Unless you’ve spent the last ten years in a cave, you’re aware of social media and it’s impact. You may not be a fan or use Facebook, Twitter and the like, but it certainly has changed the way we communicate and interact. In marketing, social media can readily build or damage brands.
My friend Joan Treistman of The Treistman Group alerted me to an interesting piece of market research dealing with the importance of brand discussions on social media. I think it’s worth sharing.
A study sponsored by a company called Performics and reported in the Center for Media Research, indicates that 52% of those surveyed believe that voicing opinions on social networking sites can influence brand or company business decisions.
More importantly, the survey goes on to describe the influence of social media on consumers in various product categories. For example, nearly three quarters of respondents who purchase entertainment products discuss them on social networks.
The influence of social networks on alcohol is strong as well – 43% discuss purchases on social networks; 15% claim to have actually made a purchase as a result of social network content. The reasons for discussing alcohol beverages are based on brand loyalty (36%) to compare prices (25%) and to give advice (18%).
Most interesting of all, the reasons for following the alcohol beverage category, among half of the respondents, is that they are loyal customers of a particular brand.
I couldn’t find a single major brand of spirits that didn’t have a Facebook page created by the brand and/or consumers. But presence is not the same as impact. If you Google Top Facebook Pages and Why They’re Successful, you won’t find a booze brand but you will find Red Bull, Coca Cola and even Jones Soda.
Obviously the industry has to deal with audience age composition issues that may put it at a disadvantage versus other brands. But who said it was easy? It’s called creativity.