Consumers Swayed by Marketers’ Social Posts

Because social media is still proving its worth to many marketers, there is no shortage of new studies emphasizing the various strengths of the format. Earlier this month, Market Force set up a survey to determine whether consumers can be influenced to buy products as a result of marketers’ social media posts. The findings may surprise some marketers.

The Market Force study looked at both U.S. and U.K. consumers and considered how they interact based on friends’ posts and marketers’ posts. The pool of 12,000 consumers was largely female, 75%, and the company said that this represented individuals who control most of the purchasing power in the locations studied. Market Force analysts say that 81% of U.S. consumers take their friends’ opinions into account when they’re ready to make a purchase. Likewise, about 78% will consider a marketer’s post before they buy.

Consumers' engagement with brands on Facebook — an astonishing 76% of U.S. consumers like marketers — often has to do with their own self-​interest. Nearly all, 79%, say they like a brand because they’re hoping to get discounts. Consumers are also most apt to like the following types of businesses:

  • Restaurants 86%
  • Retail 75%
  • Entertainment 65%
  • Travel 40%
  • Financial services 13%

This study also revealed that Twitter tends to attract entertainment-​related businesses. About 8 in 10 U.S. consumers follow those kinds of businesses using Twitter.

Janet Eden-​Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force, encourages more enterprises to use social media, noting “brands can mitigate the downside by pulling negative comments into a private conversation, and maximize the upside by giving consumers an easy way to engage.”

[Source: Companies Wield Comparable Social Media Influence to Friends. Marketforce​.com. 1 May 2012. Web. 15 May 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.