Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Uses and Gratifications Theory

People are active users of media and selective in the media they use to satisfy their needs. These particular needs can be gratified by the: media:

- Escapism

- Personal Relationships

- Personal Identity

- Surveillance

The example our group has chosen to demonstrate Uses and Gratification Theory is TOMS Shoes and how they have targeted the top social media networking sites on the web, such as Facebook and Twitter.

TOMS Shoes can communicate their message on a whole new level within their Facebook page. Fans and viewers are able to see why they should buy shoes to help support a child in need. It also allows for viewers to leave comments andobserve other sites that market TOMS shoes. They can post pictures of their accomplishments for fans to view as well. This form of communication can effectively establish a relationship between the audience and TOMS Shoes in only a matter of minutes. Also within the social media networking site, Facebook, TOMS Shoes has listed other sites that in addition contain blogs from the CEO himself, Blake Mycoskie. Other features of the site may include; upcoming events, a background of the company and a youtube video that clearly states the message of the company. (

On the media network of Twitter, the CEO, Blake Mycoskie leaves day-to-day updates on where he is traveling to deliver shoes for children all over the world. Twitter is a great networking tool for the organization to communicate with all diverse individuals who are willing to become involved. The level of involvement for each audience member varies. Some may be willing to donate while others want to join the movement.

Both of these social media networking sites help to demonstrate the Uses and Gratifications Theory. Without being aware of the media convergence TOMS Shoes may have struggled for publicity. I truly believe that TOMS Shoes has become a success because of its use of social media networks.

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