Title page for ETD etd-04162010-153355

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Mabry, Emily Fay
URN etd-04162010-153355
Title Engaging Audiences: An Analysis of Social Media Usage in Advertising
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Porter, Lance Committee Chair
Osborne, Anne Committee Member
Song, Felicia Committee Member
  • advertising practitioners
  • grounded theory
Date of Defense 2010-03-29
Availability unrestricted
The growing usage of social media indicates a potentially effective new platform for advertisers. However, little academic research examines how advertisers use these platforms for marketing and communications. This study sought to provide an analysis of current commercial social media usage by conducting interviews at a digital creative agency and full-service agency, in addition to conducting a statewide online survey of advertising professionals.

Results indicated that advertisers use social media differently than they do traditional forms of advertising media. In the current digital media environment, advertisers must provide value or an added benefit to the consumer to gain their attention. Furthermore, companies should view social media platforms as long-term investments and, in doing so, invest time and resources to developing and sustaining them. Finally, whether or not a brand chooses to participate in social media, every company should understand these networks and use them for their researching capabilities. The results of this study not only provide background on social media usage in advertising, but also provide valuable insight for current practitioners and help reduce the academician-practitioner gap.

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