The Equation At The Heart of Social Media Science

hand touching digital tablet, social media concept
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

In today’s social media driven society, the voice of the consumer is one of the most powerful concepts in marketing, which has fundamentally changed the balance of power between customers and brand. Search Laboratory’s Joseph Hill looks at the math behind online word of mouth.

With peer recommendations playing a much greater role in purchasing decisions, practices like influencer marketing and word of mouth are becoming much more important in modern marketing strategies.

What is common in all marketing strategies however is the goal of engagement, which is to generate as many likes, shares, retweets and favourites as possible. There are many theories behind engagement however they all contain similar aspects which are demonstrated in the following equation.

Emotion + Participation + Identity (x Visualisation) = Engagement

Allow me to break it down. 

Emotion

“The web isn’t really made up of algorithms. It’s made of people.” – Sonia Simone

According to a study by Buffer App there is a strong relationship between emotional feelings and the sharing of social content. This was found to be true for not only positive but negative emotions too, although positive emotions were found to be more powerful.

So how should you go about provoking emotion? According to Co Schedule the words which we use on social media are the first port of call, and they can be broken down into three categories.

  • Intellectual – Words which are especially effective when offering products and services that require reasoning or careful evaluation.
  • Empathetic – Words which resonate with empathetic impact often bring out profound and strong positive emotional reactions in people.
  • Spiritual – Words which have the strongest potential for influence and often appeal to people at a very deep emotional level.

As an example, this post falls under the intellectual bracket by using the word ‘science’. This was purposely done to entice the reader who wants to explore social sharing in detail and evaluate it for their own knowledge.

Another way to provoke emotion can be through what you share. Paddy Power saw this opportunity during this year’s FIFA World Cup and decided to opt for controversy, creating the illusion that they had chopped down a message in a Brazilian rain forest. Of course this was a hoax. Yet it was perfectly timed in order to create a negative stir, gain valuable PR and then end the campaign on a positive note.

Participation

“Social media is about the people, not the business.” – Matt Goulart

From the #NoMakeUpSelfie to the #WakeUpCall campaign, fund raising trends have swept through social media and raised a lot of awareness and money for some great causes. But was this luck or tactical genius? Participation creates a great opportunity for someone to get to know a brand and build a relationship with it.

The more time you spend, the stronger the relationship; the stronger the relationship, the bigger chance of a social share. If you look closely you can see efforts for brands trying to build participation in the disguise of promoting a competition or even asking for ideas or comments.

In theory every user that will interact with the brand will have a stronger relationship and be more loyal, and in turn become more likely to spread the word and share the brand via word of mouth.

Identity

“You are what you share.” – Charles Leadbeater

Another factor that drives sharing is social sharing identity, which is the theory that ‘we are what we share’. By sharing what we find interesting, what we care about and who we follow, we can communicate who we are. From this two principles can be used to generate shares:

  • Social Interest: Sharing something because you find it interesting.
  • Social Influence: Sharing something because you (and an influencer) find it interesting.

These two building blocks provide two different avenues to follow in order to grow your audience online and generate natural sharing:

  • Content Marketing: Since media platforms began content has always been king, therefore success lies with making sure what you share, create and post is going to attract the right people. This means researching your target audience and developing a content strategy which clearly defines what kind of content you’re going to post to attract them.
  • Influencer Marketing: According to a McKinsey Study, marketing-inspired word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and these customers have a 37% higher retention rate. In fact, clothing brand Superdry based their marketing on this principle and decided to concentrate their time marketing time to promote the company name through word of mouth as opposed to advertising. In doing so the brand managed to attract fans such as David Beckham and Nicole Scherzinger who were seen wearing the clothing brand in public.

Visualisation

“Traditional marketing talks at people, Content marketing talks with them.” – Doug Kessler

In short, visual content grabs attention where simple text may be ignored because it is stands out and is digested quicker. In a study by Marketer Dan Zarella this was proven as Facebook photos performed best for likes, comments, and shares as compared to text, video, and links. One of the most popular and effective ways to integrate visual content into social media is by using micro-graphics. These are small infographics which serve the purpose of spreading a small amount of information in a visual way to either generate engagement or valuable click-through’s demonstrated in the post by Visually. 

Engagement

“It’s not about the numbers, it’s about the story behind them.” – Cory Hartlen

For the last 10 years marketers have struggled to determine where social media’s value lies and what data is worth measuring. According to the CMO Survey, it seems that the big three that marketers are focusing on are ‘following’ and ‘click-through’s’, although it’s thought that these are directly influenced by engagement.

