Evaluation of Factors Influencing the Popularity of Modes of Advertising in Online Social Media



Received: 07/25/2015

Accepted: 09/10/2016

Extended Abstract

Introduction and problematic of research: Social media has an expanding importance as channels to collect information in products and services. Brands attend in these social sites to advertise their names, attract partnership and develop word of mouth advertising. That is why, analysis of the factors that interact consumers with brands advertising content, have become a favorite subject for research. In this research, we try to identify those factors which have influence on the popularity of brand advertising by using systematic evaluation of existing model in this context, and offer a model to show the effect applying on the content of brand posts. Moreover, we considered eleven hypotheses according to the mentioned factors and each hypothesis is assessed by the popularity of measuring factors (the number of Likes, comments and share). In addition, the questionnaires are taken to test the hypotheses. These questionnaires are distributed in between undergraduate, graduate and PHD students at the universities in Tehran and the results are analyzed. The consequences show the factors like “entertainment posts”, “using images in brand posts” and “the position of brand posts”, have a significant impact on the popularities of posts.

Theoretical background: There are many researches done on the field of benefits of advertising on online social networks. Increase in the use of online social networks, new methods of communicating and statistical studies about gaining customers and their trust to online social networks are important parts of these researches. Some of these works will be presented here.

SNS are turning into the most popular websites and are gaining the attention of the market increasingly as time goes on. SNS have about 6% of the total site visits and 19% of the total time spent online. Nowadays SNS are one of the most important information gathering channels about products and services and are developing new opportunities on these fields with every single passing day. (Tuten, 2008)

SNS are developing new ways of interactivity, communicating, decision making, learning, cooperating or even marketing. Therefor the study of SNS and their effects on customers and organizations are becoming a hot topic among researchers, marketers and strategy designers. (Mangold and Faulds, 2009; Fischer and Reuber, 2011; Constantinides and Fountain, 2008)

The rise of the SNS on internet led to the creation of new ways of communications that can be considered rivals for traditional marketing ideas. These features also help companies have more understanding about their customers and have the ability of direct communication. (Scott, 2007)

Analyzing 1491 adult customers (18 or older) of Chadwick Martin Bailey, Inc. in 2011 showed that 77% of the customers follow this company via SNS, 60% would like to suggest this brand to their social friends, 50% developed willingness to buy since following this brand online, 58% said they like the posts because they are customers of this brand and 57% said they like the posts because of the offers. (Contact.C, 2011)

Employing a well-designed marketing strategy on online social networks may lead to having a better understanding of customers’ behaviors and preferences, improving advertising by word-of-mouth more interaction with users to improve R&D, engagement development and brand advertising compared to big companies’ websites. (Hettler, 2010)

On and on there are still no theoretical frameworks that can interpret the manner in which users can help social networks. It’s also impossible to give a certain formula for this procedure as there are many different brand names with specific businesses, facilities and goals. (Singh and Jain and Kankanhalli, 2011)

Methodology: At the beginning the researchers distributed 44 questionnaires containing 51 questions on five-level Likert scale among students using online social networks in Tehran to test the reliability of the questionnaire. Universities of Tehran have the advantage of being an almost perfect sample from the whole country as students from all over the country study in these universities with different cultures and ethnicities. A 0.902 Cronbach’s Alpha was satisfying enough for the researchers to continue their work in Tehran alone. In the next phase a total of 301 questionnaires were filled by the students of Tehran universities both in the traditional way (printed questionnaires) and online (using Google Drive service). There were 173 men and 128 women in our sample, 163 of them bachelors of Science, 132 Masters and 6 Ph.Ds.

Results and discussion: Companies and brand names should notice that although using “videos” and “images” in a post can benefit them gaining more popularity, using these kinds of tools is like using a two edged blade! First you have to study the internet structure of a country and if sufficient enough, using “videos” and “images” can greatly increase the popularity of the brand posts. But in a country like Iran with a mixture of high and low internet speed, other difficulties like using proxies to access some social networks due to filtering, using these tools would not seem effective enough as some of the users may ignore the entire post just because they know that watching the video will cost them a lot of time and in the end they may lose the last seconds (Minutes!) due to some network problems!