Why people use social media: a uses and gratifications approach

Anita Whiting (College of Business, Clayton State University, Morrow, Georgia, USA)
David Williams (Department of Marketing, Berry College, Mount Berry, Georgia, USA)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Publication date: 30 August 2013

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to demonstrate the importance of uses and gratifications theory to social media. By applying uses and gratifications theory, this paper will explore and discuss the uses and gratifications that consumer receive from using social media. This paper seeks to provide a better and more comprehensive understanding of why consumers use social media.

Design/methodology/approach

Exploratory study was conducted. 25 in‐depth interviews were conducted with individuals who use social media.

Findings

This study identified ten uses and gratifications for using social media. The ten uses and gratifications are: social interaction, information seeking, pass time, entertainment, relaxation, communicatory utility, convenience utility, expression of opinion, information sharing, and surveillance/knowledge about others.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations are small sample size. Research implications are that uses and gratifications theory has specific relevance to social media and should be given more prominence. Uses and gratifications theory helps explain the many and varied reasons why consumers use social media.

Practical implications

This paper helps organizations to understand why consumers use social media and what gratifications they receive from social media.

Originality/value

This paper makes the contribution that uses and gratifications theory has specific relevance and should be given more prominence within the area of social media. This paper also provides a rich and vivid understanding of why consumers use social media.

Keywords

Citation

Whiting, A. and Williams, D. (2013), "Why people use social media: a uses and gratifications approach", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 362-369. https://doi.org/10.1108/QMR-06-2013-0041

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.