Department of Mass Communication, Faculty of Social Arts, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Received Date: Apr 24, 2018; Accepted Date: Apr 30, 2018; Published Date: May 10, 2018
Citation: Israel O, Oguche EN. Knowledge and Perception of Social Media Advertising among Students of Kogi State University, Anyigba. Global Media Journal 2018, 16:30.
Copyright: © 2018 Israel O, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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The development and subsequent acceptance of internetbased social media has brought development to all facets of human endeavor including advertising. This has made advertisers to present their products on social media, where they could meet their prospective target market. This study was based on knowledge and perception of social media advertisements, among undergraduate students of Kogi State University, limited to two departments namely Mass Communication and Theatre Arts. The aim of the study is to assess the purchase habits of students who use social media, as a result of accessing such advertisements on social media. Objectives include ascertaining awareness of social media advertisements, examining the influence of such advertisements and the challenges in such advertisements. The literature reviewed conceptual, empirical and theoretical materials on social media, advertising and marketing, as well as knowledge and perception by the audience. The population of the study derived from the two departments under study was 1575, while sample size was 158. Structured questionnaire was instrument of data collection, while descriptive data analysis technique was used to present, analyze and interpret the data, using SPSS 20 and a reliability test was conducted showing high positive correlation of 0.912**. After data analysis, it was among others, found out that many of the respondents have access to social media, but not many buy products advertised on social media and due to challenges of poor data and epileptic networks, social media advertisements suffer setbacks. It was recommended that manufacturers should ensure that they gain feedback from their audience to enable them plan how to meet their targets.
Online marketing; Social media; Product; Consumer patronage; Purchase; Advertising
The advent of social media has brought several possibilities for information exchange and communication between individuals and publics on various spheres of human endeavors. It is a tool through which an individual to communicate with other people all over the world about an organization, product or service. Internet-based social media has been around for a very long time. The word ‘social’ means exchange of thoughts and ideas among parties, individuals and the groups as members of the society. Media is a system of communication and interaction between peoples of different thoughts and views, while social media is the interaction among people which they create, share, and or exchange information and ideas in several communities and networks. It allows creation and exchange. The difference between social media and traditional media lies in the quality, frequency, reach, accessibility, usability, immediacy and performance.
Social media technologies can be in different forms such as magazines, internet forum, weblogs, social blogs, social networking, pictures, teleconferencing, and social bookmarking, among others. Advertising on social media gains attention through website traffic, as well as linkages with social media sites. It creates contents with the aim of attracting readers’ attention, while keeping them abreast of the information. Examples of social media advertisements include ads placed on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Yelp, Foursquare, Instagram, YouTube, Blogs, among others. The internet-based social media creates the opportunity for transactional process of communication between marketers and consumers and gives abilities to customize messages.
Following the major shift from traditional media to second generation of internet-based applications, example, Web 2.0 in the last decade, or what Shih calls the fourth revolution, users generate, transmit and control communication, holds great promise to significantly improve marketing efforts with viral marketing campaigns . This innovation presents opportunities for social relationships building, not only among peers, but also between marketers and prospective consumers. Recent studies show that the corporate adoption of social media by the fastest growing US corporations is now at record pace . This is because branded social marketing and campaigns provide additional melting points to foster consistent interaction between the consumer and the messages passed by marketers. This constant linkage deepens consumer–brand relationships, helps marketers explore more ways of meeting consumer demand and satisfaction, since the functions of marketers have become easier through persuasion of consumers to engage with online content. Messages passed across to the consumers change their thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, and experiences from these interactions and form a set of associations with the brand in consumer memory. There are several strategies marketers can use within the social media landscape for branding such as placing paid display advertising, participating in social networks as a brand persona, developing branded engagement opportunities for consumer participation within social networks, and publishing branded content (known as content marketing or social publishing) in social channels, using the unique selling points . Brands may utilize social media marketing as an integrated component in a marketing communications campaign, as a continuous corporate communications channel or as a series of micro publicity specifically designed for digital exposure.
