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Finally! Evidence that links individual social engagement to individual purchase behaviors — Live from the Measurement Pre-Conference

Coverage of this session by Kristen Platt of SocialMedia.org. Connect with her by following her on Twitter.

2:50 — SocialMedia.org’s Megan Uithoven introduces Northwestern University’s Executive Director Medill IMC Spiegel Digital & Database Research Initiative & Director of Distance Learning, Tom Collinger.

2:51 — Tom: You’re going to hear a bunch about customer engagement in this presentation. We believe that there may be a hierarchy to customer engagement (and it’s not that obvious).

2:52 — His initial study: “Creating social media engagement that drives purchase behaviors.” This research is based on the Canadian Air Miles Reward Program. Accumulating miles is the perfect proxy for spending money.

2:53 — The data: random sample of 10,000 collectors of reward points. Research questions: How do branded prompts impact social media engagement and purchase behavior? Do different types of posts affect behavior differently?

2:54 — Tom says they analyzed engagement and purchase impact from 5 prompts. Each was a kind of contest that included some kind of incentive (mileage).

2:55 — Tom: Relevant community posts linked perfectly with prompts. Without prompts, engagement was basically non-existent. Less relevant prompts got little attention (i.e. “mommy moments post got little engagement because it had nothing to do with why people were collecting air miles and participating in the program). Relevant prompts link to (far) greater engagement.

2:57 — Tom: Those who engage more often, spend more immediately — and over time. Even at 4 weeks out, posters (engagers) were still purchasing 29-35%. Basically, posters spend more in short and longer term.

2:58 — Tom: Those who merely viewed the prompts, but did not engage themselves, still increased spending more than 40%.

3:00 — Tom shares another insight from the study: Elaboration correlates with purchase.

3:02 — Experiences (not stuff) lead to greater financial impact. In other words, when people elaborate on their experiences, they tend to spend more. Tom calls this the “co-creation effect.”

3:03 — Tom shares his second study: “How negative is negative word of mouth (NWOM).”

3:04 — Their hypothesis: NWOM is harmful and negative sentiment is nuanced.

3:05 — There was a firestorm of NWOM with the Airline when they revoked miles and didn’t tell all participants. 110 NWOM messages were sent as a result (and studied by Tom’s team).

Posting increased the NWOM. Viewing the NWOM decreased point accumulation and purchase frequency. Posting NWOM and redeeming points increased point accumulation and purchase frequency.

3:07 — Strong negative emotions decreased spending. Less intense ones increased spending.

3:08 — Future work: Better understand relevant engagement: in-market experiments, other categories, and other platforms/channels.

Q & A:

Q: Is that kind of engagement possible for every type of company?

A: No, I don’t want to put you under the impression that this will apply to every single company. There are definitely unique cases for every industry.

Q: Brands are trying to get organic reach with social posts, and if you say viewers are Should you pay for that reach?

A: The study shows that posters are engaged in your brand. Even just viewing the post is a form of engagement and will increase spending.

Q: Correlation to why spending went up in that 4 weeks out term?

A: The ability to engage with that brand is so much more frequent than most because community members can use their card in so many place. They have a change in fundamental behavior and that causes them to be most aware of the brand.

December 9, 2013 0 comments

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