Research announced this week by a global team could change everything you thought you knew about the sharing of product and brand opinions on Social Media. This, in turn, might require significant adjustments in your Social Media marketing strategy. For the last few years, scores of “marketing experts” and “social media experts” have been telling us to build our marketing strategies around social sharing of product and brand opinions and recommendations on social platforms. Many marketers and businesses have jumped on the bandwagon. Now, we are learning this guidance is wrong.
A recent study conducted by researchers from Universities in Britain, Australia and the USA is reporting findings that promise to change the way we think about and use social media in brand, product and service marketing. It seems that, at least for brands and products/services, social media might not be word-of-mouth on steroids.
Their finding: “Users of social media are less likely to use these websites to post positive opinions about their favorite brands and services. The complete study will be published soon in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. The study was conducted by Imperial college business School, Cornell University, Leeds University Business School, Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Melbourne.
Unlike face-to-face interaction with friends and family, social media facilitates sharing with a diverse group of followers. Although people are still quite likely to share brand or product/service opinions with friends in face-to-face conversation, most are not equally likely to expose themselves on social media by giving an opinion lest they embarrass themselves or their followers and co-workers think less of them because they disagree with these opinions. What Actually Happens When You Buy Instagram Followers? The information should be shared with the beginners to grab the best opportunity. There will be meeting of the income expectations of the people. The exposure of the products should be excellent to enhance the marketing experience.
There is, however, one group of social media users that does share brand, product, or service opinions on social media. This group of social media users share brand and product opinions because it raises their self-esteem. According to the authors of the study, “in fact, as a user’s need for boosting their self-esteem increased, so did their willingness to air their views.”
For some marketers and business owners, the study will evoke hand-wringing and knee-jerk reactions. Some with turn on a dime and proclaim social media marketing a complete waste. This response is unlikely to be wise in the long run.
The rest of us will make considered strategic adjustments in social strategies. Specifically, we will stop building social strategies aimed to persuade our audiences to make social media their platform for the kind of product/service and brand endorsements they are uncomfortable making publicly. We might discover ways to make it safer for followers to share their opinions, as suggested by the authors of the study. Alternately, we might focus our efforts on other social media-based tactics.
Social media marketing is not dead; but it is changing. If you are faced with a strategic overhaul of your social media marketing, and you are not sure how to put the pieces back together, we can help. We will be happy to help you with a re-evaluation of your current plans and a strategic re-conceptualization of your goals and tactics.