Does Social Media Influence Your Self-Control? Yes, Say Researchers

cookiesUsers of Facebook and other social networks should beware of allowing their self-esteem—boosted by “likes” or positive comments from close friends—to influence their behavior: It could reduce their self-control both on and offline, according to an academic paper by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia Business School that has recently been published online in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Titled “Are Close Friends the Enemy? Online Social Networks, Self-Esteem, and Self-Control,” the research paper demonstrates that users who are focused on close friends tend to experience an increase in self-esteem while browsing their social networks; afterwards, these users display less self-control. Greater social network use among this category of users with strong ties to their friends is also associated with individuals having higher body-mass indexes and higher levels of credit-card debt, according to the paper.

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Companies Must Respond Quickly to Customers on Twitter, Study Confirms

twitter logoLithium Technologies today unveiled research that shows consumers will reward brands that harness Twitter’s power to meet their rising expectations, while punishing those that fail to respond in a timely way.

Customers have high expectations for a quick response: 53 percent who expect a brand to respond to their Tweet demand that response comes in less than an hour, according to the Lithium-commissioned study by Millward Brown Digital. That figure skyrockets to 72 percent when they have complaints.

When companies don’t meet these lofty response expectations, 38 percent feel more negative about the brand and a full 60 percent will take unpleasant actions to express their dissatisfaction.

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Facebook is bigger than TV networks, Nielsen Report Says

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According to the first major study by Nielsen, the company that has been monitoring TV consumption for decades, Facebook attracts more 18- to 24-year-olds during prime-time viewing hours than any of four major television networks. Data collected shows that in the area of demographics and viewing, the largest social networking site is the favorite source of entertainment in that demographic (who would normally watch television during prime time hours in the past).

“Established as a bastion of direct response advertising and long considered the home for niche audiences, online has lagged behind other media, namely TV, as a channel for broadly messaged, brand advertising. The emergence of far-reaching publishers like Facebook, however, means that marketers now have another option for reaching consumers en masse. Likewise, the availability of true cross-screen metrics enables them to understand how digital can reinforce and complement their TV investment,” the report authors say. [Read more…]

New Study Finds Facebook and Twitter Symbols Subconsciously Influence Online Buying Decisions

The display of a social media icon such as a Facebook “Like” button or a Twitter symbol on a shopping website increases the likelihood that consumers will buy some products, and reduces the likelihood that they will buy others. That is a key finding of a study conducted by the University of Miami School of Business Administration, Empirica Research, and StyleCaster Media Group as part of the State of Style Report.

The study found that consumers who saw a social media icon near a product that might embarrass them were significantly less likely to buy that product than those who saw the same product without the icon. On the other hand, consumers who viewed products they would be proud to show off were significantly more likely to buy than those who saw the same product with no such icon.

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