Impact of Motivations to Generate User-Generated Content on Purchasing Decisions of Consumers of Hospitality Industry in Pakistan


Thesis (M.A.), 2014
95 Pages, Grade: 3.7

Excerpt

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
Overview
Purpose of study
Significance of study
Problem statement
Definition of terms
Social media:
Peer-2-peer:
Tweet:
Viral marketing:
Facebook:
Online community:
Chapter summary

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
Conventional WOM communication
Online WOM communication
Features of online WOM communication:
Impact of WOM communication
Trust
Credibility
Personal influence
E-com and Web
Web
Wikipedia
Blogs
E-commerce
Online shopping
Online community
Consumer behavior
E-marketing:
User generated content
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Google+
Impact of user generated content

CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH DESIGN & METHODOLOGY
Introduction about research
Causal study:
Deductive reasoning:
Research Hypothesis
Research model
Independent variables
Dependent variables
Sample
Non-probability sampling
Convenience sampling
Respondents’ profile:
Data collection
Survey instrument
Website visited for ugc
Screening Question
Internet purchasing attitude
Motivation to create ugc online
Frequency questions
Demographic questions
Scale
Chapter summary

CHAPTER 4: DATA ANALYSIS
Descriptive Analysis
Gender
Age
Education
City
Employment
Figure 5: Employment (own illustration)
UGC generation
Website used
Member of restaurant page for months
Number of pages joined
Number of times ugc generated
Money spent on restaurants
Expectations from others
Cross tabs
Reliability analysis for questionnaire
KMO test
Factor analysis
Multiple regression analysis
Consumers motivations to create user generated content and Consumer Behavior
Consumers motivations to create user generated content and purchasing behavior of consumers
Consumers motivations to create user generated content and frequency and amount of money spend in restaurants

CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION & IMPLICATIONS
Discussion of findings
Practical implication
Limitations
Target sample size and composition
Scope of the study and geographical limitation
Recommendations for further research
Diversification of target sample
Changing nature of respondents
Changing the Industry
Changing the respondents’ profile
Recommendations for the industry

Bibliography

Appendices

Figures regarding the social media

Screen shots from SPSS

Variable view of SPSS

Factor analysis screen shots in SPSS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to show my gratitude by thanking Allah Almighty first of all who is the most Gracious, most Merciful for blessing me with such abilities and strength with the help of which I have been able to reach this stage and compose this thesis. Without His benevolence I would not have been able to achieve this accomplishment. I would like to thank my parents for their continuous support and boosting my morale. Their faith in me and their motivation made me achieve this success. I would like to show my gratitude to my supervisor Madam Amna Arif who has been guiding me throughout my study and has assisted me in solving my problems. Without her effort and motivation this study would not have completed. I would like to thank all my colleagues, friends and respondents who have helped me out during the study and have helped me in data acquisition and filling my questionnaire.

ABSTRACT

Social networking has become a vital component of the current era which is not only being utilized by the public but also the corporate sector is using it for marketing purposes. The success of social web as a marketing tool is because of its enormous usage and it bears minimum cost to the firms. Over the past few decades the use of personal computers and laptops has increased dramatically. Moreover the use of Internet and the social websites is progressing among the users. Different business companies are taking the advantage of this trend and are using social network as a vehicle to reach millions of their customers and repeat buyers. For industry such as hospitality industry where it is extremely important to stay in touch with customers constantly and provide them latest updates regarding the services, social networking sites are being considered one of the most effective and efficient tool. However the corporate firms are not utilizing this platform to its maximum level and there is still lot more potential that has to explored and understood. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of the customer/user generated advertisement on the hospitality industry and analyze the different marketing strategies being implemented by the organizations to reach masses of their customers. The paper will explain the factors influencing the consumer’s purchase intention and brand loyalty.

