Digital Identity Beyond the “Like” Button: The Impact of Mere Virtual Presence on Brand Evaluations and Purchase Intentions in Social Media Settings

Decades ago, the only ones who knew the identities of those supporting specific business brands were the actual business itself; it wasn’t public knowledge. The only leads that the general public had on who bought the products and what audience the products were aimed toward were only based on what was seen in the company’s advertisements (billboards, commercials, magazines, ect.) Now with the arrival of  social media and the ability for consumers to publicly label themselves as supporters, companies have started using this publicity to their advantage.  In 2011, it was discovered that 83% of the Fortune 500 companies used social media to connect to the public. This means that now one is much more likely to stumble on an advertisement when surfing the web than they were 10 years ago. For example, Facebook may display a consumer’s name and face on a company’s fan page after it is “liked”. Not only can the individual’s contacts see this affiliation, but since the fan page is public, the world can see it. Also, a company may prompt their online followers to take photos of themselves enjoying the product, to share either on their personal Facebooks or on a company-run social network. As predicted, this has caused an incredible boost in product sales.

I brought this article to the table to show another one of the internet’s many uses. It can not only be a social tool, but it can also bring about successful commerce. We’re making businesses millions just by doing what we do every day, being social online.

 

Naylor, Rebecca, Cait Lamberton, and Patricia West. “Beyond the “Like” Button: The Impact of Mere Virtual Presence on Brand Evaluations and Purchase Intentions in Social Media Settings.” (2012): n. page. Web. 25 Jan. 2014. <http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.umw.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=a183d8ac-b735-4290-be6a-89744ddd335b@sessionmgr110&vid=7&hid=113>.