When I studied abroad in Australia last year I learned about an interesting study in one of my psychology classes. Unfortunately I can’t find the exact source, but I know the study was done by an Australian company named Empirica Research.
In the study they showed participants products that were either ‘embarrassing’ (ex: Spanx, Clearasil) or products that were ‘non-embarrassing’ and that the participants would be ‘proud’ to buy (ex: designer clothing or fragrances). On half of the pictures they placed the Twitter and Facebook Logo in the bottom corner. In the other half of the pictures there was no reference to social media. Then, the participants in the study were asked to rate how likely they were to buy the products.
(Disclaimer: I just made these pictures up myself, they weren’t the ones actually used in the study)
The researchers found that when the social media icons appeared next to ‘embarrassing products’ the participants were 25% less likely to buy the product than when there was no social media logo.
But, when the social media icons appeared next to products that the participants would be ‘proud’ to buy, they were 25% more likely to buy the product than if the social media icons were not present.
What’s crazy about the results was that some of the participants didn’t even remember seeing the social media icons, but were still influenced by them.
I find this study really interesting for a number of reasons. First, it shows that we are so influenced by how others view our social media lives and what other people think of us. Second, it shows that even if we don’t realize it, social media is influencing almost every aspect of our lives.
I think this study just gives you something to think about the next time you see that little twitter or Facebook logo in the corner of a product.