Consumer Behavior under Social Network Platform Influencing Factors and Marketing Strategies


With the rapid development of modern technology and information technology, society has entered into a new social network era, which also makes the new social network marketing mode gradually replace the original traditional marketing mode, and has even become a social way of the masses at this stage. Therefore, in order to enhance the competitiveness and competitive advantage of enterprises in this diversified market competition environment, it is necessary to deeply explore the marketing characteristics, marketing strategies and marketing models in the social network era to provide a key boost to the sustainable development of enterprises. Therefore, the article analyzes the factors influencing consumer behavior under social networks and proposes marketing strategies for enterprises based on the influencing factors.

Share and Cite:

Zhang, D. , Chun, D. and Huang, M. (2023) Consumer Behavior under Social Network Platform Influencing Factors and Marketing Strategies. Open Journal of Business and Management, 11, 603-612. doi: 10.4236/ojbm.2023.112032.

1. Introduction

In the current Internet environment, people’s lifestyles and living environments have changed dramatically, and this change in material life has put forward higher requirements for enterprises, which must actively change their internal marketing models and marketing strategies in order to improve their own market competitiveness (Zhang, 2021) . At the same time, with the rapid development of Internet technology and information technology, social networking has a huge impact on people’s interpersonal relationships, values and lifestyles and has become a popular research topic in the marketing industry. At present, the profit model of social network marketing is single, and the marketing function of social network has not been fully utilized (Yu & Qi, 2017) . Therefore, only by providing real-time feedback based on the specific consumer needs and experiences of consumers on social networking platforms, and by maximizing consumer satisfaction, can companies steadily improve their position in the current market competition.

2. Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior under Social Networking Platforms

2.1. Impact of Strong Relationships

Strong relationships are individuals whose social networks are more homogeneous (i.e., the people they interact with are engaged in the same work and have the same information), with strong interpersonal ties and a strong emotional component that sustains the relationships. They are able to exert influence because there is a level of trust between strong relationships that is unmatched by other relationships. Strong relationships usually exert great influence in reality. On social networking platforms, interactions between strong relationship networks are mainly based on real consumption behaviors, and they start from the unmet needs in real life to start communication topics around real-world products and brands. Their information exchange in social network platforms is to reduce the information asymmetry in the real-life environment (Assing Hvidt et al., 2021) . The essence of consumer behavior on social networking platforms is the mapping of consumer psychology in physical space to virtual space.

Consumers use social networking platforms as a channel platform to showcase themselves. They share their shopping experience and consumption experience on the platform, actively introduce their shopping experience and lessons to the members of their strong relationship network, and talk about the consumption experience and novelty of new products and fashion products (Gulfraz et al., 2022) . They are eager to get the response and empathy from other members by sharing their experience and experience, so that they can get the greatest psychological satisfaction.

For social platforms, if they want to create influence among strong relationships, they must develop features that facilitate the socialization of strong relationships, as well as understand the laws of information exchange among strong relationships and implement information flow design related to them. The value of a strong relationship network lies not in its ability to intervene or manipulate strong relationships, but in the social stickiness that results from them, and the tremendous added value that results from that social stickiness. For companies, it is almost impossible to intervene in strong relationships to exert influence.

2.2. Impact of Weak Relationships

Weak relationships are individuals with more heterogeneous social networks (i.e., a wide range of interactions, and the information available is multifaceted), and people are not closely related, nor do they have much emotional maintenance (Stanimirović & Micić, 2022) . The influence of weak relational networks has two main aspects: on the one hand, the influence of authoritative insiders, the influence of authorities and insiders (opinion leaders or masters) in social networks is huge. From a relationship perspective, consumers have a weak relationship with authorities or insiders; from an information perspective, they have information that is often perceived as scarce, professional or oriented, which leads to an increase in consumer trust in them. Social networking platforms are in need of authority and insiders, and the presence of a certain number of authorities or insiders is an important indicator of the quality of a social networking platform. Authority and insiders are the central point in the network and have a huge supporting role for the whole network structure. On the other hand, it is also the key point for the dissemination of information, which is undoubtedly an important prerequisite for the influence mentioned earlier.

For companies, at the level of authority and insiders, they have begun to have a certain level of involvement and manipulation compared to strong relationship networks. This is because the influence of authorities and insiders is open-ended and comes from the value of information rather than from social relationships. It is not uncommon for companies to intervene and manipulate authorities or insiders to exert influence. However, this intervention and manipulation needs to remain invisible, and if the firm’s link to the authority or insider’s interests is exposed, consumers will still perceive it as a fraudulent market relationship, and the influence of even the authority or insider will be greatly reduced.

2.3. The Influence of Ordinary Users

Under the social network platform, consumers show the characteristics of gathering into groups among themselves. They are not limited by time and space, and they gather together to form virtual groups around shopping and consumption topics (Ren et al., 2021) . They not only share information and experiences, but also prefer to communicate among group members to seek a common sense of belonging.

Consumer behavior is influenced in two ways: directly by the other members involved in the interaction, and informatively and normatively by the social networking platform as a reference group. At the same time, the categorical convergence and information processing of a member’s attitude toward shopping and consumption both directly affects the members with whom they interact and may have an impact on the consumption behavior of all members of the entire platform. Individual consumers’ comments on a product and brand may be wirelessly amplified by members’ interaction and expanded to the platform group level. Not only does it directly affect the attitudes of the members involved in the discussion and the Internet users browsing the posts, but it also spreads the influence of the topic throughout the Internet through the weak relationship between members, creating a butterfly effect.

3. Consumer Buying Behavior Patterns under Social Networking Platforms

Social networks are one of the most reliable sources of information for consumers. Consumers learn about products and consumer perceptions through topics on social platforms between members of strong and weak networks. Attracted by the topics, they start to be motivated to buy the products. In order to ensure that the products they buy are in line with their desires, consumers ask other platform members before buying, process and process the shopping experience and notes they have gained, select brands that members agree to accept, and interact with each other to make purchase decisions. After the purchase, consumers continue to communicate with members of the social platform about how to use the product, and at the same time, provide their shopping experience and consumption experience to the inquirers.

3.1. “Feeding” Type Passive Consumption Behavior

The development of social networking platforms has brought the market into the era of “feeding” passive consumption, with more and more consumers keen on sharing and being shared to complete their shopping. This not only allows consumers to avoid the time-consuming and labor-intensive search of traditional e-commerce platforms and the difficulty of distinguishing between genuine and fake products, but also to fully enjoy the unique word-of-mouth consumption experience from social networking platforms. Based on the “feeding” passive consumption environment of social network platform, consumers’ daily shopping behavior is more from the recommendation of their friends, relatives, classmates and workmates, and the process of buying and selling is inseparable from the highly relevant personal trust, as well as from the insight and analysis of consumers’ crowd status (Song, 2019) . As a result, young people who are more receptive to the graphics and text links in the WeChat group and the graphic information in the circle of friends have become the main force of consumption in the social network platform.

3.2. Innovative Shopping Behavior

There are various shopping and consumption modes on social network platforms, such as “grouping”, “bargain hunting”, “spike”, “red envelope” and other creative shopping methods commonly found in life. ““Guessing” and other creative shopping methods because of the characteristics of modern social networks, by the majority of consumer user groups like. According to the data survey of the relevant agencies, in the mobile social network platform, the most preferred consumer purchase method is “group”, accounting for 22.5% of the purchase behavior. The vast majority of social network platform consumer users will choose to “group” “payment group purchase” to achieve the expansion of the user base, and ultimately achieve relatively low-cost consumer purchases, which can not only help users save more of their own consumption costs, but also bring more revenue to the platform. It can also bring more sales for the platform and cultivate a large number of loyal consumer fans. The fission-based social grouping mode can scientifically and effectively form a “viral” spreading effect, driving the growth of the number of new market users at the lowest cost, and for the market consumer users can also meet their consumption psychological needs.

3.3. Late Night Active Purchase Consumption Behavior

Based on the background of the mobile Internet era, network users can shop and consume online anytime, anywhere, 24 hours a day, which can maximize the use of fragmented time of market consumers, and also easy to cultivate the habit of shopping and consuming at any moment of 24 hours. The vast majority of network users before going to bed will habitually use the mobile devices around them to brush the circle of friends, Jitterbug, microblogging, etc., so that users who play social circles will be easily influenced to make invisible purchase consumption decision behavior. According to the research data of market institutions, the shopping peak of social network platforms usually occurs between 9p.m. and 11p.m., and the active buying and consumption time is longer at night, and the consumption users account for a large proportion at night (Yan, 2010) .

3.4. Sharp Increase in the Number of Consumers in Underdeveloped Cities

Compared with economically developed cities, economically underdeveloped cities are not rich enough in materials and information, and the demand of social network platform users in economically developed cities for various products and services has transformed from functional demand to brand dependence, and they pursue more product and service experience with offline brand stores, rather than comparing products with each other through social network platforms to buy the products they need (Bovenkerk et al., 2023) . In economically underdeveloped cities, people’s shopping demand for social network platform is getting bigger, and the mutual trust between people will be more than those economically developed cities, this kind of trust between users and merchants can play a greater advantage in marketing, to ensure that social network platform can get more development space in economically underdeveloped cities.

