Universal McCann has done it again and assembled a very informative presentation on how strangers are influencing brand buying decisions. This presentation is definitely worth the read. Some key takeaways, looking through the eyes of retailers trying to figure out how to leverage social media for connecting with broader communities:
- Overall participation rates for sharing product opinions is very high. All brands need to react by becoming more transparent and active in social and conversational media.
- Even low interest categories (insurance, finance, real estate) have high participation rates, although music, movies and technology lead the pack in discussion. Travel is one of the most sought after categories for information.
- “Super influencers” – bloggers, video sharers, photo uploaders – are very real and have a definitive impact.
- Don’t be afraid to advertise in new social media platforms – it’s where consumers and influencers “live.” But in concert with that, brands need to have a presence and “exist” in the social media services that consumers contribute to.
There are some great examples as well. What do you think? Coming soon in a future post: some “quick hits” ideas on how retailers can get quickly engaged in social media.