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Why is Your Facebook Feed Covered with Buzzfeed Posts? O&M Finds the Answer

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Social@Ogilvy & SurveyMonkey reveal study on social media

Why is Your Facebook Feed Covered with Buzzfeed Posts? O&M Finds the Answer

We all know people share content on social media, but why? What do people share most in Johannesburg versus Jakarta? Do people prefer to share content that is educational or entertaining?

As companies struggle to create content that is relevant and inspires sharing, Social@Ogilvy and SurveyMonkey teamed up to study what, why and how makes social media users share.

In a 16-country online survey of over 6,500 respondents with social media profiles, conducted by Social@Ogilvy and SurveyMonkey, results favoured content that is humorous and informative – with people expressing a desire to share in support of a specific cause or issue 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%).

“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.”

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