A couple of weeks ago, Brandanew in a first (for us!) started a research project with students of Hochschule Pforzheim, in South Germany. Four students from the Master’s in Innovative Services program, led by Professor Janovsky, will be working together with Brandanew on a new Social Media Research. The research project involves analyzing and identifying consumer social sharing patterns in Germany & India. Some of the key questions and themes we seek to answer are as follows:
Social Media Research Brandanew and HS Pforzheim
1) The psychology of why Digital Natives (age group 18-30) share online
2) How does sharing for Digital Natives compare with traditional users with the proliferation of online platforms?
3) Is there a difference in online sharing by gender?
4) How can companies identify natural sharing triggers of consumers for marketing?
While such research has been done previously, the results that are available have usually been North America, or rather U.S. centric. Some of the previous research we were looking at come from the work of Professor Berger who talked about what makes content contagious. Another piece of work comes from the New York Times.
The NY Times study describes in details about why people share online and some interesting snippets (previously written about here) about sharing types. The rationale that study brings out, claiming sharing is all about relationships, and why we share is:
1) To bring value and entertainment to others
2) To define ourselves to others
3) To grow and nourish relationships
4) For self-fulfillment
5) To get the word out about causes or brands
Our study seeks to use examples from two different cultures: Germany (where people share a lot less) and India (where people share quite openly) online and see how it compares with what has been reported in previous studies. It would be interesting to imagine sharing preferences from a cultural perspective and move away from a U.S. only bias and data sets especially as the audience and brands for social media and content marketing tend to be global and multi-cultural.
The results will be out at the end of next month, and needless to say, we are excited to share the report once we are able to bring it all together.
These are key questions a brand is asking themselves when evaluating the success or failure of their social media programs. The first step towards success really is engagement with content and thus it is critical for a brand to be able to identify what exactly they must do to make authentic connections with their target audience. Through this project, we seek to see the qualitative analyses that may help us prove or disprove some of our hypotheses and fine tune our content marketing and social media work.
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