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Conversational Intelligence

Social Media Meets Conversational Intelligence

How adjusting your speaking style increases the success of social media posts

Minimal adjustments in the language style of influencers can have significant effects on the performance of social media postings. A recent study by the influencer marketing experts at Picstars with researchers from the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich shows the potential of conversational style matching.

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On social media, credible influencers achieve above-average results by addressing their communities. They share their creative content, entertain their followers and even motivate them to make purchasing decisions. This interactive form of advertising is effective and is therefore increasingly in demand.

Authentic Influencer-Marketing

The core of successful influencer marketing is the authentic communication of shared content. This is made possible, on the one hand, by the precise selection of influencers and advertising partnerships and, on the other hand, by the individual language and visual signature of the influencers. In addition, a similarity between the influencers and their followers creates an understandable, credible and target group-oriented communication (Kunath & Hofstetter, 2018).

The effect of influencer posts

Social media users who follow influencers on various platforms identify with them and the content they share. They respond to them with comments, likes or shares. The challenge for advertisers is to keep this engagement high, even if the content posted by influencers is based on a commercial benefit. This is confirmed by the research conducted: Commercial content achieves up to 20 percent less engagement.

The Conversational Style Matching Phenomenon

Eloqify, the conversational intelligence company started by researchers at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, and Picstars, Switzerland’s influencer marketing agency, have for the first time studied over 600 commercial and non-commercial Instagram posts by 30 influencers and analyzed their language. The results show that in commercial posts, the language style of the influencers often deviated from the usual style.

At the same time, it was found that even minimal corrections to the communication style in captions of social media postings can help people communicate more habitually and thus more authentically. This finding has a lot to do with social psychology: similar to mirroring body language, people imitate linguistic subtleties of others when they get along well with them. This approximation of the other person’s linguistic style occurs at the level of words such as adverbs or personal pronouns, which have no influence on the content of the communication, but have a significant impact on how a statement is received. Targeted conversational style matching, i.e. computer-assisted optimization of the communication style, which matches the language of the influencers with the language of their communities, can therefore decisively improve the impact of posts. According to the study, the engagement losses caused by promotional content can be made up for with the help of conversational style matching.

Recommendations for advertisers

Influencer marketing is effective and has become an indispensable part of modern marketing communication. In Switzerland, 4.7 million people are now social media users. Almost 2 million people in the Swiss population follow influencers (IGEM Digimonitor, 2022). The large reach and the identification potential are the recipe for success of this form of advertising.

Do you also want to reach a younger, digitally affine target group, build an emotional brand connection or increase the awareness of your brand? Benefit from a professional and authentic influencer marketing campaign that is optimized through “conversational style matching”.

Eloqify is all about conversational intelligence – how you should communicate what you want to communicate. The Zurich-based startup’s data-driven and science-based matching technology identifies the language style of its customers to help them strike the right tone in every customer approach.

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