The objective of the research paper is not only to calculate the number of hospitality firms using the social network actively but analyze the different sectors and functions of the social media being implemented by the industry for advertisement. The research paper also explains the advantage of using the social networking sites for advertisement as compared to the traditional advertising. The study will reveal which consumers are our most profitable segment which we need to go for. The study will explain the factors which are considered most important by consumers and hence the industry should focus its marketing efforts on these factors.

Abbreviations

WOM word of mouth

UGC user generated content

eWOM electronic word of mouth

Thesis Structure

Chapter 1 deals with the introduction about the topic of study and its advantages in the current era. The purpose of study, significance of study, problem statement and the definition of the important terms have been explained in this chapter.

Chapter 2 provides a brief description about the literature review of the various important concepts that need to be understood for thorough understanding of the thesis. It includes explaining the terms such as E-commerce, Web 2.0, online community, online shopping, consumer behavior; user generated content, social networking sites as well as word of mouth communication. The theoretical framework is also included in this chapter.

Chapter 3 involves the description about the research methodology and different variables involved in the research. The hypothesis developed for the study along with the survey instrument is explained in this chapter.

Chapter 4 explains the working of SPSS and involves the analysis of data collected from the respondents.

Chapter 5 concludes the study by highlighting the findings of the study and the practical implications. Recommendations for further study and limitations have been explained. The references are also provided in this chapter.

Table of Figures

Figure 1: Gender (own illustration)

Figure 2: Age (own illustration)

Figure 3: Education (own illustration)

Figure 4: City (own illustration)

Figure 5: Employment (own illustration)

Figure 6: UGC generation (own illustration)

Figure 7: Website used (own illustration)

Figure 8: Member of restaurant page for months (own illustration)

Figure 9: Participation hours on restaurant page (own illustration)

Figure 10 : Number of pages joined (own illustration)

Figure 11: Number of times UGC generated (own illustration)

Figure 12: Money spent on restaurants (own illustration)

Figure 13: Expectations from others (own illustration)

Figure 14: Pearl continental, Lahore

Table of Tables

Table 1: Explaining difference between traditional and electronic word of mouth

Table 2: Reasons for not shopping online

Table 3: Gender

Table 4: Age

Table 5: Education

Table 6: City

Table 7: Employment

Table 8: UGC generation

Table 9: Website used

Table 10: Member of restaurant page for months

Table 12: Number of pages joined

Table 13: number of times UGC generated

Table 14: Money spent on restaurants

Table 15: Expectations from others

Table 16: Gender and ugc

Table 17: Age and ugc

Table 18: Education and ugc

Table 19: Reliability analysis for questionnaire

Table 20: KMO and bartlett’s test

Table 21: Factor analysis

Table 22: Table model summary

Table 23 Consumer motivations to create user generated content and consumer behavior

Table 24: Table model summary for regression analysis

Table 25: Consumer motivations to create user generated content and negative consumer behavior

Table 26: Consumer motivations to create user generated content and purchasing behavior of consumers

Table 27: Consumer motivations to create user generated content and frequency of visit to restaurant

Table 28: Consumer motivations to create user generated content and amount of money spent on restaurants

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

Overview

“We are in the era where the number of people getting access to the Internet through the personal computers, laptops, hand-held devices and smart phones is increasing at an exponential rate. Internet is being accessed nearly everywhere like home, offices, colleges and universities. The trend of sharing thoughts with millions of others through the use of social networking sites such as Face book, MySpace and Twitter is rapidly increasing. Majority of the users are using the social websites as an effective mean for communicating the experience related to the purchase of the different products and services.

The use of the social media as an advertisement tool is very effective as compared to the traditional marketing. Traditional advertising tends to be very costly and it just focuses on one way communication.

The unique selling point that the hospitality industry tends to promote is that it is highly customer-focused and also provides a personalized experience for each individual customer. In this regard social media maximizes the consumer involvement and it allows two -way communication. It requires lesser investment than the traditional marketing and also enables quicker response of the users.

