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Author(s): Sanskrity Joseph, G.K. Deshmukh

Email(s): Email ID Not Available

Address: Assistant Professor, Institute of Management
Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur (C.G.).

Published In:   Volume - 21,      Issue - 1,     Year - 2016


Cite this article:
Joseph and Deshmukh (2016). Profiling of Social Customer: A Study of Selected Media Platforms. Journal of Ravishankar University (Part-A: SOCIAL-SCIENCE), 21(1), pp.06-08.



Profiling of Social Customer: A Study of Selected Media Platforms

Dr. Sanskrity Joseph1  and Dr. G.K. Deshmukh2

Assistant Professor 1, 2, Institute of Management

Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur (C.G.)

Abstract: Internet has facilitated the free flow of information at lower cost. The growth of internet user has led to growth of social media platforms. Companies have tried to determine parameters which can be effectively used by companies to understand the factors which contribute to engagement of consumers on social media. The engagement rate is calculated on the basis of views related with a post. Further the present research has also tried to undertake customer segmentation in virtual world on the basis of engagement rates with selected post on social media platforms like facebook, twitter and instagram, demographic profiles and time spent on the selected platforms.

Key words: Social Media, Customer Engagement, Customer segmentation, engagement rate

 

Introduction

Technology has witnessed sea change in recent times. It has changed the ways we view markets and procure goods and services for necessities to satisfy our needs and wants. Market has made a gradual progression from physical world to virtual world. Anderson (2007) opined that virtual markets are increasing niche marketing as marketers are able to cater to need of individual customers as well with a defined plan. Further Casteleyn et.al (2009) indicated that the advent of social media and its rampant usage has turned out to be a two way facilitator. It provides fruitful insights to marketers to manufacture products and services in accordance to customer requirements on one hand and on the other hand it provides platform to customers to voice their fruitful opinions to demand products and services according to their needs. Kietzmann et. al (2011) have supported the use of social media to share meaningful customer purchase and post purchase experience associated with a product or service. Further the advent of social CRM as highlighted by Hardey (2011) has led to increased customer engagement by corporate.

Further the increased geographical dispersion of customer due to advent of e-commerce has necessitated the study of customer profiles with greater care and caution. The simple grouping of customers with similar needs and wants on the basis of demographic and psychographic characteristics is becoming increasingly difficult. Stienstra (2010) indicated that the open field of operations available due to advent of World Wide Web has necessitated the rightful segmentation of customers based on underlining common characteristics for better targeting and positioning of product and service offerings.  Further Simkin and Dibb (2013) highlighted that the marketers are unable to restrict the flow of information regarding their products and services as the customers are making use of social media to freely exchange their opinions regarding the market mix of companies. In the above backdrop the paper has tried to understand the following issues:

(i)                 Customer engagement in selected social media platforms.

(ii)               Use of social media for customer segmentation in self help book market


 Customer Engagement in Social Media

A lot of literature has been reviewed by researchers to understand the factors which pose an impact on customer engagement on social media platforms. Ashley and Tuten (2015) highlighted that experiential, image, and exclusivity messages leads to customer engagement.  Brian et.al (2015) identified eleven motivating factors which influence customers to engage in online communities. Bijmolt et.al (2010) indicated that customer engagement takes place in three steps namely customer acquisition, customer development, and customer retention. Roderick et al. (2013) has indicated that customer engagement has behavioural, cognitive and emotional dimensions which are responsible for creation of satisfaction, empowerment, connection, bonding, trust and commitment amongst customer. Brodie et al. (2011) indicated that engagement in social media was characterised as personal and social interactive engagement. 


Use of social media for customer segmentation

Customer segmentation is an age long concept where customers with similar profiling are grouped together based on identified similarities. The groupings can take place in virtual markets as well for better targeting and positioning. Foster et.al (2011) indicated that usage intensity and activities performed should be used as parameters to segment customers on social media. Constantinides (2011) highlighted that segmentation through social media can take place on parameters of social interaction and information seeking.  Sari (2016) indicated that customer profile and purchase history can be used to profile customers through the usage of social media.

 

Research Methodology

The researcher undertook an empirical study be collecting data from readers of self help books who have studied or are studying in the engineering colleges situated in the geographical area of Chhattisgarh with the help of a structured questionnaire amongst Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users. Customer engagement was studied on namely three social media platforms (i) Facebook, (ii) twitter and (iii) Instagram. Further Engagement rate was calculated on the basis of engagement rates by views on post related to self help books. Following formula was used.

ER view = Total engagements on post / Total views *100

Average ER view = Total ER view / Total posts

  The self help books were divided into Self improvement, Personal growth, motivation, relationship based, management based and health. Further customer segmentation was done on the basis of reading choices and customer engagement levels regarding post on self help books. Further classification was also done on demographic variables mentioned on the media platform and engagement rate.


Findings of the Study

In the age group of 20 – 30 yrs; total engagement by views was found to be 52% on facebook, 18% on twitter and only 8% on Instagram. Further average engagement rates was highest for books related to self improvement category. It was calculated to be 78 views. The highest engagement rate was related to books like Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R Covey, Secrets by Ronda Byrne and Power of Positive thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. Between age group of 31 to 40, total engagement by views was found to be 66% on facebook, 31% on twitter and only 12% on Instagram. Further average engagement rates was highest for books related to relationship management category. It was calculated to be 110 views. The highest engagement rate was related with How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and Man are from Mars and women are from Venus by John Gray. For 40 yrs and above age group, total engagement by views was found to be 38% on facebook, 19% on twitter and only 4% on Instagram. Further average engagement rates was highest for books related to management category. It was calculated to be 38 views. The 5 Am club by Robin Sharma and Jack: Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch.

Further the customer segmentation was done on the basis of time spent on social media platform and engagement rate with self help books. It showed a linear relationship and the calculated coefficient relationship (r) was 0.9. It shows a strong positive association between time spent on social media and engagement rate on post related with self help books. The calculated coefficient relationship between reading habit and engagement rate on post related with self help books was calculated to be 0.32. It shows a weak association. Further engagement rate with self help book post showed strong association with perception regarding self help book that it can be used for educative and preventive function. The calculated value of r was 0.76.


Conclusions

Bergsma (2008) rightly highlighted that self-help books basically provide insights into personal growth, personal relations, coping with stress and identityby providing remedies to enhance strengths and minimise weakness. The findings of the study indicated that the choice of reading self-help books changes with requirements in life. Readers in early life are facing the dilemma of developing the requisite knowledge, skill and ability to attain professional goals thus they prefer books which will enhance their professional capabilities. In the middle age group the readers have usually progressed in their personal and professional life and they face problems in maintaining the work life balance. Therefore the study indicated that they prefer books which provide solutions to relationship issues in personal and professional space.  In the advance age of life above 40 years the professionals are usually facing dilemma related with career choices and life style disorders. Hence they prefer books which help them in making their mind regarding their carrier graphs and solve health issues.

            Further the finding of the study can be supplemented with findings of Wang et.al (2012) that the time spent on social media by users is driven by emotions, intellect, social norms and habit. The findings of the study indicated that the users who spent more time on social media usually browse things which suits their emotions, intellect, social norms and habit. Bolton et.al (2013) highlighted that environmental factors, demographic factors and endogenous factors helps in determining the engagement rates in social media platforms. The study also supports this findings that engagement rate in social media with respect to a post, time spent and individual characteristics of social media users can be used to segment market through social media for better targeting and positioning.

 

References

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