RISMedia, June 9, 2011—Performics, the performance marketing agency owned by Publicis Groupe, recently released results from “S-Net (The Impact of Social Media),” a report from ROI Research Inc. According to the survey of 2,997 active social networkers, 59 percent of respondents said it is important to have a LinkedIn account, more than any other social network.
Furthermore, of the study respondents with an active LinkedIn account, 50 percent visit the site at least weekly and 20 percent visit the site at least daily. While this new social media study shows the frequency of LinkedIn visits decreasing since the height of the recession in 2010 (67 percent weekly and 22 percent daily visits), the percentage of people who deem LinkedIn the most important social networking site jumped dramatically from 41 percent last year to 59 percent this year.
“We may not necessarily be in a double-dip recession but, individuals have embraced social networking as a means to actively manage their personal visibility in the global economy,” says Daina Middleton, CEO of Performics.
“Factors including LinkedIn’s recent IPO announcement, the May uptick in national unemployment and signs of a slowed market certainly contribute to LinkedIn’s attractiveness among social networkers.”
The study also reveals how technology combined with social networks have changed the way people behave, and how companies and brands can capitalize on new social media marketing opportunities. It specifically inquired about the purchase process for different types of products and in relation to other media channels. Some of the most astounding findings of the study include:
• People recommend companies and buy products they follow: among active Twitter users who follow at least one company, 59 percent are more likely to recommend a company they follow, and 58 percent are more likely to buy a product they follow
• Comparison shopping is prevalent: 59 percent use social networks to compare prices; 56 percent do so to talk about sales or specials
• People are split about getting and giving advice: Half of respondents use social networks to give (50 percent) and get (50 percent) advice about products/services, companies or brands on social networking sites
• Personal referrals wield power: 60 percent are at least somewhat likely to take action when a friend posts something about a product/service, company or brand
“The most effective marketers continue to adopt performance marketing strategies that engage ‘participants’ in every channel of their media mix—across platforms, devices and screens,” adds Middleton. “In this day and age, ‘participants’ is a much more accurate description for brand constituents than consumers, as they are actively dictating what, where and how they interact with any company or product. Nowhere is this more prevalent than with social media, so brands that cede some control to embrace this reality have tremendous opportunities to succeed.”
The study’s findings related to brand and company interaction illustrate this power shift:
• Fifty-three percent frequently or occasionally use social networks to provide feedback to a brand or retailer
• Fifty-two percent agreed that people can influence business decisions made by companies, brands and retailers by voicing opinions on social networking sites
• Thirty-four percent reported that interacting with a brand or company on social networks made them more aware of their eco-friendly efforts
“The best part about this fundamental power shift is how it motivates people to interact with the brands and companies they follow. Active social networkers report a desire for regular interaction with them,” says Scott Haiges, president of ROI Research. “In fact, 53 percent said products, services or companies should communicate with fans on social networking sites at least once per week.”
Performics and ROI Research this summer will release “vertical reports” that highlight findings specific to various industries including apparel, automotive, entertainment, financial services, travel and others. The vertical reports will benchmark how people use social networking sites to get advice on what to purchase, how they give advice on companies/products through social networks and their likelihood to post vertical specific content.