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Social media advertising is a new version of corporate advertising which has been adopted as a new technique by many companies. This study sought to ascertain the effects of social media advertising on the consumer behaviour of university students, specifically in their patronage of cosmetic products. The sample used was 150 students from the Ghana Institute of Journalism and Accra Technical University. The study was based on the theories of uses and gratification and the black-box model. Furthermore, the study adopted a mixed-method approach of research to arrive at the findings and conclusions.

The findings showed that, the majority of the students in both universities were between the ages of 18-30 years and that 70.7% of females patronized cosmetic products more than males who were only 29.3%. Furthermore, it was revealed in this study that among the 150 participants in the study, most of them use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp, with again most of them using WhatsApp more than the other platforms as WhatsApp alone had a percentage of 84% of the respondents who use it very often as compared to the 33.3% for Facebook, 23.3% for Twitter, 34% for Instagram and 20.7% for Snapchat.

It was further revealed that, although many of the participants used social media platforms, the reason for use of these social media platforms was not to see adverts, but rather for other reasons like generating and maintaining friendships. For this reason, most of the participants had the perception that social media adverts were not helpful, and that informed their low patronage thereof.

It was therefore concluded that social media adverts have minimal indirect effects on consumer behaviour with respect to the patronage of cosmetic products among university students.





The emergence of Web 2.0, one of the most significant developments in the history of commerce, was followed by the emergence of Social Media as an evolution based on Web 2.0. This technical revolution had a significant impact on traditional marketing approaches, ushering in a new era among marketers, an era in which social media changed completely the relationships between marketers and stakeholders, social media is shifting the power from all users as customers will now be in touch with one another, sharing information about goods and services, which requires advertisers to adapt their old tactics to match the current needs of consumers, to contact them as personally as possible., especially in their buying behaviour by using social media as a marketing channel in both free as word-of-mouth and paid as social media advertising. Furthermore, advertising is simply one way that consumers learn about new products, learn about things consumers may want or need, because the more consumers know about products more choices they can make, as no one prefers to make poor choices when it comes to purchasing, what social media provide is smart many choices more than poor or just many choices (Evans, 2018).

Thus, consumers’ buying behaviour is often influenced by a leading brand. This value is created by generating demand (via repurchases) and securing future earnings for the organization (Sullivan and Oliveira, 2013). Therefore social media marketing serves as opportunities for communication and depends upon new and unusual thought patterns (Heinlein and Kaplan, 2010; Kweskin, 2018). This helps customers’ product and brand experience. This new era of digital communication and social engagement is preeminent for strategizing in business. Therefore as organizations are becoming more competitive globally, it is pertinent for them to explore marketing strategy in a more compelling and innovative way so as to attract a larger number of customers (Rockendorf, 2011).

Social media is at its core human communication, possessing characteristics of participation, openness, conversation, community and connectedness (Veil, Buehner and Palenchar, 2011). It is these characteristics of social media that enable an individual to communicate with other people across geographical boundaries about a service, product, organization or any other thing for that matter. Social media is distinguished from traditional media in ways such as reach, frequency, accessibility, immediacy and many more. Due to these intrinsic features of social media, modern advertisers often prefer them to traditional media. According to Pookulangara and Koesler (2011), Social media enables 25% of all customers to post links about products, services information in their retail sites to update other users about the purchase process. Some examples of social media are blogs, wikis, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and many more. Advertising on the other hand is “any form of personal presentation and promotion of goods, services, or ideas by an identified sponsor” (Kotler,2010). It is a process of communication between a seller or a producer and a buyer that eventually results in an action by the buyer, be it to purchase, to use or to dispose a product or service. Advertising is one thing that can be admired or otherwise disliked due to its aesthetic value or the message it carries but that cannot be ignored due to its intriguing nature. Due to the evolution of many businesses, advertising also has evolved similarly and taken many different forms such as social media advertising to tackle and match the changes in businesses. Advertising is in a state of change due to growth of digital technology, online communication, consumers accustomed to the commercial environment and increase in clutter (Springer, 2017). Advertising, coupled with social media with respect to the exciting and interactive features of the latter, gives advertisers a much wider range of audiences who are virtually connected, making its impact quick and contagious. The world as it has become a global village now has seen many youth shifting from traditional media like TV and radio to social media where there is faster ad real-time interactivity. As part of what social media offer are informal learning opportunities, access to information, local or foreign; and the development and maintenance of friendships. Considering the heavy reliance of the youth on social media, it is without doubt that they are more influenced by them than any other group in the societies, and although there are negative implications of their use, there is also a great number of benefits as well. Some students in universities indulge in buying and selling on social media as their target audience who are mainly also of youthful age are reached through such media. Social media advertising, therefore, is a form of online advertising that utilizes social networking sites and although relatively time-consuming, has the advantage of enabling advertisers better target their adverts using the information about social media users available on those platforms, be it their demographics, psychographics and even their behaviours. The addictive nature of social media makes users an ever-ready target for advertisements through these media since advertisements by virtue of their nature, cannot really be ignored though disliked. Advertising becomes void without being able to cause an action or a reaction in its audience, thus consumer behaviour may be to buy, use or dispose of a particular product, a service or even an idea. Consumer behaviour, therefore, is the “acquisition, consumption and disposition of products, services, time and ideas by decision-making units” (Jacoby, 2016). This study will focus on the impact social media advertising has on the consumer buying behaviour of oral B and MyMy toothpaste products.


