Analysis of social media and attitudes to eco-friendly consumer choices in India
In what way is social media affecting the "green" behavior of people in India? Research published in the International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management looks to answer that question with respect to motivational factors revealed by an analysis of social media and attitudes to eco-friendly consumer choices balanced against costs.
Meesha Gupta and Asif Ali Syed of the Faculty of Management Studies and Research at the Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, collected data from 536 respondents who use social media and are also inclined towards eco-friendly products as opposed to less environmentally benign purchases. The team used exploratory factor analysis and structural equation modeling techniques to analyze the data.
The study revealed that Indian consumers are quite willing to pay a higher price for products that are greener. As such, the researchers suggest that companies can benefit from this attitude by offering novel and innovative products through their social media marketing efforts. They add that this must be done subtly so as not to over-saturate an account that might render it annoying rather than enticing. Moreover, they stress that companies must be transparent and communicate openly with their customers and putative customers, without that approach trust in a brand's green credentials might be easily lost.
In a world where social media has leveled the relationship between producers and providers and those to whom they sell products and services, those providers must put themselves in a position of trust. Social media can be powerful, attempts at "greenwashing" become obvious in the face of the hive mind where customers share and discuss products openly and frequently on social media and any issues can be shared very quickly and become serious problems for companies that attempt to fake their credentials, for instance.
"Green firms should foster relationships based on mutual gain and mutual interest. This can leverage customer loyalty," the team writes.
More information: Meesha Gupta et al, Social media impacting green behaviours of Indian consumers, International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management (2022). DOI: 10.1504/IJICBM.2022.120923
Provided by Inderscience