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BizReport : Social Marketing : March 21, 2017

Research warns marketers to consider social media followers' diverse network

Be mindful of your consumers' diverse social media network, warns new research led by the University of Edinburgh Business School, or risk falling engagement.

by Helen Leggatt

The findings of a survey among 400 Facebook users, conducted by researchers from the University of Edinburgh Business School and the Universities of Bath and Birmingham, suggests that marketers look beyond their social followers and take heed of those followers' own online social network.

Many people on Facebook include older and younger family members in their Friends list, as well as employers, and as a consequence are often reticent to Share posts with risque or potentially offensive content.

A quarter of those surveyed (25%) said they would be extremely worried about their parents or employer seeing them Share or Like a sexually explicit ad for Durex, and three-quarters (75%) said they would be very unlikely to Share or Like the ad on the brand's Facebook Page.

"In the same way they might avoid pictures of them appearing drunk, or posting offensive comments for fear of being embarrassed or judged by their bosses or grans, Facebook users are also less likely to 'like' or 'share' brand content that could cause offence," said Dr. Ben Marder, Lecturer in Marketing at University of Edinburgh Business School.

"Social media provides a novel environment for showing off brand connections. But whereas in real life people carefully select which brand are best to show off their appreciation for and to whom, on social media everyone can see what you 'like' at once".

Tags: engagement, marketing, social media

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