Most Brand Conversations Still Happen Offline, But Social W-O-M Rising

October 10, 2013

COLLOQUY-Channels-Used-to-Discuss-Products-and-Services-Oct2013Among consumers who sometimes or always recommend brands to others, sharing information face-to-face (80%) remains by far the most popular method of doing so, far ahead of email (51%) and social networks (39%), per results from a study. Still, recommendations appear to be slowly moving online: the proportion using face-to-face conversations has gradually while those using social networks have edged up by 4% points since 2010. One group appears to be leading the charge.

The study identifies a subset of consumers dubbed “WOM Champions” – those who are highly likely to recommend their favorite brands and who are also well-connected and communicative – comprising 28% of the general population. Among WOM Champions who are also loyalty program members, 60% are using social networking platforms to discuss products and services, up from 48% in 2010. Half also use mobile messaging to discuss brands.

On which social networks can these WOM champions be found? According to the study, although Facebook is predictably the most commonly used site (by 66%), Twitter (29%), Google+ (25%), Pinterest (21%) and Instagram (16%) are also used by a significant proportion.

Other Findings:

  • 40% of young adults are WOM Champions, as are 38% of core women and 37% of Hispanics.
  • Almost 3 in 4 young respondents find it acceptable for brands to communicate with customers over social media.
  • Across a range of social media behaviors, the general population sample rated “surprising you from time to time with exclusive perks” as their most appealing, and “tracking your location by mobile device to offer you deals” as their least appealing.

About the Data: The 2013 Social Word-of-Mouth Study was performed in June 2013 by the polling firm Toluna in the United States. The survey was conducted among a representative general population group and five other seg-ments, namely, affluent consumers, young adults, seniors, core women and Hispanic demographics. Data is based on responses from 2980 U.S. survey participants.

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