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Effect of Social Media Communications on Students’ Buying Behaviour Towards Smartphones in Calabar


  • Background of the study
  • Statement of the problem
  • Objectives of the study
  • Research questions
  • Research hypotheses
  • Significance of the study
  • Scope of the study
  • Operational definition of terms


  • Theoretical framework
  • Rational choice theory
  • Social media communications
  • Students’ buying behaviour
  • Social media communications and students’ buying behaviour
  • Facebook and students’ buying behaviour
  • YouTube and students’ buying behaviour
  • WhatsApp and students’ buying behaviour
  • Empirical review
  • Conceptual framework
  • Summary of review of related literature


  • Research design
  • The study area
  • Population of the study
  • Sample size determination
  • Sampling techniques
  • Sources and methods of data collection
  • Instrumentation
  • Validity of the research instrument
  • Reliability of the research instrument
  • Data analysis techniques


  • Data presentation
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Test of hypotheses
  • Discussion of findings


  • Summary of findings
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations References Appendices


1.1 Background of the study

 The emergence and proliferation of social media communication technologies have revolutionized human communications as well as the manner in which commercial operations are executed (Syaifullah, Syaifudin, Sukendar & Junaedi, 2021). Instead of physically visiting stores to obtain information about products and services, customers could easily visit social media sites and obtain information from other experienced customers who have had previous patronage relationships with the intended companies. As such, information obtained from such sources is considered more credible and reliable than companies’ promotional campaigns, which hence makes social media an indispensable source of information to many people (Wang & Kim, 2017). By definition, social media is electronic and internet-based tools used for the purpose of sharing and discussing information and experiences with other human beings for the purpose of creating or shaping certain behavioural tendencies (Adegbuyi, Akinyele & Akinyele, 2015). It is a type of media that is based on conversations and interactions between and among people online.

While there are various social media tools used by companies and users to communication with each other, this study centers on examining the influence of Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp on students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones. In the views of Karen and Jiovanni (2015), Facebook is a prominent social networking service founded on February 4, 2004, in the United States of America. It allows registered members access to an account or profile with which they can search for people they may know, connect with them, view their posts, chat and share all sorts of information with them for free. For Wang (2015), YouTube is a website designed in 2005 for sharing videos. Millions of users around the globe have created accounts on the site that allow them to upload videos that anyone can watch. Every minute of every day, more than 35 hours of videos are uploaded on YouTube. Similarly, WhatsApp is also a social networking service owned by FaceBook Incorporated (Edgar, 2018). It allows registered users to connect with other registered users using their phone numbers to send and receive messages; share files like photos, videos, audios, voice notes, documents and internet links. Through these social media platforms, it has been observed that students of the University of Calabar connect with each other and with their friends and family to share valuable information about lecture schedules/venues, courses studied, study materials, relationships, movies, fashion, gadgets, events and other topics of interest. This study is therefore carried out to determine the influence of social media communications (Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp) on students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones in Calabar, Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the problem

 In light of the perceived usefulness and interconnectivity of social media, consumers are increasingly relying on social media platforms for information regarding services and products to buy. A study by Tatar and Eren-Erdoğmuş (2016). suggests that 85 percent of customers rely on social media reviews and recommendations to select potential hotels to patronize when they travel. Apart from the hospitality industry, customers in various other industries are harnessing the potential of social media communications as a basis for their purchase decisions. Being a student and a smartphone consumer at the same time, the researcher has observed that most students in the University of Calabar source for and purchase smartphones through information obtained from friends and acquaintances on social media. This could be due to the perceived credibility and trustworthiness attached to social media communications from friends and family with whom students are familiar.

However, there appears to be insufficient empirical backing of the role of social media communications in influencing students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones, particularly in Calabar. This is because the overwhelming attention of existing researchers has been to explore the causality between social media and consumer patronage behaviour towards online retailing (Zhang, Trusov, Stephen & Jamal, 2017), banking services (Durkin, Mulholland & McCartan, 2015), hospitality firms (Tatar & Eren-Erdoğmuş, 2016), cosmetics and fashion accessories (Man & Rahman, 2019), and fast-moving consumer goods (Adegbuyi, Akinyele & Akinyele, 2015). This entails that the relationship between social media and students’ buying behaviour has not been adequately studies, therefore, it is not clear whether the use of social media by dealers and manufacturers could significantly influence students’ buying behaviour. Against this backdrop, this study was therefore carried out to determine the extent to which social media communication tools have influenced students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones in Calabar, Nigeria.