4. Marketing Strategy in the Era of Social Networking

Under the social network platform, each Internet user is the actor of the social network platform, providing a kind of interactive place and environment for Internet users, and the initiator, compiler, disseminator and receiver of information are members of the platform, they exchange shopping experience and consumption experience on the social network platform, and influence each other in the interaction. In contrast, traditional network marketing sees the Internet as a medium of communication, and Internet users are the objects of communication and passive receivers. Therefore, maximize the social network marketing is to make the members of the platform become the marketer of the company.

4.1. Change the Marketing Concept

Consumers lead the direction of consumption, the traditional marketing model of enterprises, due to the slow speed of communication, enterprises and consumers difficult to transmit information in a timely manner, the market information appears serious lag, resulting in the loss of market competitiveness, so that the development of enterprises is hindered (Mohammadi et al., 2022) . In order for enterprises to expand their market share, they need to lead the consumer consumption trend, and enterprises should improve their sensitivity to the market, actively grasp the objective development laws of the market, accurately grasp the market economic trends, and be able to develop appropriate marketing strategies according to market laws. The rapid development of Internet information technology, the market economy faced by enterprises gradually show the characteristics of networking and information technology, internal business strategies and production technology are shared information in the network, enterprises use the network will be able to quickly obtain the information needed for business management, so as to improve the effectiveness of enterprise marketing. Such as enterprises in the marketing work, need to improve their own social network platform framework, from the enterprise network platform, paid platform, free platform and win platform qualification aspects of the construction. The perfection of the enterprise network platform requires enterprises to actively open the official account of Sina Weibo, WeChat public number, official account of Youku, official account of Beili Beili website, official account of Tencent, enterprise official website and e-commerce platform. The perfection of paid platform requires enterprises to purchase advertising promotion on major portals, such as microblog hot search promotion, APP opening page advertising, etc. The free platform is the use of Q&A platform, encyclopedia Q&A, review platform, etc. to start marketing. Winning platform is the enterprise needs to use sales activities to improve the forwarding of social platforms, so that users can spontaneously promote and achieve marketing effect.

4.2. Social Network Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategy

In the operation and management of social networking platforms, word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most common promotion and marketing strategies that can achieve the goal of interactive sharing among platform users, thus directly affecting the purchasing decisions of platform consumers. The word-of-mouth marketing strategies used on social networking platforms are mainly divided into the following categories (Hu et al., 2019) .

4.2.1. Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is to deliver the company’s product information and spread the brand image through public activism, so that the marketing message can be copied and passed to tens of millions of members on social platforms as fast as a virus (Motoki et al., 2020) . In the transmission process, the trust between members is relatively low due to the influence of weak relationships, which directly affects consumers’ purchasing decisions. Therefore, enterprises should pay attention to cultivate the platform’s network experts, so that these network experts can carry out the evaluation and analysis of relevant products and give the majority of consumer users’ purchase opinions, which can enhance the public’s trust in the enterprise’s products, increase consumer users’ consumption in the social network platform, bring more economic benefits to the platform merchants at the same time, and also cultivate more loyal consumer fan users.

4.2.2. Beeping Marketing

This marketing strategy aims to make platform consumers excited and impulsive about the product, attract the attention of a large number of consumers, and convey specific information related to the enterprise brand to platform consumers in an exaggerated way. Based on this marketing model, social network platform enterprises should dare to break the disadvantages of traditional information transmission mode and innovate the use of network information transmission mode. The enterprise should arrange professional marketing personnel to consciously create hot topics and events, and then let the user members share the product information and brand image of the enterprise. Successful creation of a hot topic on the social network platform can not only deepen the recognition of consumers to the brand enterprise, but also stimulate these users to produce purchasing behavior, and finally achieve good online word-of-mouth publicity effect. For example, when the enterprise holds a large market activity, it can select the winning audience and publish the winning situation on the social network platform. Through the popular social network platform to forward, with the help of popular social network platform to promote, maximize the accumulation of users. It should be noted that when using the above strategies comprehensively, social network platform enterprises should try their best to avoid short-term opportunistic behaviors, especially to avoid giving platform consumers the impression that the behaviors of social network platform topics or opinion leaders are controlled by enterprises. Once the above behavior occurs, the enterprise will not be able to effectively play the actual effect of the marketing strategy, and in serious cases, it will fall into a variety of negative trust predicament.

