Why Social Media Is Important To A Brand And A Dealership
I am posting this as a follow up to Social Media an Oxymoron. As we continue to venture down this uncharted hi-way we need be sure that we separate Advertising from engagement and make sure that we allow the people who are supposed to be doing the engaging to do so easily and for us as marketers to participate where appropriate.
People Still Prefer Real-Life Recommendations to Online Reviews
Referring a product or service is not a new idea, it’s been around as long as people have—but is the way people make recommendations changing with the times? Despite increased online activity, real-life referrals are still more influential to consumers than those received online, according to a new study by Mintel. 34% of American consumers bought a product or service based on a recommendation from a friend or relative, while 25% bought based upon a recommendation from their spouse or partner.
In contrast, only 5% bought a product based on a referral based on what a blogger had to say about it. The number was the same for a recommendation from a chat room. It’s interesting, but not surprising to find that as much time spent online, users still prefer a personal recommendation from someone we know and trust. Young adults are somewhat more likely to turn to the internet for advice and referrals, but even they listen to their peers first.
Most people base a recommendation on price and convenience. This is especially true in the current economic climate, where shoppers are increasingly intent upon finding deals. More than 64% of respondents say that price drives them to recommend a product or service, while quality (55%) and convenience (33%) rate second and third.
Asian and Hispanic are considerably more likely to recommend a product they saw advertised. Asians (14%) and Hispanics (10%) are also more likely to report being influenced by bloggers to purchase a specific product or service. While the study confirms the importance of personal word-of-mouth, it does not negate the importance of online reviews in the purchase-research process, especially during the economic downturn. Other research has shown that shoppers are increasing their due diligence by looking at online reviews, and that nine in 10 shoppers steer clear of e-tailers with bad reviews. The sheer number of people that purchase based on recommendations proves marketers still need to pay attention to word of mouth. Social Media is making it easier for businesses to lose control of their marketing messages, so companies need to carefully monitor and respond to consumer conversations about their brands.