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Consumer Engagement

The Role of Social Media


William Trotta, Alan Nuez, Ryan Fernandez, and Katie Turcio-Canales
MKT 415- Marketing Research
Dr. Oumlil
April 24th, 2014
Group Term Paper

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Table of Contents
Executive Summary Pg. 2
Introduction Pg. 2
Information Sources Pg. 3
Research Method Pg. 4
Results Pg. 8
Discussion Pg.11
Appendices Pg. 13

A special thanks to:


Mr. Ron Mason Director of Housing WCSU, (data collections).
Dr. Fred Tech, Dr. Michele Ganon, and Dr. Chin-Wem Huang for allowing us to use
there MBA classes for data collections.
Marketing Department and Department Chair Dr. Drozdenko & Ancell School of
Business & Dean, Dr. James Donegan (providing survey monkey platform for data
gathering & analysis)
Thanks to all others that were helpful in assisting in completing this project.

William T. Alan N., Ryan F., and Katie T.

Executive Summary
Millions of people use social media networks daily. One may wonder what these
networks offer a person that keeps them so attached to their laptops, smartphones, etc.
Within our studies we determined the correlation between consumer engagement and
social media, also taking into account the level of usage of social media by each
respondent. Our group identified three important and specific objectives that we wanted
to analyze and recognize in our research. The first was to determine the different types of
respondents, based on their online engagement. Secondly, distinguish the various
segments of social media and respondents. Lastly, study the impact of online
advertisements on respondents through a positive or negative reaction. After our study
was complete we found that in fact there is a correlation between consumer engagement
and social media. This knowledge can be utilized to further strategize on ways to better
market to social media users and how to create further engagement.

Introduction
With the increase use of social media in the past decade a growing interest in
understanding the relevance between consumer engagement and social media has risen.
Our group was intrigued to learn what impact social media has based off of our research
sample group in terms of their engagement, and how they responded to different factors
of the Internet and social media.
For our research we were distributed our questionnaire to respondents of age 18 and
older. Our sample population consisted of upperclassman university students residing on

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the west side campus. They were asked to answer the questionnaire that included a series
of questions about their attitudes toward and actual use of social media. The
questionnaire was designed to further explore online engagement by asking such
questions as to what they participated in most and least online, their trust in information,
interactions with firms on social media, and reactions to online ads.
In our research we believed that it was imperative to be able to understand the overall
factors, that led our respondents to have a certain opinions or beliefs about online
advertisements. The results of our research can assist in providing insight into how
consumers utilize social media and distinguish the different levels of engagement. This
information is valuable for a marketer to not only increase potential acquisitions, but also
to increase consumer engagement with companies trying to carter to specific interests.

Information Sources
Primary Source (Formal Research)
In order to obtain primary data, we first started by formulating specific questions based
on the various objectives to conduct our research. We structured the questions with the
intent to have the language be comprehensive to a vast audience. Our group handed out
questionnaires to students residing in one of the three dormitories on the Westside
Campus. In total we collected 44 questionnaires, which we then combined, with our class
total to ultimately achieve 242 respondents. Once we had all of the respondents
questionnaires completed the data was inserted into Survey Monkey; where the results
were compiled into charts and graphs for us to analyze.

William T. Alan N., Ryan F., and Katie T.

Secondary Sources
There is no question that millions of people use social media networks daily. Everyone
seems to be on social media and if they are not, they are thinking about it. Those
companies and institutions that are already on social media now are trying further
incorporate social media in their day-to-day dealings with their consumers.
There is the idea of companies such as Pepsi Co. having millions of fans on Facebook.
Now the question that daunts many in the business world is what does that actually mean.
It is important to understand the power that social media holds. It is capable of creating
and building a solid image for a business or it can create a negative image and in some
cases overall destruction. There is a true science in being to able to dominate social
media.
It is important for companies to take the time to do their research and be willing to spend
the necessary funds in order to effectively create a social media campaign that works.
Companies need to be aware in developing a seamless transition of their message through
all mediums of communication whether it is online via social media or regular mediums
such as television and print.

Research Method
Main Purpose
The main purpose of our research was to determine the relationship between consumer
engagement and social media. We identified both important and specific objectives that
our group wanted to study and recognize while conducting our research. We decided on
three objectives that would distinguish different types of respondents, based on their

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online activities, segments of social media, and the reactions to online advertisements
from social media consumers.