In addition, social media has an interpersonal aspect in that, normative and informational influences may work for, or against the brand or product, depending on consumer engagement  Consumers informatively and strategically select the brands they discuss on the pages of social media to construct positive or negative images. Also, marketers care about these brand choices because a brand commitment connects an individual to stable set of self-meanings, which leads to purchase behavior. Self-expansion theory suggests consumers communicate with and about brands due to overlapping identities and para social relationships with the brands. Patronage of brands depends on the relationships attached to such brands by consumers. Brands can suffer if consumers feel the relationship is not consistent with the consumer's identity. Information about relationship brands is processed at a higher level of abstraction on the minds of the consumers and its difference can lead to low patronage from consumers.
However, the differences between the different types of social media have become increasingly merged. For example, Kailani and Kumar argue that Twitter, as a combination of broadcasting service and social network, classes as a "social broadcasting technology". In response to this change, advertisers are moving away from the traditional media to the new media, particularly social media, where they meet their audience easily. An increasing number of scholars have sought to study and measure the impact of social media. Tactics such as advertising within a social network have not been analyzed professionally. The new generation of advertising makes it possible to achieve data mining technologies and enable advertisers to customize messages in their advertisements to be in tune with the user’s choice .
In today’s technology-driven world, social media sites have become an avenue where middlemen can extend their marketing campaigns to a wider spectrum of consumers. Chi  defines social media marketing as a “connection between brands and consumers, while offering a personal channel and currency for user centered networking and social interaction.” The tools and strategies for communicating with consumers have changed greatly with the advent of social media; therefore, businesses must learn how to use social media in a way that is consistent with their business plan if they have to maintain their markets. This is especially necessary for companies striving to gain a competitive advantage.
With the increased growth of online social media use worldwide, social networking websites (SNWs) have become one of the most prominent features in the Web 2.0 era. According to Kaplan and Haenlein , social media is defined as “a group of Internet-based applications and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allows the creation and exchange of User Generated Content.” Mahmood et al.  define SNWs as a web-based service that allows individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and view and navigate their list of connections and those made by others within the structure.
The landscape and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site. Simply put, SNWs enable users to build personal profiles, publish information, facilitate discussion, share networks, experiences and knowledge within a definite system . Users of these SNWs are not only passive content consumers but also active content contributors. As such, given their ever-increasing popularity and reach, SNWs have shown a great potentials in terms of influencing the way people mingle, entertain, consume information, do shopping and make decisions, which, in turn, have more and more driven marketers to develop marketing approaches that would allow them to shape and monitor users’ online communications on SNWs as well as engage them with their brands more willingly and interactively.
Internet saturation in Nigeria is very high. Internet users in Nigeria were 28 million in 2013 and increasing enormously over the years. Most of them are active in business purposes. One of the benefits of internet is that it helps businesses to reach consumer all over the world, so that they can select, survey, and purchase products and services from businesses around the world, without travelling to the locations. An important agent of consumer socialization are the social networks which provide a necessary space for people to communicate through the Internet by using social media. However, there is only a small number of studies on social media advertising and how consumer perceive on its value in Nigeria, especially among students of tertiary institutions. Against this backdrop, it becomes necessary to assess knowledge and perception of social media advertising among undergraduate students of Kogi State University, Anyigba. This was achieved through ascertaining their level of awareness of social media advertising, whether it triggers them to buy such products advertised and the challenges in social media advertising.
This study aims at boosting effectiveness of social media advertisements among youths.
The objectives include:
• To examine the level of awareness of social media advertising among students of Kogi State University, Anyigba.
• To find out the influence of social media advertisements on buying of goods among students of Kogi State University, Anyigba.
• To examine the challenges in packaging and accessing social media advertising.
