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Study: Online presence matters

Posted: June 1, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 1, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Businesses using a social-media marketing tool should round out their marketing efforts to reach more consumers, according to a national online consumer behavior study by City Grid and Harris Interactive.

Using multiple campaign sources, putting advertising dollars in the right places and doing what it takes to make for happy customers goes a long way to attracting new customers and keeping loyal ones happy.

Social media
When customers are happy with a business, 76 percent of the populace still tell friends and acquaintances face-to-face when they like a company.

Since the launch of Facebook’s “Like” button, consumers have been able to show public support for a business and rally others to patronize the user’s favorite place of business.

But despite the perception of social media being a critical advertising venue for companies, only 20 percent of the general populace shows their support by going on Facebook to say they “Like” the business.

Of those social media users who take the time to review a business, only 13 percent show their support by saying they Like a company.

If your customer base is in the 18-24 age group, as many as 49 percent of the young people in this group will Like a business.

Forty percent of the customers under the age of 35 will Like a business, and 25 percent of women will show their support.

Owner’s word counts
Despite a sluggish economy, discounts and offers are not a major factor in how customers chose a merchant today, the study found.

More than half of adults under 35 visit more than two websites before checking out a local business.

Google is the leading search engine with 63 percent of the population saying they use the popular site for researching businesses. Only 21 percent look at review sites.

When doing their homework, customers reported that the business owner’s feedback may be as important as feedback from friends and acquaintances or social networks.

Almost half of the customers under age 35 are more influenced to try a business based on feedback, communication or information from the owner than a friend.

In other words, people care about the face behind the name.



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