Being born in a digital age, with fast-moving consumer goods and rapidly advancing technology, it was only appropriate to base my research question around a topic that is very closely linked with Generation Y and how they interact in social situations. Therefore, I chose to base my research question around social media, in particular, Facebook. I wanted to use my major of Marketing and Advertising in developing my research question, and in trying to find the connection, discovered that social media advertising is one of the newest ways to reach Generation Y with advertising.
To dig deeper into this new concept of advertising, I wanted to discover whether Facebook advertising had any influence over consumers in Generation Y’s buying decisions, and or whether they just found in generally annoying as it flooded their newsfeed.
Therefore, I had two questions I would base my foundation of research on:
1. Are you aware of Facebook advertising?
2. Have you ever responded to a Facebook ad? For example, clicked through or liked a page.
Upon asking my interviewee the first question, and discussing the topic of Facebook advertising, it became clear that we were both not completely sure of when something in the newsfeed was classified as an advertisement of not. There are a variety of ways that Facebook users are exposed to different ‘pages’, including: when a friend likes a particular page, or when a page pops up in your ‘suggested posts’. So this question was particularly hard to get a response from, as Facebook advertising is very hard to distinguish from general activity in the newsfeed. This prompted us to instantly open up Facebook, and try to figure out what was going on, and what we found shocked us…
The picture on the left is a ‘suggested post’ found on my Facebook newsfeed, the picture on the right is Facebook’s reasoning behind the advertisement popping up in my newsfeed. Facebook has disclosed the information I have posted and liked, and sourced organisations that have paid to advertise on Facebook, and linked the two together.
Upon discovering this information, the next question was much easier to respond to for the interviewee. She stated that she had previously liked pages that were in the ‘suggested posts’ section of her newsfeed, however, she had never purchased something through this link as she generally uses her phone for social media, and purchasing products on her phone seemed much more of a challenge than if she were on a computer or tablet.
The response given by the interviewee was a critical point that I hadn’t considered when conducting secondary research. The device with which you are using social media on, can have a direct correlation to whether social media advertisements are effective in persuading you to purchase a product.
Therefore, it is clearly evident that in undertaking primary research, in particular, interviews, you can uncover critical information regarding your research question, that you may never had thought of, if you were conducting secondary research alone. In conducting primary research, I came across two very critical components of social media advertising that I hadn’t discovered before, that being, the difficulty required to decipher between what is advertising on social media, and what isn’t, and that the device used for social media can depend on whether an advertisement is effective or not.
These key points will be implied in the modification of my questions for the second stage of responses, so that I can retain more detailed information, and hopefully discover the answer to my research question.