‘Likes’ in social media link to product purchases. As discussed in an earlier article here, we surveyed our participant database in October of 2011 to ask about their behavior in regards to social media, and found that 42% of the 700 respondents reported making a purchase based on the ‘like’ of a friend. An additional 32% considered purchasing a product a friend had ‘liked’, but did not actually complete a purchase.
With such a large number being positively motivated by a friend’s ‘like’, the next question you might ask is: How can we increase the number of people ‘liking’ our products?
When we asked participants what motivated them to ‘like’ a product or merchant via social media, we saw that there were several motivating factors. Respondents could select any or all of the categories applicable to their experience and five top categories soon emerged:
As you might expect, perception of product quality, company reputation and experience with your brand (including your website) are highly motivating. 73% indicated they ‘liked’ a product based on an outstanding experience with a product or merchant, and 38% ‘liked’ a product or merchant because they generally liked the merchant’s website, product photos or other site or company features.
However, other motivators included receiving a discount or coupon (65%), entrance into a sweepstakes or drawing (34%) and to support a cause or charity (51%). Interestingly, our sample size indicated that women may be twice a likely as men to ‘like’ a product supporting a cause or charity.
Many companies have already started to use these strategies. For example, Orbitz mixed the idea of supporting a cause (by honoring someone in the community) with the added draw of winning a luxury vacation, shown below.
You may have also seen invitations to ‘like’ a product or merchant in return for a coupon or discount, such as the one from Tillamook, below.
But, how much of a coupon do you need to offer in order to attract the ‘likes’? Of the respondents who indicated they would be motivated to ‘like’ a product or merchant by receiving a discount or coupon, 52% expected at least a 6-15% discount while 35% of respondents expected more than a 15% discount.
As common sense may suggest, the greater the discount the greater number of respondents would be motivated to ‘like’ a product based on that discount. Determining how much discount to offer should be based on research with your own target market but also on your business goals and the cost/profit ratio that is introduced by offering a coupon or discount.
Encouragingly, our survey shows that discounts and coupons obtained via ‘liking’ in social media do lead to purchases. As a matter of fact, 70% of our participants who received a coupon or discount from ‘liking’ a product or merchant reported actually using the coupon to purchase the product.
Consideration of these consumer motivators/tactics for your company may be beneficial to your bottom line because social media is proving to increase sales. However, for successful implementation of social media there are questions that only your customers can answer. Research with your specific target market is key to cultivating a social media presence that works for you and increases sales.
Check back with us soon, as we will discuss more results from our social media survey to help you make your way through the opportunities of ‘liking’ in social media.
–Katie Mauck, Senior Usability Analyst