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Can Social Media Platform Choice Can Affect Customer Feedback?
Marketers should embrace the increasing use of audio and visual elements on social media to reap benefits for their brand
In the old days, consumers often shared their opinions on products by talking about it face-to-face with somebody else, but with the advent of the internet and rise in prominence of massive social media platforms, they are these days just as likely to post a comment on Facebook or talk about their experience on Tiktok.
But does the choice of feedback medium affect consumers reactions? Is it better for brands to encourage consumers to write a comment in text, talk about their experiences in a video or share their experiences in voice chat? That’s what we sought to find out more about in the paper Word of Mouth versus Word of Mouse: Speaking about a Brand Connects You to It More Than Writing Does.
“When speaking to other people, a person is more likely to express thoughts that are related to themselves because they want to connect with whom they are communicating.” – Prof. Hao Shen
To do this, we carried out a series of studies on university students in Hong Kong, asking them to share their views on a range of brands through different communication methods. What we found was that speaking about a brand tends to increase a person’s connection to it, as opposed to writing about it. This happens because speaking about a product usually involves talking or communicating directly with another person. On the other hand, writing is usually done without the intended recipient being present.
When speaking to other people, a person is more likely to express thoughts that are related to themselves because they want to connect with whom they are communicating. That’s why, in discussing a brand, they may focus more about their personal opinions, or share their feelings and experiences, as opposed to talking purely in an objective and factual manner. And it’s through expressing thoughts related to themselves that they can create a positive link with the brand.
That’s why marketing professionals should consider encouraging consumers to utilise channels where they can offer feedback in verbal or spoken forms. Indeed, with faster and more dependable internet connections becoming the norm, the sharing of video has become increasingly popular.
Youtube, the online video sharing behemoth and social media platform owned by Google, is one of the most visited sites in the world, with more than 2.5 billion monthly users. On top of this, the majority of mainstream social media platforms, from Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and Tiktok, have either added video to their functionality or made it a central aspect of the user experience.
Another opportunity is the rise of so-called “social audio”, which typically allows users to converse in real-time in chatrooms through the sharing of voice-only recordings and which have also risen in popularity in the last two years. In addition to Clubhouse, an app which started to gain popularity at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and now boasts over 10 million users, this segment of social media is quickly becoming mainstream, with companies from Twitter, Facebook and Spotify launching their competing Spaces, Live Audio Rooms and Greenroom, services respectively.
By encouraging consumers to provide spoken feedback on their products on social media platforms through video or audio, our research indicates that at least popular brands stand to reap benefits associated with a strengthened consumer connection, whether that be increased resistance to criticism against the brand, or a stronger willingness to wait for products to become available again in cases of stock-out.
To find out more about a specific topic, click on the links below to navigate to the relevant chapter:
INTRODUCTION – Retail Marketing in the Digital Era
PART I – Capturing Consumer Attention in the Smartphone Era
PART II – Digital Payments and Consumer Purchase Decisions
PART III – Can Social Media Platform Choice Can Affect Customer Feedback?
PART IV – Are Touchscreens the Future of Food and Beverage Retail?
CONCLUSION – The Importance of Understanding Retail Trends in the Digital Age
Director, MSc Programme in Marketing