Social media has provided freedom to the users as well as the businesses to share their information very easily with thousands of their peers. The user generated information is considered to be more credible among the masses of internet users and helps to promote the brand credibility. The market of the hospitality industry is growing day by day and the competition within the industry is also increasing to attain a competitive advantage. Different restaurants and food chains are using the platform of social media to converge the attention of customers towards their restaurants and create maximum awareness regarding their offerings.”

Purpose of study

The aim of this study is to analyze the ways in which social networking sites can influence the business of different restaurants. The study will try to unearth the different opportunities that can be provided by the social media to the marketers of the hospitality industry to reach their target masses and promote themselves. It will also highlight the challenges of using social media as an advertisement tool by the restaurants and how user generated advertising is more beneficial than traditional advertising.

Significance of study

This study will help to understand how value can be communicated by the hospitality industry to their target consumers and what sectors of social media that are being currently employed by the restaurants. The report will highlight the advantages that restaurants can have by using social media as a marketing tool as compared to the restaurants not employing this technique.

Moreover, the study will explain what can be the future scope of using user generated content as an advertising tool by hospitality industry.

Problem statement

The problem statement is to identify the “Relationship between the motivation to create users generated content and the consumer behavior of hospitality industry in Pakistan.”

Definition of terms

Social media:

Social media include the variety of websites which offer the facilities of connecting with relatives and friends and sharing information among the members through web portal. The users can create their individual accounts and share audio, video and text information. The users are provided the opportunity to share their likes and dislikes with others and also comment on their status and happenings though the medium of web. (Ulusu , 2010)

Peer-2-peer:

It is a connection between two or more computers which allows them to share pictures, audio and all kind of information among themselves. The network can be as simple as one created within the room or as huge as one involving specific Internet protocols for file transfer. (Cope, 2002)

Tweet:

On the basis of different definitions being presented by different sources, it can be analyzed that tweet is a short message not more than 140 characters shared by a user on Twitter social network. (Allen, 2008)

Viral marketing:

The term relative to “virus” this is known for its ability to spread rapidly. Similarly the post and comments regarding a product spread across the social media at an exponential speed like a virus. (DR.Wilson, 2012)

Facebook:

It is a social networking website which enables the user to create a profile and share information (pictures, text etc.) with other people on internet. Not only a user can add information through his profile but also can access the information being shared by millions of other users and comment on those posts. (Facebook)

Online community:

It is a virtual association of members which are able to share information among themselves through the use of interactive tools available on the Internet such as Email, social networking websites, blogs etc. (Volkman, 2011)

Chapter summary

A brief description about the purpose and significance of this thesis had been explained in this chapter. An overview about what is the current situation of the Internet and how it is contributing towards the development of social media network has been given. The problem statement has been identified. Important terms that relate to the study and need to be described for better understanding of the thesis have been described.

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

Conventional WOM communication

During the 20th century, many researches were carried out regarding the topic of word –of-mouth communication and it was observed that WOM marketing has strong impact on consumers’ purchase intentions. This termed has been explained in publication Personal Influence by authors Elihu Katz and Paul Felix Lazarsfeld. It states that the informal opinion given by an individual of society has more convincing effect on another individual as compared to the traditional advertising. (Katz & Lazarsfeld, 1955) In another study, Brooks have proposed that the contacts of an individual in the market can influence the purchasing behavior to a great extent and the personal contacts can be used as marketing strategy. (Brooks Jr., October 1957)

Online WOM communication

Online world–of-mouth communication also known as electronic word of mouth marketing can be expressed as an opinion given by an individual (who may or may not be a current buyer) about an offering being offered to the target market though the help of Worldwide Web. (Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner, Walsh, & Gremler, 2004).The user of one product may be able to provide suggestions to the potential customers which can affect their purchasing decisions. The opinion can explain the advantages of the product or the adverse side effects/problems faced during the use of that product. Most of the time the word-of-mouth communication is noncommercial (unpaid).the online WOM communication can reach millions of Internet users within a very short time and it is very cost effective technique. (Dellarocas, 2003).

