Social Media and Prosumerism
Nicole Buzzetto-More, University Maryland Eastern Shore, United States
Proceedings of the Informing Science and Information Technology Education Conference, ISSN 1535-0703 Publisher: Informing Science Institute
Pervasive mobile technologies, combined with the ease of access to multiple communication networks, have globalized communication exchanges in a way that is unprecedented. Compelled to receive constant information updates from their ever expanding peer networks, the average person has been transformed to a hyper-connected habitué of social media. Permanently tethered to their electronic devices they traverse the social media landscape seeking engagement and enlightenment all the while being exposed to a multitude of product and brand messages. As such, the new consumer is informed, self-motivated, and impelled by the opinions of others. Seizing the now unbridled opportunity to affect the attitudes of peers, many social customers serve as prosumers who act as influencing agents that propagate highly salient information about products and services via social channels. In order to examine use and perceptions of social media, impact on customer relationship management, and overall effectiveness of different marketing strategies employed via social platforms, a nationwide survey of over 1,000 business practitioners was conducted. According to the findings most participants have made a purchase decision based on information they gathered through social media as social networking site (SNS) users influence others by actively promoting products and services. Social media adoption was found to be a strategic imperative for contemporary companies that can, if used expeditiously, support customer relationship management efforts; however, corporate professionals are not adequately informed with the strategies for effective use of social media to support marketing and brand management efforts. Finally, when message type was considered word of mouth messages were recognized as having the greatest salience.
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