The Impact of Empathy in Social Media for Indian E-commerce Sector in 2021
The Impact of Empathy in Social Media for Indian E-commerce Sector in 2021

Human behavior is highly dictated by emotions and experience. This trait is also perceived as the principal concept in consumer decision-making. 

To understand how emotions are tied with consumer responses in the post-pandemic world, Instoried decided to examine the impact of emotions in the digital marketing space in their new report.

According to the report, the golden age of digital marketing in India started with the launch of Flipkart in 2007. The e-commerce giant paved a way for marketers to explore and push boundaries. Yet, for a long time, digital marketing communications in Indian e-commerce have revolved around deals and discounts. The equations are changing now and people have started associating products with emotions rather than just affordability or convenience.

Observations on Overall Performance

These observations are a summary of the performance of posts in the e-commerce sector as a whole. According to which, the dominant tone in most Instagram posts was positive and the dominant tone in most Twitter posts was positive. The dominant emotion in the Instagram posts was Joy (avg 74.4 percent) followed by fear (avg 11.8 percent), anger (avg 8.0 percent), sadness, and the least amount of surprise. 

The best performing company on Instagram as well as Twitter is Zomato. While the dominant tone on Zomato’s Instagram posts is neutral, with an average of 37 percent the same tonality is negative on Twitter. Furthermore, companies like Grofers and Lenskart were seen performing exceptionally well on Instagram but performed mediocrely on Twitter.

Observations About Empathy in Instagram Campaigns

These observations deal with Instagram posts in particular. This section looks at how tonality and emotions affect the performance of posts on Instagram. 

Positive Tone Vs Likes: The overall performance of posts is higher for higher positive tonality.

Negative Tone Vs Likes: The concentration of likes is higher when the percentage is lower than 25 and beyond that, the likes start disappearing.

Joy Vs Likes: A higher concentration of likes after 50 percent clearly emphasizing that higher intensity of joy in content is more likely to attract the audience’s attention.

Anger Vs Likes: With an increase in the percentage of anger, the number of likes drops drastically. This demonstrates that anger is not appreciated well by the Instagram audience.

Fear Vs Likes: The usage of fear beyond 50 percent has resulted in the decline of likes. Fear can have mixed results. While some may get reasonable success on Instagram, some tend to do poorly.

Sadness Vs Likes: Since the e-commerce sector is supposed to bring happiness to people, sadness is not a primary emotion for digital communication. In some cases, sadness does tend to result in more likes, however, extremely sad posts tend to have low likes.

Surprise Vs Likes: The little concentration of surprise is an emotion. However, the few posts which do have surprises tend to do reasonably well. Surprise is an under-utilized emotion in Instagram Posts.

Observations About Empathy in Twitter Campaigns

Positive tone Vs Likes: 25-30 percent of positive tone gives around 550 likes on Twitter. This indicates a positive tone is a default for most digital communication for e-commerce sites.

Negative Tone Vs Likes: Negative is a big no for Twitter. A very low percentage of negative tone results in less engagement.
Joy Vs Likes: With more than 600 likes on posts that implicate joy, the Twitter audience seems to appreciate joy and happiness in the tweets.

Anger Vs Likes: Just like a negative tone, even anger is not appreciated on Twitter. There will be a steep decline in the number of likes as the percentage of anger is increased.

Fear Vs Likes: People on Twitter do not seem to appreciate Fear.

Sadness Vs Likes: When the percentage of posts with sadness tonality is increased there is a steep decline in likes percentage.

Surprise Vs Likes: Surprise is an under-utilized emotion on Twitter and there should be more posts to conclude the negative correlation.


Digital marketers use a positive tone and joy by default in most social media communication. In Instagram, a positive tone, however minimal present in the texts, will result in a higher number of likes. Instagram posts that radiate joy will get higher likes and bring in more engagement. 

We saw Zomato’s example, Zomato is using a combination of joy and a neutral tone to impress the audience on Instagram. For their Twitter audience, Zomato uses a balanced combination of positive, negative, and neutral tones with joy as the dominant emotion. 

Fear is used by digital marketers but the effects of using fear are highly unpredictable. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) can be used to attract audiences when it comes to deals and discounts. Surprise and Sadness are not used a lot in social media marketing communications. But even a small usage has also resulted in an above-average performance.

Not every company succeeding in Instagram can succeed in Twitter. Similarly, not every company performing well on Twitter can win the audience on Instagram. Unlike the usual notion of Twitter being a negative platform, it seems to appreciate positivity and happiness more than negativity.

Key Takeaway

Companies performing brilliantly on Instagram may not always win the hearts of Twitteratis. FOMO is the best-kept secret of the e-commerce industry. Marketers can use fear to get reasonable success in social media. Most e-commerce companies don’t focus on Twitter and have lesser success due to this.

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