Features of online WOM communication:

with the passage of time and increased use of worldwide web, the online word-of-mouth communication has gained more advantages because the sharing of different opinions and data including text, audio/video files has become very easy and Internet has provided different platforms which allow the users to engage in different kinds of conversations and knowledge sharing. Due to the Internet, consumers can interact with the industry and the industry can interact with the customers more frequently as compared to any other medium. (Wolin & Korgaonkar, 1999).World wide web is beneficial in removing the biasness of the opinions and suggestions. Moreover, web has another advantage that it provides a much diversified set of platforms which the users can avail to share opinions and information. (Gruen, Osmonbekov, & Czaplewski, 2006) .

Impact of WOM communication

According to a study, it has been proposed that word-of-mouth communication has a strong impact if it meets the following criteria:

- The content of the message should be understandable and clear.
- The content should be thought provoking and informative.
- The message should be well conveyed and delivered.
- The message should be in accordance with the topic being discussed. (Mazzarol, Sweeney, & Soutar, 2007)

The importance and influence of word of mouth communication cannot be neglected. With the development of Web 2.0 and the emergence of latest technology like E-mail, internet chatting and various handheld devices the impact of online word of mouth communication has increased manifold. Internet and social media has revolutionized the WOM marketing. Within a very short time the opinion regarding the usage, ownership and selling of an offering can be accessed by millions of users via the Internet. (Allsop, Bassett, & Hoskins, 2007)

Word of mouth has become an influential communication mean and its credibility is getting stronger day by day. (Schindler & Bickart, 2004). According to a study, people tend to rely more on the opinions generated by their colleagues, class fellows, neighbors, family members as compared to marketing efforts done by advertising agency. Moreover, it has been found that their comments are considered to influence the buying pattern of consumers regarding the products like pharmaceutical products, electronics, restaurant food and beauty products. (Allsop, Bassett, & Hoskins, 2007).

Factors effecting the word of mouth communication are as follows:

Trust

The level of trust between the two parties (influencer and the listener) can affect the buying decision of the consumer to a great extent. Trust can be defined as the ability of an individual to accept a piece of advice or opinion given by a fellow to be reliable (Moorman, Zaltman, & Deshpande, 1992).Information generated by the relatives and close friends is considered to be trust worthy and reliable because they are believed to give an unbiased opinion and they are not being affected by the consequences of the opinion on the manufacturing or service firm of an offering. (Eccleston & Griseri, 2008).

In case of online word of mouth communication, the opinion or comment is generated by a friend or a known person who has no hidden interest and is believed not to provide false information; this lowers the frustration, anxiety and uncertainty. (Augusto de Matos & Rossi, 2008)

Credibility

Credibility is another attribute which contributes to the impact and influence of word of mouth communication. An information or recommendation is considered to be credible if it is generated by a person having the expertise and knowledge in the relative field. (Belch & Belch, 2007).Most of the time the background of the members of the community (in social media too) is clear to the listener and they are believed to have no commercial interest in spreading the word of mouth message therefore their comments are considered credible and trust worthy (BUTTLE, 1998).

The information generated by community of close friends and relatives is considered to be more credible and influential as compared to the mass marketing activities because of biasness and no personal benefit (Gildin, 2002).

Personal influence

Word of mouth is considered as a very powerful medium since the influencer is personally well connected with the listener and is considered credible and trust worthy. The main aim of word of mouth is to prevent the consumers from the frustration they have to face after using the unappealing product and provide positive feedback about certain product or service that has delighted them. Since these opinions are provided by personally known people and are considered unbiased and accurate therefore they generate a quick response among the listeners and the message is further communicated to the others as well. (Allsop, Bassett, & Hoskins, 2007)