Ultimately it seems that success will lie with those who provide what their target market wants. By creating a clear social strategy which is based on research into your target audience, it’s no doubt that your social marketing should be heading in the right direction.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

The Trade Desk Teams Up With Amnet For Sanitarium’s First Programmatic Connected TV Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

The Trade Desk Teams Up With Amnet For Sanitarium’s First Programmatic Connected TV Campaign

Global adtech platform The Trade Desk and programmatic platform Amnet have shared results from their recent connected TV campaign conducted on behalf of Sanitarium. The campaign objective, led in collaboration with Dentsu’s media agency Carat, was to build brand awareness and drive sales of Sanitarium’s liquid breakfast product Up & Go. To reach the target […]

MullenLowe Profero Announces Global Leadership Restructure
  • Marketing

MullenLowe Profero Announces Global Leadership Restructure

MullenLowe Profero, the global digital transformation network of MullenLowe Group, has unveiled its new global leadership structure. MullenLowe Profero Americas CEO and MullenLowe Group New York president Aaron Reitkopf (pictured above) adds the role of global chairman to his current responsibilities, and Ben Mooney joins as global head of business transformation. Reitkopf has been the […]

Wavemaker Appoints General Manager For Brisbane
  • Advertising
  • Media

Wavemaker Appoints General Manager For Brisbane

GroupM’s newest media, content and technology agency, Wavemaker, has announced it has appointed Maria Poulton to the newly created role of general manager of its Brisbane office. Poulton (pictured above, right) was most recently the business and operations director of Mindshare Japan, and has been part of the Mindshare family since 2004, spending nine years […]

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners
  • Advertising

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners

The Advertising ID Consortium – the open identity solution for the digital advertising ecosystem – has announced new platform partners. Since the Consortium’s announcement in May 2017, the founding members have established a governance framework and product specification that includes an open and standardised cookie and accessible people-based identifiers, delivered in a secure, privacy conscious […]

Social Soup Encourages Influencers To Help Out Not-For-Profits Via New Initiative
  • Marketing

Social Soup Encourages Influencers To Help Out Not-For-Profits Via New Initiative

Influencers are set to use their social clout for good with a new offering from Social Soup called Influence for Good. While influencer marketing is an inherently commercial arrangement, Influence for Good is an opportunity for influencers to use their powers to assist social causes they feel align with their values. Influence for Good is […]

FGMNT Offers Ad Agencies Free Access Over Christmas To Its 360-Degree Video & VR Creative Tool
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

FGMNT Offers Ad Agencies Free Access Over Christmas To Its 360-Degree Video & VR Creative Tool

Melbourne start-up FGMNT is offering ad agencies a completely free and fully functional 30-day trial of visualisation and efficiency tool SITU. In the spirit of Christmas giving, the SITU team wants all agencies to experience the benefits of developing, testing and visualising campaigns in real out-of-home environments. The power of SITU is that it allows agencies to […]

Hamish & Andy To Stay With Southern Cross Austereo In 2018 & 2019
  • Media

Hamish & Andy To Stay With Southern Cross Austereo In 2018 & 2019

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has announced that veteran radio duo Hamish Blake and Andy Lee will be making original podcasts for the network’s podcast platform, PocastOne, in 2018 and 2019. Grant Tothill, head of PodcastOne, said Blake and Lee will produce two series of 40 podcasts in 2018 and 2019, which will be released first […]

How To Have A Stress-Free Christmas In Your Online Community
  • Opinion

How To Have A Stress-Free Christmas In Your Online Community

Here, GM of community management agency Quiip, Julie Delaforce, offers her sage advice on how online community managers can earn themselves a breather over the festive period… Ahhh, that deep sigh out as you realise the Christmas break is within reach. It’s been a long year, we know you’ve worked hard, you really deserve a break! […]

Opinion

by Katy Denis

Katy Denis
Want To Get Ahead For 2018? Do This One Thing…
  • Opinion

Want To Get Ahead For 2018? Do This One Thing…

In this guest post, Katie Clift – an international PR consultant, journalist and broadcaster – offers her PR nouse to ensure you’re flying into the New Year… While the world is winding down for 2017, a great PR pro knows ’tis the season to start the wind-up! If you want to enter the new year ahead of […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Study: More Than 60% Of Video Plays Will Be On Mobile By Mid-2018
  • Media
  • Technology

Study: More Than 60% Of Video Plays Will Be On Mobile By Mid-2018

Over 58 per cent of video plays occurred on mobile devices globally in the third quarter of 2017, new research by Ooyala has revealed. According to the video technology company’s Q3 2017 Global Video Index, this represents the sixth consecutive quarter in which mobile devices accounted for more than half of all online video starts, […]

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand
  • Marketing

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand

Australian in-store music provider Marketing Melodies has announced an exclusive reseller agreement with Spotify-backed Soundtrack Your Brand for the Australia and New Zealand markets. Founded in Sweden in 2013, Soundtrack Your Brand was developed to kill bad background music. Its flagship solution, Soundtrack Business, is a music streaming platform licensed for commercial and public spaces. The […]

