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Blog post
June 24, 2019

Has social proof spilled online?

We’re not short on information. In fact, never before have we had so much news, research and commentary available to us – with accessibility improving almost daily.

And yet, why is it that we still fail to discern the real from the fake and the genuine from the scripted? Or that we subscribe to mass opinion without so much as a fact check?

Firstly, we’re short on time. The theory of social proof has spilled over into the digital age where it has fueled the ever-hot topic of influence and persuasion.

Social proof, otherwise known as social influence is a psychological phenomenon where we look to assume the actions of others in an effort to ‘shortcut’ certain decision-making situations and reflect what’s presumed ‘correct’ behaviour.

Simply put, when we are uncertain about how one might react or are thrown into a situation where we’re overwhelmed by information or emotion, we look around the crowd to see how they respond and do the same ourselves – finding comfort in this social proof.

While online we may not be able to determine the ‘correct’ response from a person’s face, perhaps we’ve adapted this behaviour too, and can look for other signals. For example, when we see a tweet building momentum or a post that’s garnered critical comments that are seemingly snowballing, do we recognise this as proof to follow the majorities reaction?

This is particularly intriguing to examine when looking at a crisis or world event where information can often be misleading or incorrect from the initial spark. Instead of waiting to compile and analyse all the information, we seek out an opinion – often led by someone that we consider to be similar to ourselves.

While this need to assimilate may be driven by many factors, including pressures on time in any emergency situation or modern life, it’s also interesting to note that humans are easily swayed by authority.

Historically we may have recognised this as a position of political power, or number of stars on a lapel. Funnily enough, this seems to have also blurred onto our social communities – the blue ‘verified’ tick beside an account name, the volume of followers, or the endorsements an individual aligns with could all be influencing our motivations to follow them.

Whether these individuals are truly authoritative on a subject or topic, or merely masquerading as one, we seem to seek out signals or evidence as a way to shortcut our bias.

As online social behaviour evolves and channel mature, it is becoming increasingly interesting to watch how we discern real influence – whether we will continue to find quick tactics to inform our responses or seek more knowledge to better align our stance.

Originally shared by Gill Matthews, Isentia Marketing Director

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Live stream shopping is a huge industry in many countries. In China, selling through live streaming is a leading sales platform. However, it has yet to take off in Australia and New Zealand. There are currently more than 200 live streaming sites with over 700 million users in 2021, reported Influencer Marketing Hub. Over 400 million of those purchased via a live stream platform. 

China's live streaming market is anticipated to reach US$103.39 billion in 2026, according to Research and Market's report "China Short Video & Live Streaming Market: Insights & Forecast with Potential Impact of COVID-19 (2022-2026)". Live stream marketing isn't for every brand or sector. At this stage for the ANZ market, it works out as a brand awareness or excitement drumming solution.

Live stream shopping in Australia and New Zealand: will they or won't they?

In Australia, Shopify released an integration with Youtube in 2022. This integration allows creators to now tag products related to their live stream directly from the live control room. For example, confectionery giant Kitkat tapped on the powers of live stream shopping downunder. 

The company promoted their new products to their audiences through their live streams. They offered options to buy online and in-store while encouraging in-store visits. This campaign boosted brand awareness amongst 35 - 44 year olds.

Despite the trend, social media platforms like Facebook and TikTok have back-pedalled on their live stream shopping offerings in this region. Prior to the end of Facebook’s live shopping function in Australia, the company even announced a shutdown of their live stream app "Super" for February of 2023.

According to Savvy's Australian online shopping behaviour report, 30.3% of Aussies bought something via social media. Oliver Tatlow, Reckitt Hygiene’s Managing Director for Australian and New Zealand told AFR that, “Online will be the largest sales channel in Australia and New Zealand within the next five years.”

Although the technology is present in Australia, there is a lack of interest. This can be attributed to mistrust in social media content and big companies or a lack of emotional investment in brands. Online shopping has grown in a post-covid world but ecommerce companies like Amazon have experienced a fluctuation in stocks.

Ultimately, consumer behaviours in Australia are constantly changing and live stream shopping might slowly catch on. When more brands start offering their products through live stream shopping, the Australian market will jump on.   

Considerations for stronger customer lifetime value

With so many channels and platforms within a finger tap's reach of consumers, consumers can easily access the information they need to inform a purchase. Brands need to understand how to communicate that information consistently and efficiently so as not to lose consumer interest. 

Placement and seamless embedding of purchasable/discoverable products into a live stream shopping experience is crucial as well as embedding of product information. 

