Among social networkers who engage with brands on social media, 41% say they typically discover or find out about new products, brands or services by seeing ads on social networks. That’s according to results from a commissioned study [download page] conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Wildfire, which found social ads to be a more common discovery source for these social networkers than online search (34%), email ads (31%), and online videos (22%), among other online sources. (TV ranks as the top offline source by which online Americans discovering new brands, according to separate Forrester research cited in the study, a finding that aligns with separate research from Ipsos.)
Meanwhile, so-called “social media brand engagers” often leverage social media when researching purchases. 37% say they turn to social media when researching brands, products or services they are considering buying or using, putting social slightly behind search engines (40%) for research, but ahead of retailer websites (33%), manufacturer or brand websites (27%), and consumer review websites (27%).
The study results suggest that brand engagers also use social to keep in touch with brands. Asked which of a list of ways they keep in touch with brands tat they like or that they purchase or use regularly, 55% said they visit their websites, and 52% their branded social networking page. Roughly 4 in 10 say they become a fan or follower of the brand on social networks, while 36% receive the brand’s emails.
Survey results from Ipsos indicate that almost half of Americans engage with brands on social networks, and that close to two-thirds of young Americans stay updated on brands and products via social.
About the Data: The data is derived from a survey of 1,684 social networkers who do engage with brands in social media. Respondents were offered an incentive as a thank you for time spent on the survey. The study began in May 2013 and was completed in June 2013.