Corporate Eye

Brand Buzz Finds a Home on Social Networks

New research from ROI Research reconfirms that consumers talk about brands on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. In fact, of U.S. social network users surveyed in April 2011, the majority of respondents indicated that they actively discuss brands, products and services on social networks.

Even more interesting is what they’re talking about on those websites. The following statistics from the ROI Research study (via eMarketer) shows the percentage of study respondents who discuss brands, products, and services on social networks for various reasons:

  • Compare prices = 59%
  • Talk about sales or specials = 56%
  • Provide feedback to a brand retailer = 53%
  • Give advice = 50%
  • Get advice on what to purchase = 59%
  • Talk about where to purchase online = 49%
  • Express disappointment about a purchase, brand or retailer = 47%
  • Talk about where to purchase offline = 47%
  • Talk about current styles, models, etc. = 47%
  • Connect with customer service = 36%

Based on these survey results, there are clear opportunities for brands to start and join conversations that consumers are interested in having online. The statistics provide a way to prioritize your social conversations, so you spend time on conversations that most people are willing to have on social networks. Nearly 2 out of 3 social network users are actively using those sites to discuss prices and sales. There is no doubt that starting and joining conversations about pricing and special offers is a tactic that consumers want and need.

The key is to focus on the types of brand conversations that consumers are open to having online. Based on this research, consumers have demonstrated their willingness to discuss brands online, particularly pricing when they’re trying to make a decision on which brand to actually purchase. They’re already in the market for a specific type of product or service, so they’re basically pre-qualified customers. Don’t let them get away. Instead, join the conversation (or start your own) to get your brand in front of those pre-qualified consumers.

This doesn’t mean you should abandon customer service conversations on social networks. There is a place for those, too. However, consumers are more likely to be looking for and participating in conversations about pricing and discount offers. Again, prioritize your time for maximum results.

What do you think? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
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