To consider social networks as marketing tools an advertiser must understand every aspect of it. For better understanding of the meaning of social media, there is need to first define web 2.0 - a term that describes a new way in which end users use the World Wide Web, a place where content is continuously altered by all operators in a sharing and collaborative way . “It has much more to do with what people are doing with the technology than the technology itself, for rather than merely retrieving information, users are now creating and consuming it, and hence adding value to the websites that permit them to do so” . Web 2.0 has evolved from simple information retrieval to systemic interoperability and partnership to achieve greater results .
Kaplan and Haenlein , define social media sites as “a group of internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and allow the creation and exchange of user generated content.” Rahim et al.  cited O’Reilly’s definition: “social media is a broad term that describes software tools that create user generated content that can be shared.” However, there are some basic conditions necessary for a website to meet the requirements as a social network website. First, the site must contain user profiles, secondly, it must have content, a method that permits users to connect with one another and post comments on one another’s pages as well as join virtual groups based on common interests such as fashion or politics .
The phrase ‘social networking sites’ is often used interchangeably with social media. However, social media differs because it allows participants to unite by generating and exchanging personal information profiles and inviting friends and colleagues to have access to those profiles . Therefore, social media is the atmosphere in which social networking takes place and has improved the way in which consumers gather information and make buying decisions. Marketing communications practitioners are swamped with new ideas and technologies that usually provide great expectations but do not live up to their exaggerations. In an era when the media is segmenting its audience and advertisers are critically questioning the cost and effectiveness of older media, particularly among younger generation, there is high surge in social media use by advertisers. For example, Nielsen estimate there are 210.1 million US, 76.6 million Japanese, 121 million Brazilian and 80 million Nigerian consumers who accessed social networks and blogs in December 2015 alone. In Australia, the Internet reaches a potential audience of over 11 million users of which more than 70% use a social network; Facebook has over 8 million registered users and Twitter has 800,000 registered followers. Moreover, the McCann tracker study found that active users of blogs grew from 54-77% within two years. The number having written a blog increased from 28% to 45% and also notably people watching video clips online jumped from 32% in 2006 to 83% in 2008 . Kaplan and Haenlein  further suggests the transition of social media to a significant marketing communications tool is due to a combination of technological drivers such as bandwidth; economic drivers such as user access to more tools to develop User Generated Content (UGC); and social drivers such as the generation of IT savvy youth recently become consumers with purchasing power. However, the social media are no longer the domain of Generation Y; older generations are heavy social networkers with Facebook’s largest demographic now women aged 55 and older. If the maxim that advertisers will ultimately follow target audiences is something to uphold, then social media’s appeal to unrestrained and difficult to reach audiences should somehow translate into commercial success for marketers and social media operators.
Indeed, social media’s influence promises some sort of marketing communications innovation. For instance, global brand Pepsi will not be advertising during the Super Bowl, instead opting for a digital social media campaign they say will “help their customers better understand what Pepsi stands for”. By contrast, Pepsi’s main competitor, Coca-Cola, will run two spots during the Super Bowl, yet these advertisements will direct viewers to social media sites linked to its charitable activities. Consumers searching online for information about a product, or brands, not only gain access to corporate marketing materials, they now also have access to product reviews, opinions and commentary from other consumers .
Social media is also building a business opportunity for driving purchasing behaviour with research by EDI  showing that a large group of consumers surveyed relied on various types of social media websites as much as company websites for product and brand information and that nearly half of those made a purchase decision based on what they know about the product. Nevertheless, although social media applications are controlled by users, trend data is not yet convincing with respect to who is generating, and accessing information . Consumer’s interaction on social media has become crucial to marketers, considering its center place in the current world. One stream of research suggests the existence of a “loyalty ladder” in social networking sites that splits users into categories such as: “lurkers” (those who are reticent to contribute to sites); “tourists” (those who post comments but demonstrate no commitment to a network); “minglers” (those who post with no regularity or frequency); and “evangelists/insiders” (those who are enthusiastic, expert and regular in their contributions).
