The Influence of social media platforms on consumer purchasing decisions among Strathmore University students
Mutisya, Claudia Ndinda
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The growth of online social networks around the world has created a new place of interaction and communication among people. Individuals can share their knowledge, opinions, and experiences with one other due to the online social networks provided features and may have an impact on people’s behaviour in terms of communication and purchasing. Studies conducted on social media and its effect on purchasing decisions showed mixed findings as some agreed that the social media platforms did have an effect on consumer purchase decisions while others disagreed and others showed that there was no relationship between the two constructs. This study focused on students in Strathmore so as to gain better insight on the extent to which social media platforms influenced purchasing decisions. It examined the relationship social media platforms and purchasing decisions by looking at specific factors that drove consumers particularly university students into purchasing products through social media. The study found that Instagram was the most widely used by Strathmore University Students in making their purchase decisions related to their product, brand and dealer choices followed by YouTube and finally Facebook. The study also found that YouTube and Instagram had a significant influence on product, brand and dealer choices while Facebook did not significantly influence brand choice. The study findings also showed that the three social media platforms had a positive and significant influence on the overall consumer purchase decisions of the students. Hence, a conclusion was made that businesses and firms that were able to capitalize on these social media platforms were likely to influence the consumer purchase decisions of their consumers and that various consumers including students who used the various social media platforms were likely to be influenced when undertaking their purchase decisions.