As reported by The Drum, a new study by the Internet Advertising Bureau has found that an overwhelming majority of consumers (90%) would recommend a brand to others after having interacted with the brand on social media. Social media was found to drive return on investment through driving brand sentiment, consumer engagement and brand loyalty.
The Extent of Influence
The study focused on FMCG brands Heinz, Kettle and Twinings. Over 4,500 survey responses on the brands’ social media pages were collected over a two-month period, which were supplemented by 800 additional interviews. Results showed that over 80% of consumers would be more strongly inclined towards buying a brand after having been exposed to their social media profiles, and 83% would be happy to try the product in this case. The uplift in sentiment for each brand was measured as between 17% - 22%, leading the IAB to estimate £3.34 generated for every £1 spent on social media.
Forming the Connection
Ian Ralph, the director of marketing science who conducted the study stated, “our research shows that to create an emotional connection brands really need to provide clear, timely and, most important of all, relevant content that develop a conversation… Social media has the potential to turn brand customers into brand fans. By making people love, not just like your brand, you’re more likely to drive future purchases and increase sales.”
This study reaffirms that social media is an essential component of digital marketing, as it allows consumers to build a relationship with a brand, attributing it a personality following interaction and engagement. This is particularly important for destination and tourism organisations, as the tourism industry is all about forming such relationships and inspiring its consumers by tapping into their preferences and personalities. Hence reaching out on social media and forming meaningful interactions with consumers is a key activity for destination marketers to get into, and has great potential for ROI.
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