Exploring the influence of social media marketing on the consumption behaviors of Hong Kong young adults

Chung Hang LAW

Research output: ThesisHonours Projects (HP)


Introduction: Social media is identified as effective means to persuade people to consume and some studies depict that consumers’ purchasing behaviors could be influenced. However, little do we know about the influences of social media on the young generation, especially since they are growing up in the digital era. It is supposed that the youth get much more chances in facing social media advertising, being the major users of social media, and hence familiar with promotion on social media could have different perspectives or effects when compared with the adults toward propaganda.

Purpose: This study contributes to bringing practical impacts to the students, businesses, and the government, by (1) the young adults can understand their personal consumption behaviors and review their personal consumer decision-making process. (2) the businesses can understand the interpretation of various social media marketing activities so as to design best-fitted advertisements for young consumers, which are also associated with social responsibility. (3) providing recommendations for the government to implement advanced regulations, such as the Cooling-off Period, to better guard against impulsive buying, especially among the youth.

Methodology: For this study, the researchers utilized the convenience sampling method to select participants and gather primary data through a mixed-methods approach involving questionnaires and interviews. A total of 100 respondents were chosen to complete an online questionnaire, which presented statements with a 5-point Likert rating scale to indicate their choices. The collected data was analyzed using descriptive statistics in frequencies and an independent sample t-test with gender effect comparison, performed using IBM SPSS Statistics 26. In addition, four participants (two men and two women) were interviewed via Zoom for main and follow-up questions, and telephone contact was used for cross-checking purposes. The concept of redundancy was applied to determine the optimal number of interviews for this study.

Results: The research conducted on how the younger generation responds to social media promotions revealed a direct relationship between social media promotion activities and consumption. Moreover, the investigation determined the methods by which advertisements affect the purchasing habits of young people and detected notable gender differences in the decision-making process.

Discussion and Conclusion: In conclusion, the study highlights the benefits of using social media as an advertising platform for young people. Viable solutions are proposed to help young adults avoid making impulsive purchases, and recommendations are given to local governments and businesses to fulfill their ethical and social responsibilities. Additionally, future research could expand the sample size to achieve more precise results. Further studies should explore personal characteristics and consumption patterns, as well as examine the changes in consumer behavior before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This would provide another insight into the effectiveness of social media in personalizing advertising strategies.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationBachelor of Education (Honours)
  • CHENG, Wai Lun, Eddie 鄭偉倫, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Honours Project (HP)
  • Bachelor of Education (Honours) (Business, Accounting and Financial Studies) (Five-year Full-time)
  • Programme code: A5B079
  • Course code: BUS4902


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