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Emotion makes social users open to ads

News, 04 August 2015

SYDNEY: Consumers are most receptive to advertising the moment they share content on their social media networks, new research has suggested.

According to ad buying platform RadiumOne, which partnered with brand strategist Dr Peter Steidl to compile the study, humans are driven by dopamine, a naturally occurring feel-good transmitter.

It is well-known that dopamine released in the brain is at its strongest when people expect something positive to occur and the report argued that something similar happens when we post, share or comment online.

"Social sharing provides the same release of dopamine that we get from other pleasurable experiences such as sex, eating and exercise," the report stated.

In its study of online sharing habits in Australia, RadiumOne said that social media users soon feel the need for another release of dopamine after their sharing activity.

That marks the moment when they are more receptive to any proposition they hope might deliver another release, the report said.

If advertisers can deliver a message that is aligned with the content that was shared earlier, then they would know that users will be more open than consumers who have not shared relevant content.

Furthermore, marketing technology has reached the point where consumers can be met in the "right now" with messaging that is known to be of interest to them.

Although relevant creative will always be important for brands, the report said that social sharing can be a consumer's ultimate moment of openness that brands and advertisers should factor into their marketing strategies.

For example, the study examined two campaigns which delivered ads to social media users who shared relevant links with friends, Mumbrella reported.

The first campaign, for budget airline Tigerair, found 34% of all sales across the campaign took place within 20 minutes of the link being shared and advertising served.

The second, to promote ticket sales for pop group One Direction's tour of Australia, claimed to have increased conversions three times above the average after ads were served during social conversations.

"Building social sharing data insights and triggers into marketing strategy is a valuable step in getting consumers across the line," said Dr Peter Steidl.

"It requires aligning the timing of messages with the mood of consumers, based on what their actions are telling us about how they feel in the moment."

Data sourced from RadiumOne, Mumbrella; additional content by Warc staff