The paper "Explanation of Consumption Patterns of Social Networking Sites Such as Facebook" is an excellent example of a case study on marketing. Facebook is today’ s most successful online social networking sites. It is popular all over the world and its potential for creating adverts that can influence the purchase decisions of friends. Seemingly trivial Facebook applications such as pages, groups, and gifts have proven to have the potential to marshal product support from thousands of friends. In most cases, widespread support of the products advertised increases the likelihood that the friends who like the products will buy them.
The best approaches for explaining the nature of purchase decisions are social psychology, group polarization, and cognitive dissonance. Risk and participation factors influence Facebook buying decisions just as they do in local adverts. Facebook offers users the chance to form groups that are founded on virtually any product, belief, service or activity. Advertisers tend to form groups and pages in order to try and spark debates among interested friends, who are the target market. With this regard, Maslow’ s hierarchy of needs theory presents a potential explanation for Facebook’ s advertisement and purchase decisions.
Insights from this theory provide crucial information on the target groups, buying behaviors and the underlying motivation for purchase decisions as friends set out to satisfy different needs (Hargittai, 2007). Explanation of consumption patterns of social networking sites Social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook have undergone phenomenal growth in terms of the number of people who use them within a remarkably short space of time. Today, Facebook has more than 200 million current users. Today, these sites have become remarkably useful marketing tools because of the emergence of free software development tools such as OpenSocial and Facebook Platform.
These tools make it easy for small software applications to be deployed in a viral fashion to an exceptionally large number of people. The success recorded with seemingly trivial Facebook applications has proved that people are willing to invest much of their daily time interacting with these applications and to recommend them to their friends. AppData, a Facebook application metrics site, is being used by millions of users. On the other hand, even the most trivial of applications can end up having tens of thousands of users.
It seems logical that Facebook has the potential to provide a platform for the delivery of persuasive applications, given a large number of users and their level of social connectivity. Insights from social psychology can explain why social networking sites such as Facebook are tremendously powerful motivators of behavior change (Pasek, 2009). Anyone joins Facebook voluntarily and adds applications to his profile on the same basis.