Women trust the information and opinions they read on blogs and social media sites, and they make purchase decisions based on that information. That’s what a February 2012 study by BlogHer and Vision Critical found in a survey of bloggers in the BlogHer community and the broader U.S. online population. Since research shows again and again that women make the majority of purchase decisions, this is data brands need to pay attention to.
According to the study results, women trust the information and advice they get from social media sources with the following breakdown for some of the most popular social media sites:
- % that trust Blogs = 98% of the BlogHer population; 81% of the U.S. online population
- % that trust Facebook = 86% of the BlogHer population; 67% of the U.S. online population
- % that trust Twitter = 85% of the BlogHer population; 73% of the U.S. online population
- % that trust Pinterest = 85% of the BlogHer population; 81% of the U.S. online population
Now, you might be wondering how that trust translates into sales. According to the study, blogs and other social media sites do drive conversions:
- Made a purchase based on a recommendation from Blogs = 87% of the BlogHer population; 61% of the U.S. online population
- Made a purchase based on a recommendation from Facebook = 54% of the BlogHer population; 33% of the U.S. online population
- Made a purchase based on a recommendation from Twitter = 30% of the BlogHer population; 31% of the U.S. online population
- Made a purchase based on a recommendation from Pinterest = 53% of the BlogHer population; 47% of the U.S. online population
It’s important to note that this study also found that 41% of the general U.S. online population does not turn to blogs, social media sites, or online information at all when making purchase decisions. There is still a lot of room for growth, and the proliferation of mobile devices will undoubtedly drive that 41% up in the near future. Not surprisingly, when asked “what’s simmering” in media usage, the general U.S. online population showed the most interest in online coupons and deals (e.g., Groupon) and mobile apps.
Building brand trust is critical to brand success, and social media gives companies the ability to do exactly that. It’s an opportunity that can also drive sales that still has room to grow. Brand managers should focus on creating diverse content that’s useful, trustworthy, transparent, and visual in order to appeal to both experienced bloggers and online audience members as well as online and mobile newcomers. BlogHer reports the following as key takeaways for marketers from the study:
“With social media gone mainstream, our motivations to use different tools are diverse. Content helps deliver value, not distraction. Content assets deliver long-term value. Online media is delivering inspiration, not just information. Deeper trust drives better conversion into action.”
What do you think? Leave a comment and share your thoughts on the trustworthiness of social media content and how it affects female purchase decisions.
Image: Green Olive
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