The latest installment of a series of reports on the impact of social media, conducted by ROI Research Inc. and sponsored by Performics, examines how consumers use social networking sites to get advice on what to purchase; how they give advice on companies and products, and whether they post content specific to various industries.
According to the survey, the most highly discussed verticals on social networks were automotive (61 percent), travel (60 percent) and entertainment (57 percent). When it comes to social networkers seeking or sharing recommendations on local retailers, however, home furnishings led all categories, including automotive.
Other highlights of the study include the following:
• 56 percent of respondents are fans of appliance brands or retailers on Facebook
• 49 percent of respondents most often use social networking sites to seek advice on electronics purchases
• 49 percent of respondents discuss apparel on social networking sites to compare prices
• 49 percent of respondents follow automotive brands or retailers on Twitter
• 38 percent of respondents most often use social networking sites to give advice about financial services and home furnishings companies or products
• 26 percent are likely to make an automotive purchase as a result of a recommendation someone posted on a social networking site (higher than any other vertical)
• 23 percent of respondents follow at least one travel company on either Facebook or Twitter
The results were compiled over 2009 and 2010, and seem to confirm social media’s heavy impact on the retail landscape. While marketers remained unconvinced until relatively recently, the fact that businesses are increasing their advertising spends on Facebook by up to 20 times more than last year’s amounts is a clear indication that the doubt has subsided.