Technology: Social media study proves sales boost

Positive recommendations on social networking sites can have a dramatic impact on sales figures, new research suggests.

Sixteen per cent of people who encounter positive endorsements on sites such as Facebook and Twitter then go on to buy the product or service, it is claimed.

The survey of 1,000 people, conducted by consumer agency Skywrite in conjunction with research house Vanson Bourne, showed that two in three consumers investigated products further upon a recommendation on social media platforms. Of this group, one in four went on to make a purchase.

Skywrite managing director Emma Hazan said brands should harness social media's potential for promotion.

She said: 'In the mobile age, people are more dispersed than ever, weakening the physical social ties that traditionally bound us together. Consumers are starting to build meaningful relationships online and turning to social media for authoritative and immediate advice.'

The research also showed a distinction between how men and women responded to social media recommendations.

Seventy-five per cent of women were likely to follow up the recommendation of a product from a social media source, with only 50 per cent of men doing the same.

However, men were more likely to convert a recommendation to a purchase, with 31 per cent buying the product compared with only 17 per cent of women.

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