Dynamite in small packages : the engaged elite as an Facebook emerging niche market

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Peer-Reviewed Research


Social networking sites, such as Facebook, have gained immense popularity as communication platforms and as advertising tools. Generation Yers have a strong need to engage with others and make connections-digitally and in person. This paper examines the Facebook behavior of Generation Y by means of a self-administered survey of 383 university students. The purpose of this research was to determine whether clusters of Generation Y Facebook users could be identified on the basis of their Facebook behavior and usage. All multi-item constructs were subjected to an exploratory factor analysis and a two-step cluster analysis. Three clusters emerged: “Engaged Elite,” “Neutral Masses,” and ‘Facebook Floaters.” The results indicate that Facebook remains a feasible channel to initiate and engage in a number of marketing activities. However, the focus should not be on ‘pushing’ content and information, but rather on engaging the users__and to facilitate sharing between users across their networks.