Master of Science
Department or Program
Mass Communication and Media Arts
AN ABSTRACT OF THE RESEARCH PAPER OF
Korey C. Love, for the Masters of Science degree in MEDIA MANAGEMENT, presented on OCTOBER 29th, 2015, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
TITLE: SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE EVOLUTION OF SOCIAL ADVERTISING THROUGH FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND INSTARGAM
MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Katherine Frith
Social media has quickly evolved into one of the most popular channels of communication this generation has ever seen. This is why it is essential to map its progressive journey from where it first started, to what it has become in today’s world. Advertising methods were quickly integrated into social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so that they could evolve into what they have today, and to provide million upon billions of connections for companies and agencies to engage with their sought after consumers.
There are a plethora of advertising options offered on these three different social media websites, which give the lone individual up to the Fortune 500 Company options to customize their impression on the consumer. However some social media outlets stand apart from the rest by the way of success and innovation. It is clear that the different websites have had various effects on the consumer, some great and some bad. It was imperative that the effectiveness of these social media websites and their advertising methods be tested in order to evaluate the results on the consumer.
After researching the development of the three most popular social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) a focus group of three male and three female participants between the ages of 20-24 was conducted in order to assess the three social media websites. The participants were asked several questions focusing on social advertising through these websites, as well as interacting with each other and providing key insights about their personal social media usage. The focus group concluded that Instagram was the most innovative when it came to integrating their advertisements directly into the timeline of the user. Facebook clearly had the most forms of advertising, however participants were not pleased with the amount of ads and had to use pop-up blocker in tandem with their application use. Twitter was said to be user friendly. Recently though, more forms of aggressive ads have been added to Twitter’s real-time user feeds. The participants made several predictions about future social media trends and advertising, the most imminent being that Facebook would begin to model some of their advertising methods after Instagram, a company they recently acquired in 2012. In conclusion, Instagram was said to be the most visually stunning and inventive when it came to advertising method and incorporation.