The Importance of Brand Recommendations in Your Marketing Strategy

Knowing why and how consumers use recommendations will help you create more effective marketing programs.

Facebook likes are viewed as recommendations by consumersAccording to research conducted by Nielsen, we know that 92% of consumers report that “word-of-mouth and recommendations from people [they] know” are the leading influence on their purchase behavior. Only 37% trust search engine ads, and just 24% trust online banner ads. They trust their friends and family the most when looking for brand recommendations. But what types of recommendations carry the most weight?

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The Top Benefits of Social Media Marketing [Infographic]

89% of marketers say that social media generates more business exposure

The conversation prismThere are a million articles and blog posts out there that sing the praises of social media marketing — how social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest have had a major impact on lead generation and sales. If you follow my blog, you know that I’ve written a lot of them myself. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an easy way to to see some proof and hard numbers to back up the claims?

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The Gap Between Social Customers and Social Marketers

More than three-quarters (76%) of social media marketers say they know what their customers want, but only one-third (34%) have actually asked them.

Shocking, right? One of the basic tenets of marketing — know your customers — is being ignored by the vast majority of brands that are trying to achieve success with social media marketing. There’s a major disconnect between what consumers desire and what they actually receive from the brands they follow on social networks. It’s no wonder marketers have trouble getting good results.

A revealing research report from the team at Pivot documents the growing gap between marketers and customers. The data shows that consumers and brands are far apart when it comes to perceptions, behaviors, attitudes, and expected benefits. This divide, which industry analyst Brian Solis calls the perception gap, presents a problem for brands that are trying to maximize user engagement and conversion rates on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Marketers must reach out directly to their audience and offer them what they want — if they don’t, they’ll suffer the consequences in terms of awareness, engagement, and revenue.

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11 Effective Twitter Strategies for Brands

Brands are missing out on big opportunities to engage with consumers on Twitter by tweeting at the wrong time or in the wrong way, according to an interesting study from Buddy Media.

Brands still don't understand TwitterThe report, Strategies for Effective Tweeting: A Statistical Review, found that many brands aren’t using Twitter effectively and outlines the top strategies for engaging with consumers. Buddy Media looked at user engagement for the top 320 brands on Twitter between December 11, 2011 and February 23, 2012 to see how successful they were at getting @replies and retweets. Their engagement rates were also assessed to quantify the relationship between @replies and retweets based on their number of followers. 

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30 Resources and Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Business

People like to collect things. Sports memorabilia, carnival glass, stuffed animals, you name it. Pinterest, the new social-media darling, took note of this behavior and created an easy-to-use site where people can share their interests in the form of pictures. I just started playing around with the platform, collecting images about social media and marketing and other topics.

How to use Pinterest to market your businessThe site is beautifully designed and truly engaging. It has been around since 2009, but it’s resonating with users now and experiencing explosive growth. comScore reports that Pinterest hit 10 million unique U.S. visitors faster than any site in history. The average Pinterest user spends 98 minutes per month on the site, compared to 2.5 hours on Tumblr, and 7 hours on Facebook, but a recent study by Shareaholic shows that Pinterest is driving more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube, Reddit, and LinkedIn — combined.

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10 Facts About Consumer Behavior on Facebook

A new study by marketing firm Constant Contact and research company Chadwick Martin Bailey sheds light on how consumers interact with brands on Facebook. According to 10 Quick Facts You Should Know About Consumer Behavior on Facebook (below), it turns out that people engage with their favorite brands on Facebook far more than on any other social network.

CMB asked 1,491 respondents to share their social media habits. The data shows that more than half of Americans over the age of 18 spend an hour or more each week on Facebook, and over a quarter of them are connecting with their favorite brands.

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Social Media Sites Are Now Used by 65% of Adults Online

A new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project on social media reveals that nearly two-thirds of adults on the Internet say they use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, up slightly from a year ago. Drilling down further, the research also shows that social media use among Baby Boomers is growing at a faster clip — among users aged 50-64, 33% say they visit a social network daily, a 20% increase from last year.

Among online adults:

  • 83% of 18-29 year-olds
  • 70% of 30-49 year-olds
  • 51% of 50-64 year-olds, and
  • 33% of those ages 65 and older

use social-networking sites.

Users generally enjoy their experiences, describing them as mostly “good”:

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