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The New Social

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Social Networking Sites offer people new ways to communicate and interact with each other. The rapid growth of social networking in recent years has made these sites part of everyday UK culture.

Effective customer engagement requires communicating with consumers across all available touch points. With consumers spending more time on social sites compared to other websites, social media provides an attractive opportunity for brands to engage with their customers.


1. Themes of consumer use and behaviour on social media

2. Consumers’ expectations from advertising and commercial presence on social sites

3. Marketing and customer service strategies via social media

4. The effect of location based services on consumer behaviour

5. Influence of security concerns on social interactions online


All funding partners can input into the objectives and provide specific questions.

1. Profile and understand the use of social media.

• Discover attitudes and behaviours towards top social networking websites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter)

• Identify reasons for use and types of activities performed on social sites focusing on communication, information exchange and content sharing

• Explain types of social connections and interactions for specific age groups and identify generational differences

2. Explore content replacement and complementary use of social sites.

• Investigate the role of social networking sites in media consumption via other channels (e.g. interactive viewing or advertising, social experience alongside a live event or TV programme)

• Identify the extent to which social sites are replacing other information and media sources (e.g. news, forums, apps)

3. Investigate marketing and brand engagement opportunities on social sites.

• Determine perceptions of business presence on social networking sites and the type of interaction consumers are prepared to have

• Examine consumer expectations from customer services delivered via social networking sites and establish the response consumers have to direct contact

.• Explore the influence of business/corporate vs. personal ‘image’ on brand engagement and consumer perception

4. Describe location based services and their effect on the social media landscape.

• Identify consumer perception and use of location based services, types of services used and situations where they are used the most

• Discover consumers’ reactions to new forms of social media built around mobile devices and location

• Determine influence on privacy and security concerns

5. Explain concerns about privacy and safety related to social media

• Determine the significance and approach of consumers to unintended consequences of publicly posting sensitive or personal information

• Measure the level of understanding of security and privacy on social sites and determine if confusion over privacy settings exists

• Identify the intent and approach to establishing or maintaining contact with people one doesn’t know

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