Table 1: Explaining difference between traditional and electronic word of mouth

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

E-com and Web 2.0

Web 2.0

Tim O’Reilly is the innovator of the term Web 2.0.Efforts was also done by the Media Live International for the development of this concept. The exact meaning and definition of this term is still not obvious and is being criticized by the analysts. However, Web 2.0 is relatively new concept been coined with the beginning of 2000 era. It is a platform which has completely revolutionized the world and has provided its audience unbounded number of applications and tools which allows them to share information and knowledge among millions of users within a single click. Web 1.0 provided the facility of only publishing information on the web pages and it was regarded as “static” pages. But with the advent of web 2.0 the users were able to update the information being provided on web pages and therefore contributing towards the addition of knowledge and making it an ongoing process. (O'Reilly, What Is Web 2.0 Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software, 2005) In the first generation of web (Web1.0) information was made available on HTML pages that do not allow any kind of modification. With the introduction of Web 2.0 people came across to new medium of communication that operated on different dynamic web applications which were more collaborative and user friendly (Web 2.0).

The different applications being provided by the web 2.0 include social media interactive tools e.g. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace. Blogs and wikis are other information sharing tools. The various applications being offered by Web 2.0 are being employed in different industries like hospitality industry, healthcare as well as educational sector. Nearly all sectors are getting benefit from these interactive tools. The success of web 2.0 is beyond imagination. Not only the individuals are getting benefits from Web 2.0 but the commercial organizations have an equal opportunity to utilize this platform for their promotion and other important objectives. (Bughin, Chui, & Miller, 2009)

Wikipedia

One of its offering Wikipedia is globally accessible encyclopedia through the internet which can provide information about nearly everything. It is a kind of digital library that is restricted to be used by people of any one particular region or location rather is available worldwide to be consulted. Most of the users regularly access Wikipedia as a source of reference and the number of users is increasing daily. The literature on Wikipedia is not only available in English but also in two hundred and fifty different languages. (Medelyan, 2009).

Blogs

This is another application being provided by the web 2.0 which enables the users to engage in an online discussion over a certain specific topic. This is a public platform where one can share his personal opinion. Users with the relevant knowledge and expertise in that area are welcomed to an open discussion forum where they can highlight the pros and cons any particular offering. Weblogs are an effective mean that aid the students to carry on their research and also help to gain information regarding the important topics e.g. the impact of war going on in Afghanistan over the economy of other countries etc. (Oravec, 2003)

E-commerce

Electronic commerce also known as the E-commerce is the latest development over the Internet which enables the users to do their shopping through the internet while sitting in their offices, homes or while watching TV serial. The different hand held devices such as tablet PCs and smart phones and the growing network is contributing more towards the success of E-commerce. For the success of the E-commerce website it is necessary that the website should follow these criteria:

- The articles in the website should be clearly visible.
- There should be proper categorization of articles available for sale.
- There should be a reasonable and suitable variety of method of payment for the convenience of the customers.
- The correct quantity of the item purchased should be added to the shopping cart.
- The items should be delivered on proper time and address.

Online shopping

With the passage of time more and more brands are being introduced in the market and the figures of sales are increasing day by day. In the beginning where the customers were given the facility to do shopping from the traditional outlets of the brands and the network of hyper markets spreading all across the globe, another shopping facility has been to the customer which is online shopping. (Prof North, Mostert, & Plessis, 2003)The trend of online shopping is getting a lot of appreciation with the passage of time and a substantial market of online customers has developed over the past few years. At times when purchasing an article used to be a tedious task and involved the customer to reach the outlet, finding place to park and check for the availability of the desired product, now user has just to do few clicks and get the required product as per his requirements and choice. Users can do shopping while sitting at their home, travel as well as in office break with the help of latest smart phones, tablet PCs and other various handheld devices. (Prof North, Mostert, & Plessis, 2003)

It has been observed that availability of plenty of information regarding a particular product or service on the World Wide Web is one of the contributing factors towards the success of Internet shopping. (Prof North, Mostert, & Plessis, 2003) Other factors that affect the cyber shopping experience include:

