Social media profiles can reveal a lot more about people than their likes, interests and hobbies. New research suggests that Facebook profiles can also give a glimpse into a user's self-esteem.
That information can be extremely useful to marketers looking to maximize their social media marketing efforts.
The research suggests people with lower self-esteem were found to be more concerned with what others posted about them online. People with high self-esteem, on the other hand, were found to be more interested in adding personal information to their profiles.
"The types of actions users take and the kinds of information they are adding to their Facebook walls and profiles are a reflection of their identities," said S. Shyam Sundar, distinguished professor of communications and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory at Penn State University. "You are your Facebook, basically, and despite all its socialness, Facebook is a deeply personal medium."
The researchers examined how 225 college students in a South Korean university edited their Facebook profiles. They found that both students with high and low self-esteem chose different paths in how they created their profiles on Facebook .
For instance, users with low self-esteem were more likely to monitor posts or comments on their pages and delete them. But people with high self-esteem were likely to spend time updating their profiles with personal information, work experience, their prior education and other information.
The researchers say the findings have implications on how marketers can utilize social media platforms. For example, social marketers and social media app developers may be able to attract paying customers with more customizable walls and profile pages that allow them to express themselves in a more personal way, the researchers suggest.
"The more you get connected to Facebook, the stronger you feel that the items you post — the pictures, for example — are part of your identity and the more likely you are going to view these as your virtual possessions," Sundar said.
Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.