MDH students won first prize for a study on marketing in social media

May 13, 2013 | Student

Two students from Mälardalen University have won first prize for a study on marketing in social media, in an international contest held in Riga. The study shows that consumers are not interested in communicating with companies on Facebook.

Sofia Carnemo Janlind and Thor-Björn Käck, students in Business Administration at Mälardalen University, have won first prize for their study on marketing in social media at the conference Euroweek in Riga. Their project was carried out in cooperation with two Norwegian and to Belgian students. At the conference, 18 higher education institutions in Europe, the US and Colombia were represented through more than 100 students.

Profitable to use Facebook for marketing?

– Many companies today use various kinds of social media for marketing purposes, often because it seems like an inexpensive way to gain advantages and reach many potential customers. In 2012, Facebook reported $4 billion in advertising revenue. The students asked the question if it is profitable for companies to place commercials on Facebook, and what agenda consumers really have when they use Facebook, says Charlotta Edlund, a Lecturer in Marketing at Mälardalen University and the supervisor of the project.

We are not interested in communicating with companies

In order to answer their research questions, the students distributed a questionnaire to Facebook users. The results show that the private network remains the most important one for consumers when it comes to their purchase patterns. One person’s Facebook network can be used as a source of information, but the information from that network is typically confirmed through the private network before a purchase is made.

According to the study, moreover, consumers are not interested in communicating with companies on Facebook, and do not take part in contests arranged by companies. In other words, the conclusions which can be drawn from the study do not support the trend which indicates increasing advertising revenue for Facebook, and a general increase in the use of social media as an arena for marketing.

– Our study shows that the primary agenda for Facebook users is to keep in touch with their friends and acquaintances, not communicate with companies. We have seen that not even people who “like” the Facebook profile of a company are interested in offers from that company. What, then, is the value of another ”like”? says Sofia Carnemo Janlind.

– It seems as though advertising on Facebook is a really topical subject, and it is greatly satisfying to win a prize for our work. We spent a lot of time on it both before and during the week in Riga, and we received a great deal of positive feedback on our presentation, says Thor-Björn Käck.

Next year, MDH will host the Euroweek conference. The theme will be ”Smart Cities” and the conference will take place on MDH, the Västerås campus, in week 18, 2014.