WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN) Monday June 4 2012 2:35 AM MT—Visually oriented social media site Pinterest has surpassed Twitter and Facebook as the tool of choice for consumers to engage with retailers, a new survey finds.
According to the 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study, a joint research project by Shop.org, comScore and The Partnering Group, U.S. consumers report that they follow an average of 9.3 retail companies on Pinterest, compared with 6.9 retailers on Facebook and 8.5 retailers via Twitter. Overall, almost 2 out of 5 online consumers (38 percent) follow retailers through one or more social networking sites, the study states.
“Retailers have done a commendable job embracing social media—engaging their customers where it makes sense while keeping their brand relevant, interesting, appealing and exciting on each platform,” said Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell. “Specifically, Pinterest has given retailers another channel to listen to and interact with both existing and new customers, telling an ongoing visual story through images of their products and their brand spirit—a story that customers can then tell again to their friends and family members.”
As social media continues to grow, the report says, retailers are actively evaluating where their customers want them to be. The survey found company blogs, YouTube and Facebook command the majority of consumers’ social activity. In particular, 70 percent of those who follow a retailer’s blog click through to the website, and though sometimes overlooked in the overall social media mix, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of consumers use YouTube to browse and research a retail company.
When it comes to what spurs consumers to follow retailers on social media platforms, the study found that finding good deals is still the leading reason, but that deals and promotions have lost a little bit of their luster. Some 51 percent of respondents this year said they follow a retailer to get information on deals and coupons, down from 58 percent who said so last year. Forty-three percent say they are looking for product information, and 36 percent want to post/read comments about merchandise or services.
Additionally, 3 in 10 consumers who follow retailers via social media say they are actively looking for information about events (34 percent), current trends and ideas (31 percent), or photos and videos such as “how-to” tips (30 percent).
The 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study was conducted by comScore, which surveyed 1,507 online consumers in March 2012. It covers consumer shopping activity and engagement via Facebook, Twitter, customer reviews on websites, group-buying sites and location-based social platforms.