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Generations are basically called, a group of human beings born around the same year, who grew up under the socio-economic and political conditions of the same period and have similar characteristics. Experiences, lifestyles, values, and beliefs that each generation possesses separate them from each other. In general perspective according to generate classification; The Silent Generation (Traditionalists), Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z are separated from each other. The Y generation in mobile age is the most active users of social media as it is known with its technological and growing connection with technology. This generation emerges as a generation that leads social trends and generates trends. Despite being referred to as over-consumption by Y-consumer as a consumer, it tries to obtain in-depth information about that product or service before purchasing a product or service. Y generation, known to be influenced by its surroundings in purchasing decisions, conducts a lot of research on smartphones before a purchase decision, consulting the products and services of the people they interact with through social media channels. It also examines content created by other consumers via social media platforms from one side. Generation Y is also aware that social media can make purchasing decisions by looking at family and friend environment comments before buying, reference group sharing, and expresses dissatisfaction with social media channels after purchasing. This research proposal example was designed for clarifying the connection between social media and purchasing understand of customers according to their generations.
The main purpose of the current study is to follow up the trends in internet adoption and purchasing behavior in Generation Y over the decade of 2003 — 2012 and to identify socio-demographic characteristics that facilitate internet access and social media effect on different generations by help of survey searching methods.
Significant changes have occurred in social media such as pre-purchase, post-purchase and post-purchase behaviors. Consumer ideas, suggestions and experiences that can be easily shared on these platforms have become an important source of information for both consumers and organization, also have an important place in marketing communication. Today, social media marketing has begun to be used as a new marketing form for businesses. In other words, institutions now use social media extensively to promote their products and services and send their messages. For a short looking back at the past of social media, the history of internet history should be looked at first.’’ The Internet is first seen as a military project in the United States. This project, Arpanet, developed by the US Department of Defense, passed away in 1970. Firstly, it was a simple network in which 15 computers were connected and closed to private users. Initiated as a military project, at the beginning of the 1990 's the east block became a threat, and with the participation of universities, it became a fast network. The use of the internet has become more common with the establishment of standards related to electronic mail communication in order to facilitate communication between computers.
However, the rapid development of the internet has been with its participation in commercial internet. In the early 1990’s, with the development of the ‘Word Wide Web’ protocol, the most important advancement in Internet development, the Internet began to spread rapidly. With the participation of commercial companies in the network system, the internet has started its activities as a new trade channel with the participation in shopping sites, banks, service sector businesses and etc …’’ (Kırcova ve Engin Kaya, 2015:4) Michael Fruchter, an active name on social media, describes social media with 5C. Social media means, according to Fruchter; consistence of Conversation, Community, Commenting, Collaboration and Contribution. Social media includes platforms that allow interaction and is an active channel for sharing. Users of social media create and share content through social media tools to other global users. Social media refers to the construction of communities and networks that promote participation and connectivity. Generation; The concept of the Turkish Language Institution generation; who came to the world at about the same time and shared the conditions of the same period, and thus shared similar conditions, as well as the people who were obliged to do same duties.
In social sciences, there is no common opinion among researchers on the definition of generation. The word ‘’generation’’ is defined in the Encyclopedia of Social Sciences as: """"The demography is called a generation for the collective of individuals who have lived together and finished a period of their life"""". According to a similar definition, generation refers to age groups consisting of individuals who come to the world in about the same years, the period between one generation and the next, and the age and culture difference between parents and children. New generations are classified as X, Y, and Z generations in the consumption or purchase categories. These generations, together with concepts such as technology, internet, online shopping, digital generation, modern marketing and e-commerce industry are also the focus points according to their qualities, attitudes and shopping habits. The X-generation includes those born between 1965 and 1979. Technological devices in their birth and childhood; roller washing machine, black-and-white television, cassette player and transistor radio. Years later, blue basins are replaced with automatic washing machines, dishwashers are washed with dishwashers, sound from an iron piece comes from plasma-LCD TVs. Then Generation X has meet computer and internet, technological transformation that they have witnessed caused to a few issues on understand adaptation on process. Interpreting any purchasing behavior without understanding this transition and moving to action results in unwanted consequences. Scholars have reported that Generation X is highly sophisticated in its buying behavior and is turned off by slick and generalized pro-motions.
Generation X still makes purchases based on traditional search and decision-making methods. ‘’They want to hear the features of the product as well as an explanation of why these features are necessary (Himmel,2008). They have an attitude of risk avoidance and a low capacity for risk. As consumers, Gen X looks for customer convenience, community relations, and branding. They have a reputation of being incredibly disloyal to brands and companies (Williams,2005). One of the characteristics of Gen X is that they care about the opinions of others. They can be unsure of themselves and often need reassurance that their choices are sound. They tend to ignore advertising aimed at them and reject any form of segmentation and marketing technique. Moreover, because they have many needs and greater ﬁnancial restraints, they often shop at value-oriented retailers. Gen X likes to research while shopping online. They read more reviews and visit more opinion sites than any other generation.’’ (Peralta E. 2015)
Generation Y individuals came of age during a period of economic growth, strong emergence of social media and reality television, and the disappearance of modernist values, supported by internationalization and strong inﬂuences from popular culture. Generation Y is a conﬁdent, optimistic bunch that feels empowered to take positive action when things go wrong and has multi-tasking abilities due to their high speed and energy. Its members are generally optimistic, technologically competent, casual and fun loving. Social Media Participation has important position among Generation Y. For being more specific on that point, ‘’Generation Y has the highest average among generations of friends who are friends of every generation on Facebook. And here are brief points about Generation Y and Social Media; • 87% of Generation Y, also called Millenials, uses Facebook. It can be said that the members of the Y generation who are active in all social media platforms in fact are used by such a wide percentage because they are first entered generation the Facebook life and still maintain their existence. • 43% of Generation Y like brands that reach them via email. • Generation Y finds content produced by Internet users 50% safer than other generations.’’ (Baycan,2016) The Y generation, which is thought to shape the consumer society and is called the first global customer generation, has become the first generation to turn its basic identity into voluntary consumer identity and consumption. Generation Y, who saw shopping as a passion with the contribution of the Internet and gave its own decisions and regarded consumption as a fun game, made itself a symbol of consumption as a consumption object. Major parts of their lives and daily activities are mediated by digital technologies: social interactions, friendships, civic activities, and hobbies. ‘’They are digital natives who have never known any other way of life.’’