Objective 1
Our first objective was to determine the different types of respondents, based on their
online engagement.
In our research we found that 6 out of 241 respondents do not interact or use social media
what so ever. The 235 respondents who do engage in social media primarily use their
cellphones and laptops to access their accounts.
We found that the majority of respondents did not engage in the following: RSS feeds
service, contribute to or edit Wikipedia articles, add comments to blog posts, nor upload
videos on YouTube, Vimeo, etc. Respondents infrequently updated a personal blog, or a
personal Twitter account.
We found that most respondents engaged in adding labels or tags to photos online, and
adding comments to other peoples social media profiles.
Seeing the way most respondents engage on social media networks we can infer that the
majority of respondents are using the Internet for more entertainment purposes rather
than contributing to online information services.

Objective 2
Our second objective was to distinguish the various segments of social media and
respondents.
The total number of respondents fell into four distinct segments based on the
amount of years active on social media. Most of the respondents have been on social

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media networks for more than 5 years (171 respondents). There were 34
respondents who on social media for 4 years now and 28 respondents who have
been on social media networks for 3 years or less.
In the results we noted that the three main social media networks in which
respondents were most active on were Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The least
popular were LinkedIn, Myspace, and Foursquare.

Objective 3
Our third objective was to study the impact of online advertisements on
respondents through a positive or negative reaction.
Roughly 56% of respondents showed negative reactions to ads appearing on social
media profiles. Also it is important to note that roughly 73% of respondents dont
often access the ads that they see on their social media profiles (not just on
Facebook). Interestingly enough 72% of respondents were neutral or agreed that
the ads which appeared on their social media profiles are relevant to their personal
interests.

Measurement and Research Instrument


The research design for the study was an exploratory one, which included primary data.
The primary data results were collected by survey questionnaire1. This data collection
process suited the study because the objectives of the study can only be found through
questions to the intended target population.

Survey Questionnaire in Appendix

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The target population group consisted of consumers using social networks. Since the
population of consumers using social networks is approximately in the millions, data
collection would take a large quantity of time. The target population was segmented to
just college students living on a university campus; this university being Western
Connecticut State University and the campus being the Westside Campus. The sample
size was relatively small compared to the overall population size, which allows the study
to be completed in a quicker time period. The response rate has yet to be calculated.
The primary data was collected by a large group of students. This large group was then
segmented to smaller groups of three to four students in each group. Each of these
smaller groups was given a limited number of survey questionnaires to hand out to the
segmented target population. There was no training involved when handing out the
survey questionnaires. Each group was required to attract the target population to take
part in the survey. All groups were allowed to use a small incentive to attract subjects for
the survey. Supervision was provided by the Professor of the class, Dr. Oumil. A board of
directors on the university campus, allowing each group to distribute the survey, verified
the survey questionnaire.

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Results
Objective 1
After undergoing the data analysis, using the frequency analysis three types of social
media users emerged. These three types represent the basis for an understanding of the
respondents activities on social media sites. The three different segments are basic social
media user, the community users, and the review users.
The respondents that formed the first type have been named basic social media user.
These are users who utilize social media to update their profile on sites like Facebook or
Instagram, as well as using Youtube and Vimeo for viewing and uploading videos for
leisure purposes.
The second type is labeled community users. The characteristics of users in this category
are users who have personal blogs that they constantly update with information that is
important to them and engaging in online forums to gain/give information on subjects
being discussed. The role social media plays towards community users are to give them a
channel to project opinions on their own personal site for others to engage in
conversation to form an online community.
The third type is a review user. These users are people who research secondary data on
products and/or project opinions of the products they have purchased and the ergonomics
of the product. The decision of purchasing products/services is in question and these
users analyze the advantages and disadvantages of going through with this purchase.

