Title: Segmenting the social networking sites users: an empirical study

Authors: Carlota Lorenzo-Romero; Efthymios Constantinides; María-del-Carmen Alarcón-del-Amo

Addresses: University of Castilla-La Mancha, Faculty of Economics and Business, Marketing Department, Plaza de la Universidad, 1, 02071 Albacete, Spain. ' University of Twente, Enschede, Faculty of Management and Governance, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands. ' University of Castilla-La Mancha, Faculty of Economics and Business, Marketing Department, Plaza de la Universidad, 1, 02071 Albacete, Spain

Abstract: The growth of social networking sites (SNS) presents businesses and marketers with risks and challenges. Customers become sophisticated, empowered and increasingly involved in shaping of the marketing offer. Marketers are becoming aware of the threat of losing control over their message but also begin to realise the potential of SNS as marketing tools; understanding the nature of the SNS users and the way they interact online is a vital step in developing business strategies targeting and engaging the networked consumer. The paper presents an explorative survey on the demographics, background, adoption motives and behaviour of SNS users as bases for the identification of segments in this market. The survey, held among SNS users in The Netherlands, identifies four distinctive user profiles of social networking users. The paper presents the results of the survey, discusses the management implications of the findings and identifies areas of future research.

Keywords: social networking sites; SNS; Web 2.0; social media; behavioural characteristics; user segmentation; cluster analysis; SNS user profiles; Dutch online survey; business implications; segmenting; internet marketing; internet advertising; The Netherlands.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2012.046253

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2012 Vol.7 No.2, pp.136 - 156

Available online: 02 Apr 2012 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article