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MultiBrief: Overcoming social media bubbles in your digital marketing strategy

Last updated: 09-12-2019

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MultiBrief: Overcoming social media bubbles in your digital marketing strategy

The social media "bubble" — the phenomenon of people sticking to the likes of their personal cliques on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook — can be a tough challenge for marketers to power past.

But the good news is that you can learn how your consumers actually want to reach outside their peer groups for product info. Use these research-driven tips to burst the bubble and increase your influence dramatically.

A research team including Joshua Becker at the University of Pennsylvania found that mixed peer groups on social media — meaning your circle contains others who don't think exactly as you do — can change minds quite effectively in social media "echo chambers" where groupthink would normally rule.

Targeting influencers in local areas who travel in diverse circles is a great way to get the word out about your product to otherwise skeptical consumers.

A study from Dimitar Nikolov and others at Indiana University found that collective social bubbles happen in the first place when users get information only from social media sources, not from search engines.

Stress your desire for your target audience to research your brand and products on your website, and on search engines in general. If what you offer is of the highest quality, you can't go wrong.

"Filter bubbles" — algorithms in which fake news and biased opinion are specifically targeted to sway opinion — don't work and can be beaten with cold, hard facts, according to a study from researcher William Dutton.

Make sure your advertising is clear, concise and upfront in terms of the practical uses and content of what you are selling. Overtly encourage independent fact-checking and comparisons of your product. This shows you respect your consumers' independent thinking and intelligence.

Does one of your competitors have such a stranglehold on a specific region's sales that your gut tells you your marketing against bubbles won't work? Put your efforts elsewhere.

Some bubbles do become ingrained. As long as those geographical areas are small in terms of your reach, it pays to go big elsewhere rather than chip away at a niche.

Bubbles form around inaccuracy and rumor far more often than they form around truth and trust. Make sure the message you're sending about your brand and product is faultlessly honest; that can be a huge breath of fresh air on social media.

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