Ultimately, live stream shopping is a high-engagement, brand awareness and product education tool. You should also emphasise high discoverability on your social platforms. As with most social functions, you have to know how to make it relevant to your consumers.

A report released by Instagram in 2023 reported that social media users are excited for face-to-face interactions with digital relationships. They also want their favourite influencers to get into new forms of media such as live stream shopping. Picking the right influencer for your live stream marketing campaign may be the answer for your brand.

Three elements of live stream marketing success

1. A trending topic or person

Among the most effective and frequently-used strategies for live streaming marketing, hiring a celebrity for a campaign is the most effective one. However, engaging with a group of social influencers which are relevant to your brand can be effective too. .

Finding trending topics to engage with relevant influencers is also a successful strategy in building a live stream marketing plan. Using media monitoring and social media intelligence can help in finding those topics.

For example, according to Isentia’s social media research into the luxury sector, organic buzz led by influencers and celebrities have increased more than three times since 2015.

2. Content is crucial

While people may be attracted to celebrities, the key to a successful live streaming campaign is to have engaging content. This content must be relevant and informative that keeps people watching until they take action. 

Other common formats for live streaming campaigns include fashion shows or product launches. They are used as a tool to amplify the impact of the offline events and attract more audiences.

In China, cosmetics giant L’Oréal invited celebrities Gong Li, Li Bingbing and Li Yuchun to live stream behind-the-scenes segments at the Cannes Film Festival for its official Meipai account. During the live stream, the stars recommended lipsticks they used. After four hours of live streaming, the featured lipsticks were sold out online.

Other creative formats for live streaming campaigns include sharing new technology, teaching audiences about how to use new products, and revealing backstage or production procedures.

3. Creating urgent demand live 

In a KPMG report on consumers, price remains the key driver behind online shopping. Consumers are more price-sensitive during online shopping, and discounts are a major driving force.

Live streaming dramatically increases sales conversion because it creates urgency among viewers. They might miss out on a deal if they don’t act quickly. Whether it is a good price or availability of stock, viewers will be pressed to act.Live stream shopping should be a new platform for brands. For brands thinking about tapping into the live streaming market, we suggest starting with research and using tools such as media monitoring and social media analysis to uncover any live streaming case studies within your industry.



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Blog
Live stream shopping and how to generate sales

Live stream shopping is a popular way for brands to increase sales, engage with customers and offer a new shopping experience.

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You may be surfing some of the popular Facebook pages and have noticed this little jewel icon with the legend of ‘Top Fan’ on some of the commenter’s posts. This is a Facebook feature as part of the global roll out, meant to help brands like yours, identify top fans of your content. Isentia explains what being a Top Fan means, how they will benefit your brand and how you get a Facebook Top Fan Badge for your page.

What is a Facebook “Top Fan” badge? How is it different from “Valued Commenter”?

There are two new badges that appear on people’s posts: Top Fan and Valued Commenter. Facebook Top Fan badges are awarded to those who are the most active and engaged on a page, while the Valued Customer identifies those who regularly post comments on the page. 

People who qualify for and turn on top fan badges will have a badge next to their name when interacting with your Page’s content. They’ll also be publicly visible on a top fans list on your Page’s Community tab.

How do brands and top fans benefit from the badge?

Image of how to display Facebook Top Fan Badge on your profile.

With the feature, there are quite a few things that brands can do and benefit from it. It allows you to easily identify your true top fan and you are able to connect, engage and communicate efficiently to drive more interactions.

These top fans also act as your brand advocates to connect with most people and generate influence and impact on others. With this, brand owners are able to plot and track the loyalty of the top fans against competitors.

Marketing messages could be tailored accordingly and reward your top fans with regular update but not limited to promotion, giveaway and exclusive invitation to events.

With a handful of top fans, brands are also able to have access to a fan base to conduct focus groups or surveys to garner insights for your brand strategy or product development.

So how does a person become a top fan on a Facebook page fast?

As top fans, nothing beats the honour of wearing the Top Fan badge of BTS or any of your favourite artists’ official Facebook page. So now you can literally proclaim your top fan online and offline at the same time.

Your fans will now know that their interactions aren’t going unnoticed. Having the top fan badge stands a greater chance of being heard by the brand. Brand owners might be interested to listen to feedback on their services or products, from none other than their loyal Top Fans.

You can also build your personal corporate brand, be it as a go-to expert or just a go-to advisor for the best credit card in the market. Top fans are also looking at exclusive deals from your favourite make-up brand, or secret fan-meets with your favourite artist.

How does Facebook award Top Fan Badges to people?

