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.
- There are two reasons why young people want to “buzz” (or pass on) online information to their social network:
- they see it as a way to be distinctive (they want to be opinion leaders)
- 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.
What motivates young adults to “buzz” online information to their social network?
582 undergraduate students (mean age: 21,5; 46% male, 54% female)
Canada, metropolitan area
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.
- 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.
Jason Y.C. Ho & Melanie Dempsey
Ho is affiliated with the Faculty of Business Administration at the Simon Fraser University. Dempsey is affiliated with Ted Rogers School of Business Management, Ryerson University.
Viral marketing: motivations to forward online content
Smink, N. (2012, July 19). Spread the word! Why young consumers buzz online info to their friends. Bitescience. Retrieved [date] from: http://www.bitescience.com/knowledgedatabase.aspx