Finding Sanity in the Madness

Exploring Social Media

AA #5: Social Media Perceptions April 26, 2011

I came across this article while searching around for something involving social media adoption/attitude with respects to the Elaboration Likelihood model (so if you have something like that, do share!)

Lewis, B. K. (2010). Social Media and Strategic Communication: Attitudes and Perceptions Among College Students. Public Relations Journal, 4(3).
The purpose:
This particular study had one hypothesis and three research questions:
H1: Public relations and advertising majors will perceive social media more positively than other majors.
RQ1: How will gender affect college students’ attitude toward social media?
RQ2: How does number of years in school impact students’ positive perception of social media as strategic communication tools?
RQ3: How will the beliefs of students who use social media as a primary news source be affected regarding whether corporations should consider employing social media as tools in their communication efforts.
RQ4: How will taking a class on social media affect students’ perceptions of social media as strategic communications tools?
The Findings:
The research questions posed had what I would consider predictable. For RQ1, the study found that females had more positive feelings towards social media. I didn’t think there would be much of a difference, but thinking about our own class demographics and also thinking about people I know who use social media often, it makes sense. RQ2 showed a positive correlation between number of years in school and perception on social media. RQ3 showed differences based on general perceptions as surveyed previously. RQ4 showed a positive correlation as well. Students who were taking a course in social media had a significant correlation and much more positive feelings towards social media as a communication tool.
Thoughts:
I enjoyed this article, especially since it had a RQ that directly dealt with this course. I am happy to have found some information on the topic of social media perception. I can agree with the findings on their RQ4. I find that since the beginning of this course, my perceptions on social media as a whole has increased in a positive light.
The idea that time in school having a positive correlation to perception on social media makes sense to me as well. Throughout the semester, we have touched on the idea that more educated people use Twitter (as seen on infographic, etc). This came as a nice surprise to me, as this is probably the only RQ that I couldn’t pinpoint with utter confidence.
Overall, this seems like the type of article I can directly relate with, and it was an interesting read. Hopefully I can find more research regarding aspects of classes, education, social media, etc. Good stuff!
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