Strategically using social media to influence consumer attitude change

Dr Josephine Previte (view profile), UQ Business School, The University of Queensland

Social media has changed today’s consumers. Social media allows everyone to easily follow what others are doing and have instant conversations with a wide range of people, organisations and institutions.

Facebook, Youtube and other social media platforms have facilitated and given rise to new styles of social influencers. Consumers’ social media followings have even created new styles of anybody/somebody micro-celebrities, including “pet social influencers”.

Social influence is all about how others affect our emotions, opinions or behaviours. In this presentation, I will discuss how social media influence can be used as a strategic element in the social change ‘method mix’.

I will outline three key social media strategies where social media can be used: (1) as a dynamic message delivery channel to extend reach to target audiences that create exchanges between a not-for-profit organisation (or government agency) and target audiences; (2) as a place to reach target audiences at critical behaviour decision points by engaging in-situ, real-time communications, and (3) as a network to encourage and support peer-to-peer flows of information, personalised content (user generated content) and engagement with social media behaviours (e.g., liking, sharing, following).