Power to the People: 52% of Consumers Believe They Can Use Social Media to Influence Brands

Consumers Use Social Media to Influence BrandsPerformance marketing agency Performics recently released a report about the interactions between consumers and brands on social networks, and the impact that social media conversations can have on brands.

The social media study found that 52% of respondents strongly or somewhat agree that voicing opinions on social networking sites can influence the business decisions of companies/brands.  And 31% purchase more from companies/brands that they like or follow on social networks than from those they do not.

Brands Influenced by Opinions on Social NetworksThe study, titled “S-Net, The Impact of Social Media,” highlights 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.  The respondents surveyed used social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Additional highlights from the report:

  • educational institutions (79%), sports (79%) and entertainment (74%) topped the list of most discussed categories on social networking sites
  • the majority of respondents discuss brands/products on social networking sites to compare prices (59%), to talk about sales/specials (56%) or to provide feedback to brands (53%)
  • respondents who purchase household (29%), telecommunications (28%) and healthcare/pharma (28%) products were more likely to voice their complaints via a social networking site
  • 26% think brands should communicate with their fans/followers once per week on social media; 28% think it should be once per month

Some industry-specific results:

  • 53% follow travel companies/brands on social networking sites for coupons/discounts
  • 43% follow electronics companies on social networking sites for offers to win points or online currency redeemable for products
  • 42% discuss automobiles on social networking sites to compare prices
  • 32% have made a sports-related product purchase as a result of seeing something posted on a social network

Based on the study results, Performics recommends that marketers respond to the specific customer desires for brand interaction in their category/industry, concentrate their efforts on the “most relevant and appropriate” social networks, and engage in social media monitoring.

The study was based on a 30-minute online survey used to collect information from 2,997 U.S. respondents, who access at least one social network weekly. To qualify for a category section, respondents had to make at least one purchase in the designated category in the past six months.