Facebook Still Top Social Site for Sharing Product Info - eMarketer

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Facebook Still Top Social Site for Sharing Product Info

Six in 10 Facebook users alerted their networks to products

December 27, 2012

The closing of several Facebook stores earlier this year by major brands including JCPenney, Nordstrom and GameStop was enough to get some brands to push the pause button on excitement surrounding fcommerce. But brands can still get substantial benefits from firmly planting their flag in the Facebook social media space, as long as they understand the desires—and probable actions—of their followers.

A July 2012 survey of Facebook users in the US by social commerce service provider 8thBridge found that while a substantial number of respondents did not share info about products at all on social media, those who did were heavily predisposed to doing so on Facebook. In fact, 63% said they used Facebook to alert their friends and family to products, compared to 25% who did the same on Twitter. Clearly, the results in this case are heavily weighted toward Facebook, as the sample drew solely from Facebook users, but the data does demonstrate that a majority of those on the social network are willing to create awareness of products.

Social Networks on Which US Facebook Users Share Products, July 2012 (% of respondents)

The most popular motivation for those sharing products on social media was users’ desire to share their personal tastes with their networks, cited by 38% of respondents. That was followed by a desire to share a product or experience that made a user happy (35%) and then by receipt of a discount or reward (30%). Interestingly, users were less interested in any remuneration they might receive from a brand than they were in personal expression when sharing products.

Reasons US Facebook Users Share Products via Social Media, July 2012 (% of respondents)

Still, however much some users may enjoy recommending products on Facebook, the effect of a “like” of a product was limited, with only 36% saying that seeing more “likes” would increase the likelihood that they would purchase the product.

A September 2011 poll of Facebook users by eVoc Insights found similarly mixed effects to the practice of “liking” brand pages. eVoc’s survey found that only 54% of users who had “liked” a page were at least somewhat more likely to make a purchase from the related brand, underscoring the tenuous relationship between “likes” and customer loyalty.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Verticals Ramp Up Year-Over-Year Mobile Ad Spending in Q3” and “In Sweden, In-Store Mobile Payments Lag.”


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