[LINK] Social Networking sites and Advertising study

Marghanita da Cruz marghanita at ramin.com.au
Mon Jan 11 11:28:43 AEDT 2010

Some interesting findings and ways to
generate content for focused advertising.

The Newspapers and Yellow Pages (when 
will someone get through to Telstra that 
they have to think of the environment 
and not distribute the yellow pages 
which go straight into the recycle bin 
or compost) are probably loosing revenue 
for two reasons:
a) the GFC and
b) the lack of granularity of the
audience stats and the  advertising real

> Online social networks give the sites' owners and potential advertisers insights into their users thoughts and patterns of behaviour. Miller looked at the key motivating factors for use of social networking sites that influence content contribution behaviour, friending behaviour, and attitudes towards advertising – all essential components that determine the success or otherwise, of a social networking site.
> Miller found four key motivating factors influencing the users of social network sites. These factors were curiosity about the lives of others, social engagement, a desire to increase social capital and status, and self expression.
> The different motivating factors in turn resulted in different user behaviours and attitudes towards site advertising, how much content they contributed and friending behaviours.
> The users driven by curiosity about others were less likely to contribute much in the way of content but would likely have a higher tolerance for advertising, Miller found. Likewise, others had a need to express themselves and would not be as active in seeking friends, instead feeling more satisfied that the site allowed them to be creative and reduce their anxieties. Still yet others built social capital and status through the large network of friends they established.
> Based on her preliminary survey of existing social networking sites, Miller argues that those differing core motivational profiles and resulting behaviours show social networking sites such as Facebook, have distinctly segmented user markets. Site owners, anxious to retain and increase user numbers, and advertisers wanting to reach those user-consumers, need to be aware of the differences and tailor their approaches accordingly, she said.
> Miller also found other, less clear factors such as gender and major transitional events in life such as a divorce, death, moving house or changing jobs can also influence and create changes in user behaviours.
> By identifying groups of users with distinct behavioural useage patterns and attitudes towards advertising and commercial use of the medium, Miller’s future work will serve to improve our understanding of the nature and dynamics of consumer motivation. It will also have important implications for owners and sponsors of social networking sites interested in user retention.
> With her preliminary research on key motivational factors now presented, Miller will move into the next major data collection phase of her work creating in-depth user surveys and profiles. She’d also like to partner with media and social network site owners interested in developing effective user retention and site sustainability strategies.
Marghanita da Cruz
Tel: 0414-869202

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