According to Facebook, a person is eligible for the top fan badge by:

  • Being the most active fan
  • Watching the your Page’s videos
  • Interacting with the Page by liking and reacting to content
  • Commenting and sharing posts

Once eligible, Facebook users will have a badge next to their name when they interact with the brand page. They will also become publicly visible on a top fans list in your Community tab.

How do I access & turn on the Facebook Top Fan Badge function?

Image of Isentia's Facebook page with Top Fans on its Page.

Go to your Facebook page, and click on Community button on the left menu panel – it will show a list of top fans Facebook has identified. If you do not see the list of top Fans, do read on and we will tell you how to turn on this feature.

Go to page Settings> template and Tabs. Select the Edit option and choose video page option. This will open the option of Facebook badges in the content.

Image of how to turn on the Facebook Top Fan Badge on your Page.

You will see a new tab for that was not there before, make sure the Facebook badges feature is ON and Facebook will start generating your top fans using its algorithm.

You can also turn off specific badges from your top fans by clicking on a comment by a Top Fan and select Remove badge option.

Why is the Top Fans option not available on my Facebook Page?

There are certain requirements that your page needs to fulfill. According to Facebook, you will need 10,000 followers, be at least 28 days old and it must switch to a video template for Pages in order for this to work. You must also have enabled the Facebook badges feature for this to start working. Scroll up for steps on how to turn this on.

If you do not meet the 10,000 follower count, don’t freak out. Ensure that you have a sound content marketing strategy for creating engagement with your audience, which will help your page gather more likes and fans, and you will be there in no time. Facebook is continuing to tweak the algorithm to access this function in the future.

The true meaning of displaying the Facebook Top Fan badge

Now this is all exciting news for everyone, brands and consumers alike, with all parties including Facebook benefiting from this added feature. Brands can see who interacts the most while badge earners are recognized for their hard Facebook work. 

This reward system mimics that of forum/ message boards which recognises top thread and comment contributors. And hopefully, attempt to bring in some of these forum discussions to Facebook. 

It also gives fans and members alike a level of satisfaction that their interactions aren’t going unnoticed. Last but not least, we are not forgetting the biggest winner, Facebook, with all the collected information contributing to Facebook’s ever-expanding pool of data.

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Blog
Facebook Top Fan Badges – And Why You Should Be Interested

The Facebook Top Fan Badge is a powerful tool that brands can use to engage their audience on Facebook and reward your most active fans.

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Remote work has evolved from a novel concept to one that is more widely accepted and normalised over the past few years. But what are people saying about digital nomadism, the agile lifestyle facilitated by remote work? What do people think of being allowed to work from anywhere and travel the world while holding the same remote job? Is it as exciting as it’s hyped up to be, or are people beginning to see the challenges around constantly finding themselves alone in a new place?  

In a blog post from our sister company Pulsar, social, news and audience data show limited interest in alternative working arrangements from 2016 until 2020. Interest in the digital nomad lifestyle gradually gained prominence in niche communities, starting from co-working space users in 2016, becoming a valid lifestyle option for developers and tech entrepreneurs in 2019, and eventually pushed into the mainstream in large part by the COVID-19 pandemic, further propelled by buzz amongst cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, most companies and employees had to quickly rethink their working arrangements and setups, with most employees transitioning to remote working from home. Many others, however, saw the pandemic as a great reset in their professional and personal lives and decided to prioritise well-being and travel.

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What are the biggest challenges of being a Digital Nomad?

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But it’s not all fun and games: analysis of the Digital Nomads' conversation across Twitter from February 1st to May 2nd for the years 2016, 2019 and 2022 shows three of the most-discussed issues regarding being a digital nomad are obstacles: Visa, Loneliness, and Accommodation. Independent living has been one of the biggest concerns in the past few years.

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What's going on in Asia, then?

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In the case of Malaysia and Singapore, we find that some workers who were previously commuting between the two countries have found a new way of working.

There are also mixed sentiments from locals on the presence of expats. For instance, due to an influx of digital nomads, prices have risen significantly in many areas in  Malaysia and Singapore. One person on Twitter noted that they realised that the problem in Malaysia is the salary, not the cost of living. 

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In the case of Malaysia and Singapore, we find that some workers who were previously commuting between the two countries have found a new way of working.

There are also mixed sentiments from locals on the presence of expats. For instance, due to an influx of digital nomads, prices have risen significantly in many areas in  Malaysia and Singapore. One person on Twitter noted that they realised that the problem in Malaysia is the salary, not the cost of living. 

