Earlier this week, Cossette posted the results of a survey they conducted last fall of over 3,000 web users in Canada, the U.S. and UK. You can find the complete report here.
Specifically, one of the findings stood out to me:
Among some 20 online activities surveyed that can be tied back to social media behaviour, two are particularly meaningful:
- Two-thirds of Internet users turn to online information about products, brands or companies that have been produced by family, friends, colleagues and others they don’t know personally.
- 30% have shared something online about a brand or a company in the past week. More specifically, 20% have cited a company or brand in a personal web page or blog. They are the only group that finds advertising as useful as social brand content, and a lot more likely to join various types of sponsored communities
Of course, this has many significant meanings for brand managers and the agencies responsable:
- You’re no longer in control of your message. (If you haven’t heard that before, it’s time you did.)
- People are planting seeds on your behalf around the web and it’s up to you to know where they’re talking and what they’re saying, as their positive and/or negative comments can have a profound impact on purchasing decisions.
As a result, you must start a strategic social media monitoring and response program. Without one in place, the public becomes your brand’s manager and, due to the shelf life of search, anyone who can type your product/service name into Google can be influenced by what’s already been said. It’s on you to find the relevant conversations and join in, so you can correct wrongs and misconceptions and have your point of view on record.
So, do you know what they are saying about your brand?