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Research Evaluation

Research Evaluation (Evaluation of Research Methodology)

For this study, researchers incorporated different methods of research depending on the subjects and the most efficient techniques. The research revolved around social research as well as communication and media research, which are both useful in gathering and analyzing data especially in the field of social media (Knoll & Schramm, 2015). The methodology used was to focus on the issue of advertising on the social network. When conducting this study, Johannes Knoll and Holger Schramm (2015), the authors and their fellow researchers performed a quantitative analysis to investigate the social influence of user-generated content on online advertising effects. In the contemporary social line world, several forms of interactions and opportunities ensure that web users produce materials using their brand. The methodology for this study considered the fact that the user-generated content exists within the websites; hence, it is evident that people use it to evaluate the information that is created professionally through online means.

Type of Data Collected using the Methodology

Through effective and reliable qualitative research, the researchers aim in this study was to gather data that explained how the surrounding content has an impact on online marketing/advertising using the social influence theory. Specifically, the researchers assumed that the website users who have a close personal relationship with the founders of UD content that is located near the advertisements on the web page were more affected when responding to this type of advertising than the related users (Furht, 2010). Moreover, these users could belong to the same group membership with the UG content founders. The main role of this methodology was in order to test the above assumptions that measured the level of influence. In order to gather reliable data, researchers used a 2 × 2 type of experiment that comprised of 118 subjects who were students, and they were exposed to varying Facebook profiles. For the methodology to work perfectly, the researchers ensure that these four profiles differed in their level of interpersonal connection as well as their collective connection to the UG source. For clearer details in the results, they ensured that both of these connections were in the form of existent and non-existent nature.

Hypotheses Established for the Methodology

In order to obtain a given direction for the research, the methodology focused on identifying some of the existing hypothesis that was related to the research. The presence of certain hypothesis connected to this study was enough evidence that there were several messages and recommendations, which implied that UGC in SNS often contains social information in regards to the identified source (Furht, 2010). Apart from the existing names, the people who received UCG were likely to come across social information through clicking the user profile. These cues ensured that recipients identified the user or grouped her into a specific category or identity. The hypothesis for the methodology proposed that;

First Hypotheses of the Methodology

The first hypotheses stated that the SNS users who received online advertising and positive feedback of user-generated content from interpersonally connected individuals have a positive response towards all the products on the market (Furht, 2010). Specifically, these users were more likely to purchase the advertised products and recommend others to use it. This reaction was not the same for users who obtained user-generated content from an unrelated source or person, which is known as an interpersonal influence.

Second Hypotheses of the Methodology

The second methodology proposed that that the SNS users who received online advertising and positive feedback of user-generated content from collectively connected individuals has a positive attitude towards the product on the market (Furht, 2010). Specifically, these users were more likely to purchase the advertised products and recommend others to use it. However, this was not the same case for users who received UCG from unrelated source/individual, and this is also known as a collective influence.

In addition, this methodology compared both the existing collective and interpersonal influence, factors that relied heavily on identification. In this case, collective influence occurs when an individual identifies himself/herself with a group whereas, in interpersonal influence, a person identifies himself/herself with another individual. For both cases, it means that both users were influenced since they managed to identify themselves either with a specific source, a group or with another individual (Eastin, Daugherty, & Burns, 2011). Therefore, for this study method, the researchers were aware that the recipients viewed the identified sources as a form of self-concept. The users self-defined with other groups whereas others identified themselves to a specific individual. Thus, for this study, identification was the central mechanism that influenced the social influence process.

How Researchers Collected Data, including Participants (Random Sampling)

The main method of collecting data for this methodology was through sampling. For this research technique, researchers had to gather all the types of users, each with a different relationship towards the user-generate content. The main design used in the methodology was through the identification of two independent variables, which in this research are both the interpersonal and collective connection to the existing source (Wood & Solomon, 2009). In this case, the connection is in an existent and non-existence form. Furthermore, the methodology comprised of a 2 × 2 between-subject design. The creation of four different Facebook profiles ensured that they represented both an interpersonal and non-personal connection to the subjects. All the other factors in the profiles were similar, and with every profile, the owner accessed UCG content in order to influence the recipients differently.

