Susceptibility to Interpersonal Influence and Advertising among Users of Social Network Sites

Anders Buur Hansen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The motivation for conducting this master thesis is primarily to provide a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon of susceptibility to interpersonal influence and advertising among the users of Social Network Sites (SNS). Very little research, if any, has been presented on this subject, despite its relevance to contemporary academia and an ever-evolving business world. The fundamental purpose of the research study is to provide an initial analysis on the subject, which acts as the groundwork for further research on the topic, and provide knowledge that marketing executives will be able to exploit. Due to the increased importance and influence of SNS, marketing executives are faced with the obstacle of utilising the marketing potential of SNS. An increased knowledge of susceptibility to interpersonal influence and advertising among users of SNS will help increase the understanding of how to utilise Social Media Marketing (SMM) most efficiently. The Introduction provides a preliminary basis of information, by which a Research Gap is identified. This gap provides a purpose of the specific research. To ensure that the research study is conducted in the most productive way, a Research Question acts as a point of departure for the thesis. A thorough investigation and depiction of fundamental and relevant preceding research follows the Introduction. The Literature Review revolves around two overall topics: The platform of social media and subsequently research on susceptibility to interpersonal influence and advertising. Both topics play a vital role, and are imperative for the thesis. The Literature Review provides the necessary foundation for the Hypothesis Development. The primary purpose of the hypotheses is to test whether or not the incorporated factors of influence have an effect on the levels of susceptibility. Statistical analysis of the hypotheses provides results that are presented, and then discussed within the overall context of the thesis, and based on the methodological stance. As this research study seeks to provide groundwork for supplementary research, theoretical implications followed by managerial implications are comprised. The succeeding Conclusions provide a comprehensible compilation of the Discussion of Results, and will enable an insightful and coherent answer to the Research Question. Through a pragmatic and investigative approach, the thesis provides a thorough analysis based on a survey conducted among 594 users of SNS. Subsequently, identifying the factors that influence susceptibility to interpersonal influence and advertising among users of SNS. Through exploratory and subsequently descriptive research a comprehensive discussion of the results the findings indicate that age has a significant correlation with susceptibility to interpersonal influence and advertising. Accordingly, indications of an intensified focus on opinion leaders on SNS are presented as an efficient way of conducting SMM. Finally, concluding that an intensified focus on matching the advertising approaches with the targeted consumers would proof beneficial.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages80