Social capital: How social networks have value | #BizResearch with Dr Amelia Richards

The tag line of the famous ‘Cheers’ television series:  ‘Where everybody knows your name’ captures an important aspect of social capital, and within the South African society connectedness is a prominent trend.  This trend became evident in various national surveys conducted by Ask Afrika.

BizRadio’s Grant Jansen in conversation with Ask Afrika’s Client Services Director, Dr Amelia Richards.

Podcast | Click HERE to listen

Not only does Ask Afrika have conceptual research expertise, but also a national field force able to execute large projects with sample sizes as many as 15,000 representative of the national population.  Our team of statisticians ensures valid and reliable research results based on robust and statistically valid sampling methods.  It yields relevant research trends that enable clients to have credible conversations on shaping their current and future behaviour.

From the social consciousness survey conducted by Ads24, it became evident that people have a deep desire to find new meaning in life and to share more experiences with their friends and communities.  They are more outwardly directed and define their personal identities by relating to others, actively participating in social communities. A sense of conformity with like-minded people e.g. artists, runners, camping fanatics, steers away from traditional groups based on demographic profiles.  It is based on the age old description of Gemeinshaft’ – Sense of belonging or we-ness based on shared common beliefs, attitudes and behaviour on a daily basis (Ferdinand Tonnies 1957.)

South Africans are committed to their community’s upliftment and get practically involved in them, placing an increasing focus on community centricity (Finscope.)

The 2011 Compass24 survey, revealed the importance of local newspapers as vehicles where brands are enabled to connect with consumers on a more personal level.  Local newspapers fulfil a unique function of more intimate relevance.  Readers are not interested in removed tit bits, taking space away from community centric news and updates.  Generic information and content belongs in generic media and titles … local newspapers are about customisation.

The fact is community matters, ant it matters increasingly more for a society returning to its sense of community and care, and consumers expect the same commitment from brands and the corporate community.  From TGI Icon Brands™ survey consumer loyalty is reserved for brands that deliver on traits such as:

  • Authenticity
  • Community centric intervention
  • Are value driven
  • Respect heritage
  • Enable personal engagement.

Social capital creates value for people through reciprocity that implies that business cannot succeed in a society that fails.   Consumers expect business to contribute to creating a safe environment, creating jobs and alleviating poverty.  Promoting honesty and transparency, contributes to local service delivery, ultimately building a better South Africa for all (The Ask Afrika Orange Index™).

Join Grant Jansen (@Kapetonian) every weekday morning from 10 to noon for the Daily Biz on Biz Radio. Stay in touch with Grant at @Biz_Radio on twitter, Biz_radio on Skype and [email protected] to mail him.


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