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Malaysian and Singaporean social media note that Bali, Indonesia, is a hotspot for digital nomads.

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Some online news outlets have noted that being a digital nomad is now in the mainstream. It has become so popular that Indonesia's Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno has sped up the digital nomad visa planning to promote tourism in Indonesia, specifically in Bali. Other businesses are attempting to cash in on this trend and encourage digital nomads worldwide to stay and spend.

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Indonesia is among the countries that offer special digital nomad visas, with benefits including extended stays for up to five years and tax exemptions. 

Some workers from Malaysia and Singapore have begun to adopt remote working, including several Reddit users. One even shared their first experience as a digital nomad in Boracay, Philippines.

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For most people, the lure of the open road and less-than-staying-at-home tend to be alluring. Digital nomads like the freedom to do whatever they please as long as things are functional. 

The nomadic lifestyle works very well in many ways, but it can improve by adding some extra comforts.

With the flexibility to choose the location they want to work and the type of work they want to do, digital nomads have many options. And once they find a company they like and that work well with their schedule, they can often stick with them as they work remotely.

The rise of "slowmad"-specific visas, such as in Indonesia, which allow employees to remain in specified locations for a long time without becoming subject to a nation's taxes or laws, is partly responsible for the increased digital nomad conversations, as shown in the data above. Using Pulsar TRAC, we can witness such on-ground discussions in Asia and globally.

If you’re interested in learning more about this dataset, or discovering how social data can lead to insights across technology, consulting and several other spaces, please reach out to sea.sales@isentia.com.

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Blog
Digital nomads: Transforming working cultures from Singapore to Bali

The cultural dynamics of work have changed. This changing landscape has given rise to the trend of digital nomads in Southeast Asia.

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Next week’s Federal Budget has many Australians wondering how they will be affected. 

The government has strongly advocated for building a more resilient economy than their predecessors, yet in recent months, the economy is suffering due to a rapid rise in inflation. This has pushed up interest rates and is squeezing the cost of living with both consumers and businesses feeling the pressure. 

Following groceries, the leading financial stressors for Australians are petrol, rent, mortgage payments and energy bills. And just to make ends meet, Aussies are making more considered purchases, seeking higher paying employment or working multiple jobs. Australians are already anxious about inflation with growing concern there’s no end in sight. 

Will the government restore their trust in Australians and keep their pre Federal Budget promises?

Cost of living crisis

Latest data from CHOICE’s Consumer Pulse survey, revealed that cost of living pressures are a major concern, with 90% of Australians seeing an increase in their household bills and expenses over the past year. 

Inflation pressures are intensifying and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) continues to drive up interest rates - their highest level in 7 years. The government has promised a long-term and sustainable approach to cost of living support in the form of a relief package. 

Concerned about their mortgage payments, up to a third of mortgage holders could struggle to keep up with future repayments, with younger generations particularly concerned about surging interest rates. 

Using Isentia data, during an eight week period from early August to early October 2022, 18% of Australia’s front pages featured cost of living stories. Even in a time of large local and international news such as the war on Ukraine and the Optus security breach, the cost of living crisis was still making front page news.

According to Pulsar data, anxieties around the cost of living, peaked following the RBA's interest rate announcements on 4 September and 4 October. For the sixth consecutive month, Australians have had to tighten an already lean household budget.

Apprehensions around security increased on 24 September as a result of the Optus security breach and again on 10 October when the government announced changes to the country's defence projects.  Also on 10 October, cost of living concerns spiked after growing speculation surrounding the Stage 3 tax cuts being recalibrated. Australians also felt a heightened sense of unease after the announcement of a future surge in energy costs, following a recent  35% rise.

Topics causing anxiety this Federal Budget
Anxieties surrounding topics mentioned by the government. Source: Pulsar

Childcare fees are at their highest in 8 years, with child care subsidies failing to keep out of pocket costs to a minimum. On 16 September, conversation around child care spiked, as Treasurer Jim Chalmers promised to reduce the cost of childcare, yet pledged to keep spending restrained in light of budgetary constraints. 

As part of the cost of living relief package, this reduction won't come into play until mid 2023. Can Australian families wait this long?

Problematic climate conditions such as excessive rain and floods are leading to localised food price increases and diminished food quality. Even in the same area, poorer households are faring far worse than affluent counterparts. Across the board, there has been  a surge in the cost of fruit and vegetable prices (7.3%) and meat, seafood and bread rising by 6.3%

On top of these climate issues, labour shortages in both warehousing and transportation have resulted in added disruption to the supply chain. Freight costs are on the rise, putting intense pressure on importers and exporters. 

