Many social site users make good use of the voice that the medium provides them to talk about brands, products and services. An April 2010 study by ROI Research commissioned by Performics found that, at least once a week, 33% of active Twitter users share opinions about companies or products, while 32% make recommendations and 30% ask for them.
Marketers using social media have tried to foster this type of earned media and other brand interactions, but a comparison of the study results with previous research, from October 2009, shows little change in consumers’ brand-oriented behavior.
On Twitter, significant percentages of users who had connected with a brand would recommend, discuss or purchase from the company, but those numbers inched slightly downward over six months.
On Facebook, users had similarly static opinions on the usefulness of social media to connect with brands. A healthy percentage were interested, but the practice did not become more important between October 2009 and April 2010.
“Social networking has greatly contributed to the shift from strict consumerism to more lively, two-way participation between brands and everyday customers,” said Daina Middleton, CEO of Performics, in a statement. “It’s a groundswell of technology-enabled word-of-mouth, and many of the brands involved in these active discussions are effectively satisfying their fans.”
Other consumers are content on the sidelines, using social sites primarily to connect with friends and family. Word-of-mouth opportunities still exist to reach them through those connections, even if they are not talking about brands.
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