4.3. Social Network Precision Marketing Strategy

In the social network platform, user members have obvious clustering characteristics, that is, their daily performance of the same hobbies, interests and behavior will form a user group, these users will be relatively fixed, and can be mined to grasp the user-related information. According to these behavioral information, the platform companies can carry out scientific screening of the target audience according to their income status, geography, interests, etc., to find the real potential users, so that targeted social platform marketing and promotion activities, so that the target users can accurately access to their own needs of product information, to improve their choice of consumption and purchase probability. First of all, in the process of social network platform marketing strategy implementation, the platform enterprise should aim at good market precision positioning work, maximize the role of precision marketing, fully guarantee the accuracy of all aspects of work. While carrying out scientific segmentation of consumer users, social network platform enterprises also need to clearly position themselves, which can help enterprises effectively distinguish competitors in the same target market and promote enterprises to always occupy a place in the competitive market. Social network platform enterprises also need to optimize the integration of the resources that can be provided for the platform’s consumer users, so as to ensure that the target consumer groups can establish a preference for the enterprise brand; then, social network platform enterprises also need to innovate the use of a combination of online + offline marketing model, online marketing strategy is the precise marketing of potential consumer users, for different user preferences to carry out a variety of marketing activities, to strengthen the participation of the majority of network users. Strengthen the participation of the majority of network users, while enhancing the level of good image of corporate brands in social networking platforms. For those consumers who do not have time to participate in the virtual brand community, companies must actively carry out offline marketing and promotion activities, according to their daily online behavior characteristics, to provide personalized value-added services, to deliver emotions to the platform’s target consumers, which is conducive to improving consumer loyalty to the company’s brand. The fundamental purpose of social network platform enterprises to carry out marketing activities is to attract more potential consumer users and create more corporate economic benefits. To achieve this purpose, enterprises must innovate the use of online + offline marketing model, expand the scope of marketing activities to enhance the influence of corporate brands in society.

5. Conclusion

In the context of the social network era, the platform enterprises want to cultivate more loyal fan consumer users and create more economic benefits, they must have an in-depth understanding of the daily consumption behavior characteristics of platform users, so as to adopt targeted marketing strategies to improve the probability of consumer users’ purchases. Social network platform enterprises should arrange professional personnel to study the psychology of different types of consumer buying behavior, and develop marketing strategies that meet the behavior habits of consumers with different hobbies and needs, which can not only help enterprises improve their brand influence, but also increase the sales of their products.

In this paper, the influencing factors of consumer behavior and purchasing behavior pattern under the platform of social network are described only from the theoretical aspect, but not tested from the empirical aspect. The future research will carry out in-depth research on this basis.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Assing Hvidt, E., Grønning, A., Nisbeth Brøgger, M., Møller, J. E., & Fage-Butler, A. (2021). Multilevel Structures and Human Agency in Relation to Email Consultations: A Strong Structuration Theory Analysis of the Danish General Practice Setting. Social Science & Medicine, 282, Article ID: 114155.
[2] Bovenkerk, O., Darr, D., & Gomes Vale, E. M. (2023). A Discrete Choice Experiment to Measure the Malawian Potential Market for Baobab Fruit Shell Briquettes: Evidence from Consumer Preferences in Mzuzu City. Energy for Sustainable Development, 73, 144-151.
[3] Gulfraz, M. B., Sufyan, M., Mustak, M., Salminen, J., & Srivastava, D. K. (2022). Understanding the Impact of Online Customers’ Shopping Experience on Online Impulsive Buying: A Study on Two Leading E-Commerce Platforms. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 68, Article ID: 103000.
[4] Hu, X., Liu, S., Zhang, Y., Zhao, G., & Jiang, C. (2019). Identifying Top Persuaders in Mixed Trust Networks for Electronic Marketing Based on Word-of-Mouth. Knowledge-Based Systems, 182, Article ID: 104803.
[5] Mohammadi, M., Rawassizadeh, R., & Sheikhtaheri, A. (2022). A Consumer-Centered Security Framework for Sharing Health Data in Social Networks. Journal of Information Security and Applications, 69, Article ID: 103303.
[6] Motoki, K., Suzuki, S., Kawashima, R., & Sugiura, M. (2020). A Combination of Self-Reported Data and Social-Related Neural Measures Forecasts Viral Marketing Success on Social Media. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 52, 99-117.
[7] Ren, L., Zhu, B., & Xu, Z. (2021). Robust Consumer Preference Analysis with a Social Network. Information Sciences, 566, 379-400.
[8] Song, Y. (2019). Research on Consumer Behavior of Social E-Commerce. China Finance and Economics Press.
[9] Stanimirović, S., & Micić, I. (2022). On the Solvability of Weakly Linear Systems of Fuzzy Relation Equations Information. Sciences, 607, 670-687.
[10] Yan, J. C. (2010). The Impact of Internet Development on Social Development in China—Research on the Statistical Report of Internet Development in China over the Years. Master’s Degree, Zhejiang University. (In Chinese)
[11] Yu, J. Z., & Qi, Y. J. (2017). Profit Model and Execution Strategy of Social Network Marketing. Economic Research Guide, 8, 103+105. (In Chinese)
[12] Zhang, M. L. (2021). Social Network Marketing Mode and Strategy of the Era of Change. Journal of Modern Business, No. 32, 25-27. (In Chinese)

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.