Social media marketing is a red hot topic amongst brand managers and ad agencies.
Is the attention and hype deserved?
Unequivocally yes. Here's why:
First, it's likely that at least 50% of consumer info on the internet about your brand originates from users. We've been reporting that user generated content (UGC) now accounts for more than 50% of all internet content and traffic.
At the brand level, we see similar results. We analyzed first page search results for 100 leading national brands, representing automotive, consumer products, health care, finance, retail, technology, and travel. We found that user generated results (forums, blogs, user review sites, etc) account for:
-- 63% of results for product name reviews
-- 59% of results for company/brand reviews
-- 26% of results for products overall
Second, consumers are strongly influenced by other consumers online. Data from recent studies indicate:
-- 84% say they are influenced by online feedback
-- Online feedback is second only to personal advice in terms of influence
-- Consumers are willing to pay an average of 20% more for better reviewed services
So, as many as 80% of your brand's potential new customers are influenced by social media. And that influence extends not only to the purchase decision, but pricing as well.
In our next post, we will begin to address the most effective ways we've seen for using social media.