SYDNEY: Brands may be able to better connect with Facebook users in Australia and New Zealand as new research has identified several different personas they typically adopt when on the social platform.

Research firm TNS surveyed 1,200 Facebook and Instagram users in Australia and New Zealand, as well as having 58 in-depth conversations, as it examined emotional drivers of behaviour.

It found six distinct identities this group could be divided into, based on how they wanted to be seen by the rest of the world: daring, assertive, clever, security-seeking, friendly and playful.

"In terms of research there was a hole in our understanding," Tom Dowuona-Hyde, Creative Agency Partner at Facebook Australia and New Zealand, explained.

"We understand what people do on Facebook, the things they like, but we didn't have that knowledge in terms of their behaviours," he told B&T Magazine, adding that this was especially important from the point of view of a creative agency "because the world of building brands is understanding human behaviour".

He argued that the findings opened up new possibilities for creative agencies to be bolder in their approach.

"What we've seen over the past ten years is the industry and clients have become more risk-adverse because the nature of measurabilities and data," Dowuona-Hyde said.

"This research gives creatives the ability to sell big ideas, because you have evidence to prove the nature of the quirkiness.

"With this you can look at what type of audience you want to reach, how they behave, the content they like. You can use it as a selling-in tool to get big ideas off the ground."

Data sourced from B&T Magazine; additional content by Warc staff