This study was on the use of social media platforms for advertisement among youths. The total population for the study is 200 students of university of uyo. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made final year students, year 4 students, year 3 students and year 2 students were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.
1.1Background of the study
To understand the evolution from old media to new media, it is important to distinguish between the two and understand how they both work as advertising tools. In order to understand the importance of using social media as an advertising tool, it is important to understand how advertising used to work and get to understand how it has evolved.
According to (Mulhern 2009; 10), media is experiencing a digital revolution which is liberating news, information, and advertising from the confines of traditional print and broadcast delivery systems. Before getting into details on the evolution of traditional media to Social media and how to effectively communicate using Social media, it is important to understand the difference between the two forms of media communication. Mainstream media is the term used to encompass conventional forms of advertising media such as television, print, radio, direct mail and outdoor. As depicted, below is the representation of different media channels of communication
Media advertising is a form of marketing communication used to persuade an audience to take some desired actions, which in most cases is to buy a product or service. The intention is to drive consumer behavior by selling the product’s unique value propositions. Advertisers seek to increase consumptions by telling and repeating the brand message to the target market. Advertisers control the message and their brand. It’s a show and tell exercise.
(Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010; 4) define social media as a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, which facilitates the creation and exchange of user- generated content‖. It consists of different Internet applications such as blogs, social networking sites, content communities, collaborative projects, virtual game worlds and social worlds. Other scholars such as Russell S. Winer (2009) affirm that many companies today are using some or all of the new media to develop targeted campaigns that reach specific segments and engage their customers to a much greater extent than traditional media(Daugherty, 2008; 33).
Furthermore Boyd and Ellison (2007) define social networks as “web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system” (Furthermore Boyd and Ellison 2007; 1). We will use this definition to set the foundation for understanding social media and the way users interact with these platforms. A few of the most popular social networking sites include the following: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Flickr, and YouTube.
Social media is different from traditional or industrial media in many ways. For example, with Print media (e.g. newspapers and magazines) communication may only be consumed while in the physical possession of a reader. Television may only be watched when someone is sitting in front of it. In the digital world, content is not only free from such constraints, but may also be copied and repeatedly shared at little (if any) cost and without any degradation in quality. This capability for infinite reproduction demolishes the traditional business model of making money by selling duplicated content (Mulhern, 2009; 54).
As consumers, we are also accustomed to seeing news, entertainment, and advertising bundled together into neat packages for our viewing pleasure. However, a digital infrastructure allows these individual pieces to become unattached. For example, a news story may be unbundled from a specific media (e.g. newspaper) and delivered separately. As such, an advertisement may be packaged with the story without ever being attached to a newspaper. Therefore, one need not buy an entire newspaper for one story and still be exposed to the advertisement. This approach allows advertisements to become modular and associated with pieces of information which are of interest to specific customers. Customers benefit because they no longer have to comb through strenuous material in order to reach the content in which they are interested (Mulhern, 2009; 56).
Customers can now choose what to read what they want, when they want and discredit the rest. While the differences between traditional advertising and the new world of digital communications are numerous, none is greater than that between the concept of communications focusing upon the delivery of messages via media channels and that of communications specifically designed to facilitate and manage the connections between information (products) and people. Naturally, as in traditional advertising, creative content remains at the center of these communications. Among students in Ahmadu Bello University for example, the most memorable media campaigns on traditional media are those that grabbed and maintained our interest for example Toss Radio Advert that talked about a Secondary student ( Form 1) whose uniform has faded so much that the principal thought he was in Form. Another example was the Pesa Pap campaign by Family Bank.
Social media was created to facilitate the exchange of information via email, chat rooms, blogs, discussion forums, digital audio, images and movies among its users. It includes websites like face book, twitter, blogs and MySpace whose major users are youths and young adults who use it for diverse purposes. Many of these youths no longer depend on traditional media for their information and entertainment needs; rather, they are hook to the social media for all these. As more and more youth depend on social media for their needs, advertisers see it as an avenue to carry their advertising messages and to reach this important market segment. Manufacturers who produce goods and offer services that appeal to youths usually place their adverts on social media. Infact, social media sites are now overloaded with advertisements.
Statement of the problem
With the increasing move to social media as advertising hub, the issue is, does the youth respond to advertising messages on social media, if they do, do these advertising messages have any influence on them?
Objective of the study
The objectives of the study are;
- To find out the consumption habits of advertisements by the general public on social media among youth
- To establish the general level of awareness on the importance of social media as an advertising tool among youth
- To examine the effectiveness of social media advertisements in influencing buying decisions among youth
The following research hypothesis will be relevant to this study
H1: there is no effectiveness of social media advertisements in influencing buying decisions among youth.
H0: there is effectiveness of social media advertisements in influencing buying decisions among youth.
H2: there is no general level of awareness on the importance of social media as an advertising tool among youth
H0: there is general level of awareness on the importance of social media as an advertising tool among youth.
Significance of the study
This study will seek to revolutionize how the social media industry works in Nigeria, by providing critical solutions on how to engage with a company’s potential target market, when to engage the said target market and the tone/language to use when engaging them. Imagine knowing exactly when your target market engages in social media and how to grab their attention without fail! The research aims to find the perfect way communicate using social media, eliminating any chances of wastage in terms of time and revenue on behalf of companies.
Scope and limitation of the study
The scope of the study covers the use of social media platforms for advertisement among youths. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
Definition of terms
Social media: Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation or sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks
Advertisement: a notice or announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service, or event or publicizing a job vacancy
Youth: Youth is the time of life when one is young, and often means the time between childhood and adulthood. It is also defined as “the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc., characteristic of one who is young”