Consumers’ Sentiment toward Marketing (CSM) is a factor considered by researchers to measure how well costumers will perceive social media marketing. CSM is defined as a concept which refers to the general feelings that consumers have for marketing and the marketplace . An individual’s perception of the overall marketplace plays a key role in whether or not they are motivated to partake in consumption activities . In order to birth a successful marketing campaign via social media, a consumer must be open to the innovations through technology. Consumer technology readiness is defined as “people’s propensity to embrace and use new technologies for accomplishing goals at home and work” This is important for advertisers to remember when marketing on social networks because if their intended target market does not use social media, is not familiar with it, or perceives it negatively, then their social media marketing will be unrewarding. Analysis of technology readiness can determine if marketing via interactive advertising would be a good fit for an advertiser’s target market.
Social media has advanced from simply providing a platform for individuals to staying in touch with their family and friends. Now it is a place where consumers can learn more about their favorite organizations and the products they sell. Marketers and retailers are utilizing these sites as a new way to reach prospective consumers and provide a new way to shop. Technology related developments such as the rise of powerful search engines, advanced mobile devices and interfaces, peerto- peer communication vehicles, and online social networks have extended marketers’ ability to reach shoppers through new touch points . Social media advertising has numerous variables to creating optimistic and pessimistic perceptions among the teeming audience. These include product awareness, advertising value, in formativeness, entertainment and irritation.
Product awareness is considered one of the major pillars of consumer-based brand equity . It consists of consumer knowledge of brand benefits, slogan, features, tag line and other elements. Bampo et al.  describe building product awareness as the way of ensuring probable customer in the certain categories. Product awareness is the information about the particular products a company offers, especially compared to those offered by its competitors. It is measured through tracking studies and surveys and creates familiarity among consumers about the product which includes both brand recall as well as brand reorganization.
Advertising value is a benchmark for advertising efficacy and may serve as an index of customer satisfaction with the communication strategies of an organization. It is defined as “a subjective evaluation of the relative worth or utility of advertising to consumers” . A value can be described as a specific conduct or state is personally-psychologically or socially-culturally preferable to a converse in an individual’s conviction to a converse mode of conduct or an opposite end state of existence. Social networking sites emerged as one of the most powerful means for advertising across the globe.
Social media may serve as a means for many marketing activities including customer relationship management, customer service, buyer research, lead generation, sales promotion delivery channel, paid advertising channel, and branding. Regardless of the goal, information about the brand must be pertinent to the consumer if you want the consumer to engage with a brand in self-relevant ways . As noted, marketers categorize social media as a branding channel first and foremost , as such, branded social media activities can be used to increase brand awareness and brand liking, promote customer engagement and loyalty, inspire consumer word-of-mouth communication about the brand, and potentially drive traffic to brand locations on and offline. These branded social activities rely on social networks and may involve activities such as continuing business-to-consumer dialogue, socially published branded content (e.g., white papers), engagement experiences (e.g., Office Max's Elf Yourself), and the social presence and participation of a brand persona.
The 2013 Social Media Industry Report noted that marketers may seek increased opportunities to rendering target audiences to the brand message, increased traffic to brand Web sites, improved search rankings, and more loyalty among consumers . Customer engagement is another common objective; a study in 2012 found that 78% of marketers report using social media to enhance customer commitment. Customer engagement is behavior-based, extends beyond purchase, and has a brand or firm focus. Customers may engage along five characteristics including valence (value), form (type of resources utilized), scope (temporal and geographic), impact, and customer goals for commitment.
One of the main motivations for social media is the exchange of information. Given the information-orientation of the social media, it is very useful for the users of these social media to be interested in informative advertising sites. The cited literature relates perceived information value of advertising to consumer’s overall attitudes towards advertising. It also said that perceived information value towards advertising is important for attitudes towards traditional advertising. Social media has existed for years but has recently become one of the most influential sources of advertising and news updates due to the launch of the Internet platforms on Twitter and Facebook which provide the chance for social networking. Outlets of social media include blog sites such as Word Press and Blogspot, micro blogging such as Twitter, online magazines through sites content communities such as YouTube, and Flickr.
