The confusion of social influence: Do you believe in what you see?

Category : Digital Marketing Author : Ruturaj Mokashi Date : 14 Oct 2014

We must have seen thousands of optimized ad campaigns running on our timeline with absolute coherent communications. Are they optimized to create influence or just there to reach you? A regular user during his routine social interaction tends to find promotional messages annoying and only interacts with the topic of his interest.

But wait! There is something more to this. The personal sentiments tend to get more attached to the brand communication when an individual tries to associate himself with the visually engaging communication with a perfect association for the user. But after the actual interaction comes the disappointment when he realizes lack of relevant details. He then goes looking out for more quality content which may or may not serve his definite purpose.

Such imbalance in the social space can prove to be negative, especially for the new and upcoming brands who have recently initiated social activities. Sooner or later, the recognition which it has built over the years will cripple down like dry paint due to the lack of value created by repurposing existing content.

Some social communications seem to be authentic at first but in reality serve unhelpful content which is especially meant for aggregating influence for their brand stories. Taking this as a real case scenario, a negative perception can be drawn of falsely manipulating users to take actions. With the advent of digital revolution, social media has become an indispensable part of our life, whether it is to interact or to simply grow the network. What actually leads to social interaction? The answer is very evident – The Human Curiosity!

This, in my humble opinion, actually drives the overall social interaction and it only happens within seconds. While going through our Facebook timelines, we are normally drawn to the ads/posts which have high frequency and engagement rate. This increases our curiosity to know what the engagement is all about and why people are talking about it. If it fits our topic of interest we may interact or it may simply register in our minds. Such trends manipulate us to form an opinion about a topic or a brand based on social consensus. So how is the content actually valued on Facebook?

Valuation is generally done through strict quality metrics on Facebook which checks for :

1. How long a time a user has actually spent outside Facebook while reading an article or interacting with the website

2. Measuring brand touch-points or total engagement ratio (like, shares, comments and ad impressions).

To get your communication valued on a social space, planning your social strategies well in advance plays a important role. Doing a routine research on latest preferences and topics on social spaces can guide you to make an effective content strategy. A well researched content strategy which is meant to inspire the audience, ensures a positive engagement outcome and is designed with the viewpoint that the page can actually offer something for everyone.

The audience tends to interact more strongly to stories and to find meaning in narrative. The content should be logically presented, sequential, easy to follow and should include emotional elements, which will drive the curiosity and encourage the audience to pay more attention to your marketing communications.

The brand will get more attention if is familiar or has a strong recall value amongst the audience. This recall value can be achieved by creating wide exposure and strong influence through the content strategy designed.

Our social team took up an assignment of getting to know how a particular customer interacts with established brands during paid campaign executions over social platforms. It took us several months to study the potential data and analyse actual association of a user with the brand.

We could see the change in the preferences, wants and choices of a particular segment. We experimented with various social updates based on certain themes. The theme for social accounts was taken into consideration and was closely associated to customer-brand interaction. We formed the following conclusions

  • Positive recommendations and favorable reviews are impactful and have an instant effect on how your customers interact with the brand.
  • Innovative and creative visuals strategies are adopted by agencies to influence & reach new customers and generate real, honest communication. In fact, images and videos contributes largely to the overall engagement.
  • Every person has a different entry point when it comes to interaction with brand. It forced us to think about the emotional and behavioral drivers that inspire people to engage and take action on a daily basis. This research enabled us to understand what they care about and develop content that relates to their interests, concerns or needs.

Agencies should try to focus more on creating a social environment where every individual can benefit and contribute in a meaningful way.



Credits : Ruturaj Mokashi , Sonia Phad & Jayanta Rudra

Special credit goes to Georgia George for her significant contribution in shaping social content

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