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This paper provides a critical discussion of how the presence of social media influences or shapes consumer behaviour with real-world examples of social media as a contemporary marketing and relationship-building tool. The dynamics of social media and consumer psychology Smith (2009) identifies that blogging, video-sharing and social networks are entering mainstream and are no longer a niche market activity in multiple demographic groups. User-generated content materials have improving the ability of consumers to publish their opinions about products and services and also improve the relationships with the global and local communities. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter allow for instant publication of thoughts and ideas whilst also providing consumers with a new visibility, especially related to video-sharing, that fulfils their needs for affiliation. Bainbridge (2009) informs that consumers are also demanding portability with their electronic devices, thus advancements in smart phone development and similar devices give portable access to social networking to serve as a form of diary for their current thoughts and impressions on a variety of different subjects and social commentaries. This contemporary access to new media is effective in satisfying consumers of many different socio-cultural and socio-economic backgrounds due to inherent needs and motivations that are shared by virtually all consumers globally. “A whole range of psychogenic drives stems from our social environment, culture and social group interactions” (Evans, Jamal & Foxall, 2009, p.5). These psychogenic drives are status-related needs or simply finding a sense of serenity regarding one’s place in the social stratification system. According to psychologists, one of the basic motivational drivers is the establishment of a sense of belonging, believing that one must be recognized by peers and general society through group affiliation. Under most models, establishment of higher-order psychology cannot be established without this affiliation. “The satisfaction of the need for esteem produces self-confidence, prestige, power and control” (Gambrel & Cianci, 2003, p.146). People in global society also need to feel as though they are having an impact on their environment as it relates to power and control (Gambrel & Cianci). These inherent needs for recognition from society and peers are also present in youth consumer markets. According to Berten & van Rossem (2008) adolescents are especially influenced by peer relationships and feedback with whom they have strong interpersonal connections as well as their desired reference group. This is important to understand as it relates to youth markets since they are considered to be “one of the most cynical, fast-moving and fragmented markets brand owners can hope to crack” (Forsey, 2009, p.21). Usually trend conscious, the youth market is a concentrated user of social media and thus understanding their psychological make-up is important to critically assess the role of social media for modern marketing practices. Therefore, it should be said that social media is not just a recreational past-time anymore for youths and older target markets, but represents a lifestyle activity that is mainstream and a conventional social outlet. Through the use of ...Show more


New media and consumer behaviour BY YOU YOUR SCHOOL INFO HERE DATE HERE New media and consumer behaviour Introduction Social media is changing how marketers relate to their customers over that of traditionalist customer relationship management practices and advertising…
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New Media and Consumer Behaviour
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