Research into the buying habits of social media users is a decidedly up and down affair. One thing that has not changed (except in its gradual statistical increase) is the fact that in a self-poll, most users of Facebook and Twitter say they are more likely to a buy a brand they Fan/Follow.
That’s right. There is loyalty among social media users, to the point they will will be what they are interested in.
Does that make sense to you? It should. It’s as plain as the nose on your face. Why would a consumer become a Fan or a brand, or Follow a brand unless they were absolutely devoted to it? Surely they aren’t completely friendless people with no one else to Fan/Follow.
They are choosing to spotlight those brands because they are loyal to them and are not afraid to show their loyalty. Clearly they are also not afraid to take their loyalty one step further and make a purchase. And again and again they are willing to admit their preference for buying the brands they follow on social media. Which is something brand marketers should be paying attention to.
Early research on becoming a fan of brands on Facebook or a follower on Twitter indicated that social media users with brand connections were more loyal and more likely to say they would buy the brand’s products than average. Over the past year, those kinds of connections have become more common, and many brands have grown their fan pages and Twitter followings significantly.
Longitudinal data from ROI Research suggests that growth has not diluted the power of social media connections, which still have a link with customer loyalty.
In 2010, 32% of US social network users told the research firm they were at least somewhat more loyal to brands they were fans of on Facebook. This year, that percentage ticked up slightly, to 34%.
Similarly, 40% of respondents in 2010 said they were more loyal to brands they followed on Twitter, rising to 46% this year. There was also a significant drop in the number of users who disagreed with that claim, from 21% to 13%.
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