Blogosphere touts thriftiness

As the recession continues to impact consumer spending and saving, a new kind of thriftiness is seeping into consumers' habits.

As the recession continues to impact consumer spending and saving, a new kind of thriftiness is seeping into consumers' habits. Last week, ABC's Good Morning America reported that online coupon searches are up 160% and other outlets are reporting on similar consumer trends and tactics. BuzzLogic took a look at the blogosphere to see what kinds of spending topics are being discussed, and to see where the best deals can be found.

• Many online influencers are touting specific deals on a wide variety of goods. (BuzzLogic determines influence by factoring over a dozen criteria, including posting habits and linking activity.) Influential blog My Good Cents has the most influential post for "coupons" discussing a code for Annie's Mac and Cheese in which you can get 12 boxes for $11.13, making each box less than a dollar. Other influential blogs that are touting deals include Deal Extreme and the Bargainist.

• The phrase "coupon codes" happens to be a very popular string in the blogosphere now, as consumers are striving to get discounts. Among the conversations around "coupon," 34% of influencers discussed "coupon codes" within their posts; in the conversations around "sale" and "purchase" 10% of influencers discussed the codes.

• When we looked at conversations around the terms "sale" and "purchase" we also found a number of influential posts related to real estate, with 7% of influential posts looking at "apartments for rent." Influencers around the terms "sale" and "purchase" include Money Saving Mom and HousingWire.

• Looking at the terms "discount" and "shop" we found that 32% of the influential posts infer that if you "shop online" you'll find the best deals. Thirty-two percent of the influencers also posted about the "cheap airline discounts" that can be found right now, showing that even the airlines are cutting prices to woo consumers. Influencers around discounts and shopping include Coupon Codes and WalletPop.

• Our look at "consumer" and "deal" found influencers more focused on the overall health of America's economy, with 15% discussing President Obama's "New New Deal" and 9% discussing the stock market. Influencers around these topics include Grasping Reality with Both Hands, which is written by economist Brad DeLong and The Consumerist.

Consumers are working to find deals in all aspects in their lives – from groceries to travel to homes--and they're finding information on a myriad of Web sites. PR and marketing executives need to ensure that messages tout the value that consumers will receive. Understanding how the recession is impacting spending can help hone messages to speak to the current consumer psyche and more effectively communicate with target audiences.

Evaluation and analysis by BuzzLogic's Insights. Insights determines blog influence by factoring over a dozen criteria, including posting habits and linking activity. Based on the analysis of 1,441 blog postings from February 19 – March 23, 2009.

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