The recently introduced disclosure hashtags are seldom understood or noticed by social media users, according to a new study.
The industry report, published by The Exposure Co and titled ‘The State of Social Media and Influencer Marketing in Australia 2018‘, has found despite the regulations implemented last year which seek to be transparent about paid marketing ads, the majority of users do not understand them.
According to the research, “Six out of 10 participants said they did not know the meaning of #sp (sponsored post) or #ad.
“Interestingly, this is one of the recommended measures for disclosing sponsorships and paid partnerships on social media according to the Australian Association of National Advertisers Clearly Distinguishable Advertising Best Practice Guide,” the study said.
Despite the lack of understanding, the study found users who did know what #sp and #ad meant were generally positive of the content.
As per the study, “74 per cent of participants have positive or neutral feelings towards sponsored content on social media.”
In terms of brands, the study found Travel and Accommodation ranked most popular for Australian users.
According to the study, this “Corresponds with top influencer categories followed and popular products and services researched on social media.”
The study then asked participants why they follow brands on social media.
Most people said they follow brands for product information, closely followed by inspiration and motivation.
“Almost half of the participants say they are motivated to follow brands for discounts and coupons,” it found.
The study also looked into which type of products they research most on social media.
The finding showed, “Travel & Accommodation and Fashion & Beauty were listed as the most popular categories for products researched on social media.
“This is in line with the two categories also being listed as the top categories of brands followed on social media.
“In contrast, 39 per cent of participants listed Technology & Electrical products as ones they would research on social media, whereas only 27 per cent of people follow brands in this category,” it added.