A new op-ed published by Erik Ernesto Vazquez in Harvard Business Review France explains how the choice of the social network affects the perceived quality of products and services offered by e-business companies.
Erik Ernesto Vazquez is head of the MSc Digital Business & Analytics programme at EMLV. In an article published by the Harvard Business Review France, this research professor with expertise in e-retailing and digital business models tackles the influence of social networks on the exposure of online products and services.
Does digital content manipulate perceptions about product quality?
The case of Cambridge analytics is now widely known. Many questions still hang over the role of digital platforms such as Facebook in the outcome of US elections during 2016.
How can digital media manipulate our perceptions about political beliefs and the quality of candidates? The same principle of influence through digital media can apply for consumer-oriented companies changing the perception of quality about products.
Digital content is in everywhere! Most profitable consumer-oriented companies know how to manage it well. When we see Netflix’s recommendations on our TV or when we scroll-down Twitter or Instagram in our smartphones, we consume content pushed by successful firms.
According to the research firm Statista from 2007 to 2019, the investment in digital media grew from $1,8 billion to $4,6 billion worldwide.
Change the perception of quality to increase revenues
Recent studies show how the selection of a digital platform to showcase our products could impact how consumers perceive product quality.
Our contribution aims to set awareness about the broad implications of a proper strategy for managing your content. We’ve made multiple comparisons between multiple digital platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook and the perception of various retail products.
One of the takeouts about implementing a successful content management strategy is the increase of the perception of quality towards retail products. The study shows how selecting the right social media platform according to a specific product category could increase a consumer’s perception of quality about that product category.
For example, Twitter-based selling has enhanced the perception of the perceived quality of products such as computers by 15%. On the contrary, for “experience products”, whose value depends on the feel of the product
(represented in our study by clothing and accessories), media with a focus on social engagement lead to a more effective perception of quality than those that are less so.
Advertising via Facebook, for instance, led to a 3% overall improvement in the perceived quality of dietary supplements and a 1% improvement in the perceived quality of clothing. YouTube scored similarly to Twitter
(+18%) in the computer and electronics category, but it also scored slightly above Facebook in the area of dietary supplements (+5%) and clothing (+4%).
There is no doubt about it: digital content is a tool which not only drives traffic to online shops and increases sales, but it is also changing the way we perceive products. And modifying the perception of product quality is the best and most direct way to increase the profitability of the company, as it boosts prices higher. And to do so, you don’t need to compromise your ethics or misuse your customers’ personal data the way Cambridge Analytica did!