan and Oliveira, 2013). Therefore social media marketing serves as opportunities for communication and depends upon new and unusual thought patterns (Heinlein and Kaplan, 2010; Kweskin, 2018). This helps customer’s product and brand experience. This new era of digital communication and social engagement is preeminent for strategizing in business. Therefore as organizations are becoming more competitive globally, it is pertinent for them to explore marketing strategy in a more compelling and innovative way so as to attract larger number of customers (Rockendorf, 2011).
Social media is at its core human communication, possessing characteristics of participation, openness, conversation, community and connectedness (Veil, Buehner and Palenchar, 2011). It is these characteristics of social media that enable an individual to communicate with other people across geographical boundaries about a service, product, an organization or any other thing for that matter. Social media is distinguished from traditional media in ways such as reach, frequency, accessibility, immediacy and many more. Due to these intrinsic features of social media, modern advertisers often prefer them to the traditional media. According to Pookulangara and Koesler (2011), Social media enables 25% of all customers to post links about products, services information in their retail sites to update other users about the purchase process. Some examples of social media are blogs, wikis, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and many more. Advertising on the other hand is “any form of personal presentation and promotion of goods, services, or ideas by an identified sponsor” (Kotler,2010). It is a process of communication between a seller or a producer and a buyer that eventually results in an action by the buyer, be it to purchase, to use or to dispose a product or service. Advertising is one thing that can be admired or otherwise disliked due to its aesthetic value or the message it carries but that cannot be ignored due to its intriguing nature. Due to the evolution of many businesses, advertising also has evolved similarly and taken many different forms such as social media advertising to tackle and match the changes in businesses. Advertising is in a state of change due to growth of digital technology, online communication, consumers accustomed to the commercial environment and increase in clutter (Springer, 2017). Advertising, coupled with social media with respect to the exciting and interactive features of the latter, gives advertisers a much wider range of audiences who are virtually connected, making its impact quick and contagious. The world as it has become a global village now has seen many youth shifting from traditional media like TV and radio to social media where there is faster ad real-time interactivity. As part of what social media offer are informal learning opportunities, access to information, local or foreign; and the development and maintenance of friendships. Considering the heavy reliance of the youth on social media, it is without doubt that they are more influenced by them than any other group in the societies, and although there are negative implications of their use, there is also a great number of benefits as well. Some students in universities indulge in buying and selling on social media as their target audience who are mainly also of youthful age are reached through such media. Social media advertising therefore is a form of online advertising that utilizes social networking sites and although relatively time consuming, has an advantage of enabling advertisers better target their adverts using the information about social media users available on those platforms, be it their demographics, psychographics and even their behaviours. The addictive nature of social media make users an ever ready target for advertisements through these media since advertisements by virtue of their nature, cannot really be ignored though disliked. Advertising becomes void without being able to cause an action or a reaction in its audience, thus consumer behaviour which may be to buy, use or dispose a particular product, a service or even an idea. Consumer behaviour therefore is the “acquisition, consumption and disposition of products, services, time and ideas by decision making units” (Jacoby, 2016). This study will focus on the impact social media advertising has on the consumer buying behaviour of oral B and MyMy toothpaste products.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Social media advertising has gained the preference of many organizations due to its interactive nature coupled with the relatively easy evaluation of advertising efforts on these platforms (Webster and Hume, 2015). These social media platforms to name a few, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter have enabled the customer to access more information and also to have a more direct involvement in organization that advertise on these platforms. The use of influencers in social media advertisements has made the effects of social media advertising even greater and to an extent, making consumers buy products they do not even have need of (Rishi, 2018). The mass communication channel most widely used in advertising, particularly in the case of consumer products, television is also the advertising support that has experienced the fastest expansion and which has the greatest impact on consumer’s behaviour (Jefkins, 2010). Looking over to Television advertisement, its essence has not become obsolete by the influx of social media advertising as it combines visuals and audio in sending messages, quite similar to what is done in social media advertising. It however has some disadvantages of being very costly, and being perishable (forgotten if not repeated), it has some advantages of being targeted in cases where adverts are aired during some particular television shows as it would immediately reach the segment of the market that watch the show, and being able to reach a high audience as TV addresses a mass audience, homogeneous or heterogeneous (Bedore, 2012). Television adverts are good to reach a large audience nevertheless can be ignored by just a button on a remote control. The existence of many television channels have given customers a wide range of exposures and as such can easily miss or ignore adverts. Whereas this is a problem to television advertising, social media advertising is not left out as it has the tendency of becoming annoying especially in the case of pop-up advertisement on websites. Due to these handicapping limitations, there is a gap in knowledge as to which one is more effective: Television advertising or social media advertising. Inasmuch as social media are great advertising platforms as they offer easy, fast and real-time involvement with organizations, their inherent dangers to society cannot be underrated. One must own an account on social media before experiencing the advertising benefits that come with these platforms. Possessing these accounts make one vulnerable to several threats like internet addiction and Facebook depression, which is an emotional disturbance associated with Facebook usage when a user, typically a teenager is made to feel inferior to his or her counterparts on social media as they desire to be as they see them on social media which may not even be the case in reality (Trigger, 2018). Another of the threats is cyber bullying where false or embarrassing information are communicated to a specific user, driving that user to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and in extreme cases even suicide. Many others also spend so much time on social media which results in loss of jobs and negligence to family and other aspects of their lives. These inherent evils of social media give them an unfavourable perception among some people in our societies, making social media a problem rather than a blessing. Therefore this study seeks to determine whether the use of social media has an effect on the buying behaviour of oral B and MYMY toothpaste consumers based on these enumerated issues.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Generally, this research seeks to examine the influence of social media advertising on consumer behaviour of university students in Ghana towards the use of cosmetic products. Specifically, this study seeks:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H1: There is no significant influence of social media advertising on consumers buying behaviour of oral B and MyMy toothpaste products.
H0: There is a significant influence of social media advertising on consumers buying behaviour of oral B and MyMy toothpaste products.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will equip cosmetic producing companies that advertise their products through social media with knowledge about the nature, effectiveness and impact of social media advertising and how they can use this knowledge to better position their adverts to attract, retain and influence university students in purchasing, using or disposing their cosmetic products. Again, this study will add to the existing body of knowledge about social media advertising and serve as a documentary source of reference for other research works in this field.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The title of this work clearly indicates the area of study. The issues that will be examined here is impact of social media advertisement on consumer buying behaviour, a case study of Oral B and MyMy toothpaste.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work
1.9 operational Definition of terms
Social Media: Social media is a media platform that focuses on the existence of users who facilitate them in the move and collaborate. Therefore, social media can be seen as an online medium (facilitator) that reinforces the relationship between users as well as a social bond.
Advertising: Advertising is defined as any paid form of non personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or service by an identified sponsor or advertising is the business of announcing that something is for sale or of trying to persuade customers to buy a Product or service. Advertising is an effort of the company to present or deliver non-personal promotional messages to influence consumers to purchase products (ideas, goods, or services) paid for by identified sponsors.
Consumer Behaviour: Consumer buying behaviour is a direct action Engage in obtaining, consuming, and depleting products or services, including the decision processes that precede and overcome these actions. Consumer buying behaviour can be defined into four definitions, namely: Consumer buying behaviour is the process by which individuals set the answer to the question: what is it, whether, when, where, and from whom goods and services, Behaviours that involve themselves in planning the purchase and use of goods and services, Consumer buying behaviour is any response from consumers, Consumer buying behaviour appears as a movement of the complexity of consumer movement which is the pattern of relations as a whole.
Trust: It is a feeling of confidence in someone that shows you believe they are honest, fair, and reliable. Trust is a key to positive interpersonal relationships in various settings.
Social Media Advertising: This refers to a special area of advertising that uses Internet’s social platforms (social networking sites) to deliver commercial messages to potential consumer.
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