Entertainment of advertising information is significantly related to advertising value . A high degree of participation and pleasure during interaction with social media leads to concurrent subjective perceptions of positive effect and mood of the individuals. People’s feeling of enjoyment associated with advertisements play the greatest role in accounting for their overall attitudes towards them. Social media users like advertisements that engage them, such as playing games to win ring tones. Social media has come a long way as a marketing channel. This is because it gives everyone a global platform from which to be heard. When you Tweet or “like” something on the social media, the entire world is your audience. Entertainment send out its full ability to satisfy individuals needs for escapism, enjoyment, diversion or emotional release .
The irritation variable serves as a negative indicator, as for the informativeness and entertainment variables are positive. Obviously, social media is a well-oiled marketing machine, ideal for letting individuals know about something new, finding out what people liked or do not like about a show, or simply creating buzz for a product that could use a little extra backing. But somehow, consumers are less likely to be persuaded by advertising as they perceived it as unpleasant, infuriating or manipulative .
Survey research design was used for this study, while structured questionnaire was used for data collection. The population of the study was derived from the undergraduate population of Kogi State University, Anyigba, fixed for 22, 850 for the 2016/17 academic session. This study was limited to the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, while Theatre Arts and Mass Communication departments were selected respectively. This is because they are both four-year courses and use same calendar. There are 855 students in mass communication department, while Theatre Arts department has 720. This brings the total population to 855+720=1575. Out of this total sample size of 10 percent was selected from each of the departments as follows:
Therefore, the sample size is 158.
The selection of 10 percent sample size was in the recommendations of Nwanna Ogbuoshi [20,21] that for a population of many hundreds, a ten percent sample size will suffice, to achieve representativeness in the study. Descriptive data analysis was used to present and analyze the primary data, while face validity was used to check the authenticity of the instrument by distributing three copies for assessment and corrections by four senior lecturers in both Mass Communication and Theatre Arts departments. The reliability of the instrument was tested using Pearson’s R correlation coefficient, with SPSS 20 producing a result of high positive correlation of 0.912**.
From the population and sampling, there are 158 respondents in all. These respondents were administered questionnaire, while all were retrieved. The respondents were of both sexes of male (56%) and female (44%). This is because the administration of questionnaire was faceless, giving equal opportunities to both sexes to participate. Their age brackets were between 15 and 45, with most concentration on between 15 and 39 (82%). Concerning their levels of study, 22% were in 100 level, while 25% were in 200 level. Also, 30% were in 300 levels while 23% were in 400 level in both departments of Mass Communication and Music (Table 1).
Table 1: Awareness of Social Media Advertising.
|Use of Social Media|
|Frequency of Using Social Media|
|Twice a day||53||33.5|
|3-5 times daily||73||46.2|
|Twice a week||8||5.1|
|Once a week||13||8.2|
|Awareness of Ads on Social Media|
|Knowledge on Products Ads|
|Categories of Products|
The above table is a summary of awareness level of social media advertising among the respondents. All the respondents use social media but use them at different frequencies. While 46.2% use social media up to 3-5 times in a day, others use it twice daily (33%), twice a week (5.1%), once a week (8.2%) and sparingly (7%). The implications of this is that a bulk of the respondents use social media more frequently than others, but at different pace, depending on what they need to use it for at a particular time. Those who use it sparingly may be doing so because they may not have smart phones in which social media applications are inbuilt and made easier to access or they are residents in places where power supply is epileptic.
Awareness of social media advertisements is a common thing for all social media users, as indicated in the table, where all the respondents agreed that they are aware of social media ads. This is because advertisements are played on social media in order to create more awareness to the millions of prospective customers. In addition, 65.2% of the respondents agree that they are aware of the products advertised on social media and have knowledge about them before such ads are placed, while 34.8% declined having such knowledge.
