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Are social networking more persuasive than traditional word-of-mouth? Essay Example

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1.0 Statement of the problem

Social networking sites are systems developed over the web to enable people share information and identify with other users online. Within the marketing spectrum, informal communications among customers on product or service characteristics, usage and ownership is taking shape. The power of consumer conversation has been taken a notch higher to Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, texting, tablets and smartphones. In the business industry, social marketing using the above tools has provided businesses with many opportunities and improved survival of many startups. According to Ellonen and Kosonen (2010), social media marketing not only attracts attention but also encourages readers across networks to share information. Fundamental marketing message then spreads quickly to clients on grounds of trust, brand promise and media popularity. Furthermore, there is a vague line when using WOM and online social networking at certain levels of communication (Goyette et al., 2010). While shoppers acquire data regarding administrations, brands and items, people who frequently apply such as colleagues, relatives, peers and companions impact on their purchase decisions.

Some studies have shown that word-of-mouth is more persuasive and capable of driving customer commercial interests (Ellonen & Kosonen, 2010; Wang & Song, 2015; Mansor & Ali, 2010). WOM is deemed as more adaptable and dependable when engaged through interpersonal correspondence. The emergence of electronic WOM correspondence has increased the level of communication through news bunches, messages and exchange discussion. On the other hand, social networking offers an opportunity to condemn, suggest, and talk about items. Yet, in a way it reinforces electronic WOM by scattering or making brand related data or items present in online systems (Gupta & Harris, 2010). Conveyed data begins from created WOM to force movement of imparted messages about brands or items. However, limited studies have investigated the significance of verbal correspondence or word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing in forming customer’s practices and demeanors over social networking. This study seeks to determine whether social networks are more persuasive than the traditional word-of-mouth.

1.1 Research aim and objectives

  1. To make comparisons on the influence of social networking and WOM on consumer purchase decisions
  2. To investigate consistency of suggestions of social media networks over WOM

1.2 Research questions

  1. Are WOM suggestions more dependable than social networks?
  2. How does WOM and social networks influence customer purchase decisions?

1.3 Methodology

This investigative study uses quantitative and qualitative research approaches to make comparisons between the two marketing methods. By using mix method approaches, it is possible to highlight on their strengths and improve on the weakness of the individual methods. A survey will be applicable in this setting, specifically a questionnaire and interview schedule to respond to the research questions. Data collection for quantitative information will involve administration of questionnaires while a 30-minute interview will be undertaken. An online marketing company manager will respond to telephone interviews understand client suggestions over WOM or social networks. The data will be analyzed using descriptive and inferential methods. Specifically, t-tests will be run to determine whether social networks are more persuasive than traditional word-of-mouth. Descriptive data will basically describe the characteristics of respondents as they are while inferential methods will attempt to bring about any correlation among variables.


, 3(3):221-223.International Journal of Electronic Marketing and RetailingEllonen, H. & Kosonen, M. (2010). Treat your customers as equals! Fostering customer collaboration through social media.

, 27(1):5-23.CAN J ADM SCIGoyette, I., Ricard, L., Bergeron, J. & Marticotte, F. (2010). e-WOM Scale: word-of-mouth measurement scale for e-services context.

, 63(9-10):1041-1049.Journal of Business ResearchGupta, P. & Harris, J. (2010). How e-WOM recommendations influence product consideration and quality of choice: A motivation to process information perspective.

, 6(7):1-5.ASSMansor, N. & Shaikh Ali, S. (2010). A B2C Business Agenda: Analyzing Customers’ Perceptions towards Bumiputera Retailers.

, 17(2):100-109J. Commun. Netw.Wang, D. & Song, C. (2015). Impact of human mobility on social networks.