Social media fans are buyers, who’da thunk it?

As a marketer, I struggle with the ROI and/or ROE (Return on Experience) of social media.  Intuitively it makes sense, but I need cold hard facts to help me believe it.  It must be the market researcher in me. 

I was reading a study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate that found that social friends and followers are more likely to purchases the brands for which they are a fan.  Specifically, they found:

  • More than one-half of Facebook fans said they are more likely to make a purchase for at least a few brands, and 67% of Twitter followers reported the same.  And…
  • Sixty percent of study respondents claimed their Facebook fandom made them more likely to recommend a brand to a friend…this was even higher among Twitter followers – nearly eight in 10.

So if fandom drives purchases, what gets to someone to become a fan in the first place?  Well, the Chadwick Martin Bailey addressed this question as well.  According to the study, the top reason to friend a brand on Facebook was to receive discounts, followed by simply being a customer of the company and a desire to show others that they support the brand.

Interestingly, on Twitter, the main reasons for becoming a follower (fan) were to receive up-to-the-minute information and exclusive content; only 2% of study respondents followed brands on Twitter to show their support.

So, it seems that regardless of whether you are currently measuring the impact social media on your business, securing fans and followers on social can be a profitable venture for companies.  My only concern lies in the belief that the data presented above really only applies to B2C companies, not B2B companies.  I hope to provide more support for B2B companies in future blogs.

Happy Marketing!


4 responses to this post.

  1. Great post Sharon,

    I’d also like to see a report on the more “tangible” results of Social Media marketing for B2B’s. Fans and Followers are great, and common sense also suggests having more fans is better, but as you said many of us marketers have a researcher inside that looks and cares for numbers.

    Keep well,



    • Posted by sharonmarkovsky on April 9, 2010 at 12:12 pm

      Thank you for your comment! I am constantly looking for numbers and will post them as appropriate.

      Thanks again!


  2. Sharon.. oh how we love to talk about ROI and justify doing good business practices or making friends to improve that number… but I found (over the past 30 years) that the satisfaction of doing whats right is the bigger payoff.. here’s how I look at it…

    When I close my eyes every night I ask myself if what I did today was the right thing to do… I examine my interactions and make sure I followed my core principles … did I treat that customer the best way?
    Did I share information because I thought it was good info or was it just another post?

    Do I recommend products just because or am I truly interested in contributing?

    My ROI is evaluating my friendships and business relationships the same way… am I making friends for just a personal financial gain or am I truly interested in others and perhaps how to serve them better with my product or service…

    I take the time to read the post I am re-tweeting…

    do I fall short… sure… but I when I am suggesting something to someone its because I have a connection to that product or service and believe it will positively enhance the other person..

    to me when I approach social media as authentically as possible I gain the best ROI which is connecting to others in a sincere way…. maybe it doesn’t always reciprocate… but at least I get to shut my eyes knowing I was being the best I could be for that day…

    thats my ROI … it adds to my life experience… John


  3. Posted by sharonmarkovsky on April 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    John Charles,
    As always, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I agree, we have to do it for the love of the game first! And it is great that you read everything before you retweet! So many people don’t. And when you go to there link you find that it doesn’t work or it is a sales pitch. And that is never good!

    Thanks for your comment!


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