How Social Media and User Generated Content Drive Sales
It can be tempting to only interact on social media by posting meticulously crafted marketing messages. However, user-generated content tends to lead to better engagement, and engenders brand trust among consumers. An infographic from Social Media Link shows how impactful online reviews can be in the early stages of the purchase pipeline.
Social media can be instrumental in driving awareness. At least once a month, 83 percent of survey respondents heard about a brand or product on social media before they heard about it from any other source. Retail websites and Facebook were the favored destinations for brand discovery with brand websites, YouTube, and blogs, being frequented by more than 40 percent of respondents.
During the research phase, respondents most sought out friends and family recommendations. After that, 55 percent sought reviews, 46 percent sought professional recommendations and 35 percent sought blogger recommendations. Only 26 percent looked for feature advertisements. However, survey respondents did report first looking to retail and brand websites when searching for information, so including reviews on your site could engender a lot of trust near the start of the process.
User trust in reviews is high across most product categories 69 percent of respondents trust apparel reviews, household goods reviews, and personal care item reviews. More than 50 percent of respondents trust reviews even on healthcare products, food and grocery, and children’s products.
Perhaps the most important question then, is how to motivate users into sharing reviews? Good customer service is the most impactful, with 87 percent of survey respondents listing that as a primary motivation for leaving a review. 72 percent post after receiving a free product, 57 percent post when they have a coupon or discount to share, and 49 percent share when they receive a special offer. Beware of bad customer service: 60 percent post reviews in the event of a negative experience.
To see more detailed statistics on the impact of brand sponsored reviews, and what makes one review more influential than another, view the infographic below.
Originally published at www.adweek.com on November 9, 2015.