Social Media: Emotional services innovation
ABSTRACT
 
The research presented investigates social media, teenager behaviour and emotions, and addresses the lack of understanding of teenagers’ needs and preferences by social media. A strategic research methodology was implemented in order to gather valuable findings for the purpose of developing a social media emotional services innovation strategy.
The objectives focused on research into design, innovation and teenager behaviour, and social media emotional potentials have been formulated with the aim of creating a design-led strategy for social media brands in order to develop an innovative emotional service for teenage users. Furthermore, the research addressed questions of how design could engage teenagers in social media through an innovative emotional service.
The research process is divided into different stages: study establishment, data collection investigation, identification, assessment, action and validation.
The research scope is focused on understanding social media emotional potentials and investigating teenagers in social media through the compendium of technologies, logistics, factors inducing emotions, teenage behaviour, sociality, psychology, privacy issues and trends in order to address the research problems and identify what should be considered in the development of a framework for social media emotional service innovation. Consequently, the evaluation of the recommendations and framework was conducted with a team of designers to validate and confirm the viability of the outcome of the dissertation.
Final considerations are advanced according to the research scope and the presented framework embodies the recommendations and the strategic solutions to the research problems. The framework also enables social media brands to embrace new opportunities for service innovation.
METHODOLOGY
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
 
The present research is an investigation into the topic of social media and emotions, targeting teenagers who represent the most active users since social media were founded. As introduced by the report, social media are now experiencing an exodus phenomenon caused by a lack of understanding of teenagers’ needs and preferences, combined with a subsequent lack of initiatives to prevent such a phenomenon. Since teenagers are more interested in social and emotional contents rather than news, feeds and business connections, the research pays particular attention to emotional related aspects. In consideration of these factors, there is the fundamental need for further research in order to identify what may attract the interest of teenage users by proposing new and more intense levels of emotional experiences through social media services. The research aims at solving problems relating to investigative strategy as well as generating opportunities for social media brands through the engagement and stabilization of teenage users.
The research is based on a strategic methodology that follows the Design Council’s Double Diamond, namely, the stages of discovery, definition, development and delivery. Moreover, to give a strategic value to the methodology, Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle was applied to the issues concerning the ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ research phases.
The methodological stages have been further subdivided into study establishment, data collection, investigation, identification and action in order to give the research a more detailed and focused direction.
The research is based both on secondary and primary sources in order to arrive at quantitative and qualitative findings through the application of investigative activities such as literature review, interviews with experts and teenagers, field research, survey and workshops with teenagers and designers. In addition, great emphasis is placed on participatory action research that involves teenagers in the process of developing the strategy for social media service innovation.
The research is conducted with the aim of creating a design-led strategy for social media brands in order to 1) develop an innovative emotional service for teenage users and 2) address the research question of how design can engage teenagers in social media through an innovative emotional service.
The objectives of the study follow the aim and the key research questions by focusing on the investigation into teenager behaviour, design, innovation, and social media emotional potentials. Furthermore, the objectives also address the research problems themselves and inherent opportunities they present.
The research scope of understanding social media emotional potentials in relation to teenager behaviour in social media is based on initial findings gathered in the study establishment.
This scope has been further separated into internal research areas. For example, the understanding of social media emotional potentials is subdivided into technologies, logistics and factors inducing emotions, while the investigation into teenage behaviour in social media address their sociality, their psychology as well as privacy issues and trends.
The principal conclusions of the study are based on a comprehensive summary of findings and the analysis of their inter-relationships. Furthermore, the analysis of their inter-relationships has been combined with an investigation into design and innovation theories to allow the formulation of a strategy that addresses research problems encountered and the opportunities they present. In addition, the strategy includes the collaboration between teenagers and designers to enrich the findings through participation by considering teenagers as possible ‘interpreters’ for new meaning development in the social media service innovation process.
Recommendations are formulated based on the principal findings. Moreover, a strategic framework is visually presented through an interpretation of the recommendations in order to illustrate - through various stages - the design process of creating innovative emotional services by identifying new meaning and service-pushes.
The framework is further consolidated through the setting up of two workshops conducted with the collaboration of fourteen designers, in which the design and innovation theories included in the framework were applied and the recommended design process was followed, including gamification, brainstorming and design thinking. 
SOCIAL MEDIA EMOTIONAL SERVICES INNOVATION FRAMEWORK
Social Media: Emotional services innovation
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Social Media: Emotional services innovation

Master Dissertation on Design-led Social Media innovation strategies
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