If you want to reach an engaged audience who will associate well with your brand you need to understand and implement social media strategies. A new study has found that 45% of social network users have interacted with their favorite brands through various social networks over the last three months.
The study also found that 7% of users admit to following at least one brand on Twitter and 7% claim to have left positive feedback on the company’s social profiles.
Conducted by Forrester Research, the study included 58,068 US and 5,635 Canadian adults ages 18 to 88 from April and May.
The study did find that younger audiences were more likely to engage. For example 56% oft he 18 to 23 crowd admitting to Facebook liking, following or becoming a fan of a certain brand, company or product. In 2011 only 41% of respondents provided the same answer. The study also found that consumers 68 and above have also took to social networking, “Liking” three brands on Facebook on average.
According to the study the average Facebook user “Likes” nine brands.
While brand interaction, when positive, is a great way to generate buzz about a brand, many company’s have found little influence over sales decisions. An IBM study following Black Friday found that Twitter generated 0% of overall sales during the most popular shopping day of the year. Of course direct referral sales did not take into consideration word of mouth discussions on the social network. which likely led to outside sales.
There is some industry debate about the relationship between consumer interaction with brands in social media and sales. IBM, for instance, found that Twitter generated zero sales on Black Friday. Proponents of social media marketing — including Twitter itself — have argued that IBM’s methodology is flawed. IBM looked at direct referrals — the site before a transaction — in its study.
Elsewhere, Forrester’s findings weren’t that surprising: Tablet adoption has more than doubled since 2011, for instance and the younger the consumer, the more likely he or she is to be online and engaging in social networks. The study notes that “with 71% of US online adults accessing social networking sites at least monthly, social media is also a normal part of everyday life.”