Study shows how brand conversations can influence consumer spending
By our News Team | 2022
Research by Twitter and Publicis finds that online brand conversation is a trusted, everyday part of the shopping process.
Shopping is a hot topic in the social space, with over 56-billion impressions on Twitter alone last year. But how much does talking about brands and products actually impact sales? And how do businesses tap into this power?
To find out, Twitter teamed with global communications agency Publicis to study 9,600 consumers on six leading social platforms across the US, the UK, India and Mexico.
Photo by Brett Jordan from Pexels
In the new study, entitled #LetsTalkShop, 92% of people surveyed said they actively seek out comments about brands, products or services on social media. More importantly, 68% said their impression of a brand was changed as a result of experiencing brand conversation.
Trust plays a major role. People surveyed consider three out of every four brand conversations to be authentic. In fact, for most shoppers, these spontaneous conversations are as impactful, if not more, on purchase decisions as is the influence of traditional reviews. In other words, talk matters.
“Of brand conversations that are recalled by consumers, 81% involve brands, or people shoppers don’t know personally,” Twitter noted in a recent sponsored article published by Ad Age.
“This indicates that they’re thinking outside their bubbles and broadening their spheres of being influenced. So there’s always an opportunity for your business to participate. Be active, not absent, and reap the benefits.”
More impactful early in the purchase journey
The study also found conversation is most impactful early in the purchase journey, which suggests people may be more impressionable well before they’ve even figured out their consideration set.
The research goes on to explain that brand conversation – whether brand or shopper initiated – can significantly impact purchase consideration at any point in the purchase journey. This isn’t surprising given how people shop today, gathering new inputs right up to the moment they buy.
“There’s a catch, though. While the data shows the influence of conversation is immediate, the impact on brand impression and consideration decays over time, particularly after the first week,” the article states.
“So it pays to show up regularly, both in your actions and advertising, in ways that help you stay talked about. An always-on strategy can help brands engage customers regardless of where they are in their purchase journey, and can even kick-start buying decisions.”
Of course, not all brand talk is the same. The study found positive conversation is remembered far more than negative. And conversations about social issues and cultural events are also powerful drivers of consideration. Therefore, there’s a big upside for companies to find their voice and take action when appropriate for their brand.
Even more encouraging: While content and sentiment of brand conversation clearly influence purchase decisions, the data shows these shifts are almost always in the brand’s favour, with three in four brand conversations resulting in more positive brand sentiment.
“Social brand conversation has quickly become an established part of the shopping experience, giving brands the opportunity to shift decisions within the purchase journey,” said Rose Ahn, VP of Global Partnerships at Publicis Media.