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Objective 2
After analyzing our results, respondents were segmented based on span of time active on
social networks. Most of the respondents have been on social media networks for more
than 5 years (171 respondents). There were 34 respondents who on social media for 4
years now and 28 respondents who have been on social media networks for 3 years or
less.
With further analysis, our group broke down these segments into sub categories of
frequent engagement and average time spent on social media networks. Our data shows
that 70% of respondents engaged in social media activities a few times a day, while a

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total of 26% of respondents showed engagement once to a few times in a week. On


average, 29% of these respondents were engaging on social media activities for 1-2 hours
daily. Roughly 22% of respondents spent 3 hours or more with these activities. A
staggering 50% of social media users engage in activities for an hour or less each day.
With our data we were able to derive the top and lowest social media sites for
engagement. Overall Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were the top 3 leading social
media sites with the average of 187 respondents of our sample population maintaining an
active account on these social media sites. LinkedIn, MySpace, and FourSquare coming
in at the bottom 3 with an average of 33 respondents of our sample population
maintaining an active account on these social media networks.

Objective 3
Participants of the survey responded negatively towards online advertisements, with 73%
of respondents not accessing ads through social media profiles. On the other side of the
spectrum, 72% of respondents were neutral or agreed that the ads which appeared on
their social media profiles are relevant to their personal interests. When it came to the
statement, I like or enjoy the ads that appear on my profile, 56% of respondents stated
that they disagreed with the statement.

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The overall negative responses to these statements tells us that the majority of
respondents do feel that the ads that appear are relevant to their personal interests,
however they do not necessarily enjoy those ads. One can infer this segment may be open
to seeing more online advertisements on their social media profiles relevant to their
interests.

Discussion
Data attained from this survey has helped us quantify the relationship between consumer
engagement and social media. With the knowledge of the types of users of social media,
the grouping of behaviors of social media users and the impact of online advertisements
on social media sites, we can form strategies on how to market to social media users as
well as increase engagement of social media users and companies.
The relevance of online advertisements seems to be a channel of diverting social media
users to making a purchase decision or engaging with companies whom they associate
themselves with or are interested in. Reviews of products and services scored well in the
survey as most participants acknowledged that they either read and/or watched reviews
products and services as it is a factor in their purchase decision process.

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Although relevant online advertisements may be a medium for companies reaching out to
their social media consumers, their presence is felt to be malignant. Judging from the
data, online advertisements are seen to be an interruption of a social media users
experience. This leads to social media users being wary of engaging in relationships with
companies.

Limitations
As any research not all results are perfect and are faced with limitations. Our study
encountered three distinctive limitations in the areas of respondents, systematic, and
sampling.
Our results encountered respondent errors by deliberate falsification and unconscious
misrepresentation. These were due to time constraints put on the respondents from
outside factors such as classes, work and transportation. Deliberate falsification was
caused by respondents filling the questionnaire with minimal effort.
The results also endured systematic errors due to lack of proofing of the questionnaire
before being administered to respondents. Our group came across several questionnaires
missing more than one question, which may have skewed results.
Western Connecticut State University has an estimated total 6,000 students, but for this
research our group was limited to students housing on Westside campus. That reduces the
sample population tremendously as there is a large population of commuters and there is
another campus that houses a significant amount of the overall population. Also the time
period chosen to distribute questionnaires led to repetitive sample groups.

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Appendices
Examining the Presence of Social Media on University Websites
By Grant Greenwood
Greenwood, G. (2012). Examining the Presence of Social Media on University Web
Sites. Journal Of College Admission, (216), 24-28.

Summary: Social Networking has become a massive medium that has influenced the
lives of a majority of the American Population. The Social Networking Site (SNS)
movement is filling a network gap and provides higher education institutions with
opportunities to connect with a more targeted audience that is familiar with Social Media.
This allows for optimized marketing efforts and studies regarding the types of students
that may attend a University. Typical students that are undergraduate recruits are ages 14
to 19 and most commonly known as digital natives. These students have been exposed
to Social Media from an early age. The Internet age and social media is constantly
changing the way students interact and has revolutionized the way students use Social
Media. An institutions website has proven to be a direct extension of the campus and
students use the web to find a future college or university. 34.4 percent of university
homepage users are future or current students. The research goal in the study conducted
is to examine how effectively institutions are implementing and showcasing their social
networking sites. The top 100 institutions listed in the U.S. News, 2010-2011 Best
Colleges National Rankings are used in this study. A screenshot was recorded of each
schools homepage and then searched for SNS links. Additionally the phrases social
media and social networking were entered into the sites search box. With a wide
variety of findings, many social media sites were revealed. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,
iTunes, Flicker, LinkedIn, and Foursquare were found as just a few of the many social

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media sites present. Another data series called other included less popular SNS such as
Tumblr, Gowalla, Vimeo, and Scribd. All in all, 92 percent of the colleges studied were
using social media on their official websites to interact with students and promote the
university. The types of social media shown on the websites also relate to the types of
social media most used by the students viewing the sites each day. This study revealed
that colleges using social media within their sites averaged roughly four SNS per college.
It has been suggested that prospective and current students are constantly using the
websites and expect social media to be part of their college experience.

Evaluation: This article provides the reader with an interesting case study in regard to
social media. Not many students take time to analyze the layout of their institutions
website and examine the types of social media present. It provides a talking point for the
thought provoking question as to if the types of social media on a University website
directly affects the types of students that will remain interested in that school. I was very
impressed with the clarity of the article and the diversity of student participants from a
range of undergraduate majors, masters and doctoral degrees. In the methodology it was
showcased that the data was taken over a five-day period in early August 2011 and each
of the 100 colleges web sites was visited to obtain the data. With tables to show the
statistics and data in regard to social media on the websites, this study is very relevant to
a practicing marketing manager. The patterns in social media may be a direct correlation
to the Universities performance and 35 colleges were found to be dedicating a separate
web page to social media. It was very interesting to see that table 4 in the article even
showcases the spread of mouse clicks needed to reach the social media pages. This study

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was very helpful and the only weakness I have observed is that colleges clearly must
adapt their recruiting techniques in order to appeal to a new generation of students.
Institutions not taking advantage of the world of social media are missing out on
tremendous marketing and recruiting opportunities. Grant Greenwood the writer is an
admissions counselor at Hardin-Simmons University in Texas and has done an excellent
job studying social media and its impact on both college students and their University.

Social Media Usage By Business College Students


By Jose Perez-Carballo & Carol Blaszczynski, California State University, Los Angeles
Perez-Carballo, J., & Blaszczynski, C. (2011). SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE BY
BUSINESS COLLEGE STUDENTS. Allied Academies International Conference:
Procedings Of the Academy Of Information & Management Sciences (AIMS), 15(2), 5-8.

Summary: The day to day usage of social media such as Twitter and Facebook as well as
news gathering practices of 126 business students (83 Male, 43 Female) was investigated
through the completion of a survey. The research goal of the survey was to address the
major issues in the use of social media specifically with the respect to news gathering
approaches during the Spring 2011 term. Participants consisted of students enrolled in
six sections of business courses, including two-business communications course section.
A total of 126 students completed the survey and all of the information was collected
anonymous and voluntary. There was absolutely no difference in international news
seeking practices based on gender and roughly three quarters of the students had never
used Twitter. This proved to be very important due to the finding that despite a
significant majority of the subjects preferred Internet (78%) as a news source; a
surprisingly large portion of the subjects had never used Twitter (72.2%). Men had used
Twitter more frequently than women while women used Facebook slightly more

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frequently than the men. Students that were younger than 26 were more likely to use
Twitter than students 26 and older. With the explosive increase in social media, and the
integration of web search engines and mobile devices, the subjects of this study will most
likely become more frequent users of social media. There is a high demand for being
educated about breaking news, analysis, and discussion. The results from the article
matched results from a Pew Research report from 2009 (Pew, 2009) that found evidence
that people were beginning to use the Internet more often than newspapers to gather
news. Tools to create and maintain social and professional relationships continue to
emerge and the risks of social media are on the rise. Students are becoming more aware
but still need to be taught as to judging the credibility and authority of the information
seen online and learning how to use social media to become better students, better
professionals, and better citizens. This suggests that these college students still need to
be educated about the possibilities and risks of social media.

Evaluation: This article provides a very interesting case study and it was very clear that
some of the results match results from a Pew Research report from 2009 that found
evidence in a shift from traditional media to the Internet. It would have been nice if more
students could have been tested but a survey was developed to address major issues in the
use of social media specifically with respect to newsgathering approaches during the
spring 2011 term. Participants were enrolled in six sections of business courses and a
total of 126 students completed the survey. The paper was very well organized as an
academic journal and provides a great deal of relevance to a practicing marketing
manager through all of the information obtained and the manager may be able to use

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certain types of social media depending on the students. This research has been very
helpful in having a better understanding of college students and social media. The only
weakness of the article would be the lack of students being tested. Only 126 business
students were examined. With well over 1 billion users on Facebook alone, the Internet
is a vast digital world that is constantly expanding. I would be curious as to how this
study compares to a test of nearly 26,000 business students. Overall, it is very interesting
to examine the social media habits of college students and I look forward to building
upon my research and drawing new conclusions as new studies are conducted.

The Power of Popularity: How the Size of a Virtual Community Adds to Firm Value
By: Kirk Plangger Journal of Public Affairs Volume 12 Number 2 pp 145153 (2012)
Published online 15 March 2012 in Wiley Online Library (www.wileyonlinelibrary.com)
DOI: 10.1002/pa.1416
Summary: In this article there is a strong understating that in the past years customers
are increasingly consuming an talking about products and serviced though social media.
Many companies have taken notice of such online buzz and are trying to coin in on such
buzz and increase future sales, increase brand loyalty, and customer acquisition. In this
academic journal there are set of four hypothesis: H1 is firms with company-sponsored
brand communities create more firm value than firms with out, H2 the popularity of an
online brand community positively effects firm value, H# Firms with popular brand
communities invest in these communities more than firms with unpopular brand
communities, H4 highly differentiated industries will invest more in building corporatesponsored brand communities than firms in less differentiated industries.
To test the effects of social networks on firm value the data set of 91 of the top 10 in the
2010 fortune 500 was compiled. Facebook and Twitter were selected to test H1, where

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both corporate and consumer-sponsored pages were searched. To test H2 the number of
members in the online community was collected. Twitter was searched for official
corporate presence. They used an additive scale to measure the level of corporate
commitment to online brand communities. For each social network that a corporation was
actively contributing towards one point was awarded. A credit was also give for the scale
of online communities in reference to the number of fans. They used various forms of
analysis such as a bivariate correlation analysis, regression analysis and binominal
LOGIT model.
Overall the studies showed that in fact there is a positive correlation between social
media marketing investment and firm value. Although there were limitations in this study
such as only looking at the top brand companies, results can be different for local or
smaller businesses. It is stated in the article that for further analysis it is important to
look at individual cases, as there are many factors that go into social media marketing
especially cost.
Evaluation: This article does an impressive job in being able to find a way to quantify
social media in reference to firm value. I think at this day and age there is no questions
that companies need social media presence, but it is more important what they do with it.
It was briefly touched upon in this article that some companies abandon their social
media campaigns for various reasons. If that is the case sometimes it is better for
companies to not join the social media bandwagon at all. In the social media age you
want people to be talking about you but it can be damaging if it is done negatively
because of lack in administrating the activity on social media. This article is a good
stepping-stone for companies to see a quantified value that social media contains.

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Who Likes You and Why? A Typology of Facebook Fans From Fan-atics an =d
Self-Expressives To Utilitarians and Authentics
By: LAINE WALLACE J. E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics National
University of Ireland Galway, ISABEL BUIL University of Zaragoza, LESLIE de
CHERNATONY Aston Business School, MICHAEL HOGAN School of Psychology
National University of Ireland Galway JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH
March 2014 DOI: 10.2501/JAR-54-1-092-109
Summary: In this journal they recognize that Facebook Fans represent a marketing
opportunity; they note that there has been little research into the nature of different Fan
types. A study is conducted to explore a typology of Fans, they sample 438 individuals
who Like brands on Facebook. Fans brand loyalty, brand love, use of self-expressive
brands, and word of mouth for Liked brands From here they further break down the
sample into four Fan types: the Fan-atic, the Utilitarian, the Self-Expressive, and the
Authentic. The results depict the value of cluster analysis as a strategy for identifying
different Fan types while providing insights to encourage further research into Facebook
Fan types.
In the study Facebook fans attitudes were collected though a web-based survey (survey
monkey) distributed to students of an Irish university. In the article they state that 100
percent of respondents were regular Facebook users. Reponses were screened though
two questions: Do you have a Facebook account that you have accessed since March
1st? and have you selected a brand you Like on Facebook in the past year? Then
respondents were asked to complete the questionnaire having in mind the first brand that
popped into their head that they Liked. To analyze the data they proceeded to do a scale
validation and a cluster analysis. They found four fan types each with distinct traits.

