August 28, 2012 Leave a Comment
#Yourpurchases. Don’t know about you, but we’re seeing incredible influence over consumer and business buying from Facebook and Twitter. Those little icons pack a big-bucks punch when it comes to brand influence and driving preference.
A recent study from the University of Miami and consumer research firms Empirica [link: empirica.com] and StyleCaster [link: stylecaster.com] seems to confirm all this. Shopping sites such as Amazon.com feature the icons as you check out and urge you to “Share” whatever you’re shopping for with your friends.
The study team asked 187 men and women between the ages of 18 and 40 to look at online products and to rate their likelihood of making a purchase. The product pages were designed specifically for the study; some included small social media icons while others did not.
The researchers found that if the product was something people would be proud to show off—like a new watch or expensive cologne—the presence of social media icons increased the likelihood of purchase by 25 percent. If the product was something unflattering—say, acne cream—the likelihood of purchase dropped roughly 25 percent when social media icons were present, the study says.
Not a huge surprise. We wouldn’t want to share stuff like that, either. Nor are we jazzed enough about mundane service providers to “like” them on Facebook. (That’s what Angie’s List [link: angieslist.com] is for.)
Moral of the story: it’s not enough just to show the icons on your website. In the age of social influence, the smart marketer invites more engagement and a firmer stake in the ground with consumers by the command to “share” certain purchase choices. It’s the old “friend get a friend” tactic on steroids.
Are there no more secrets? Is this a brag, as in “I just bought a Rolex online, yay me!” Is this the ultimate, “I shop, therefore I am?”
Potentially. But it’s here, and it’s powerful. Like lemmings jumping off a cliff, a certain segment of consumers seems to be motivated to buy simply by the fact that a friend has. It’s like tweens at the mall, catching buying fever from each other like a case of measles.
Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn