Kauppakorkeakoulu | Markkinoinnin laitos | Markkinointi | 2011
Tutkielman numero: 12521
Reader-responses to synthetic word-of-mouth communications: A narrative study of lifestyle blog readers
|Otsikko:||Reader-responses to synthetic word-of-mouth communications: A narrative study of lifestyle blog readers|
|Vuosi:||2011 Kieli: eng|
|Asiasanat:||markkinointi; marketing; viestintä; communication; sosiaalinen media; social media|
|Avainsanat:||social media; sosiaalinen media; blogs; blogit; word-of-mouth communications; word-of-mouth viestintä; reader-response; lukijan reaktiot; reading cultural texts; kulttuuristen tekstien lukeminen; narratives; narratiivit|
Objectives of the study The main objective of this research is to gain a better understanding of reader response to synthetic and authentic word-of-mouth communications (WOM) in blogs and to evaluate how readers of blogs read synthetic WOM. Another objective is to produce a better understanding of the lifestyle blog phenomena in general, as well as the readers and the ways they use lifestyle blogs to construct meanings and their identities. The study also looks at readers’ reasons for reading lifestyle blogs and the ways the blogs are discussed by the readers.
Methodology A qualitative research method, studying narratives, was chosen as the research method, as the aim is to produce deeper understanding of the readers of lifestyle blogs. The empirical data was collected as reader narratives, produced through theme interviews. For the data, six women aged 24-36 who read a lot of lifestyle blogs were interviewed, and the narratives collected through the interviews were analyzed based on the theoretical framework.
Conclusions The findings of the study suggest that how synthetic WOM is read in blogs depends on a variety of things. Readers of lifestyle blogs read synthetic WOM in the blogs through their personal expectations and characteristics. Their chosen strategy for the reading and its fit within the content of a post influence the readers’ response towards the text. The reader’s personal characteristics and life situation influence the way the reader interprets the blog posts. Whether they accept or reject the synthetic WOM message depends from their personal characteristics, the blogger’s narrative, the original motivations for reading the blogs and the relevance of the synthetic WOM message. All these together dictate how synthetic WOM is read in lifestyle blogs, and the response is always reader specific.
Key words Social media, blogs, word-of-mouth communications, reader-response, reading cultural texts, narratives
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