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Social media used to give negative feedback, learn about products – study

While people may still largely use social media for casual interaction, it has become the go-to tool to gauge and possibly tarnish brand reputation.

December 20, 2011 10:51 by

Though it’s cringe-worth to start any story with this, the research about Facebook friending behaviour from NM Incite, called, ‘State of the Social Media’ is a bit of a no-brainer. For starters, it tell us that 82 percent of Facebook ‘friends’ know each other in the real world and that 60 percent add people who have mutual friends with them. See what we mean?

But the study does look deeper at people’s behaviours on Facebook and for what reasons they are using social media, in general. And that’s where it gets interesting.

Usage was divided in four categories: family/friends, lifestyle/entertainment, products/services and career/networking

Under the products/services category, most (66 percent) use social media to read consumer feedback. This is particularly important given that 51 percent of social media participation is to give negative feedback to products or services. All is not lost however, as 54 percent use the platform to give positive feedback to brands. But the challenge now is to turn the 51 percent of people who give negative feedback into advocates. And in social media, a brand’s interaction with a consumer can be make or break in the span of one tweet.

Other uses of social media include:

Finding new friends – 70 percent
Entertainment – 67 percent
Creative outlet – 64 percent
Creating business contacts – 48 percent
Finding a job – 28 percent

And what about unfriending? Well, according to the study, 55 percent say offensive comments are enough cause to remove that friend from their list. Also, 39 percent says sales soliciting is also another reason.

And there are gender differences too. Men are likely to use Facebook for professional networking and dating. Women, on the other hand see Facebook as a to connect with real life friends, snag deals and express creativity.

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