- Internet is very cost effective medium.
- The user can easily consult the price of a single commodity being offered by the different E-commerce websites and decide which one is selling at lowest price.
- The information available on the Internet does not charge anything.
- Most of the E-commerce companies provide the facility of free shipping. (Prof North, Mostert, & Plessis, 2003)
However there are some limitations due to which customers refrain from shopping online. Some of the factors are
- Ability to touch and feel the product is not present in online shopping.
- There is a risk of identity theft and credit card details can be obtained by the hackers which make it an insecure medium of shopping.
- The quality being offered on the website may not be delivered to the customer who decreases the extent of trust between the client and commercial firm. (Hoffman, Novak, & Peralta, 1999).

One of the researches highlights the core reasons which inhibit the customers to do online shopping. These factors are as follows:

Table 2: Reasons for not shopping online

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

(Prof North, Mostert, & Plessis, 2003)

This study predicts that majority of the male and female population is worried about the security concerns while purchasing products and services online. The inability to touch and feel the product is one of another discouraging factor for online shoppers. Customers are less concerned about the difficulty of the process through which they have to go to purchase online. (Prof North, Mostert, & Plessis, 2003).

Online community

In order to understand the concept of online community we first need to understand what is a community? Different definitions are available regarding the term community in different dictionaries such as “people sharing common beliefs and interests form a community”.

According to a study (McMillan & Chavis, 1986), a community must fulfill the following attributes:

- A sense of security and mutual respect should be present among the members of the community.
- The member should believe that his opinion can affect other individual as well as community group.
- The members should be emotionally connected to each other e.g. helping out each other and sharing among members. (McMillan & Chavis, 1986)

But there are different opinions regarding the term online community. Some believe that individuals who share some common attributes and beliefs and share it through online medium form the online community. (Cothrel & Williams, 2000)

Other opposes this concept and believes that community requires face to face contact and there is no concept of virtual community (Weinreich, 1997).

According to another school of thought, online communities are developed for specific purposes and are time bounded. They involve the knowledge and information sharing through the Internet medium for a definite time period. (Rheingold, 1993)

Consumer behavior

“The consumer behavior includes the ways in which consumers that purchase the products and services behave in their attitudes, culture and values regarding the offering being purchased.” (Hudson, 2008)

7 factors influence this process:

- Motivation: it is the inner drive that stimulates people to do something to achieve satisfaction.
- Culture: culture involves the set of beliefs, values and norms which are unique to the individuals. Each individual has its own view regarding the various aspects of life.
- Age and Gender: age and the gender of the consumer can affect his/her behavior and belief regarding a product.
- Social class: It is the position that an individual occupies in the society. Factors determining the social class include the qualification, neighbors, profession, salary and home.
- Lifecycle: It explains the stage of life in which you are as you grow old such as widow, mature, childless etc.
- Reference groups: the group of individuals that effect attitude and behavior of individuals directly or indirectly.
- Lifestyle: It is how people allocate time, money and energy towards different offerings.

E-marketing:

To get understanding of e-marketing e-business needs to be analyzed first. Doing the business through the medium of internet and utilizing the different methodologies of information technology is defined as the e-business (AURELIE, 2013).Among the advantages of the e-business some are mentioned below:

1. The service can be accessed at any time of the day.
2. The service is available over the world.
3. It provides spontaneous interaction.

E-marketing is one of the field of e-business.it includes all the activities done by an organization for the communication, advertisement, promotion and the selling of the services and products of the firm all across the globe through the medium of Internet. The technique has become extremely vital for the companies and their customer relationship management. It provides a platform to the company to interact with the customers and get to know their changing attitudes, culture and other interests.

Having discussed the e-marketing the major subject whom is to be highlighted is the advertising. Advertising is a set of activities through which a company provides information about itself, its offerings or any other messages to its target market.

This can be done through a number of methods but the most effective technique regarding the hospitality industry is the customer generated advertising.

