Posted by Katie Noonan
According to a recent article from Advertising Age, the 2009 holiday season has led more retailers than ever before to use social media in their marketing campaigns. In fact, more than half of retailers surveyed in a study conducted by BDO Seidman said they would use social media networks to market their products this season up from less than five percent in 2007. Of the retailers utilizing social media networks, 76% reported that they are using Facebook, 50% are using Twitter, 14% are using MySpace and 14% are using YouTube.
It’s not hard to see why retailers are looking to social media this year. In a comScore weekly holiday survey conducted December 4-7, 2009, twenty-eight percent of those who had started their holiday shopping reported that social media influenced their purchases. Thirteen percent of those surveyed reported that consumer product reviews (either positive or negative) most influenced their purchases, while 11% said that expert reviews of products influenced their decision. Interestingly, 7% of respondents said that they had followed a Facebook fan page to benefit from promotional offers or deals from retailers, and 6% said they were influenced by a Facebook friend’s status update that referred to a particular product.
With retailers looking to get the most bang for their advertising bucks this holiday season, social media campaigns can be an inexpensive and effective way to reach target audiences. In order to be successful though, retail social media campaigns need to be creative, offer some sort of incentive to join (after all, what shopper doesn’t love a holiday coupon or discount?), and responsive to consumers. For those looking for an example of brands with effective holiday social media campaigns, check out Best Buy’s and H&M’s Facebook pages.
I think a lot of it may have to do with mobile commerce. I know personally I check my Twitter, Facebook, and any blogs I follow every morning on my Blackberry. It's so easy to do on my way to work or class especially now that many sites have a mobile and web version of their pages. I follow a couple of stores and magazines I like and always check if they are doing any giveaways that morning.
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