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What are the Ramifications of Research Linking Social Media and Brands for B2B?

Date posted: February 25, 2013

Screen shot 2013-02-24 at 3.18.14 PMA post on Nielsen’s blog points to the extent social media is impacting brand marketing. Citing the Social Media Report recently published by Nielsen and NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey company, the research shows that consumers are spending considerable time using social media— using it to discover, research, and share information about brands and products.

Among the findings:

  • 60 percent of consumers researching products through multiple online sources learned about a specific brand or retailer through social networking sites.
  • Active social media users are more likely to read product reviews online, and 3 out of 5 create their own reviews of products and services.
  • Both women and men are using social media to tell others about the products and service they like— 81% of females; 72% of males.
  • Consumer-generated reviews and product ratings are the most preferred sources of product information among social media users.

The study notes that social media also plays a key role in protecting brands. More than half of social media users write products reviews to “protect others” from having bad experiences, while many are using the tools to engage with brands on a customer service level. Their expectations are considerable: 42% of 18-34 year olds expect customer support within 12 hours of making a complaint or
lodging an inquiry.

While this study clearly focused on business-to-consumer use of social media, I can’t help but think its import has ramifications for the B2B sector.

How are you planning to use social media? What has its impact been for you in the B2B setting?

I’d love to hear your reports from the frontline.