According to a recent study done by based in Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Foresee Results, fans of the social networking site Facebook now look forward to seeing news about retail sales and promotions on their Facebook pages.
The study added that chains that use their Facebook pages to promote new products and special sales are most appealing, with brands like Victoria's Secret leading the way.
“What surprised us most was how many customers say they really wanted to hear about sales and products,” Kevin Ertell, VP/retail strategy for ForeSee Results, explained about the study in a recent interview with online zine Marketing Daily. “Yet many retailers aren't doing that — conventional wisdom is that fans want things like engagement, with polls, or pithy comments or customer services tools. This study found those things are actually far less important.”
The ForeSee study adds that of the 69 percent of online shoppers who are social media users, 56 percent have chosen to “friend,” “follow” or “subscribe to” at least one store. But they are selective, the study claims, and 61 percent of this group is connected to fewer than five companies. Another 21 percent is made up of more serious shoppers who follow between 6 and 10 stores, while just 18 percent is hardcore enough to have friended more than 10.
Ertell added that customers who interact with a store brand through social media tend to be extremely loyal. “The most satisfied and loyal customers are seeking out their favorite stores' pages, and then if those experiences are rewarding, they become even more loyal,” he added.
Facebook leads the way in this area. Among online shoppers who engage in social media, more than 80 percent are using Facebook. YouTube comes in second at 31 percent, followed by MySpace with 22 percent, Twitter with 16 percent, and LinkedIn at 12 percent.
As successful as this kind of marketing has been, Ertell still felt retailers need to proceed with caution. “It's like emailing customers about special deals. That is also effective, but if you send customers too many in a single day, they'll just stop responding.”