This depends largely on their frequency of access and whether they deliberately look for ads and social media. There are several categories of products advertised on social media, namely; stationeries, edible products, equipment, agricultural products and others. In the table, majority of the respondents (58%) went for others because they may not determine when such ads are placed on their social media pages.
However, some of the respondents (12.7%) went for stationeries, some (10.8%) went for equipment, edible products (8.9%) and agricultural products (9.5%). The choices made by those who chose the stationeries may not be far from the fact that they are students and need stationeries to cope with their studies, but those who chose agricultural and edible products may have done so according to their occupation or parents occupation, which may make them look for such information from social media ads.
Access to social media is capable of creating awareness about needs not met hitherto by the audience. This was confirmed by the research conducted by Kai and that social media has become a place where needs are met, where satisfaction are derived for such needs and where goals and achieved.
Based on this findings, the respondents awareness rate of social media advertisements have become veritable tools for meeting up their specific and general needs in the society. In another remove, social media can be useful for identification and recognition of needs longed for by the users or audience. This is possible through identification with the ads played and with the products, thereby making the audience and users to buy with informed decisions.
According to Mitchell , perceived enjoyment can have an important influence on the adoption of a self-service technology. Prior research has shown that enjoyment to be a key element for consumers’ online surfing and even shopping behavior. Hassanein and Head  found that the level of enjoyment derived from using social networks is the strongest positive influence on users’ attitudes or intentions with regard to social networks. This was corroborated by Chu  that promoting social media advertisements can go a long way in recognition of needs to be met by the teeming users, hence many users go on social media to seek for those needs through the advertisements displayed thereon (Table 2).
Table 2: Influence of Social Media Advertising on Students’ Perception in Kogi State University.
|Whether Social Media Ads triggers buying habits|
|Frequency of buying advertised|
|Once a month||19||12|
|Once in a While||46||29.1|
|Satisfaction with Ads on Social Media|
|Feelings about Products advertised on social media|
From the analysis in the table, it could be deduced that most of the respondents (73%) do not buy products because such products have been advertised. In other words, only about 27% agree that they buy products based on the ads they access on various social media. This may be as a result of their strong decisions about products purchases attitudes such as sensual, impulse and habitual purchases. According to Hill, Foster and Chirs , most consumers decide on products based on informed choices and information provided by previous users of the products advertised. This means that advertisements may not achieve their aims but act as reminders on the existence of the products, while leaving the prospective consumers to make informed decisions, habitual purchases, impulsive buying and sensual purchases. In addition, in frequency of purchases of advertised precuts, only 34.2% of the respondents said they buy sparingly, meaning they do not always buy based on the advertisements provided unless the need arises. To this set of respondents, products seen on social media ads are the last resorts, after all other options have failed.
Medium characteristics and antecedent beliefs as well as perceived risk play critical roles in consumer decision-making and behaviors Prior research has indicated that the probability of consumers’ choosing a channel increases significantly if their confidence in that channel is high and the perceived risk is low. For example, several studies have illustrated the impact of perceived risk on consumer online purchase decisionmaking and behaviors [7,23,25]. Again, 29% of the respondents buy such products once in a while, based on the information they get from the social media about the products. It should be noted that apart from direct advertising on the various pages of social media, there are organizations pages on social media where people are allowed to air their views on the use of such products. In this case, such pages are accessed by the users who are told to like them for information about their products. In this case ht influence of such messages will be higher than the pop-up ads on the prospects walls. Only 12% and 13% buy products advertised either once in a month or always, respectively, while another 12% seldom do so. There are other sources of accessing such information apart from social media. This is in line with the postulations of mediamorphosis theory that social media did not come up as counteracting the existence of the conventional media, but as complements to them in the societal roles. The place of social media ads are also corroborated by the conventional media which are always accessed by the teeming audience (Table 3).