User generated content

It is the advertisement that has developed over the period of last few years. This is the word of mouth advertisement through the internet. Due to the increase in social media(Facebook,Twitter,Google+,LinkedIn, YouTube) over the past few years the users are now able to share and comment on the like and dislike regarding the products and services of a firm. The user is able to share his own experience regarding the company’s offering online.

It is also termed as the viral marketing: named due to the fact that the message being transferred from person to person just like virus. It provides a platform where the user shares the information that corresponds to the personal experience and his feelings which is considered more credible and interesting among the people. Firms must share the knowledge and data which the users can share with others through social media to make effective use of user generated advertising. Consumers are willing to discuss the company about which they have more information.

The different social media websites are as follows:

Facebook

Facebook is being considered the pioneer social networking site which enables the user to create a profile and connect with millions of the users throughout the world. It has been estimated that are approximately 1.1billion users engaged in sharing information via Facebook. (Sullivan, 2013)The users of Facebook are spread across more than 120 countries and Facebook is operating in more than 70 different languages. Users of Facebook combined would constitute world’s third largest country. Nick O’Neill an entrepreneur has a view that Facebook will have at least 600 million active users and revenue of almost $1 billion by end of 2010. (O N'eill, 2010).The user can post anything on the website whether it is text, audio, image or video and share it with friends. Not only a user can add information through his own profile but also can access the information being shared by millions of other users and comment on those posts. The users can create groups where millions of users can join and discuss particular issues of their interest. Hospitality firms don’t need to create profiles instead they have pages which can be viewed by the users and they can follow the news and information shared by the firms. Consequently they can be turned into unpaid opinion leaders. It has been estimated that Facebook accounts for approximately 63 billion dollars.

An example of corporate firm employing Facebook is Pearl Continental Hotel (see Appendices for figure), Lahore which has created its official page on Facebook. Users can view different offers that are currently being offered and have information about the upcoming events. Users can share their experiences on the page. They can also add their pictures about the event they have attended. The page contributes to increase the brand awareness and brand loyalty among the consumers.

Twitter

Twitter is a site that provides users the facility of blogging regarding their experience or any particular event but is different from the short messaging service being provided by the cellular networks. Twitter entered the market of social media in early 2006.the website was considered quirky site and wasn’t able to create an appropriate response among the users. Later on the perception was changed and there is an estimate that more than 170million users are actively using their twitter accounts. It is also boasted that astronauts too user their Twitter accounts on the International Space Station. (Sullivan, 2013).According to a study, more than300 million Tweets are posted daily and 500 million public possess account on Twitter.

Twitter is a social networking site being highly acclaimed by the internet users. Like other social websites it enables you to share text, images and other data with the users but the information cannot exceed 140 characters. It provides a platform to share small messages termed as “Tweets” on internet. Twitter enables the users to share information and topics which they find interesting and thereby connect with people sharing the same thoughts and information. Twitter is also used by audience to share interesting topics that they read on the web. (O'Reilly & milstein, 2009).With the progressive increase in the number of active users using Twitter, its credibility is increasing among the guests who follow different restaurants’ and hotel’s Twitter accounts which provide the latest information about the different offerings, special incentives and discounts regarding the special events soon to occur. It is being regarded as one of the effective direct communication medium.

With the help of Twitter hotel employees can start conversation with the guests. Even small and simple tweets like “Have a safe and sound stay at hotel” can create personalized touch among the guests.

Pizza Hut is using Twitter to interact with the general audience. Millions of users post tweets on the page and share their experience among the community. It also provides the opportunity to the users to stay updated with the upcoming offerings and events of Pizza Hut (see figure 15).

YouTube

YouTube is a video broadcasting platform which enables the users to share the video data online. With the increase in Internet usage, network of YouTube is growing rapidly and it is estimated that almost 400 million users are actively sharing information through it (Shipley, 2010). Business firms should utilize the platform of YouTube to maximize their potential. The business organizations can upload the high definition video which can be an event in the company and this diverts the attention of millions of users towards the business firm (Shipley, 2010).

