The aim of this dissertation is to study the concept of Viral Marketing and the tools used by firms when sharing online material. Particular attention is given to young University students' behaviour when viewing and sharing content. Design/Methodology/Approach: The study starts off with various theories, models and views as presented in literature, together with cases depicting the use of Viral Marketing campaigns. The dissertation continues with an analysis of 18 to 25 year old University of Malta students' behaviour, using a self-administered online survey, distributed through the University registrar, with the participation of 364 respondents. Findings: The results confirm that the majority of young students spend a substantial amount of hours on the internet and use social media websites. A good percentage of respondents share online material, and the most popular is funny/humorous content. These findings also highlight the reasons why content is shared, the extent respondents believe in it and factors that influence online users. Findings also show that to an extent, Viral Marketing can be controlled by firms. Research Limitations/Implications: Further studies about this topic are recommended due to its evolving nature. Some ideas for future studies may include a deeper study of extraneous factors that may affect online behaviour and how firms can control more what is shared online. Practical Implications: The first step is to recognise the importance of using the internet in marketing campaigns, especially when the target audience is rather young. Firms should then focus on how to create content that will attract attention and that will eventually be passed on to thousands of users. Originality/Value: This study focuses on a new and current phenomenon that is constantly growing, and which can serve as a powerful tool for companies that want to spread a particular message in an effective and fast way. The danger of losing control of the message and its distribution is also discussed.
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