African-Americans warm to social brands

26 March 2012

NEW YORK: Engagement with social media and online brand recommendations are highly popular among African-American web users, multicultural marketing agency UniWorld Group (UWG) has said.

MediaPost reports that the vast majority (95%) of the community has performed some kind of online research – such as looking at reviews and comments on brands – prior to making a purchase, according to a new report from UWG.

The study also indicated that mobile brand activity, including comparing prices while in stores and using discount coupons, has also gained significant traction.

UWG conducted its survey, which involved collecting data from just over 2,000 consumers, in collaboration with One Solution, a market research firm.

Latha Sarathy, VP for insights and analytics at Interactive One, said that the survey, which represents the first time the firms have conducted research looking exclusively at African-American consumers' brand habits, will provide insights on a community historically under-served by marketers.

"Compared to other ethnic groups, this audience segment does not have the same volume of consumer research," she added. "We're hoping to change that."

The UWG/Interactive One report laid bare significant gender and age differences in the way the community interacts with brands online.

According to the results, younger African-American men are proportionally most likely of all cohorts to pick up on brand recommendations distributed by companies and friends on social media platforms, as well as offering Facebook and Twitter recommendations themselves.

By contrast, women are more likely to interact with brands directly, by performing actions such as Liking a company's official Facebook profile, in order to gain access to promotions.

Data sourced from MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff