Brands which are successfully engaging consumers via social media are cashing in on sales and clicks, while those that aren’t risk being left out in the cold, according to research from MySpace and i-Level.
The study looks into the results of digital marketing effectiveness and online brand behaviour and reveals that a third (32%) of social network users are likely to click through to a website and purchase services.
Four in ten (40%) said that remembered an advertiser on the high street after engaging with its social network profile, the potential revenue benefits are clear.
The report also reveals that social media is becoming a cost effective and essential part of the marketing toolkit for forward thinking brands.
The research, conducted by The Future Laboratory using a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods, was commissioned by MySpace and Jam to help brands use Web 2.0 more effectively.
Key findings of the ‘Ad to Friends’ report also include:
· The opportunities and challenges of the ever evolving social web
· Tips and Tricks – the rules of positive engagement
· How online social networks are evolving
Consumers are spending more of their lives online and actively seeking out new products and information while they do so; almost a quarter (23%) of users surveyed spend up to 30 minutes a day on social networks, one in seven (14%) up to five hours.
According to the report, a fifth of people actually look for ways to find out what
an advertiser has to offer via its social networking profile – making it a perfect place to create brand buzz and word of mouth.
Furthermore, a quarter of users enjoy a brand being inside their network as it’s a convenient way to find out about new offers before others do and be invited to exclusive events.
Alex Miller, head of Jam, said, “Social media quite simply allows a brand to create a dialogue with its consumers in a way that’s not been possible before. Savvy users now expect a particular level of interaction from brands and with 22% saying they are likely to spend more money with an advertiser if they engage or befriend it on a social network, there are clear business benefits to be had.”
The top five rules of positive engagement are:
1. Give consumers freebies – reward loyalty and give them access
to something they can’t get without you
2. Have an exciting and attractive profile
3. Be transparent about the product or service being sold – be
honest and trustworthy
4. Make people laugh and entertain
5. Show good manners
The report also shows how engaged the users are by commenting about experiences they’ve had with an advertiser:
· 34% of users do so by instant message
· 28% post comments on chat rooms and forums
· 24% text their friends
· 20% give an advertiser’s space or profile a good ranking
· 18% write or upload content about the brand on their blog or
Nick Reid, head of sales at MySpace UK, said, “MySpace has a rich history in creating innovative and relevant advertising solutions for brands, we hope that with this research we can further develop that dialogue and help brands to maximize the return on their social media investment.
“This report tells us that social networks have become more dynamic and engaging spaces. They have also become a place where users actively seek out what advertisers have to offer and as a result a new breed of brand ambassador has been born.”
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