Does social media marketing actually increase sales?  What are the best ways for people/businesses to participate in this?

Social Media

Blog Marketing and Social Network Marketing (Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter) are all part of Social Media Marketing.

A 2008 BuzzLogic / Jupiter Research study of more than 2,000 online consumers found that blogs were a prime influencer of purchase decisions. Results from this study show.

  1. 50 percent of blog readers said they found blogs useful for purchase information.
    Blog readers trusted relevant blog content for making purchase decisions more than content from social networking sites.
  2. For those who have found blog content useful for product decisions, more than half (56 percent) said blogs with a niche focus and topical expertise were key sources.
  3. What are the ways blog readers make use of the information?  Use it to discover products and services (17 percent). Refine their choices (19 percent).  Decide on a product or service (21 percent). Get support and answers (9 percent).
  4. Twenty-five percent of blog readers say they trust ads on a blog they read. Nineteen percent say they trust ads on social networking sites.

A 2009 Knowledge Networks study finds that participants in social networks are not seeking product information or information on brands.

  1. 83% of the Internet population (ages 13 to 54) participates in social media – 47% on a weekly basis.
  2. Less than 5% of social media users regularly turn to these sites for guidance on purchase decisions.
  3. 16% of social media users say they are more likely to buy from companies that advertise on social sites.
  4. Readers said that they would regularly turn to social networking sites when trying to make a purchase decision on Travel (4%)  and bank/financial services  (4%).

As users and businesses form their social media marketing strategies and services, they need to weigh their objectives before selecting where they will invest their marketing budgets.

The report above shows that blogs are more powerful to drive the “buy” decision.