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Social Media: Bigger, Faster, and Even More Influential

February 19, 2013

February 19, 2013

Social Media: Bigger, Faster, and Even More Influential

Happy Social Media Week!

The importance of social media for marketers cannot be overstated. Brand identity, consumer engagement, virtual crowdsourcing, increased exposure… the list goes on. Now, new research points to two new areas of importance in the social media toolbox:  consumer perception and behavior, and real-time data sourcing.

A new study from J.D. Power and Associates measured consumer experience in relation to social media marketing and social servicing (customer care). What they found was that very few companies do both equally well, and a strong “correlation between a company’s overall social communications and a consumer’s likelihood to purchase and overall perception of the company.” In a similar Nielsen report entitled, “Digital Influence: How the Internet Affects New Product Purchase Decisions,” researchers studied the degree to which consumers’ buying behavior was affected by information online, including that found in social platforms. The study reports that “U.S. respondents say the Internet is very/somewhat important when making a new product purchase decision for electronics (73%), appliances (63%), cars/auto (62%) and music (59%).” As consumers decide what to buy, they look to educate themselves, and the internet is where they turn. And one of the most powerful influencers they encounter is word-of-mouth from their own friends on social media.

According to a new report by eMarketer entitled, “Meeting the Need for Speed: How Social Analytics Support Real-Time Marketing,” 53% of marketers plan on increased use of real-time data in marketing campaigns. While agile, real-time social media responses (such as Oreo’s clever and practically instantaneous Superbowl blackout tweet) have already become an important part of the new advertising paradigm, brands are increasingly utilizing social analytics and real-time social data as well. The faster a company can track and organize this data, the faster they can tailor their business strategy to exactly what consumers want.