Social Gratification Through SNS

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Social Gratification Through SNS

Facebook me: Collective Self-esteem, Need to Belong, and Internet Self-efficacy as Predictors of the iGeneration’s Attitudes Toward Social Networking Sites
This study examines how users’ attitudes and approaches toward social networking site (SNS) usage are influenced by specific social needs they seek to gratify through SNS interactions. The research focuses specifically on four key influential factors: internet self-efficacy, need to belong, need for cognition, and collective self-esteem. The article explores the relationship between these and how they influence users’ attitudes toward and willingness to join SNS platforms.

Research Methodology:
237 undergraduate students at a U.S. university were given a questionnaire to assess the four social needs mentioned above as well as their attitudes toward and willingness to join social networking sites. Additional questions focused on which SNS platforms they used, how many hours they used them, and explicit details on why they chose to use these platforms.

Implications:
Understanding what motivates users’ to engage on different SNS platforms provides valuable insight for marketing and advertising strategists as well as SNS developers. Since most users on SNS are looking to gratify certain social needs (i.e. “need to belong” & “collective self-esteem”), marketers can fine-tune targeting strategies that leverage these need-based motivations. Likewise, SNS providers can develop effective appeals to those needs to attract and retain more users on their sites.

Article Insights:

  • Internet self-efficacy, need to belong, and collective self-esteem affect attitudes toward and willingness to join SNS.
  • Cognitive needs have no significant effect on SNS attitudes.
  • Collective self-esteem could influence some users to engage in SNS regardless of attitude.

Access The Study Here

Editor’s Note:
Citation:  Gangadharbatla, H. (2008). Facebook me: Collective self-esteem, need to belong, and internet self-efficacy as predictors of the iGeneration’s attitudes toward social networking sites. Journal of Interactive Advertising8(2), 5-15.
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