Date of Completion


Thesis Advisor(s)

Mark Hamilton

Honors Major

Communication Science


Communication | Communication Technology and New Media | E-Commerce | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Marketing | Mass Communication | Public Relations and Advertising


This paper examines characteristics of online social networking sites and their implications on advertising. The application of well known interpersonal and mass communication theories to the field allows for an in-depth look at behavioral cues and responses. The interactivity inherent in sites like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and in other forums encourages advertisers to tap into engaging their consumers. Types of targeting and the success of word of mouth referrals are examined, as are many of the common stumbling blocks. To better understand the potential versus the problems, we conclude with an analysis of return on investment.