Caring about the opinions of others is dividing generations from each other. However, that also brings us to questioning that how and in which ways social media effects generations. Generation X likes to research and read comments about products as it mentioned before. On the other hand, Generation Y does not prefer to spend so much time for reading comments. Companies which aware to understand Generation Y, play their visual cards and serve short but effective commercials for their products on social media. This ‘’stunning’’ show tries aim to reach Generation Y in most preferred social media channels. Such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram (for Turkey market of social media). Although Generation Y's consumption habits are at a high level, they want to have maximum knowledge about that product before buying a product. The Internet for Y generation is indispensable and this generation who regards the internet as an expression tool for them is confronted with the internet as the type of media that they trust and use most in their life. (Caplan, 2015) emphasized that Generation Y’s want products that match their personality and lifestyle, paying little attention to brands. They consider themselves as rationally-oriented consumers, for whom price and product features are more important than brand names which improves to social marketing on decide. On the other hand Generation Y's loyalty is said to be ﬁckle, changing quickly according to fashion, trend and brand popularity, and focusing on style and quality rather than price. It is basically hard to find customer loyalty among them, since their attitude is clearly based on their experience, which casts the deciding “vote” as to who will be the beneﬁciaries of their purchasing power. ‘’
Additionally, marketers perceive Generation Y consumers as having a high level of spending power.’’ (Martin and Turley,2014) Considering of personality and individual preferences comes first for Generation Y in general can also helps to understand the priorities of social media marketing among Generation Y. It predicts that by 2025, this generation will account for 70% of the working population in the world. It is also expected that by 2018, it will have more spending power than its predecessor, the X Generation. Another important point about Generation Y is that they have the power to direct their own purchasing power as well as the families of consumption and this power is increasing steadily. As it mentioned before, Generation Y has interesting connection with its family.
Beside to Generation X, Generation Y puts family in its priority list and wants to share experiences with them. This habit of Generation Y causes to un doubt differences on their family member’s purchasing decides. In sum, the history of each generation witnesses a turning point in which different values, norms, conditions are experienced. Each generation experiences unique experiences under historical conditions, which dominate between their own histories, and these experiences cause them to differentiate from other generations. According to contemporary situation of marketing, companies are more focusing on ‘’generation effect’’. At the beginning of this study, purchasing decide process relied on social media thus there is no doubt on that. However, generation effect on social media commercials is also be mentioned at this point. The world that we live in is becoming smaller day by day and this circle goes over generations through technology.
The most important characteristic is the Y generation, which is shown as its technological loyalty. Social media is also the most active producers and consumers today. Today, it is known that Generation Y has created and influenced social media trends. When we look at the Y-line from the media point of view, we see that it represents the social media genuinely. This generation spends majority of its time with media and communication technologies, is also actively using social media circles. Y generation sees communication technologies and social media as a part of life as a natural process. Social media are both producers and consumers as they grow in the middle of communication age.
In this study, survey method was used as the data collection method and the survey questions were planning to apply by face-to-face survey method with 150 people born between 1980-1999 by random selecting. According to frame of study, survey method was the best option for sampling and reaching at results in short and reliable way. The data obtained from the questionnaire application were analyzed using the statistical program and interpreted afterwards. Frequency analysis, Factor analysis, Reliability analysis, Hypothesis tests and Correlation analysis were aimed to use for this research proposal sample. The members of population were selected from random universities of Istanbul according to birth year. (1980-1999) Independent variables.
Generation was measured by one category: Generation Y, those born 1980–1999. Gender was coded 1 for men and 0 for women. Marital situation was measured as a continuous variable. Education was measured by the highest diploma received by the respondent. Employment was measured as a dichotomous variable, 1 – employed, 0 – not employed. Income level was measured by the question: “Last month, what was the total gross income of all members of the household, from all sources: work, pensions, support payments, rent, etc.? on a scale. Dependent variables; Using the social media comments or commercials for shopping was measured by the following item: “During the past three months did you use the computer for purchasing goods or services, such as electrical appliances and furniture or vacations?” ‘’During the past three months did you read any comment about your purchases?’’ ‘’Do you prefer to follow any of companies you purchased from on your social media accounts?’’ Practical Implications and Results By the help of results, the relation between social media and Generation Y has aimed to clarify. Marketers have to take a different approach when it comes to Generation Y for increasing their profit. For these internet natives, shopping is not regarded as a simple act of purchasing but as a new entertainment and/or experiential dimension (Lehtonen and Maenpaa, 1997). ‘’Thus, in order to become a purchasing option for Generation Y, brands have to become part of their lives, giving added value to their everyday life and experiences, for example through e-mail address.
Also, in their purchase decision making, Generation Y puts greater emphasis on socialization agents (family, peers) through social media sites (SMS), which are largely populated by this generation as it mentioned before. Therefore, marketers should motivate Generation Y to participate and create recommendations on SMS, due to their strong inﬂuence and the fact that SMS are becoming the primary source of information on products and services for this generation.’’ (Lissitsa,2016)
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