Social media marketing is intended to spur communication among consumers, because with enough shares, Likes or follows, your product, service or company may go "viral" and see immense increases in popularity and traffic.
But as a national or local internet marketing professional, you should also realize that your message will spread differently by word of mouth depending on who you're marketing to.
In a 24-country survey conducted by Ipsos OTX and Ipsos Global @dvisor in March 2012, researchers found that while 38 percent of online adults said they've recommended a brand they Liked or followed on social networking sites, the specific figures varies depending on the geographic region.
For instance, Americans are the one of the least likely groups out of all nations surveyed to provide a recommendation for a followed or Liked brand, at 31 percent. Latin Americans were most likely to spread the word (53 percent), followed by BRIC nations - Brazil, Russia, India, and China - at a combined 58 percent and Middle East and African consumers (49 percent). Canadians fell below them all at 27 percent.
Regardless of which demographic recommends your brand, you want to make sure that it influences consumers to buy. Researchers revealed that nearly one-quarter (22 percent) of those polled said they've bought from a brand because a friend recommended it to them.
According to the recently released BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey, restaurants were the most likely of all businesses to earn a recommendation, with nearly 70 percent of consumers saying they'd spread the word, notes MarketingLand. Doctors/dentists, hotels, bars and beauty salons followed closely after.
It's also important to take note of the reasons why consumers decided to recommend your business in the first place. For instance, being reliable and professional ranked first at 65 percent. Being friendly and welcoming and offering cheaper products were also more likely to induce a recommendation (45 percent each), followed by a current special offer (38 percent) and providing a unique and original experience (34 percent).
It's no surprise - especially in this economy - the offering deals and discounts is an extremely effective way of getting others to talk about your business. Specifically, 66 percent of respondents said they'd recommend a business based on good deals, offers and discounts. Thirty percent responded "maybe" while a mere 4 percent said they wouldn't.