Google+

Google has improved itself from just being a search engine to a diversified service provider. Over the past few years Google has introduced numerous innovative services such as Google Maps, Google Earth etc. which are being highly appreciated by the millions of users (Hattersly, 2012). Moreover Google has also launched its Google+ service within the social media sector.

Google+ has proved itself to be better than Facebook and Twitter in staying updated with the news. It provides a platform to reach the right people for the firm. Another interesting feature of Google+ is the “circle” which enables users to categorize their friends into distinct groups: friends, family, colleagues and other can be created. (Hattersly, 2012).

Impact of user generated content

Most of the consumers refer to the recommendations and comments of their friends and relatives before they purchase any product or service. They consult people having the necessary knowledge and expertise regarding their purchase. For this purpose they also visit different social networking sites that can assist them in their decision. Through different studies it has been proved that word of mouth and user generated content effect the success of different products such as movies, novels, restaurant, theme parks etc. (Dhar & Chang, 2009)

A study has proved that the opinions and comments being generated by the movie analysts influenced sale of the movie on the box office. They are mostly regarded as opinion leaders by the movie lovers and their opinion can either motivate or prevent moviegoers to see the movie. (Eliashberg & Shugan, 1997).On the basis of a study carried out on 1602 movie released within the period of 1990-1996, it has been observed that information being communicated (user generated content) by the moviegoers can have a great impact on the decision of others whether to go or not to cinema to see movie. (Moul, 2006).It has been explained by a study that the volume of user generated content has a strong influence on the box office sale of movie. The increase in the user generated content regarding a particular movie shows the increased level of interest among the moviegoers. It has also been proved that the user generated content is stronger factor than the movie ratings in influencing the success of movie. (Duan, Gu, & Whinston, 2005).

The opinions and recommendations being generated by the online social communities such as Tip’n Tell and APriori have been found to affect the purchasing intentions of consumers especially the mobiles and other hand held devices. The customers are able to get updated with the unique features being offered by the mobile phones and save their time and energy. (Kowatsch, Maass, & Fleisch, 2011 ).

CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH DESIGN & METHODOLOGY

Introduction about research

The research methodology that has been carried out in this study is the causal study.

Causal study:

Causal study can be interpreted as a methodology of observing a phenomenon in terms of formal statements similar to “If X happens, then Y changes”. This technique enables us to analyze what would be the result of changes in one variable due to the alteration in the value of the other variable. Mostly this technique is deployed to study the cause and effect relationship between the independent and the dependent variable. (Laberre, 2014).although this methodology is employed by the researchers quite frequently but there is no guarantee that a strong causal relationship would exist between the variables all the times. The relationship between the variables may be due to the coincidence. Sometimes it becomes extremely tedious to explain the interpretations generated by the causal research due to various variables involved in study. (Laberre, 2014).

In our study we are examining the effect of User Generated Content which is the independent variable on the consumer behavior which is the dependent variable.

Deductive reasoning:

This is an approach in which the researcher tries extract specific facts from the general information available to him. Most of the time “drill down” technique is a name used for it. The researcher implements this technique to gather the specific conclusions that are desired by him from the information provided by the variety of sources. ( Crossman)

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Details

Title
Impact of Motivations to Generate User-Generated Content on Purchasing Decisions of Consumers of Hospitality Industry in Pakistan
College
Lovely Professional University, Punjab  (IBIT)
Course
marketing
Grade
3.7
Author
Year
2014
Pages
95
Catalog Number
V299074
ISBN (eBook)
9783656960119
ISBN (Book)
9783656960126
File size
2275 KB
Language
English
Tags
Social marketing, eWOM, User generated content, social media
Quote paper
Umair Tahir (Author), 2014, Impact of Motivations to Generate User-Generated Content on Purchasing Decisions of Consumers of Hospitality Industry in Pakistan, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/299074

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