Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

Karina Arcaute


Social media has become prominent in the 21st century. Companies are persistently looking for ways to utilize this new platform within their marketing strategies to increase business growth. Since social media is a networking and communication platform, it is important for companies to create a voice to humanize the business and maintain foot traffic. Although there are studies on how to use social media marketing within a business, there is minimal corroboration available of how social media marketing activities influence a consumer’s buying behavior. This study investigated the effects of social media on consumer attitudes of social media marketing and purchasing behavior from the perspective of Northern Virginia (NOVA) Community College students. A survey that inquired about the perceptions toward social media marketing were given to 20 participants from Northern Virginia (NOVA) Community College.

Responses to the survey showed that 95% of the participants use social media platforms on a daily basis. The most used social media platforms are Facebook and Snapchat with 22.7% of participants having an account in these platforms, and 70% of participants indicating using more than 3 social media platforms. The results showed that 55% of the respondents say that online visibility would affect their purchase. The most important factor for a business using social media was customer engagement and the least important factor was the timing of posts. The survey also revealed that only 55% of the respondents post about products or services a business. However, 95% of the respondents believe that a business will receive better results when it comes to customer loyalty and profits if social media is integrated into marketing and 75% of the respondents believe that social media is the best way to reach a business’s targeted audience. The results also suggest that people are more likely to share and experience they have had with a business rather than sharing sales or promotions a business is offering. According to the results from this study, purchasing behavior is more likely to have a positive effect for a business when using social media platforms for marketing strategies. This conclusion emphasizes the importance of social media marketing for a positive increase in brand loyalty, brand recognition, and foot traffic.


A Research Study Presented to the Faculty of Old Dominion University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE OCCUPATIONAL AND TECHNICAL STUDIES