Consumers Open to Marketing Messages on Social Media Sites

Performics study examining 3,000 consumers’ use, response to social media being unveiled at ad:tech New York

The survey of more than 3,000 U.S. consumers comprised 100+ questions to determine how various segments of consumers use social networks in their daily lives, specifically in regard to finding out about different types of products and in relation to other media channels. The study found that marketers who embrace the medium and communicate relevant messages in consumers’ language and on their terms could gain customers and grow sales.

According to the study, consumers are willing to engage with – and buy from – brands on social networking sites. In fact:

  • Thirty-four percent of respondents have used a search engine to find information on a product/service/brand after seeing an advertisement on a social networking site

  • Thirty percent of respondents have learned about a new product, service or brand from a social networking site

  • Thirty-two percent or respondents said messages about printable coupons on social sites resonate with them

  • Twenty-eight percent of respondents said messages about sales or special deal notifications resonate with them


Many marketers have previously shied away from direct branding or selling on social media sites for fear of alienating consumers. However, marketers need to keep tabs on consumer behavior as social networks continue to gain steam.

“Social networks are creating a monumental shift in how people communicate with each other and with brands,” said Michael Kahn, SVP of Marketing at Performics. “The results of this study can help marketers better understand where and how consumers interact with social media sites and what types of offers and communications engage them and motivate them to act.”

The study also shows the immense opportunity for engaging with consumers on specific social networking sites:

  • Forty-six percent of respondents say they would talk about or recommend a product on Facebook

  • Forty-four percent of Twitter users have recommended a product

  • Thirty-six percent of YouTube users say that they have gone to an online retailer or ecommerce site after learning about a brand on a social network site

“The numbers are staggering. One in four respondents have four or more active social network accounts and more than one quarter access their Facebook or Twitter accounts at least once a day via their mobile phone,” notes Scott Haiges, President of ROI Research.  “We knew that these sites are extremely popular for socializing, but the level of interest for branding and promotional marketing content is surprisingly large.”

What about those consumers who don’t partake in social networking? Performics and ROI also asked the 30 percent (about 1,000 respondents) that didn’t qualify to take the full survey why they choose not to use social networks. Seventy-seven percent cited a lack of interest, while 28 percent noted privacy concerns and 27 percent indicated they just didn’t have the time. Only 13 percent said they didn’t “want all the connections.”

Kahn will unveil new data from the study during the ad:tech session, “Feed Your Brain, Part II: Social Media and Youth Online,” on Friday, November 6, 2009 from 11:30 am -12:20 pm ET at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York.

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