1.3 Objectives of the study

 The main objective of this study is to examine the effect of social media communications on students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones in Calabar. Its specific objectives are to;

  1. assess the effect of Facebook on students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones in Calabar;
  2. determine the effect of YouTube on students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones in Calabar;
  3. examine the effect of WhatsApp on students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones in Calabar.

1.4 Research questions

This study is conducted to provide answers to the following research questions:

  1. To what extent does Facebook influence students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones in Calabar?
  2. What is the influence of YouTube on students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones in Calabar?
  3. To what extent does WhatsApp influence students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones in Calabar?

1.5 Research hypotheses

 In the course of the study, the following null hypotheses shall be tested to generate findings:

  1. Ho: Facebook has no significant effect on students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones in
  2. Ho: YouTube has no significant effect on students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones in
  3. Ho: WhatsApp has no significant effect on students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones in

1.6 Significance of the study

 This study shall be useful to academia because students and researchers in educational institutions may consider this study as valuable reference material and a guide for the conduct of future research or seminars on this subject or any other related topics. The study shall also benefit manufacturers and dealers in smartphones because it highlights precisely how a significant portion of their market (students) behave towards their products, thereby providing information for improved marketing decision-making. Similarly, manufacturers and dealers in smartphones can benefit from this study by adopting its findings and recommendations as alternative social media strategies to favorably influence students’ buying behaviour toward their products.

1.7 Scope of the study

 The overarching purpose of this study is to examine the effect of social media communications on students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones in Calabar. Its specific purpose is to assess the effects of Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp on students’ buying behaviour towards smartphones in Calabar. The sampling frame, therefore, comprises all students of the University of Calabar, Nigeria.

1.8 Operational definition of terms

 Social media: An interactive internet-based platform that allows students to connect and share information with each other on a mobile phone or personal computer.

Students’ buying behaviour: The behaviour students display in searching for, evaluating, acquiring, consuming and disposing of smartphones that they expect to satisfy their needs.

Smartphone: Any mobile phone embedded with digital capabilities to carry out wireless communications, connect to the internet, upload and download contents from the internet.

Facebook: A free social networking website that allows students to create profiles, upload photos and videos, send messages, and keep in touch with others.

YouTube: A free video-sharing website that allows registered users (students) to upload and share video clips online at the youtube.com website.

WhatsApp: A social media platform that allows communication and sharing of files like texts, audio clips, video clips, and documents between and among students.



 Adegbuyi, O. A., Akinyele, F. A., & Akinyele, S. T. (2015). Effect of social media marketing on small-scale business performance in Ota-Metropolis, Nigeria. International Journal of Social Sciences and Management, 2(3), 275-283.

Durkin, M., Mulholland, G., & McCartan, A. (2015). A socio-technical perspective on social media adoption: a case from retail banking. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 7, 67-79

Edgar, R. (2018). Major social media networks in the world. Retrieved from: https://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/major-social-media-in-the-world<6373890.aspx

Karen, W. & Jiovanni, E. (2015). Effect of social media networks on consumer buying behaviour towards apparels in Rome. European Journal of Education, 17(6), 134-147

Man, Q., & Rahman, J. M. (2019). The impact of cosmetics industry social media marketing on brand loyalty: Evidence from Chinese college students. Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, 23(2), 117-128

Syaifullah, J., Syaifudin, M., Sukendar, M. U., & Junaedi, J. (2021). Social media marketing and business performance of MSMEs during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics, and Business, 8(2), 523-531.

Tatar, Ş. B., & Eren-Erdoğmuş, İ. (2016). The effect of social media marketing on brand trust and brand loyalty for hotels. Information Technology & Tourism, 16(3), 249-263.

Wang, C. (2015). Do people purchase what they view from YouTube?: The influence of attitude and perceived credibility of user-generated content on purchase intention. Global Journal of Advanced Research, 8(1), 16-21

Wang, Z., & Kim, H. G. (2017). Can social media marketing improve customer relationship capabilities and firm performance? Dynamic capability perspective. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 39, 15-26.

Zhang, Y., Trusov, M., Stephen, A. T., & Jamal, Z. (2017). Online shopping and social media: friends or foes? Journal of Marketing, 81(6), 24-41


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