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.

Brand Conversations

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.

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.