SocNets Offer Monetary Possibilities

June 7, 2011

nrf-shoppers-interact-socnets-june-2011.JPGPopular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter may offer retailers the possibility of monetizing their presence on them, according to an April 2011 survey conducted by, comScore and Social Shopping Labs. Findings from the “2011 Social Shopping Survey” indicate two-thirds of Twitter users (67%) say a post has spurred them to click through to a website, as do more than half of Facebook users (56%).

In addition, approximately 90% of retailer blog users have clicked through to a website.

1 in 3 Consumers Make Direct Social Purchase

One-third of shoppers say they would be likely to make a purchase directly from Facebook (35%) or Twitter (32%). Thirty-five percent also indicate they would be likely to make a direct purchase from a retailer blog.

Twitter Leads Facebook in Comments, Research

Considering the nature of Twitter, it is perhaps unsurprising that roughly half of Twitter users have posted comments regarding customer services or products/services, while less than 40% of Facebook users have posted comments regarding customer services and a little more than 40% have posted comments regarding products/services.

Consumers are much more likely to post comments on retailer blogs, with close to 80% having posted comments on both topics on a retailer blog.

Twitter Also Leads Facebook in Browsing

More than 60% of Twitter users have browsed for a product or service, compared to roughly 50% of Facebook users. Close to 90% of retailer blog users have done so.

Smartphones Popular SocNet Tool

According to the survey, 42% of Twitter users access the site on their mobile phone at least once a day, while the same is true for 34% of Facebook users. In addition, about one-third (32%) of people view YouTube clips daily from their smartphones.

Mobile Devices Used In-store

Shoppers are also using mobile devices for research and information while shopping in stores. According to the survey, nearly half of consumers (47%) have accessed customer reviews in store using their mobile device with men (55%) more likely to access these reviews in store than women (39%).

Group Buying Awareness Dwarfs Usage

According to the survey, eight in 10 (82%) online consumers are aware of group-buying sites, though only 19% of survey respondents have actually made a purchase through one of the sites. Those who do leverage group-buying sites appear to be enthusiasts, as the majority of consumers (57%) have spent over $100 through these sites to date.

While some traditional retailers have experimented with group-buying offers, the majority of shoppers say they have purchased non-traditional retail items like food and drinks (18%), entertainment (16%), and personal care items (12%) through these sites.

Location-based App Awareness Low

The report also evaluated awareness and usage of location-based applications like Foursquare, Yelp and Gowalla. On the basis of sheer awareness among consumers, these platforms are still in the early growth stage among consumers. Foursquare has the highest awareness (16%), followed by Yelp (10%) and Gowalla (6%).

Image-based Facebook Posts Work Best

Comparing posts with image attachments to those with video and text attachments, a September 2010 study from Vitrue found that image posts received 22% more engagement than video posts and 54% more engagement than text posts. Video posts received 27% more engagement than text posts.

While image and video being more engaging than text in Facebook posts is fairly intuitive, Vitrue analysts found image beating video in terms of effectiveness somewhat surprising. To explain this discrepancy, they cited image being easier and less time-consuming than video for the consumer to view and manipulate, as well as the difficulty of creating a high-quality video and problems many mobile Facebook users have viewing video.

About the Data: More than 1,700 consumers participated in this survey, which was conducted in April 2011 by comScore, Inc. The survey participants were selected to ensure that results were representative of the demographics of the US online adult consumer. Results were weighted to accurately reflect U.S. demographics.

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