Table 3: The Challenges of Social Media Advertising.
|Challenges of Social Media Ads|
|Taken for granted||22||13.9|
|Expensive to run||18||11.4|
|Poor Internet access||48||30.4|
|All of the above||51||32.3|
|Message Package and Appeal|
Several challenges are adduced against social media advertising, according to Table 3. These include the fact that social media advertisements are taken for granted by the users, such that they do not pay attention to such side pop-ups on their social media pages, as indicated by 13.9% of the respondents. Also, 11.4% was of the opinions that social media ads are expensive to run considering that some of them need special advertising agencies to cover such messages and promote the needed products, while 30.4% of the respondents complained about poor internet access hindering them from accessing such messages. In this case, most of the users may not endeavor to wait to play some videos used as ads on social media basis since their data may not be enough or poor network access at a particular time. However, 32.3% of the respondents opted for the ‘all of the above’ which meant that all the problems adduced are related to social media ads, both to the manufacturer and the prospective consumers.
According to the metamorphoses theoretical postulations, use of technology for business purposes can boost sales if the factors militating against such use are tackled . Social media advertisements are predicated on the belief that prospective consumers can only identify products that meet up their immediate needs for esteem, hunger, association and appeal, at a particular point in time. Therefore, advertisements should targets the audience by identifying with the problems that may hinder such messages, while promoting the products for acceptance by prospective consumers. In developing societies, such as Nigeria, social media advertisements may not carry everybody in the society along. For this reason, products advertised on social media have the youth as targets. This means that most universal age products may not be advertised on social media, since most old people may not have access to such technological innovations. This goes with the findings by Hill, Foster and Chirs that most social media messages have specific targets in social media since the attitudes of the young age determines the contents of social media.
On message package and appeal by the social media ads, most of the respondents (55.1%) were of the view that the message appeals used on social media advertisements do not lure them to buy such products, unlike the 44% who agreed to have such appeals. This analysis shows that both the respondents who chose the yes and no options may have done so because they have their personal experiences about using social media and focus on the products advertised on them. Some virtual brand community research focused on the concept of social characteristics and group norms as an aspect that greatly influences online groups’ buying behaviour. The nature and culture of social media groups affect the ways members of such groups interpret and attach meaning to brands and products . Group norms represent the set of common goals, standards, and values that the group members follow. Social identity refers to the values and beliefs that influence group related behaviour . Members of a strong social group will more likely to have group intentions to accept advertising in online communities . For instance, if a Facebook group is centered on luxury brands, then ads pertaining to high-end products are more relevant to members of the audience. Some members consume ads more easily by accepting the meanings in which they contain, while others interpret the ads by attaching meaning to the brand represented based on their own experiences .
This study shows the relationship among perception, knowledge and advertising based on social media messages by students of Kogi State University, Anyigba. Social media advertising affects most of the students who use same on a daily basis. Also, the understanding of consumer’s interaction with social media and how it could be exploited for advertising purposes is still limited as seen in this study, and as a result, it may not be designed to meet their potentials of satisfying the consumer and generate business value. In addition, consumers gain a new role with the advent of social media, since they use it by themselves, hence, appealing to them will be by being informative and persuasive instead of dwelling on entertainment and spamming that irritates users, as some of social media advertisers believed as the way to attract attention. Based on the findings, the following recommendations have been made:
• Manufacturers intending to use social media for advertisements should ensure that most products presented to the audience be based on youth, since most users of social media are of youthful age.
• More awareness can be created on how effective to use social media advertisements can be for products sale and buying habits among prospective consumers.
• Care should be taken by the advertising agencies to create rooms for feedback from the users of social media upon which their ads are placed. This is to ascertain whether such information get to the targets audience.
• Market research should also be carried out by manufacturers to find out the real target markets in order to know the kind of messages meant for them.
• Government, through the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), should ensure more regulations guiding the social media advertisements and products. This will guide against the misuse of such messages by the younger generation.