Social Media Influence on Consumer Behavior |
Growing in Cleveland, Ohio (1970 – 1986) the only social networks available were church, school and the neighborhood. When we needed to socialize we either gathered at these places or simply picked-up the phone and spoke with each other. Everything began to change with the advent of three-way calling or party line which enabled multiple individuals to engage in conversation. Although most of the conversation were rather meaningless, it was great to be able to reach out to my friends in mass (even if you could only have at maximum 3 persons on the line, including myself). As technology continued to advance and with the increased accessibility of the internet, social networking has developed far beyond those days and now I can reach out to hundreds of individuals simply by logging into one website.
In my research I found that compared with teens and Generation Y, older generations use the internet less for socializing and entertainment and more as a tool for information searches, emailing, and buying products. In particular, older internet users are significantly more likely than younger generations to look online for health information. Health questions drive internet users age 73 and older to the internet just as frequently as they drive Generation Y users, outpacing teens by a significant margin. Researching health information is the third most popular online activity with the most senior age group, after email and online search. (Jones, 2009)
Internet users ages 33-72 are also significantly more likely than younger users to look online for religious information and they are more likely to visit government websites in search of information. (Jones, 2009)
In addition, Generation X (internet users ages 33-44) continues to lead in online shopping. Fully 80% of Generation X internet users buy products online, compared with 71% of internet users ages 18-32. Interest in online shopping is...