Are Aussie consumers looking at a continued supply chain that is more disruptive than the 2020 toilet paper shortage? The rise in the cost of living weighs on households' spending, and Australians are seeking alternate ways to make extra cash.

The thrifty shopper

As the cost of living rises, many Australians are seeking alternate ways to make or save cash; trimming budgets where they can; cancelling home entertainment subscriptions, and reducing insurance coverage for lower fees to name a few. Purchases at all levels are becoming more involved and highly considered, with discounts heavily sought after.

As Millennials and Gen Z shoppers are gaining more buying power, their passion for sustainable commerce is stronger than ever. Selling personal items to make extra cash has been on the rise with retail e-commerce platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and ‘Recommerce’ platforms like AirRobe, are booming. Not only are Australians becoming more financially savvy, they are conscious of the need to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ - a criteria these platforms adopt.

Following the money

There’s no doubt that inflation is changing salary expectations. And for those in industries where movement and remote working is possible, many Australians are following the money.

Data from the Reserve Bank of Australia, shows organisations have reported higher rates of employees leaving to achieve higher pay packets as a way to provide temporary relief for  the rise in cost of living. Interestingly, this higher voluntary turnover was especially concentrated in professional services. 

In response to labour shortages, organisations are implementing a range of non-base wage strategies - e.g bonuses, flexible work practices, more internal training and hiring staff with less experience, as opposed to increasing base wages.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures also show Australians are taking on multiple jobs, as full-time work forces employees to juggle several roles to make ends meet. Although multiple job holding is more common in low-paid industries, a record high of 900,000 people held multiple jobs in the June quarter of 2022. 

This is an increase of 4.3 per cent from the previous quarter and is a reflection of wages growth stagnating and nominal wages barely keeping up with consumer prices. The result; people needing to work more hours to make ends meet. 

Using data insights from Pulsar, wages is one of the ‘most anticipated’ topics in this year’s Budget. The Wage Price Index (WPI) rose 0.7 per cent in the June quarter and 2.6 per cent over the year, which represented a substantial fall in real wages given inflation rose 6.1 per cent last quarter. 

Social media conversation around wages is evolving with other indicators suggesting wages are still climbing alongside extreme uncertainty surrounding global growth and rampant inflation. 

Will Australians see more dollars in their pocket after the Budget is handed down?

The "most anticipated" topics in this year's Federal Budget.
The "most anticipated" topics in this year's Federal Budget. This is a visual representation of the conversation frequency of topics over time. Source: Pulsar

Australians taking action

With Australians taking a greater interest in living a sustainable lifestyle, the government and organisations are prompted to influence the lever of positive change and create actionable outcomes.

Despite a great deal of politicians pledging change, governments are often swayed by the media and public opinion which can derail policies wanting to address complex, longer-term challenges. Millennials and Gen Zs have long pushed to see societal and economic change. 

Results from the 10th Annual Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey shows they are increasingly becoming more politically involved. These influential cohorts are progressively showing interest in political issues, and turning to social media to discuss their opinions. Moreover, they are consciously making calculated career decisions and spending their money with organisations who share the same values.

The top keywords used by key communities discussing the Federal Budget online and social media.
The top keywords used by key communities discussing the Federal Budget online. Source: Pulsar

Social engagement shows left wing millennials are showing concern over the budget and economic issues, with Treasurer, Jim Chalmers gaining the most chatter. Similarly, baby boomers are equally vocal, using the same keywords as millennials but they also seek strong leadership and a strong economy.

For younger demographics, their interactions or relationships with organisations is dependent on the organisation's treatment of the environment, their policies on data privacy and their position on social and political issues. 

For governments, tackling environmental, economic and social issues and their impact requires a huge transformation across all sectors. Market forces alone will not solve the problem, and the onus is on governments to take a lead to meet the sustainability challenge. 

The October Federal Budget is an opportunity for the government to show they are the lever of change by creating actionable outcomes and a positive impact. Australians are concerned for the welfare of the country and previous governments have fallen short. 

The government promises to back clean energy and build new renewable infrastructure across the country, will they succeed or disappoint?

The Federal Budget can be an overwhelming time, with an abundance of promises and policies, it can be hard to stay on top of the latest news. We have a comprehensive range of political news services available to help you navigate the political media coverage at this October Federal Budget. Want to learn what’s being said at this Federal Budget?

Click here to start navigating the announcements that may impact your organisation.

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How concerned are Australians about the Federal Budget?

The upcoming October Federal Budget has many Australians wondering how they will be affected. 

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