Beware the unfollows caused by content marketing, study says - Technical.ly Philly

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Oct. 11, 2017 12:10 pm

Beware the unfollows caused by content marketing, study says

One Temple study found that too much content marketing makes people 300 percent more likely to unfollow brands.
There’s a silver lining, though: content marketing yielded a 5 percent hike in sales.

There's a silver lining, though: content marketing yielded a 5 percent hike in sales.

(Photo by Flickr user Hamza Butt, used under a Creative Commons license)

Let’s talk ‘tent, shall we?

A study from Temple University researchers found content marketing posts led to a 5 percent sales hike, but came at a cost: the posts also increased the likelihood of unfollows by more than 300 percent.

Tempting Fate: Social Media Posts by Firms, Customer Purchases, and the Loss of Followers” is a study led by Ph.D. student Shuting Wang alongside Paul Pavlou, a senior associate dean at the Fox School of Business, and University of Minnesota professor Brad Greenwood.

The study took a look at data from a Chinese fashion company that carried out its content marketing strategy through WeChat, the Chinese Facebook equivalent. But don’t count it off as irrelevant because of that.

“As with all research, certainly it would require more research to have a compelling answer about each brand, particularly since the data come from an emerging economy like China,” Pavlou told Technical.ly in an email. “However, we can cautiously generalize to other brands, countries, and contexts, and our research clearly specifies the parameters that companies should look at when making decisions about their social media strategy.”

There are more pointers in the 39-page document, but here’s one free tip from Pavlou: consider the crowdedness of the city and traffic peak hours when setting up a brand’s social media strategy.

Read the study

“We suggest firms be more careful about the potential negative impacts of annoyance when they repeatedly contact customers on social media, because both theoretical and empirical examination suggest that annoyance could drive customers away,” Wang said in an email.

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