Increasing popularity for LinkedIn, highly visible brand loyalty to groups that are liked or followed on social networks, and increased reliance on social media to receive product announcements, PR responses, and company information are among the key findings of a new study from ROI Research.
The ROI Research study, sponsored by Performics (a search engine marketing company), involved surveys of 2,997 individuals who actively use social networks. Titled S-Net, the study looks to see the impact of social media and understand how today's users interact with it.
Only an abbreviated version of the study has been released. More in-depth findings, including information for several specific industries, will be released later this summer.
LinkedIn: The Star of the Study
Of the participants who have an active LinkedIn account, half visit the site at least once per week and one-fifth visit at least once per day. The active use of LinkedIn spiked dramatically during the height of the recession, when more than two-thirds of active users visited at least once per week, and the increasing popularity of LinkedIn has been blamed on the slow job market.
As Daina Middleton, Performics's CEO, stated, "Individuals have embraced social networking as a means to actively manage their personal viability in the global economy." Middleton sites recent additions to the site as well the increase in unemployment rate seen in May as reasons for LinkedIn's current appeal.
Other Social Media Findings
While LinkedIn is seen as a vital tool, it may not be the most financially valuable asset to brands. That's thanks to the increasing trust of brands and shared content in social media. Here are some of the social networkñbrand findings from the study.
- 50 percent of users actively seek purchase advice and 50 percent of users actively give advice on social networks
- 60 percent of users are "somewhat likely" or more likely to take action on product, service, or brand recommended by a social contact.
- 59 percent of users who follow a company or brand are more likely to recommend that company or brand, and 58 percent are more likely to buy the products of that company themselves.
- 53 percent of users use social networks at least "frequently" to provide feedback to a brand or retailer.
- 53 percent of users state that companies should communicate using social networks at least once a week.
What you should take from this is simple: If you haven't already, you need to get onto the social networks – and especially LinkedIn – and communicate with your potential employees, partners, clients, and customers. Loyalty on social networks has become a substantial part of the decision-making process for many consumers.