Social media followers prove valuable

03 April 2012

LONDON: Consumers who choose to follow brands on Facebook and Twitter are more likely to purchase and recommend these products, a report has shown.

ExactTarget, the email marketing services provider, surveyed 1,404 internet users in the country, and found that 95% of the panel had opted to engage with a company via the web.

In all, 45% of respondents had "liked" a product or its parent on Facebook. Some 24% of this group were more likely to do business with the firm or brand concerned, and 28% cited a similar improvement in terms of recommendations.

Looking to Twitter, 7% of the sample had "followed" corporate accounts on the microblog, with scores for potential to buy and recommend rising by 32% and 40% respectively.

When discussing email, 21% of contributors concurred that there was a higher probability of their buying something from a firm if they signed up to an official distribution list, coming in at 19% for spreading positive word of mouth.

Accessing discounts and money-off promotions was the main reason to connect with brands on the web, ahead of receiving free gifts or other such benefits in return for doing so.

The fact participants regularly made purchases from the operator in question and staying up to date with the latest product news came next on this metric.

More broadly, 46% of those polled had acquired specific goods as a result of receiving a marketing email, standing at 40% for direct mail and 37% for online voucher websites.

Phones calls from companies and text messages both logged 12% here, beating the 10% registered by material seen on Facebook, 7% for location-based services and 4% for posts on Twitter.

Upon being asked what type of web user they were, 48% of interviewees agreed they typically interacted with friends and family, 43% defined themselves as "shoppers", 33% assumed the status of "deal seekers" and 29% were "information consumers".

Tim Kopp, ExactTarget's chief marketing officer, said: "UK consumers expect more from brands than ever before as they turn to email, Facebook and Twitter for exclusive content, special offers and unique experiences.

"Agile marketers who can drive interaction across online channels and build consumer engagement have a clear advantage."

Data sourced from ExactTarget; additional content by Warc staff