From yesterday’s Wall Street Journal…
Consumers are spending more time online to communicate with friends, read the news and browse items they’re interested in buying. But marketers are still struggling to find the most effective way to cozy up to a consumer via social media.
According to new shopper marketing research from WPP Geometry Global, 40% of Internet users across the world don’t see any point in “friending” a brand online. In the U.S. and the U.K., that figure rises to 55% and 63%, respectively. In emerging markets, consumers were more open to it. In India, by contrast, that figure is 31%. The study was based on more than 9,000 interviews with Internet users above the age of 15 in a dozen countries.
Still, while consumers may not want to friend a brand just for the sake of doing so, there’s evidence that they want to engage with a brand online so long as they get something out of it. For example, the majority of shoppers in the study said they are open to receiving an ad or promotion from a brand on their mobile device that’s tied to their location.
About half of respondents in the study said they are interested in brands sharing other users’ brand or product experiences with them and 42% said they want brands to help them make better product choices. About a quarter of the study’s respondents check product reviews in social networks on their mobile phones.
According to Geometry, which was formed last year from the merger of WPP units G2, OgilvyAction and JWTAction, 40% of respondents in the study said it was important for them that brands let them choose how and when to communicate with them. More than half of consumers want to interact with brands to solve service issues and 37% want brands to respond to their comments and feedback, whether positive or negative.
“There is not a real rejection of brands using social channels to communicate with [consumers],” said Cesar Montes, Geometry’s chief strategy officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “The rejection is about brands using social as if they were my friends in the typical way that Facebook users would use [social].”
This article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal.
Facebook isn’t just about advertising. Companies, and specifically, small businesses, are using the platform to boost sales for their own businesses, and build brand awareness for Small Business Saturday, as they seek to cash in on the holiday shopping season.
In an email, Facebook noted that mentions related to Small Business Saturday were up 1,200% on Nov. 30, compared to the week prior. That’s impressive, but Facebook’s new initiative, hashtagging, may actually prove to be more fruitful for small businesses in the long run.
The hashtag #smallbusinesssaturday saw a 2,300% jump over the daily average in the week leading up to SBS. Facebook recently incorporated hashtagging into its platform, similar to what Twitter already has. Other hashtags, including #shopsmall and shop small, saw huge increases in mentions on Facebook, up 900% and 550%, respectively.
Buzz came from around the country as well, allowing small businesses throughout the country to benefit from the new shopping holiday. The top five locations talking about SBS on Facebook were California, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Illinois. These are some of the wealthier states in the nation, which allows Facebook to demonstrate the power of its social network.
This allows the Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook to keep track of these kinds of statistics, and allow advertisers, and its 25 million small businesses, to more accurately measure return on investment. Given that Facebook generates the far majority of its revenue from advertising, anything it can do to help advertisers is a windfall for Facebook.
In the third-quarter, Facebook generated $2.02 billion in revenue, with $1.8 billion coming from advertising. Of that $1.8 billion in advertising revenue, mobile revenue accounted for 49% of that, equating to $881 million.
Small Business Saturday was primarily a female driven event, with four of the top five demographics being women. Given that females generally control the purchasing power in households, this is a welcome sign for both small businesses, and Facebook. It’s one thing to advertise on a platform, be it on social networks, television or radio. It’s another for the advertising to actually generate revenue for the company doing the advertising.
This article origianly appeared on Nasdaq.com
Read more here.