New Report Links Social Media Engagement to Consumer Spending

Now that many businesses have made the transition to social media to interact with their audience in a more personal way, a new study has come up which proves how engagement in social media affects consumer spending. According to research made by the University of Buffalo School of Management, customers were more likely to spend on highly engaging social media posts from brands.

This means posts with the most number of likes on social media had the biggest impact on conversion. With the quick surge of social media marketing, this is the greatest proof that brands need to confirm that increasing their marketing efforts on social media is a step in the right direction.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Marketing, showcased how social media popularity impacted purchases made. According to Dr. Ram Bezawada, who co-authored the study, negative social media posts that had high engagement impacted sales more than positive posts that had no likes, comments and shares.

In addition, they found out that social media engagement increases the effect of both TV and email marketing efforts as well with a spending increase of 1.03 percent. Retailers had the most to gain from in-store purchases and sales when combined with engaging posts on social media. The study has confirmed all along that TV and email marketing campaigns work better when paired with high user engagement on social media. This translated to an increase in spending and sales of up to 0.84% through cross promotion.

Social media engagement to consumer spending

From this we can gather that whether they are conscious about it or not,  customers do get affected by what they see on social media in terms of comments and feedback about the products and services that they stumble upon online. Social media marketing works. Businesses, big or small, need to invest to create a strong presence in social media while building a community for their customers and target audience.

The goal is to build a relationship with their customers and find ways to generate new interest through social media posts. The results will improve and increase revenue in the long term.  The study also confirms that the level of customer and user engagement in social media matters in conversions. Brands and businesses need to rethink how they publish content on social media so as to be able to accomplish this successfully. 

Social Media Engagement

Commence the engagement

How is this done? Simply look at your brand’s social media posts and identify whether or not your customers and target audience are liking,  commenting, and sharing your posts to friends. Do you respond to comments and questions from customers on social media? Are you interacting with your audience in any way? These are the first few questions you need to ask yourself so you can work on your social media presence. Something as simple as asking questions can work:

From creating social media accounts in Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, creating an online presence for your brand is important to start building a relationship with your customers and attracting a new audience.

Measure success

User engagement in your posts online is the easiest way to determine success. Many would say that random product posts no longer cut it,  so brands need to seriously consider whether or not the content they post on social media will be enticing enough to grab the attention of their customers or warrant comments. Here are some stats from CrowdBabble:

twitter engagement rate

Feedback engagement

Some other ways to improve social media engagement is by running product contests, creating polls and crowdsourcing or asking questions in order to get a better understanding of what your target audience wants. This works remarkably well in getting feedback from your customers and getting them to interact with your brand online. Your customers will appreciate how you value their needs and wants and your brand in return gets valuable insight over what works or not in your product advertising. 

Here is a contest that worked out rather well for the business running it:

They received some good re-tweet numbers, and no doubt gained a lot more followers.

Timeframe engagement

Another way to boost engagement is by identifying peak hours and when your audience will most likely be using social media. Scheduling your social media posts at these times helps increase your chances of being seen by the right people at the right time. Being able to capture when these peak hours give your posts a better chance of being seen and shared buy your followers. Try taking a look at these 12 Twitter analytics tools.

Over the years, with the emergence of so many brands to choose from, online consumers have grown increasingly wary of what is offered to them online. It is for this very reason why user feedback and comments sections are so popular. Businesses and other retailers need to revisit how they position themselves online and get a better understanding of how they are perceived by their customers online so they can use this leverage to promote their products and services better. Social media is a powerful way to promote a brand and product visibility and so businesses need to step up their game and join the race so they do not get left behind by their high and socially active competitors that are already online.