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BizReport : Social Marketing : June 04, 2010

Social media used to broadcast brand, product preferences

Not only are people using social media to say "hey, look what I'm doing right now" or "here's where I'm going next week", they're also using it to tell others exactly how they feel about brands and products.

by Helen Leggatt

harris interactive logo.jpgA recent Harris Poll of over 2,000 U.S. adults found that 34% have used social media to air their displeasure or satisfaction about a company, product or brand.

While not as popular an activity as, say, posting statuses about their life (43%), current activity (36%) or places they were going (31%), nonetheless just under a quarter (23%) were talking about brands, products and companies they liked.

It's interesting to note that slightly more (26%) were using social media to vent their dissatisfaction - proof that negative word of mouth often travels faster and in greater doses than positive.

But why do people bother to broadcast their brand and product likes and dislikes? Nearly two in five adults (38%) said that by commenting on brands and products via social media their aim was to influence others. Among 18 to 34 year olds this number was higher at 45%. Social media is an environment in which nearly half (46%) felt they could be brutally honest.

Earlier this year, marketing research firm Morpace released their March Retail Omnibus Study "Facebook's Impact on Retailers". The survey of 1,000 Facebook users found that people's number one reason to "Like" a brand or product, quoted by 41%, was they want friends to see which products or brands they support.

And it appears to work. Over two-thirds (68%) of users in Morpace's survey said they would be more likely to visit, or make a purchase from, a retailer if it had been recommended, or "Liked", by a Facebook friend.

Tags: consumer behavior, Facebook, social media, word of mouth

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