Paul M. Banas on Consumer Insights, Marketing Research, and the Digital Media Landscape
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Social Media Impact On Consumer Behavior

While brands are beginning to reach out to consumers in social media in significant ways, the question remains on whether or not consumers will be receptive to their outreach.

According to a study entitled “The Impact of Social Media on Purchasing Behavior” done by OTX Research on behalf  DEI Worldwide, the answer is yes.

The study confirms that consumers currently use social media as a top resource for information on brands, companies, or products:


What it also concludes is that social media outreach by brands and companies, especially if this outreach is done by a personal online representative, can be much more influential on consumer behavior than ads or other promotional devices.

In fact, 2/3rds of consumers are likely to pass the information they receive from these representatives on to others and over half are likely to take action on this information.

Attitudes towards information they receive from online brand representatives

  • Likely to pass this information on to others – 67%
  • Likely to share their opinions – 63%
  • Value information more than ads – 62%
  • Likely to take action – 57%

Currently, most companies are viewing social media as something to manage or handle damage control, like many of the top brands involved with Twitter.

However, by using social media as a proactive outreach to share valued information, the impact of social media on consumer behavior can be significantly stronger.


1 Nick Sorvillo { 01.02.09 at 1:10 pm }

Paul thanks for this info . Our real question is how can we help our brands understand the benefits more fully to connecting this way with consumers. In these challenging times social networks could be a lasting way to develop brand relationships. Who else is doing good raearch on this in the industry.

2 Paul M. Banas { 01.06.09 at 11:38 am }


I agree that making sure brands are understanding the benefits of social media outreach should be a key priority for marketing researchers. I have a couple previous posts in a similar vein. One group I find that is doing some very good work in this space is Forrester Research, although I haven’t had direct contact with them on a project basis. I will post other sources as I collect them.

Thanks for commenting.


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