Four Shades of Social Media: An Exploratory Study of the EAST Framework's Application Potential on Social Media

Ann-Britt Viemose Beck & Terese Pihlkjær Gerdts

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to explore the potential of applying insights from behavioural economics to the work with social media strategy. Particularly, the emphasis is placed on the Behavioural Insight Team’s (BIT) EAST framework, which proposes that by considering the four simple principles Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely it is possible to change/affect behaviour. Concretely, the thesis seeks to investigate the practical implications of the EAST framework for companies on the social media platform, Facebook. The research takes its point of departure in the audio solutions company, Jabra, and its Facebook strategy. Six hypotheses were posted, one or more investigating each of the four principles from the EAST framework in relation to social media. Accordingly, the analysis is divided into two parts: 1) a retrospective analysis of 100 Jabra Facebook posts and 2) 10 experiments performed on Facebook testing the principles from the EAST framework. Besides the EAST framework, both analyses take their point of departure in a theoretical framework among others consisting of the consumer decision journey and theory within the field of behavioural economics. The retrospective analysis was done manually through a systematic review of Jabra’s Facebook page. The analysis showed a clear preference for link posts and photo posts, which can be attributed to the Easy and Attractive principles. Likewise, the Social principle proved effective in the form of shared external reviews, while the Timely principle only to a certain extent was deemed successful with varying results from the so-called event posts. Further, the ten experiments confirmed that a clear call-to-action was more effective than an intext call-to-action, most likely explained by fewer friction costs and the Easy principle. However, most of the remaining experiments were deemed inconclusive on the basis of too small differences between the results of the control posts and the test posts. Consequently, this meant that the results of the thesis showed that the Easy and Social principles seemed to be more relevant than the other two, at least when tested explicitly on the case company, Jabra. The Attractive and Timely principles were deemed relevant but could not be verified through the specific experiments and analyses conducted in this thesis. Thus, the practical implications of the EAST framework remain unclear. However, the authors still deem it valuable for companies to consider both the principles and the four-stepped process when producing social media content

EducationsMaster of Business, Language and Culture, Intercultural Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages163
SupervisorsLill Ingstad