Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education
The Effects of Social Media Marketing on Online Consumer Behavior
Simona Vinerean1, Iuliana Cetina1, Luigi Dumitrescu2 & Mihai Tichindelean1
The Bucharest University of Economics Studies, Romania
Faculty of Economic Sciences, Lucian Blaga University, Sibiu, Romania
Correspondence: Simona Vinerean, The Bucharest University of Economics Studies, Romania. Tel:
40-744-563-510. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: March 4, 2013 doi:10.5539/ijbm.v8n14p66 Accepted: May 20, 2013
Online Published: June 18, 2013
Social media allows customers and prospects to communicate directly to your brand representative or about your brand with their friends. However, the obvious question is: who are the people interacting online and how engaged are they in online activities? This paper aims to answer this question based on a study regarding the online activities of 236 social media users, by identifying different types of users, a segmentation of these users and a linear model to examine how different predictors related to social networking sites have a positive impact on the respondents’ perception of online advertisements. The answer can help discover how to engage with different types of audiences in order to maximize the effect of the online marketing strategy.
Keywords: social media marketing, online consumer behavior, online segmentation, modeling online activities
The Internet and especially social media have changed how consumers and marketers communicate. The Internet has distinct characteristics (Peterson et al., 1997), such as:
The ability to inexpensively store vast amounts of information at different virtual locations
The availability of powerful and inexpensive means of searching, organizing, and disseminating such information -
Interactivity and the ability to provide information on demand
The ability to serve as a transaction medium
The ability to serve as a physical distribution medium for certain goods (e.g. software)
Relatively low entry and establishment costs for sellers.
One of the advantages of internet is that it enables businesses to reach a worldwide customer population, so that customers can survey, select, and purchase products and services from businesses around the world (Al Kailani
& Kumar, 2011).
In particular, peer communication through social media, a new form of consumer socialization, has profound impacts on consumer decision making and thus marketing strategies.
Consumer socialization theory predicts that communication among consumers affects their cognitive, affective, and behavioral attitudes (Ward, 1974).
Social media, especially social networking sites, provide a virtual space for people to communicate through the
Internet, which also might be an important agent of consumer socialization.
With this research we provide insights to the social media literature and online consumer behavior, in general, and online socializing and interacting activities users engage with on a virtual platform, which are interesting for both academics and online marketing practitioners.
This paper provides a literature review of the evolution of social media marketing and segmentation of social media users from proeminent papers, and continues with a primary research. The aim of this research is to empirically investigate what type of social media users appreciate and have a positive outlook regarding advertising on social networking websites. Particularly, we consider a segmentation of social media users regarding their perceived importance of using social media, and these social media users represent students of
International Journal of Business and