Thursday, October 6, 2011

Social Drives Retail Results

A new, pioneering study shows a direct correlation between word-of-mouth communication via social media and increases in retail store traffic. The study, which is being presented today at the Digital World conference in Berkeley, was conducted by the New York University Stern School of Business' Center for Measurable Marketing (CMM) together with Crimson Hexagon, a provider of social media monitoring and analysis for brand insights and market research professionals. Can this be the beginning of many bonafide case studies that finally begin to illustrate the ROI and true influence of social media on consumers? If so, it could be the breakthrough that many social media ambassadors have been touting. Digital rainmakers will no doubt be paying attention to the results of this study, which analyzed millions of conversations happening throughout social media to identify and analyze those that reflected important sentiment around the brand's marketing efforts. These discussions included consumer reaction to the brand's paid media (TV and radio advertisements), earned media (word of mouth promoting) and in-store interactions. Findings concluded that: 

-Word-of-mouth communication via social media led to higher levels of in-store foot traffic than the brand's paid media efforts.

-Paid media efforts are under-estimated if one does not consider indirect effects of social media linkages, which in turn drives store traffic.

-Store visits generate feedback effect on social media by driving more conversations about the brand.

The patent-pending Crimson Hexagon ForSight(TM) platform expands the traditional social media monitoring and analysis tools available today. Tons more to come on this and other social media ROI case studies. 

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