26 Jun

The Myth of “Likes” and “Follows” and Other New Insights

By: Kasi Detmer, Account Associate

As Cincinnati marketing professionals, we like to stay informed of new studies relating to our field. A new study by 140 Proof and digital think tank IPG Media is now offering new insight into the way that social media users interact with brands on these platforms.

The main takeaway of this study is the idea of “social hygiene,” which is the process of continuously editing social media platforms to keep the incoming information relevant to the user. Users do not simply continue to add more and more Likes of brands, but will edit these as interests change so that they are receiving the information that they want.

What does this mean for marketers? Is it possible that a brand can reach a plateau and Likes and Follow numbers will remain constant as some users leave and some new users are gained? This could be especially relevant to brands that relate to a specific finite time period in a person’s life or a specific age. For example, a baby brand would lose followers as parents’ children get older, but new parents can be expected to begin interacting with the brand.

In addition to new insight on Likes and Follows, the study offers more insight into how marketers should be interacting with social media users. Although this next point is not a surprise it is nice to see it quantified. Social media users utilize different social media platforms for different interests. Twitter is going to be of higher use for celebrities and entertainment, while Pinterest is going to be used more for home décor and hobbies. Because of this it is important to view customers across a variety of social media platforms to gain a greater understanding of interests and activity. Marketers should focus on users’ wide range of interests and create messaging that relates to these users across a variety of social platforms.

Social media should also be of a larger focus for advertising. Many respondents of the study indicated that they prefer seeing ads relating to their personal interests, and social media is a better indicator of personal interests than, say, demographics or browsing behavior. Better targeted ads means more effective advertising.

In addition to not placing complete conviction in the measure of infinitely increasing Likes and Follows, this study also adds new emphasis to the idea that customers must be viewed across many social media platforms to gain a better understanding of who they are and how to create relevant messaging.

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