The most sharable social media content is either funny or informative - or a combination of both – according to the findings of a new survey. The global survey, Ogilvy & Mather and SurveyMonkey examined user habits and trends from 6,500 social media users from 16 nations. It found that there are a number of [...]
The most sharable social media content is either funny or informative - or a combination of both – according to the findings of a new survey.
The global survey, Ogilvy & Mather and SurveyMonkey examined user habits and trends from 6,500 social media users from 16 nations.
It found that there are a number of key drivers that prompt people to share digital content, specifically regarding what, why and how they do so.
In some cases, barriers to free speech play a crucial role in deciding which sources of content people are most likely to trust, though 49 per cent of people in the countries surveyed said they view content sharing as a means to feel useful and thoughtful.
In 36 per cent of cases, people share content to promote a cause or issue they feel strongly about, though informative or educational content is shared the most often amongst mature markets, with 43 per cent of people doing so.
When asked to identify companies or organisations producing interesting content technology companies were cited by a number of respondents despite many not actually producing content themselves or being known as content producers.
At least one US technology company (Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Apple) makes the list of interesting content producers in all countries, Korean and Turkish users are the only ones to cite government organisations as good creators of content with Poland being the only county to mention a specific political party.
In terms of brands Coca-Cola wins out over Pepsi internationally, Nike is more popular than Adidas and Samsung beats out Sony.
Key findings are listed below:
Emotion is a key driver in why we share content.
Overall, 13% of respondents feel that content sharing helps to define their personality - most notably so in countries where tradition still plays a prominent cultural role: Hong Kong (24%), China (22%), Poland (20%), Turkey (18%) and Japan (15%). The study also revealed an overwhelming 36% of those surveyed say they mainly share content to promote a cause or issue they feel strongly about.
And, while close to half (49%) in the countries we surveyed view content sharing as a means to feel useful and thoughtful, it is the Chinese (30%) who report a feeling of 'creativity' when sharing through social media the most.
A blend of 'edutainment' hits the sweet spot in what we share.
The study revealed that informative or educational content is shared more frequently among mature markets (43%), while emerging markets across the globe drive conversation via funny or entertaining content (40%).
Contrary to this trend, both Indonesia and Mexico report sharing informational content over any other (68% and 58%, respectively), while Hong Kong leads in shares of funny content (over half at 52%) – closely followed by UK (44%), Japan (43%) and Poland (43%).
It's not the source of content that counts, but how interesting the content is.
Four in ten (40%) respondents say that the source of the content is not important as long as it is interesting. Similarly, content volume is not a deal breaker – only 7% of those surveyed cite too much volume as the most off-putting content they see.
Country barriers to freedom of speech and press play a crucial role in the type of source that content sharers engage with and trust. Asian markets (27%) say they are more likely to use content from established media outlets as a way to share their own perspective, compared to that of their European counterparts (19%).
Higher quality branded content is needed in order spark user engagement
With emerging markets deemed an overcrowded ad space by social media users, high-quality content proves even more important. In emerging markets, a third surveyed are open to keeping the amount of advertising they see within social media the same or even increase the amount they see (34%), with Mexico, Poland and China topping the list (55%, 51% and 52% respectively).
By contrast, more than seven in ten social media users in Japan (74%), Korea (73%) and the United States (83%) say they are overwhelmed by the amount of advertising. Americans and Japanese are also the most likely to give a poor rating on the quality of branded content, and are less inclined to regularly watch or share such content.
"As brands become content creators, it is important for them to understand what motivates people to share," said Thomas Crampton, Global Managing Director of Social@Ogilvy. "These survey results clearly show that companies must shift towards higher quality content and adjust strategy according to the local market. Simple translation does not work."
"The discovery of why consumers are sharing content has been fascinating. We've seen some startling differences in how emerging and developed markets approach content," said Bennett Porter, Vice President, Marketing Communications SurveyMonkey. "It's fascinating to see that the majority of social media users are not put off by the volume of ads seen, and are more than happy to see content – so long as its relevant and interesting."
Results were gathered online from 6,522 self-reported social media users in 16 countries using SurveyMonkey Audience. Surveys conducted in Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, UK, and USA were completed inJune 2014 and surveys conducted in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, and Singapore were completed in April 2014. For open-ended responses, only phrases with 2 or more mentions are shown in the word clouds.