40% of people care most about relatable content: Social Soup

Social Soup - Sharyn Smith

“What we are seeing is the evolution of social content from a commercial point of view.”

Social media users prefer informative and relatable over entertaining and aspirational when considering spending money.

The preference for information over entertainment content on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram was among the findings in a new survey of more than 1,000 people across Australia by Social Soup, presented at its second annual Influence Upfronts in Sydney on Thursday.

The research revealed the top five types of content that influence consumers are informative, relatable, authentic, creative, and friendly.

More than half of the participants (52%) surveyed said informative content had the most impact on their buying decisions.

‘Relatable’ was mentioned by 40% of people, followed by authentic (35%), creative (35%), friendly (32%), inspiring (26%), and educational (22%). Meanwhile, 18% said entertaining and only 7% said funny.

The influencer agency’s survey found 81% of respondents had bought an item through Instagram or TikTok in the past 12 months because of content they had seen.

However, buying was not always driven by a relationship with the content creator. The survey revealed 27% of people had never followed the social media account that prompted them to purchase the product.

Unsurprisingly, video led as the most influential content in driving purchases; 36% of people said Instagram Reels swayed their buying decisions while 26% said TikTok.

Social Soup asked participants what they did after watching the content that that “swayed” or influenced them, 64% of said they researched the product, service or experience seen on social media, while 59% said they bought the product, service or experience.

Sharyn Smith, Social Soup CEO, said: “At first glance, the findings of the research are surprising. Some of the most-watched content on social media is funny and entertaining, but that isn’t going to work as well for brands and marketers as content that you might think as comparatively dull, that is, content that is informative and relatable.

“What we are seeing is the evolution of social content from a commercial point of view. Traditional creator and campaign content and strategies are not going to work as well with consumers as they did a few years ago.

“We’re seeing a return to real, grassroots influence. People want less aspirational and more relatable content than ever before. Big, aspirational, entertaining, mass- media ad campaigns might work with some consumers on some occasions, but that isn’t the case when it comes to social.”

In addition to the report findings, the Influence Upfronts also featured a discussion between Social Soup account director Emma Woods and Huw Bonello, digital engagement manager of R U OK?, the non-profit suicide prevention organisation, about working with influencers via Social Soup for the past three years to increase awareness and drive conversation.

This was followed by panel discussion led by Jess Hope with creators Luccas Pereira, Luana Marchi, Bella Haig and Shanelle George who shared their insights on Gen Z driving change with purchase behaviour, influence on the algorithm, and the importance of authenticity.

See also: If Meta pulls news, readers are ‘savvy enough to work it out’: Social Soup’s Sharyn Smith

Top image: Smith

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