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19 July 2012

Spread The Word! Why Young Consumers Buzz Online Info to Their Friends

Keywords: marketing, survey, computer, interactive media, internet, media, social media, viral, word-of-mouth (WoM), young adults, youth communication,

Online “buzz” (or word-of-mouth) plays an important role in consumers decision making. A Journal of Business Research study delivers two important insights on youth’s motivations to buzz online information to their social network. Young people engage in buzz because they see it as a way to be distinctive and because they want to help others. 

Take aways

  • There are two reasons why young people want to “buzz” (or pass on) online information to their social network:
    1. they see it as a way to be distinctive (they want to be opinion leaders)
    2. they want to help others in making better choices 
  • If creating buzz is one of the main purposes of a marketing campaign, marketers should address these motivations to “buzz” in their campaign.

Study information

  • The question?

    What motivates young adults to “buzz” online information to their social network? 

  • Who?

    582 undergraduate students (mean age: 21,5; 46% male, 54% female)

  • Where?

    Canada, metropolitan area

  • How?

    Students had to fill out an online survey including a set of questions that measured their motivation to engage in interpersonal communication. They were also asked to indicate how often they forward online information to their social network. 

Facts and findings

  • Students who want to be distinctive (be an opinion leader) were more likely to forward online information to their friends.
  • Students who have the desire to help other people were also more inclined to buzz. 
  • Finally, the more time students spend online, the more online information they shared with their friends.