Social media advertising has gained the preference of many organizations due to its interactive nature coupled with the relatively easy evaluation of advertising efforts on these platforms (Webster and Hume, 2015). These social media platforms to name a few, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter have enabled the customer to access more information and also to have a more direct involvement in organizations that advertise on these platforms. The use of influencers in social media advertisements has made the effects of social media advertising even greater and to an extent, making consumers buy products they do not even have need of (Rishi, 2018). The mass communication channel most widely used in advertising, particularly in the case of consumer products, television is also the advertising support that has experienced the fastest expansion and which has the greatest impact on consumer’s behaviour (Jefkins, 2010). Looking over to Television advertisement, its essence has not become obsolete by the influx of social media advertising as it combines visuals and audio in sending messages, quite similar to what is done in social media advertising. It however has some disadvantages of being very costly, and being perishable (forgotten if not repeated), it has some advantages of being targeted in cases where adverts are aired during some particular television shows as it would immediately reach the segment of the market that watch the show, and being able to reach a high audience as TV addresses a mass audience, homogeneous or heterogeneous (Bedore, 2012). Television adverts are good to reach a large audience nevertheless can be ignored by just a button on a remote control. The existence of many television channels have given customers a wide range of exposures and as such can easily miss or ignore adverts. Whereas this is a problem to television advertising, social media advertising is not left out as it has the tendency of becoming annoying especially in the case of pop-up advertisement on websites. Due to these handicapping limitations, there is a gap in knowledge as to which one is more effective: Television advertising or social media advertising. Inasmuch as social media are great advertising platforms as they offer easy, fast and real-time involvement with organizations, their inherent dangers to society cannot be underrated. One must own an account on social media before experiencing the advertising benefits that come with these platforms. Possessing these accounts make one vulnerable to several threats like internet addiction and Facebook depression, which is an emotional disturbance associated with Facebook usage when a user, typically a teenager is made to feel inferior to his or her counterparts on social media as they desire to be as they see them on social media which may not even be the case in reality (Trigger, 2018). Another threat is cyberbullying where false or embarrassing information is communicated to a specific user, driving that user to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and in extreme cases even suicide. Many others also spend so much time on social media which results in loss of jobs and negligence to family and other aspects of their lives. These inherent evils of social media give them an unfavourable perception among some people in our societies, making social media a problem rather than a blessing. Therefore this study seeks to determine whether the use of social media has an effect on the buying behaviour of oral B and MYMY toothpaste consumers based on these enumerated issues.


Generally, this research seeks to examine the influence of social media advertising on the consumer behaviour of university students in Ghana towards the use of cosmetic products. Specifically, this study seeks:

To identify various social media advertising platforms.

To ascertain the link between the perception of customers about social media as advertising platforms.

To ascertain the perception of consumers about the use of social media advertising and their purchase intentions.

To examine how consumer trust has effect on purchase intensity and perceived usefulness of consumers using oral B and Mymy Toothpaste.

To examine how social media advertising has influenced the consumer buying behaviour of consumers using oral B and Mymy Toothpaste.

To examine the relationship between trust and purchase intention of consumers using oral B and Mymy Toothpaste


What is the nature of the various social media advertising platforms?

How does social media advertising influence consumers in relation to the purchase, use or disposal of oral B and MyMy toothpaste products?

How effective is social media advertising in influencing consumers to buy, use or dispose of oral B and MyMy toothpaste?

How does consumer trust has an effect on purchase intensity and perceived usefulness of consumers using oral B and Mymy Toothpaste?

How does social media advertising influence the consumer buying behaviour of consumers using oral B and Mymy Toothpaste?

What is the relationship between trust and purchase intention of consumers using oral B and Mymy Toothpaste?


Hypothesis 1

H1: There is no significant influence of social media advertising on consumers’ buying behaviour of oral B and MyMy toothpaste products.

H0: There is a significant influence of social media advertising on consumers’ buying behaviour of oral B and MyMy toothpaste products.

Hypothesis 2

There is no significant relationship between social media advertising and consumers’ buying behaviour of oral B and MyMy toothpaste products

There is a significant relationship between social media advertising and consumers’ buying behaviour of oral B and MyMy toothpaste products


This study will equip cosmetic producing companies that advertise their products through social media with knowledge about the nature, effectiveness and impact of social media advertising and how they can use this knowledge to better position their adverts to attract, retain and influence university students in purchasing, using or disposing of their cosmetic products. Again, this study will add to the existing body of knowledge about social media advertising and serve as a documentary source of reference for other research works in this field.


The title of this work clearly indicates the area of study. The issue that will be examined here is the impact of social media advertising on consumer buying behaviour, a case study of Oral B and MyMy toothpaste.


Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)


Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work

1.9 operational Definition of terms

Social Media: Social media is a media platform that focuses on the existence of users who facilitate them in the move and collaborate. Therefore, social media can be seen as an online medium (facilitator) that reinforces the relationship between users as well as a social bond.

Advertising: Advertising is defined as any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or service by an identified sponsor or advertising is the business of announcing that something is for sale or of trying to persuade customers to buy a product or service. Advertising is an effort of the company to present or deliver non-personal promotional messages to influence consumers to purchase products (ideas, goods, or services) paid for by identified sponsors.

Consumer Behaviour: Consumer buying behaviour is a direct action Engaged in obtaining, consuming, and depleting products or services, including the decision processes that precede and overcome these actions. Consumer buying behaviour can be defined into four definitions, namely: Consumer buying behaviour is the process by which individuals set the answer to the question: what is it, whether, when, where, and from whom goods and services, Behaviours that involve themselves in planning the purchase and use of goods and services, Consumer buying behaviour is any response from consumers, Consumer buying behaviour appears as a movement of the complexity of consumer movement which is the pattern of relations as a whole.

Trust: It is a feeling of confidence in someone that shows you believe they are honest, fair, and reliable. Trust is a key to positive interpersonal relationships in various settings.

Social Media Advertising: This refers to a special area of advertising that uses the Internet’s social platforms (social networking sites) to deliver commercial messages to potential consumers.

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