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Evaluation: This journal piece is interesting in the understanding of social media. As the
literature stated many companies are in pursuit of being active in the social media seen
but dont quite know what it all means. By understanding that there are different
segments in the online world is a starting point for further research. There is that idea that
marketers need to find ways to decipher the endless information that social media
provides and this study can be said to be the start of the understanding process.

Bringing Social Media to Small Business


Bakeman, M., & Hanson, L. (2012). Bringing Social Media to Small Business: A Role
for Employees and Students in Technology Diffusion. Business Education Innovation
Journal, 4(2), 106-111.
Summary: This article speaks upon social media and its effect on small businesses
compared to large businesses. It also brings up the topic of business courses helping
students use social media in the work area. This article ties business education, social
media and small business all in to one towards the end of the article.
Business education courses are now implementing social media into the course work,
knowing that it will be of some advantageous use by the student upon graduating. The
business education course does not specifically help a student land a job through social
media, but gives insightful tips on how to use it in a business perspective. Incorporation
of social media into any business is a time and resource consuming process. For larger
companies, the incorporation of social media is a quicker process. Smaller businesses,
will take longer, of course. The article explains that small businesses prefer a traditional
source of marketing such as word-of-mouth or local marketing in newspapers, radio or
their own websites. These small businesses have bumps in the road and one definite
bump is the small business becoming accustomed to a two-way communication channel.

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In other words, the small businesses will have to master a two-way relationship to get a
hold of the social media concept.
Social media itself has evolved from the standard interaction from consumer to
consumer, to business to consumer. This evolution has helped businesses determine
reviews from products, insights on the consumer needs and wants, and an easier way to
implement customer service. Businesses have also used social media for upcoming
promotional events, up to date news on recent events and future products or services.
The author ends the article with a few tips for small businesses, one being that active
communication between the consumers and itself will make incorporation of social media
just a little easier. Social media incorporation will also be helpful in advancing small-firm
economies. It would be advantageous of smaller businesses to begin the incorporation
process, which many have started and these numbers will continue to raise with years to
come.
Evaluation: The article has an interesting case directed toward two game-changers,
students and small businesses. The thought of this article was to explain the use of social
media, the advantages, and some helpful tips to get the two targets started. The paper is
well organized and can be useful to uncertain small business management. It is relevant
to where businesses are headed in the advertising and marketing field. The article, itself
was very clear and to the point. It was also filled with useful information, mainly directed
towards students and small businesses.

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Business Owners Speak Out on Impact of Social Media


Hall, J. R. (2011). Business Owners Speak Out on Impact of Social Media. Air
Conditioning Heating & Refrigeration News, 243(4), 24.

Summary: Although this a short article, the author discusses different opinions on social
media by business owners. The business owners were comprised from heating,
ventilation, and cooling industry (HVAC). Each participated in a survey asking if social
media had any impact on his/her own business. 40% of the participants said yes that the
use of social media made an impact. These participants emphasized the free way of
reaching the customers, acquiring new clients, and some see it only getting better in the
future. There is an added value of 30% of participants who do not use social media for
his/her own business. The author quotes a business owner, Internet social networks, has
threatened to wipe out centuries of commonly used visual and audio methods.
There is an obvious division between business owners. The author mentions a statement
that may have some business owners reconsider their thoughts on the social media. R.W.
Kicklighter states, If a business owner does not jump on board with social media, they
may get left in the dust.
The goal of the article was to gather enough results from HVAC contractors use social
media/networks for business related operations. To determine whether HVAC contractors
are using social networks, a poll on LinkedIn was distributed to 84 contractors. The poll
consisted of five multiple-choice answers: (1) yes, (2) somewhat, (3) no, (4) dont use it,
(5) what is social media? Forty percent of respondents answered yes to the question.

Evaluation: The article discusses the topic thoroughly, which is the impact of social
media to business owners. From the results given, the reader can see that social media is a

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great way for business owners to show potential customers what they have to offer and
help increase customer satisfaction through customer services online with interaction.
The article is easily understandable and the content offers insightful information, but may
be able to give extensive information on other areas affected by social media on a
business owner.

