Date

2014

Major

Public Relations (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. S. Camille Broadway

Abstract

Social media marketing is the professional use of social media websites such as Facebook for marketing purposes. This thesis project examines the adoption patterns and factors behind the decision to use social media marketing among professionals. The researcher conducted in-depth interviews with business professionals from the real estate rental industry in Statesboro, Georgia, and analyzed the results and implications using thematic analysis. Everett Rogers’ diffusion of innovations theory provides the theoretical framework for the research with social media marketing being the innovation. The participants identified that observability, relative advantage and complexity/simplicity were major factors for adopting social media marketing. The findings also indicated that college educated Millennials who have previously created personal social media profiles are likely to adopt social media marketing for their organizations. Finally, results showed that social media marketing has penetrated smaller markets such as Statesboro, and even non-adopters recognize it as a productive marketing tool.

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