Social Media Impact Study: Majority Think Voicing Opinions on Social Networking Sites Can Influence Brand Business Decisions

Performics Weekly Research Recap
August 2, 2011
Performics Social Media (S-Net) Category Study
August 8, 2011

Social Media Impact Study: Majority Think Voicing Opinions on Social Networking Sites Can Influence Brand Business Decisions




Educational institutions, sports and entertainment top list of most discussed categories on social networking sites

CHICAGO – Performics, the performance marketing agency owned by Publicis Groupe, today released a report that detailed findings from “S-Net, The Impact of Social Media,” a social network study from ROI Research Inc. sponsored by Performics.  The study found 52 percent of respondents strongly or somewhat agree that voicing opinions on social networking sites can influence business decisions of companies/brands.  Additionally, 31 percent of overall respondents purchase more from companies/brands that they like/follow than from brands/companies they do not.

Social networks are changing the way people participate with brands, resulting in new opportunities for companies. The S-Net social study category reports highlight findings specific to 18 different industries: alcoholic beverages, apparel, appliances, automotive, education, electronics, entertainment, financial services, food, healthcare/pharma, household, magazines/newspapers, non-alcoholic beverages, personal care, restaurants, sports related, telecommunications and travel.

Key industry-specific highlights for social media include: 

  • Seventy-four percent who purchase entertainment products discuss them on social networks
  • Fifty-three percent follow travel companies/brands on social networking sites for coupons/discounts
  • Forty-three percent follow electronics companies on social networking sites for offers to win “points” or online currency redeemable for products
  • Forty-two percent discuss automobiles on social networking sites to compare prices
  • Thirty-two percent have made a sports-related product purchase as a result of seeing something posted on a social network

“Customers expect, and are already participating in a two-way dialogue,” said Daina Middleton, CEO of Performics. “It’s imperative for marketers to listen to customers and adopt strategies that engage them in every channel of their media mix – across all platforms, devices and screens.”

Based on the study results, Performics recommends these best practices for marketers looking to make the most of social networks:  

  • Understand customer desire for brand interaction in the relevant category
  • Create and adapt marketing strategies to cater to participation expectations and desires
  • Allocate time and resources to the most relevant and appropriate social networks
  • Regularly monitor and measure social network activity
  • Adjust strategies and tactics as necessary to optimize engagement

S-Net (The Impact of Social Media), a report from ROI Research Inc., sponsored by Performics, used a 30-minute online survey to collect information from 2,997 U.S. respondents who access at least one social network weekly. The social media study responses were compiled, analyzed and trended against data in two waves in 2010 and 2011. The objective of this study was to determine how various segments of users participate with social networks in their daily lives, specifically with regard to the purchase process for different types of products and in relation to other media channels.

To qualify for a category section, S-Net respondents had to have made at least one purchase in the designated category in the past six months. Each category report benchmarks how respondents give and get purchasing and company/product advice, top reasons/areas of interest for following a specific category and likelihood to post category-specific content.

To request complimentary copies of the category reports from S-Net’s key findings or the summary of findings from the overall S-Net study, please contact Addie Reed at areed@preturn.com.

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