Internet users in the UK are more likely to follow brands in social media than they are to follow celebrities. A study of over 1,000 internet users by the Internet Research Bureau and Opinion Matters found that whilst only 13.4% of users follow celebrities, more than one in five (20.3%) follow brands. Brands are, therefore more than 50% more popular than celebrities in social media. This is good news for brands and shows the benefits they can get of using social media and using it well. But it also reinforces the importance for all brands of getting a social media strategy in place.
The research also showed than more than one in eight UK consumers have given feedback to a brand or organisation in social media. That is more than half of those who say they are following a brand in the first place and shows that, when consumers are following brands in social media, they are also likely to interact with it.
Another way to ‘interact’ with a brand in social media is not to follow it or to give it feedback directly, but to complain about it in a public arena. The survey found that 7.7% of UK consumers had done just this and in 40% of cases brands had responded rapidly to these complaints and comments. Getting your social media monitoring in place is important for brands as it helps you to find and, if appropriate, respond to mentions and such complaints. The research also shows the benefit of brands monitoring and responding like this – almost four out of every five (77.8%) people who were contacted by a brand were left with a positive feeling about the brand.
So consumers are more likely to follow a brand than a celebrity. Of those who follow a brand, more than half will interact with it and give it feedback. Consumers are also complaining about brands and organisations through social media, and those who receive a response from the brand through the same medium and highly likely to leave with a positive feeling about that brand.
In an environment where we know that most people will happily consume, and be influenced by, discussions and comments. The number of UK consumers actively discussing and feeding back on brands in social media is relatively high, and underlines how critical it is for all brands and organisations to address how they are using social media and to make sure they are using it in a way that makes sense for them, and adds value to them as well as to their audience.
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