Influences of viral marketing in social networking sites on consumerism

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Krystle Jiajing Wong


SNSs being a widely used online interaction tool have led to the widespread of online marketing strategies such as viral marketing. While interacting on SNSs, SNSs users tend to have the need to portray an ideal-self to gain positive social feedback, hence, the need to consume and purchase items or in restaurants and cafés promoted on viral marketing posts. Therefore, this study aims to look into factors influencing consumerism in the context of viral marketing on SNSs. Qualitative research method was implied based on Social Comparison Theory, Impulse Buying Theory and Affluenza Compulsive Buying Theory and interview was conducted on seven in-college youths in the area of Klang Valley. Eight main factors behind the influences of viral marketing in social networking sites have been identified, while two main qualities of consumerism were mainly discussed in this theory. Limitations were taken into account in terms of demographic and geographic as well as methodology. Future researchers are suggested to conduct a study with an equal number of both genders and at alternative geographical area using quantitative methodology for a more generalized and impactful results on other factors of viral marketing influencing consumerism. This study provides an insight for SMEs on the low-cost viral marketing through SNSs which promotes consumerism through rapid response rate. Socially, consumerism is also related to bankruptcy. This study would be one of the pioneer studies in Malaysia which looked into consumerism through viral marketing on SNSs, contributing to local context literature as well as from the context of SNSs which was not thoroughly studied by past researchers.



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