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90% of customers will recommend brands after social media interactions
by John Glenday for Business Insider

In a recent study by the Internet Advertising Bureau, 90% of consumers said they would recommend a brand after interacting with them on social media. Four out of five people also said they were likely to purchase products from the brands after being exposed to their social media.

Ira Ralph, the director who conducted the research, says:

“Our research shows that to create an emotional connection brands really need to provide clear, timely and, most important of all, relevant content that develop a conversation.”

Couldn’t agree more. The content your brand shares should be relevant, helpful, entertaining, educational — something your followers see value in. Recipes, how-to videos, interesting information about your product’s source or manufacturing… Not just like-baiting. We wrote a post on this here.

How social media moves consumers from ‘sharing’ to ‘purchase’
by Ava Seave for Forbes

Another recent study suggests correlation between following brands on social media and purchase. Four in ten social media users have purchased an item after sharing or favoriting it, and Facebook is the top site for consumers who make purchases.

Perhaps most interestingly, social media drives in-store purchasing and online purchases at the same rates. Many marketers are already aware of how social media drives online sales, but the fact that it influences in-store sales at the same rate may surprise. Says Alexandra Samuel, Vice-President of Social Media at Vision Critical:

“And just that recognition that you are not getting the whole story on social from tracking social to ecommerce conversions is a huge finding. If you are estimating the ROI on social by looking at social to web, you are missing roughly half your social-inspired purchasing.”

The finding illustrates the omnichannel nature of consumers. In-store, online, brand site, social network — you are one brand to shoppers, and all channels are one.

Social-commerce channel coming to QVC.com: Shopping site takes cues from Pinterest
by Christopher Heine for Adweek

QVC is adding a social-commerce channel, toGather by QVC, to QVC.com. The channel is being compared to the popular social media site Pinterest, as it will be heavy on photos, video, and interaction. Says Heine:

“Users can create collections of products on the channel that others on the site can then ‘heart’—echoing Pinterest’s format and peer-approval signal. Collections won’t necessarily consist of just QVC products, as toGather profiles can include personal photos and videos.”

Various personalities from QVC will have their own profiles on the site, and they will interact with consumers. The site will also be connected to Facebook, so users can share their favorite products and postings. Pinterest is popular among brands as a form of “virtual window shopping,” but (as with many social efforts) has been difficult to tie directly to sales. For a brand like QVC with a highly loyal and active customer base, creating a brand-centric network within the site is an interesting way to make the site more social, in addition to existing reviews and Q&A. Other brands will similarly engaged fans will want to watch the effort’s success.

Lexus goes to Instagram for 2014 IS Sedan
by Karl Greenberg for MediaPost

Social’s influence on sales is a welcome finding, but to get that interest, brands have to make their efforts interesting. Lexus is using Instagram’s new video feature to generate buzz around its newly released sedan. Says Greenberg:

“The program involves Lexus giving Kogeto ‘Joey’ panoramic cameras to editors of the different titles. The task: put the 360-degree cameras on the cars, and do photos and video incorporating the car during test drives.”

Lexus will eventually edit down the footage to 15-second bits of images and video, with one new one to be posted to Instagram and Facebook each day. The automaker hopes the effort will attract performance-minded buyers by showing close-up, genuine test drives from a unique point of view.

The campaign fits a theme becoming more popular in social — seeking more authentic-looking creative over professional-looking images. It’s one of the themes driving brands like Taco Bell and Audi to share real pictures of their products submitted by fans on Instagram, rahter than perfectly-crafted images with the cheese placed just-so, etc.

  • Prashant

    “social plugins” where it recommends you to buy a certain product if you entered a particular keyword can take this to a whole new level, hope Facebook and other social platforms do it soon :)

  • http://twitter.com/txTDM Tara DeMarco

    Hi Sanjay, you’re right — and as we hopefully become better able to track interactions across the entire omnichannel, we’ll be able to see how social influenced in-store purchases as well as online. Thanks for reading!

  • Sanjay Abraham

    Social media helps in the ‘discovery’ of a product. Recommendations/ likes/ shares by friends could increase the propensity of a customer to purchase a product. The product Researches say that around 79% of the people do researches before they purchase and social media is an important channel. There are people who discover a product on Facebook, decide to buy it based on friends recommendations but end up buying it from a retail store. The ‘transaction mode’ of purchase could be any but its still social commerce. Brands have to understand role social media plays in ‘discovery’ of the products.