Social network users are most likely to trust product and service information provided by other consumers, according to data released in October 2011 by NMIncite and The Nielsen Company. Sixty-three percent say consumer ratings are a preferred source for product information, while 62% say consumer reviews are a preferred source.
Company websites come in a distant third, preferred by 50% of social network users for product and service information. Call center (47%) and email (45%) closely follow. Interestingly, company Facebook page (15%) and company Twitter (7%) are among the least preferred product information sources.
SocNet Users Give Credit for Positive Experiences
When asked why they share company experiences, a leading six in 10 (61%) social network users say it is to give recognition for a job well done. However, social network users also do not hesitate to spread negative brand news, as almost the same percentage (58%) seek to protect others, and 25% will do so to punish a company.
Other popular reasons to share company experiences include learning more about a product (53%), discount (41%) and getting a company to reach out (32%).
SocNets Educate Consumers about Brands
Six in 10 (605) of consumers researching products through multiple online sources learned about a specific brand or retailer through social networking sites. Active social media users are more likely to read product reviews online, and three out of five create their own reviews of products and services. Women are more likely than men to tell others about products that they like (81% of females compared to 72% of males).
18-34 SocNet Users Display Specific Behaviors
Social network users age 18-34 display some specific online consumer behaviors. For example, 42% of 18-to-34-year-olds acknowledging that they expect customer support within 12 hours of a complaint, while 60% of 18-to-34-year-olds say they want to give product improvement recommendations, and another 64% say they want to customize their products.
Buddy Media: ‘Dollars Off’ Best Keyword
The keyword “dollars off” in a retail offer-related Facebook post provides the highest user engagement out of 10 popular choices, according to a September 2011 report from Buddy Media indicating retail offer-related posts including “dollars off” receive a 55% higher than average engagement, followed by posts containing “coupon,” which have engagement 39% above average. Interestingly, the popular keyword “sale” has an engagement rate close to 30% below average, while the keywords “save,” “deal,” “% off” and “bargain” also have lower-than-average engagement rates.