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The Social Media Landscape

THE SOCIAL MEDIA LANDSCAPE – ONLINE COMMUNITIES' SATURATION THE VARIABLES GOVERNING THE MODEL There has never been a faster adoption of a media like social media THE VARIABLES WERE CLASSIFIED UNDER THREE MAIN CATEGORIES Facebook added over 200 25% of search results for the 1. SATURATION 2. USER SATISFACTION 3 billion people will be online by 2016, up from 1.6 billion in 2010 (The Economist, 2012). million users in less than a world's top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content (Qualman, 2011). The saturation variables have been reported to extensively affect the overall rela- tionship model and were placed as being the core negative affecting variables The user satisfaction variables are the mediating variables which foster the members' overall online experience. The user satisfaction year. variables came to be based on: Unmanageable information quantity had been described as being a sort of shelling from companies INFORMATION QUALITY INTERACTION Information posted in the online it drives a two-way communica- tion and hence a feeling of "closeness" with the company. "There is too much spam - sometimes I don't see the benefit anymore. You need These changes affect the business landscape where the balance of power in the relationship turns to consumers (Hagel and Armstrong, 1997). With this, brand online communities become cru- cial in enhancing the relationship with consumers who would use today's social media platform to talk about their brand experiences. Nonetheless, with the exponential growth of these online.communities and the numbers of their users, saturation from information overload and time pressure would start to form, leading to po- tential consumer disengagement. communities should be con- to be well informed but there's a lot of spam. There is an internet craze today eve- rybody is going there, but there's a lot of noise. Look at Twitter how many people they follow you while you can't keep track. I try to filter them out. I de-follow some people, I try to manage it. OnceI feel overwhelmed I disconnect." [Dana, 36 years, female, Lebanese] stantly updated and relevant. SYSTEM QUALITY SIMILARITY WITH MEMBERS Is based on the ease of use and reliability of the IT platform. Members in the same online Proneness in joining online communities was stated to be caused through the current hype of joining several online communities and staying registered there. These variables span over advertising, work related reasons, peer invita- tions and their word of mouth, brand association, after sales interests, interest in brand related information and ease of official group identification. community drive the feeling of being similar to each other based on the similar interests, feedback and social knowl- edge they share together. THE OBJECTIVES OF THÉ STUDY Time pressure affects the frequency and attention given to the online community and thus a lack of available time would turn the online community membership into a "burden". 3. BRAND RELATIONSHIP VARIABLES To identify and understand the satu- ration factors in online eommunities 2 To understand the influence from the saturation factors on online brand- consumer relationship "You only use the communities you're interested in. could be between 7-1O. More than 10 it will be overwhelming as I don't have time" (Georges, 25 years, male, Lebanese) The brand relationship variables were formed based on Community attachment: is driven by the user satisfaction variables whereby the type of experience encountered there would affect the |level of closeness to the community. Social obligations which are driven by the action to join or stay as members in specific online communities are seen as being based on doing favours to friends; RESEARCH DESIGN & METHODOLOGY Brand liking: would depend on the fostered relationship in both the online and offline worlds and is driven by relevant information quality on the brand as well as by a reliable system quality. A qualitative research methodology was used based on semi-structured face to face interviews with open ended questions. "I would keep the registration just for association and no involvement especially if somebody invited me to this group -I stay there not to show them their group is boring." [Dania, 28 years, female, Lebanese] Brand trust: is a relationship stage in which consumers would feel that the brand is "standing for their values" consistently. In online communities, brand trust is affected by information quality and a reli- able system platform. These 4 contributing factors led members to experience a higher propen- sity to decrease their engagement level or even leave communities and to rationalize their numbers. LOCATION SAMPLE SIZE SAMPLE RECRUITMENT METHODOLOGY LEBANON 31Lebanese interviewees (13 female, 18 male) The sample was recruited on the basis of previous or current experience in online communities. The pre-selection criteria targeted people with brand re- lated online communities experience in contrast with unofficial third parties communities. THE ONLINE COMMUNITIES' SATURATION AND BRAND RELATIONSHIP MODEL SAT - Time Info Quality SAT - Quantity Similarity with Members Brand Community Attachement Brand 13% Linking Trust SAT - Social Interaction 13% 29% 6% AGE BRACKETS SAT - Proneness System Quality 23% Under 18 18-24 10% 6% The model covers the 3 categories of saturation, user satisfaction and brand relationship variables. tumbr, 25-29 30-34 The saturation variables are hypothesized of having a negative effect on the user satisfaction construct. The model theorizes that: fligr 35-39 Above 40 System quality, interaction, similarity with members, and information quality are all linked to community attach- ment which influences in its turn brand trust through brand liking. Similarity with mem- bers drives interaction and information quality. System quality affects information quality. Information quality and system quality are expected to affect brand liking and brand trust. | facebɔok Prefer not to answer You' Tube twitter IMPLICATIONS The saturation effect is an important variable that has emerged from the model, showing that with time online communities are being negatively affected due to their own hype and popularity amongst users. This variable negatively affects users' experience and might hinder the growth that online communities are having in our world today. Linked in

The Social Media Landscape

shared by naderhamandi on Nov 30
Examining the saturation effect of online communities in a social networking environment on brand-consumer relationship.


Zahy Ramadan


Nader Hamandi


Social Media
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