Consumers Buy from Brands Whose Social Media Entertains and Informs, Finds New Survey by Boston Digital

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Majority Purchase From Brands They Follow on Social Channels

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65% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands they follow on social media. To get them to follow your company, make sure to connect with them on a personal level and treat social media as a two-way street.

Boston Digital, a leading digital marketing agency, today announced results of a new survey, “How Brands’ Social Media Impacts Consumers.” It found that consumers are drawn to, and will purchase from, brands that entertain and inform them via social media. It also showed that 65% of respondents are more likely to buy from brands they follow, and that irrelevant, boring or overwhelming amounts of social content will push followers away. This survey is the first in a series of Boston Digital studies focused on digital marketing practices, trends, and impacts.

“Many brands that use social media treat it like a corporate billboard instead of the informed, two-way street it needs to be. They talk at, instead of with, their audiences, and overwhelm them with promotional information,” said Peter Prodromou, president of Boston Digital. “As the survey implies, in order for social media to dramatically impact consumer loyalty and purchasing, companies must connect with target consumers on a personal level, understand what drives their behavior, and be strategic about how they interact. They must deliver a great, high-value customer experience. Otherwise, consumers will unfollow and brands will leave money on the table.”

Key learnings from Boston Digital’s social media survey, which was conducted with more than 500 consumers, include:

  • Social Media Done Right Boosts Consumer Purchasing

65% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a company they’ve followed for more than a month.
54% are very likely or extremely likely to look at a company’s social presence while researching a product.

  • Build Purchasing Incentives into Social Strategies

Promotions (51%), exclusive deals (49%), and informational content (47%) posted on social media make consumers more likely to purchase.

  • Hook Followers by Being Entertaining and Informative

The top reason consumers follow a brand on social media is for helpful information related to a hobby (26%), followed closely by product information (25%) and funny or interesting content (21%).

  • Retain Followers By Understanding Them

51% will unfollow a brand if its social media content isn’t relevant to them personally and 34% will walk away if content is boring.
Don’t overwhelm consumers. 31% will unfollow if a company posts too much content.
Perceptions count. 38% of consumers will unfollow a company if they don’t agree with its values.

  • Treat Social Media as a Two-Way Customer Service Channel

Consumers rely on social for customer service. 59% use it to reach out when they have questions about a product or service; 52% when they have problems with it.

A surprisingly high number of respondents – 42% – contact companies via social to provide positive feedback about their offerings. These consumers want to make a human connection with companies.
61% say it is very or extremely important to get a response from a brand after providing feedback on social media.

To see more survey results, read this "How Brands’ Social Media Impacts Consumers" ebook.

About Boston Digital
Boston Digital has been delivering transformative digital marketing for 20 years. We believe digital excellence starts with a world-class website and catches fire with brilliant digital marketing services. Boston Digital helps clients across the US in industries from consumer products and life sciences to higher education, financial services and high tech, find their Digital Mojo, connect their brand to the people who need it most, and boost their competitive edge.

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Janice Bedsole
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