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BizReport : Social Marketing : January 13, 2014

'Truth About Privacy' study reveals 4 B's that define social media sharing and privacy

The evolving nature of what is acceptable behavior on social media has been researched by McCann Worldgroup's consumer intelligence unit, McCann Truth Central. It reveals changing attitudes towards 'oversharing' and styles of communication among both users and brands.

by Helen Leggatt

According to McCann's latest Truth About Privacy report, there has been a 'privacy backlash' over the last two years with users, particularly those in the younger age brackets, preferring more private networks such as Snapchat.

"We found evidence of a new trend towards being more selective and exclusive when it comes to sharing, even among the teenage generation," said McCann Truth Central deputy director, Nadia Tuma.

According to McCann global director, Laura Simpson, the challenge in today's social media circles is to maintain a balance between privacy and publicity and "between making yourself look interesting without looking vain". It has become cooler to be somewhat mysterious on social media instead of baring all to everyone via 'oversharing'.

The change in thinking doesn't exclude brand behavior. The findings revealed four behaviors - bullying, boring, boasting and begging - that defined accepted sharing and privacy practices, and brands were found to be just as liable to fall into these "uncool" categories. Two-thirds of those surveyed for McCann's study said brands using personal content on social media were uncool, and 57% cited being contacted with an automated personalized message was also uncool.

The most striking changes since McCann's 2011 research include:

- The dominant privacy fear is now that the government will use a person's personal data against them in some manner;

- Silicon Valley firms, such as Google and Faceook, were deemed the greatest threat to privacy and are the least trusted;

- Banks remain the most trusted institutions for using personal information.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: privacy, sharing, social media

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