Adding social buttons like the Tweet button pictured to the right to shopping websites affects your customers’ decision to buy (or not to buy).
However, it’s not as simple as just throwing up a tweet or “like” button and forgetting about it: a new study suggests that social sharing buttons are effective for some products, but not for all.
The impact that a social button has on a consumer relies on how they think they will be perceived by the public when they buy a product.
Approximately 200 shoppers were studied by the University of Miami School of Business Administration, Empirica Research, and StyleCaster Media Group to see how they reacted to being asked to tweet about their purchases.
Researchers assigned shoppers different products and included Tweet and Like buttons on some, but not others. They showed them products that they would likely be fine with the public knowing about such as sportswear, and products they might be embarrassed about such as acne medication.
And the findings were to be expected: if someone saw a social button like the Tweet button next to a product they were embarrassed about, they were significantly less likely to buy that product than if it had no social connection. And the reverse was also true: consumers who saw a social button next to a product they would be proud to buy were more likely to buy it than if there were no buttons visible.
People were 25 percent more likely to buy a product they would be proud of if it had social buttons, and they were likewise 25 percent less likely to buy a product they would be embarrassed of if it encouraged them to like or tweet about it.
It might sound intuitive, but it’s a lesson to many businesses: if you’re selling something that – while surely useful or fun – might not be received well by your customers’ social networks, you’ll be scaring them away if you encourage them to brag openly about it. But if you’re selling something more socially acceptable, by all means, ask them to share away!
(Hat tip: ZDNet)