Harp Interactive

The Social Influence Surge–Are You Prepared?

The New Rules of Social Engagement

With social media now mainstream, we’re experiencing a surge of consumer influence  from “social shopping”, consumer reviews and online word-of mouth-marketing.     53% of those on Twitter have recommended companies and/or products in their tweets and almost as many voice an intent to buy those products or services. Consumer reviews are  significantly more trusted–nearly  12 times morethan descriptions that come  from manufacturers, according to a survey of US mom Internet users. It makes sense: consumers trust online reviews by other consumers more   than the information coming directly from companies and brands themselves. On top of that, review   & complaint sites (like Yelp, CitySearch, Epinions and Complaints Board) are popping up almost daily–and 70% of online shoppers trust opinions of unknown users.

Brands that implement consumer reviews and ratings on their websites are finding that shoppers who interact with reviews show higher intent to purchase, conversion, and revenue per visitor than shoppers who did not interact with user-generated content (UGC) or reviews…up to 98% higher according to one case study by  BazaarVoice. Though this may seem surprising, it’s really not when you consider that 90% of consumers are influenced by the opinion of family and friends and a whopping 70% are influenced by the online reviews of strangers!

Below is a presentation on the power of social shopping and word of mouth marketing. If your brand isn’t utilizing any of the tools that enables user generated content, reviews, ratings or testimonials, you may be missing out on the power of the online nod. And weather your company or brand is employing any of these tactics,it is still being influenced by word of mouth (both positive and negative). Not only does UGC provide powerful purchasing influence, it also includes thousands of indexable words…words that expose your brand  infinitely  more to search engines such as Google and Bing.

See more amazing stats!

67% of shoppers  spend more online after recommendations from online community of friends according to an Internet Retailer study. Savvy businesses and brands are  harnessing the power of social shopping for increased awareness, leads and sales.  Have you implemented social shopping functionality? Reviews? What have you done that works?