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Social Conversations vs Traditional Reviews: 56% Shoppers tag social conversations more impactful [STUDY]

Brands must focus more on social media conversations than traditional reviews. A recent study highlights many actionable insights including the influence of social conversations on prospective buyers at each stage of purchasing.

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More often than not brands neglect the voices from social media channels and rely heavily on the reviews and ratings about their products/services on third-party websites, like as Amazon, eBay or BestBuy, or rating websites. In spite of fake reviews hurting customers’ loyalty and becoming a colossal issue for prospective buyers, brands are yet to realize the influence and importance of conversations that are taking place on social media channels.

In a bid to highlight the underlying benefits, Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) and Publicis conducted a joint study to analyze the power of social brand conversation and its impact on shoppers’ journeys. The study shares measurable insights into the number of benefits brands can reap from social conversations: reveals, Trust, Time, and Sentiment of social conversation matter. 

Whether it’s a movie, clothing collection, a smart gadget, or any other product release, brands create a buzz with conversational marketing in the early stages of launch. That’s why shopping is a hot topic, and Twitter alone had 56 billion impressions in the social space last year. 

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Earlier brands focused on creating a buzz using traditional promotions; now, social media accounts for most of these conversations. But how deeply the online conversations impact sales or how a business can harness this power was still a mystery. 

So Publicis + Twitter conducted a study named “#LetsTalkShop” that included “9,600 consumers on six leading social platforms across the US, the UK, India, and Mexico.” The research brought measurable insights for businesses to use online conversational marketing correctly.

Here is what’s worth noting! 

Trust plays a major role

Twitter mentioned that sending a picture of the product you want to buy to your best friend is pretty common these days. Like mouth-to-mouth marketing, people still trust others’ opinions about the product. That means if the comments posted below your social media posts are positive, it will largely grow your sales. 

The study reveals that 92% of people surveyed actively look out for comments about brands, products, or services on social media. This has a direct impact on their brand perception as 68% revealed their impression of a brand changed after going through conversations on social.

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56% of shoppers agreed that social conversations create either more or equal impact as traditional reviews.

What people talk about on social media matters greatly in conversion; yes, trust plays an important role! It was found that people believe 3 out of 4 conversations posted online are authentic. Spontaneous conversations are more impactful to purchase decisions for most shoppers than traditional reviews. 

Also, a significant part of the study says that “81% involved brands or shoppers don’t know each other personally”. This allows people to think out of the box and challenge their pre-existing thoughts about the product. That’s why they usually believe what another person thinks about the brand. 

A business actively participating in these talks and solving queries triggers the trust factor and shows the impact on conversions. 

The time of conversation matters

You must have noticed brands start creating a buzz around their product before the release; even the study backs the decision and discloses that the best time for conversational marketing is before the product launch. It gives time to people to think about possibilities. If the conversation is interesting, it escalates automatically. 

Indeed, the talks decay with time, so reviving these talks at different stages of the purchasing journey is duly important. The research shares the exact stats about the influence of social conversations on prospective buyers at each stage of purchasing. 

  • Before purchase – 71%
  • Early stage of purchase – 55%
  • Middle stage of purchase – 51%
  • Later stage of purchase – 52%
  • After the purchase – 43%

A simple always-on strategy can be a great solution for brands to engage with their audience for a long period. Creating a buzz before launch is important but keeping it alive throughout the product journey brings the best results. 

Impact of positive and sentimental conversations

The negative news is the best to grab people’s attention immediately, even if it drives involuntary conversations from the masses. However, the study suggests avoiding negative conversational marketing for any product. Not all brands talk the same, but positive statements are better remembered than negative ones. 

Even the sentiment your statement is driving matters a lot. Social issues and cultural events are reported to be the best in grabbing people’s attention to the fact and staying on for a longer period. 

However, a positive sentiment without the element of trust and authenticity is baseless. Marketers must include powerful insights backed with hard facts and social proof that reflect the brand’s motive behind starting the conversation. Also, it helps to drive the conversation in the direction you want. 

Rose Ahn, VP, global partnerships, Publicis Media, says, “Social brand conversation has quickly become an established part of the shopping experience, allowing brands to shift decisions within the purchase journey.” 

Twitter drives people to buy

The concluding part of the research focuses on how Twitter can be useful to start a simple conversation with Tweets in popular hashtags that further gets viral to become a broad social media topic. However, it will not work by simply posting a series of Tweets.

  • 60% of purchasers who recalled a conversation on Twitter said it made them much more likely to consider the product they want.

The study clearly emphasizes the fact that brands, under no circumstances, can afford to ignore the influence, impact, and impression of social conversations on online shoppers. some of the findings underline the fact that social conversations have a far-reaching impact on the purchasing behavior of shoppers, which helps brands to generate a better ROI from their marketing dollars.

#LetsTalkShop also explains effective ways to make your conversational marketing work on Twitter. 

1. Be active on the platform 

You must authentically contribute and support the conversation in user communities. When you browse what people are talking about, you get insights to tweet engaging content that get people talking. 

2. Control your conversations

People can easily find words from your entire conversation and mimic your brand for silliness. Here, you need to save your marketing efforts from slipping on a negative path by actively explaining the meaning of your conversation and what you are trying to achieve. 

3. Cultivate “the new review.”

Simply Tweeting and engaging is effective but focusing on one feature means you are underutilizing your resources. They suggest using other features as well. Host live events, post videos and images, share what you are doing, and so on.

Conclusion 

Marketing is all about the “rule of seven”. A human mind easily remembers a brand name if it sees the advertisement at seven places or more. Earlier, marketers used all offline sources to create brand awareness, but nowadays, it’s much easier to get noticed on mobile screens instead of big hoarding. Even it saves a lot of money. 

The study highlighted the importance of creating a buzz on social media and continuing it throughout the product journey. If you are still not harnessing the power of online conversation, you are missing out on an effective marketing technique that brings conversions. 

Start with small but at least, Start. 

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