Entries with tag social media use.

Study: Social Media Users Shy Away from Endorsements

Although social media sites aim to effectively sell ads targeted to their users, new research shows that people are unlikely to use these services to endorse products they like. The study—from researchers with the Imperial College Business School, Cornell University, the Leeds University Business School, the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, and the University of Melbourne’s Department of Management and Marketing—finds that social media users prefer to share such opinions with family and friends in person rather than with their online followers. “[O]ur report shows that when it comes to sharing recommendations on products and services on these sites, users tend to stay quiet,” stated report co-author and Imperial College Business School associate professor Andreas Eisingerich, “They would rather communicate via word of mouth because many users don't want to embarrass themselves online as work colleagues or acquaintances may not endorse or appreciate the same products that they do.” He added, “Our report could influence how businesses spend advertising budgets on social media websites.” The researchers published their work in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. (EurekAlert)(Imperial College)

Social Media Alerts Public Health Officials to Strep Outbreak

A series of Facebook posts alerted Minnesota public health officials to a 2012 outbreak of strep. The illness occurred after a Minnesota high school dance team banquet and was traced to a parent who had been recently ill with group A streptococcus pharyngitis or  more commonly known as strep throat. Of 63 people at the banquet, 18 became ill within three days. Another person who did not attend, but consumed leftovers brought home by a family member, also became ill. Several posts appeared on the organization’s Facebook page and a concerned parent ultimately contacted the state health department. Minnesota Department of Health found the possible source of the outbreak to be cooked pasta. The agency says social media played a key role in alerting public health officials, who could use it for disease surveillance and outbreak investigations. The findings are published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. (EurekAlert)(Clinical Infectious Diseases)

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