The Social Media Affinity Scale: Implications for Education


By: Nicholas Gerlick, Leigh Browning, Lori Westermann. Contemporary Issues in
Educational Research (Nov. 2010).

Summary: In recent years, males and females have demonstrated fairly equal amounts of
internet usage, but females have demonstrated higher usage of social media sites. These
observed differences served as the impetus for the current study. A survey was conducted
in early 2010 among college students to assess whether differences still occur between
males and females, and specifically with regard to social media usage. In order to assess
these phenomena, the Social Media Affinity Scale was created and deployed. Results of
the study showed that, among the students surveyed, no significant differences exist
between males and females in their internet usage, social media usage, and also beliefs
about social media sites in general. Given that students have overwhelmingly adopted
social media, we propose that there is now an opportunity to leverage social media in
college courses to deliver content and engage students in ways not previously possible.
The methodology used by the researchers to conduct the study was a paper-and-pencil
survey of college students at a regional Division II school was conducted in February
2010. The survey was comprehensive in that it included social media usage, smartphone

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ownership and apps downloading, demographic questions, and beliefs about social
media. The volunteer sample resulted in 141 undergraduate students between the ages of
18 and 40 completing the survey, with nearly equal representation among males and
females.
The research findings indicate no imbalance in internet usage among males and females,
while at the same time confirm such an imbalance exists with regard to social media
usage. Furthermore, it has useful application in the field for determining overall beliefs
about social media, as well as possible readiness to embrace social media in new
applications.

Evaluation: Upon reading the case study, I concluded that the study, while interesting,
had a weak conceptual basis. The studys hypothesis seemed very general and did have
some limitations as well. This study is limited in that it was conducted on only one
college campus, and may not be representative of college students in general. The sample
was rather homogeneous, with few minority groups represented. Minor changes that I
would make when conducting this study would to have a larger sample size.
The overall format of the study is well organized, with thorough explanation for
conducting the study, along with some interesting previous studies on the subject. The
implications could be that the internet and social media when it applies to both genders is
that they are using them in fairly equal (and large) amounts presents opportunities for
educators. Social media are a tool to be leveraged, not avoided.

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An Analysis of the Differences Between Student Age and Social Networking Utilization
Within a School Of Business
By: Ken Zula, Karen Yarrish, Walter Pawelzik. American Journal of Business Education
(Sep. 2011)

Summary: Social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are widely
regarded as an exciting opportunity to communicate with friends, especially for college
students. The overall response to social networking tends to be one of trust in regards to a
generation that supposedly has many friends but little sense of privacy. Employers use
social media sites to perform preliminary screenings of potential employees. The
information students post on social media sites can be used in making employment
decisions. This article examines the difference between student age, and career
exploration/research and social networking usage. The researchers will discuss the
implications for educators, administrators, and researchers.
The methodology used tests that were utilized to examine whether age impacted the
utilization of social networking websites for career exploration and to determine if there
was a significant difference of time spent on social network websites depending on age
within a small liberal arts college school of business.
The research findings of this study indicate that there is a significant difference between
age and career exploration/research, however there was no significance between age and
social networking websites utilization at a small liberal arts college in Northeastern
Pennsylvania. The results will be reported separately within the two dimensions
established within the survey. Participants answered questions regarding career
exploration and time spent.

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The results of the study reveal that there are significant differences for age and career
exploration/research and no significant difference between age and time spent on social
networking websites. In particular, younger participants in this study rated career
exploration/research as less important than the older participants in this research.

Evaluation: This article had a much stronger conceptual basis and the findings support
this. The implications that could be derived apply to three pertinent occupations. The
results of the study have implications for career counselors, employment coaches, human
resource professionals and individuals with social networking accounts including college
students.
College counselors and employment coaches should take these results into account when
developing and delivering career seminars, and providing advice to college students, and
those seeking future employment, those changing employment, and/or those reentering
the workforce.
Human resource professionals should consider these findings when utilizing social
networking websites to verify and conduct background investigations with potential
employees, and current employees.
The only limitations to the study are the sample could be expanded to include recent
graduates within the workforce in order to create a more diverse study sample. A further
enhancement to this study would include a global population of students to gain student
perspectives on leadership skills from around the globe.