Participants in the Research Methodology

For this research methodology, the researchers chose 118 students to participate in the study. The students were to visit the four Facebook profiles and examine them fully for a clear and precise evaluation. Choosing 118 subjects ensured that all factors of the research were covered and that all the independent variable were represented. The researchers also convinced these participants that the Facebook profiles represented actual persons. This was an important factor since it would ensure the accuracy of the results since the participants assumed that the Facebook profiles were for real advertising agencies. In this research technique, the subjects were required to select any link randomly, which would direct them to one of the Facebook profiles (Holsing & Olbrich, 2012). After a few minutes, the participants closed the profiles and started answering some questions set in a specific link. The researchers also remembered to remind the students about the purpose of the experiment, and the objectives that they wanted to achieve. As a result, they were advised not to discuss the research with their colleagues since the researchers gave each participants details about the experiment through their emails. To ensure the accuracy of the research, 26 subjects were eliminated because they were quite familiar with the advertised products. The main reason for excluding them was because their feedback would be biased unlike that of other students. The results evaluated were those of the remaining 92 participants.

Evaluation of the Methodological Approach

In my perspective, the methodology used in conducting this study/ research was effective and reliable. First, the researchers ensured that all the four Facebook profiles were different to ensure that the results covered all the interrelationship factors, whether personal or not (Lee, 2014). Additionally, this methodological approach was also effective since the researchers ensure that all the other characteristics of the Facebook profiles were similar. In this case, they eliminated any assumptions that would arise during the study, which would result in errors or tampered data. Hence, the results established from this study were reliable since they helped to establish the status of the existing hypotheses.

Another positive aspect of the research was the use of random sampling to make the subjects select a Facebook profile. This technique helped to eliminate any cases of biases that would arise during the research. Hence, the methodology did not allow any external factors to interfere with the results. Generally, the approach was exquisite.

Results of the Methodology

The results of this methodology showed a major impact in reference to the collective influence unlike in the interpersonal influence. From this observation, the researchers concluded that the type of relationship between users and the content had an impact on their attitude towards the advertising sites.


Overall, the methodological approach used for this study helped in reaching a solid conclusion. Despite a few limitations, the researchers ensured that external factors did not interfere with the studies. The number of participants selected for the study was adequate to provide conclusive data as long as the research was conducted successfully. The main method of collecting data was random sampling, and this ensured that there were no cases of biases during the selection of Facebook profiles. In my opinion, this methodology was effective for the study since it focused on accuracy and details. The researchers also tried to eliminate any forms of assumptions that would interfere with the results, for instance, excluding the 28 students who had knowledge about the advertising sites. From the results, it was concluded that the collective influence has a major impact compared to the interpersonal influence in reference to the user-generated content. Generally, this was an effective technique used to establish the social influence of UGC on advertising effects.


Eastin, M. S., Daugherty, T., & Burns, N. M. (2011). Handbook of research on digital media and advertising: User generated content consumption. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Furht, B. (2010). Handbook of social network technologies and applications. New York: Springer.

Holsing, C., & Olbrich, R. (2012). Effect of user-generated content on website stickiness. Proceedings of the 14th Annual International Conference on Electronic Commerce — ICEC ’12. doi:10.1145/2346536.2346597

Knoll, J., & Schramm, H. (2015). Advertising on social network sites – Investigating the social influence of user-generated content on online advertising effects. Communications,
40(3). doi:10.1515/commun-2015-0011

Lee, I. (2014). Integrating social media into business practice, applications, management, and models. Hershey : Business Science Reference.

Wood, N. T., & Solomon, M. R. (2009). Virtual social identity and consumer behavior. Armonk, N.Y: M.E. Sharpe.