Like it or not, companies need a social network presence to build sales. The growing reality is that shoppers use social networking connections with friends to get opinions and feedback, but use company connections to get ideas on where to shop and what to buy.
The newest study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America, conducted by The Integer Group http://www.integer.com/ , found the importance of this presence. On the social web, absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder; it makes a company disappear. Without a social presence, especially on Facebook and Twitter, shoppers may never figure out why they should interact with that company.
Brands and stores on the social web learn what customers are really saying and what they really want. Essentially they get a real-time customer service response unit through the feedback they get. And the results are dramatic: when shoppers get a response on Twitter they become 60%-65% more likely to follow that brand and make a purchase.
New York University found a positive relationship between word-of-mouth communication on the social web and in-store traffic that is greater than paid advertising. More findings from this new study on the importance of social networking and the information companies need to build their own strategy can be found at www.ccrrc.org.
Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America