22 August 2013

Social doesn’t always mean sales as traditional media tops buying behaviour poll

Despite the power of social, traditional media still has more influence on what we buy than information sourced on social media. In fact, research from Kaizo pr and digital communications looking at consumer electronics buying behaviour, suggests that reviews websites are four times more influential than Facebook in helping us choose what to buy.

Rating different information sources, almost half (44%) of consumers said reviews websites helped them decide what to buy, compared to only one in ten (12%) who are influenced by content on Facebook and 5% by content on Twitter. 21% people said news stories in traditional media affect what they buy.

Social does have a valuable role to play for some however as, although a third of people on Facebook never Like a brand (32%), a quarter (22%) of us interact with a brand once a month or more on the social network, with the most active group being 25-34 year olds (33%). Eight % of people tweet about a brand once a month or more.

Rhodri Harries, managing director of Kaizo, said:

“We wanted to find out more about the part that social plays in a consumer’s decision to buy. Brands that look at numbers of Likes and expect that to correlate directly to sales aren’t getting the full picture – recent investigations into click farms show just how meaningless Likes can sometimes be.”

“What really works is when brands use Facebook to interact with people who already have a relationship with them and create opportunities for their community to reach out to others – usually not even online.”

“It’s important to remember that most of what we share on social media is opinion and news from traditional media. Every company’s PR strategy needs an integrated multi-channel approach which understands how ‘traditional’ media relations feeds into social.”

When it comes to what will disengage an audience, top turn-offs for consumers on Facebook who have Liked a company are too many promotional posts (45%) or too many posts in general, clogging up their news feed (37%).

Specifically looking at consumer technology brands, consumers are surprisingly more interested in news about PCs and laptops than about mobile phone brands, cameras or smartphones. Only a quarter of people (26%) are interested in hearing news from mobile phone brands; compared to half, who are interested in hearing about PCs/laptops (50%). Just over a third of people (36%) are interested in news about smartphones, and 30% about cameras.

However, consumers are almost 50% more likely to have ‘Liked’ a smartphone brand on Facebook, than a PC or laptop brand.

The survey was conducted in June 2013 with 1,453 UK respondents, aged 16 or over.