Study: Brands Lacking Ability To Meaningfully Act On Data
  • Marketing

Study: Brands Lacking Ability To Meaningfully Act On Data

Retailers and brands have thousands of data points at their disposal today, but new research by commerce marketing technology company Criteo shows many lack the ability to act upon the intel in a meaningful way. Criteo has unveiled the findings from two third-party studies, as part of the company’s new initiative to create the highest-performing […]

Ehrenberg-Bass Institute: Lessons In Launching Your New Logo
  • Opinion

Ehrenberg-Bass Institute: Lessons In Launching Your New Logo

In this guest post, marketing scientists from Adelaide’s famed Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, James Martin and Adam Gelzinis, review Formula One’s new logo and look at the lessons for brands considering a similar re-brand… At the final race of the 2017 season, Formula 1 revealed their new logo, which will represent the brand from the start of the […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia

Customer acquisition firm Social Garden has become the first business in Australia to achieve Bronze status on Snapchat. Among the new benefits Social Garden will receive as a result of its Bronze status is access to beta versions of Snapchat data tools, such as the Snapchat Conversion Pixel, as well as being among the first […]

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM
  • Marketing

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM

Influencer marketing player Hypetap has made its second senior hire in less than a month, appointing Chris Morfis as the company’s general manager. Joining from influencer marketing provider Nuffnang Australia, Morfis will guide Hypetap’s growing team, providing strategic direction to accelerate the company’s growth, as well as leading operations and managing relationships with key partners. Morfis’ appointment will […]

ABC Replaces Lateline With New 10.30pm National News Bulletin
  • Media

ABC Replaces Lateline With New 10.30pm National News Bulletin

The ABC has announced it will replace its axed current affairs program Lateline with a half-hour news bulletin to be hosted by seasoned presenter Jeremy Fernandez. The 30-minute late-night edition news will air Monday-to-Friday Australia-wide from 29 January. Fernandez will also continue to present the NSW 7pm News on Fridays and Saturdays. ABC Director, News Gaven […]

On Air sign in a studio broadcasting via radio, podcast or wireless transmission.
  • Media

ARN Announces Departure Of Content Director & Radio Veteran

Australian Radio Network (ARN) has announced that Charlie Fox, content Director for WSFM and The Edge, and WSFM morning announcer Ron E Sparks, have departed. Fox has been with ARN since 2005, and Sparks joined WSFM in 2002. ARN national content director Duncan Campbell said the departure of Fox and Sparks are part of the […]

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne
  • Media

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne

OMD unveils new Melbourne MD, and it certainly wasn't among any of B&T's picks. Not that we were picking, mind you.

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content
  • Media

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content

Video cloud service Brightcove has announced that Sydney Festival has selected the platform to improve its user experience through online video content. Brightcove will do so by removing third-party branding and pre-roll ads, as well as adding autoplay functionality, ahead of the event in January. Leveraging the Brightcove video platform to host and publish video […]

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?
  • Opinion

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?

Remember the old Palmolive soap ad that asked, "Don't wait to be told"? This is sort of similar, albeit sans any suds.

Opinion

by Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban
  • Campaigns

Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban

We have a strident anti-pornography policy at B&T. Earphones must be worn at all times and strictly no little people.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful

Health and wellbeing company Nature’s Way is celebrating the achievements of kids in a series of relatable and entertaining online videos that tug at the heart strings of parents. Instead of using actors to tell the brand story of Nature’s Way’s Kids Smart supplement range, Storyful has helped Wavemaker to license user-generated content clips of […]

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account
  • Marketing

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account

Electronics and whitegoods specialist Hisense has announced it has appointed DEC PR to lead its strategic communications remit in the local market, following a competitive tender process. DEC PR will work to support its brand building activities and managing corporate communications. The agency’s work will integrate closely with Hisense’s other marketing partners. Andre Iannuzzi, marketing […]

QMS Media Expands Presence In Melbourne With New Digital Billboard ‘The G’
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Media Expands Presence In Melbourne With New Digital Billboard ‘The G’

Outdoor media company QMS Media has strengthened its digital outdoor presence in Victoria, unveiling an iconic digital billboard in the heart of Melbourne’s famous sporting precinct. The launch of ‘The G’ sees QMS’ landmark digital portfolio ‘bookending’ arguably one of the most iconic and in-demand digital outdoor locations in Australia – Richmond Station Bridge – […]

HSBC Sydney 7s Creates New Visual Identity For 2018 Via Digilante
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

HSBC Sydney 7s Creates New Visual Identity For 2018 Via Digilante

As part of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the Sydney 7s event returns in January complete with a new brand identity, creative strategy and media campaign. With the 2017 Sydney 7s a sell-out event, the challenge for 2018 was to carry that momentum into the third year, defining Sydney’s place as the new ‘go-to’ […]