Business Briefs: Tagged to Death, Financial Literacy for the Self-Employed & A Little Bit of Self-Promotion

Welcome to The Metropreneur’s newest series: Business Briefs. The world of academic publications features fascinating findings from real-world experiments in business and the marketplace. Here are some key takeaways and applicable nuggets of knowledge that may be helpful for your business.

Tagged to Death

You know how social media works. You make your case, then in conclusion, you insert a bunch of #hashtags, so others interested in the topic can find your post. On some posts, you might see a wall of twenty #hashtags. Sometimes more. 

That’s a bad idea. 

Researchers looked at products across the spectrum: 209,000 recipes, 7,561 gaming apps, 30,000 YouTube videos, and social tagging about books. To get an idea of the nature of their samples, the median number of views on the videos was 230,993, and the median number of #hashtags was 19. Nineteen.

In every case, they found that multiple tagging (that is, lots of #hashtags) increased visibility and exposure. Sounds good, right? More visibility is good!

But the benefits, in every arena, were outweighed in terms of the negative effect on product liking. The researchers argue that this negative effect is harmful and the most powerful takeaway from the study. While the extra tags might shape search results, they also impact the expectations of the viewer. And the viewer will assess the product against their expectations. 

That is, the difference between a product and its #hashtags can come across as a bait n’ switch, and that will ultimately undermine success. 

Read more here

Too much of a good thing? The Unforeseen Costs of Tagging in Online Retailing – Amir Sepehri, Rod Duclos, & Nasir Haghighi, International Journal of Research in Marketing

Works 4 Me / Myself

Here’s an interesting figure: In the U.S., 33% of workers are self-employed…and that figure is expected to grow in the next decade. 

This statistic is part of what grounds a recent study on financial literacy among the self-employed. If you’re going to work for yourself, it’s a good idea to be financially literate, to understand financial facts about interest rates, loans and taxes. 

Researchers studied the potential impact of both race and gender on financial literacy among the self-employed. Using measurement tools from the National Financial Capability Study, 15,609 participants were enlisted from all 50 states. 

While researchers found no significant difference based on race, gender was another story. Among the self-employed, women outperformed men in terms of financial literacy. 

Drawing on earlier literature, the researchers explain the difference in terms of psychology. Women are more likely to have a “need for over-qualification” before starting projects, and this drive fuels their performance on financial literacy assessments. 

If you’d like to test yourself, or view Ohio’s financial literacy rate, check out this site: usfinancialcapability.org.

Read more here

Financial Literacy and Self Employment – The Moderating Effect of Gender and Race – Elisabeth M. Struckell, Pankaj C.Patel, Divesh Ojhs, & Pejvak Oghazi, Journal of Business Research

Yay for Me

Self-promotion: That’s the socially acceptable version of boasting. How are people going to know we’re awesome, unless we tell them?

Good question. It’s a particularly good question, because excessive self-promotion can be self-defeating. 

Recruiting 220 work groups, researchers looked at the best path for executing a little self-celebration. They asked questions like: How often do you make your supervisor aware of your accomplishments? Using what’s often called a Likert Scale from 1-5, responses could range anywhere from never (that’s a 1), to often (that’s a 5).

Then, the researchers made some further distinctions. Based on the responses, some work-groups functioned in self-promotion climates, and other didn’t. That is, at some workplaces, it’s just normal to celebrate yourself. Other places: not so much.  

 Given the differing workplace environments, here are the takeaways:

Self-promotion attempts have MORE cash value in low self-promotion climates.

In high self-promotion climates, efforts to self-promote don’t really pan out in terms of performance ratings or promotability. 

In other words, when others are silent about their accomplishments: That’s the best time to boast!

Read more here

Too Much Self-Promotion! How Self-Promotion Climate Relates to Employees’ Supervisor-Focused Self-Promotion Effectiveness and Their Work Group’s Performance – Christian Gross, Maike E. Debus, Pia V. Ingold, & Martin Kleinmann, Journal of Organizational Behavior