Leading edge marketers may like to believe that consumers are learning about new brands through social media. But new research shows that’s not always the case. Further, consumers only occasionally mention brands in their social media posts.
The findings from AYTM Market Research released late last year show that over half, 57.8%, of Facebook users are not mentioning brands in their status updates. While marketers may have hoped for better numbers, they can take comfort in knowing that consumers aren’t using social media to bash brands either. Only a small set of Facebook users, 0.5%, make negative brand comments. Slightly more Twitter users, 61.3%, do not tweet about brands. And only 0.4% make negative brand comments on Twitter.
While marketers may expect that consumers are largely hearing about new brands on social media, AYTM research suggests otherwise. Here are the percentages of consumers who say that they most frequently or often hear about new brands, products and services through the following media channels:
- TV, radio, offline print 50.9%
- Word of mouth from friends and family 48.9%
- At physical stores 32.8%
- Online media new sites, blogs 32.6%
- Online advertising 30.8%
- Online shopping sites such as Amazon 30.4%
- Social media 24.1%
It’s not likely that marketers will give up on their efforts to promote brands through social media. As more consumers use the channel, brand promotion through social media will probably increase. If not, marketers will find ways to use this channel to improve their communication with consumers.[Source: Brands and You in the Digital Age. AYTM Market Research. Dec. 2011. Web. 23 Jan. 2012 (emarketer.com)]