Yesterday the interactive marketing agency Razorfish released a survey indicating that 71% of its 1,000 respondents share product and service recommendations in the social mediasphere at least once every few months.

According to the data, 29% of the surveyed share product views online at least every few weeks and 10% do so at least every few days.

Razorfish

"Conversations about brands, products and services are increasingly woven into the interactions of social networks as a means to connect with others, and these conversations have great influence even though people aren't consciously asking about brand opinions," reports the survey. Today, independent bloggers and social influencers have become key factors in making purchase decisions online.

What does that mean for marketers? Here are my four takeaways from the survey:

(1) Establish an Authentic Online Presence

If you are authentic, people will volunteer to spread the good word about your product. Social networking is much like traditional word-of-mouth. Your connections will open up once you adopt a credible and trustworthy voice for your business. "These voices will need to be more engaging, personal, humble, authentic and participatory than traditional advertising messages," suggests the survey.

(2) Don't Push Things, Do Things

Instead of pushing messages the way you would with traditional advertising, try to do things for your target audience. Change your mindset about how trust works across different online channels. "Brands can't simply push messages anymore," reports the survey. "Consumers don't have time for one-way messages -- they are too busy influencing each other across every stage of the marketing funnel, across industries and product price points."

(3) Develop Net Sentiments

The survey suggests that brands should develop net sentiments. Razorfish describes these as "the degree to which consumers like or dislike your brand when they talk to each other about you online." In order to spur positive conversations, you need to be provoking positive sentiments.

(4) Monitor Your Level of Engagement

In order to keep the net sentiments positive, you need to be tracking your brand's performance in the blogosphere, social mediasphere and various discussion forums. Monitor the level of consumer engagement on a regular basis. By keeping track of the conversations revolving around your brand, you can respond to requests and remain active. "Being an active brand means that each day you interact with your consumers based on how they interact with you and with each other," suggests the survey.

The future of social influence marketing is knocking on your door. Are you there?

Image Credit: Razorfish

Webinar: Rethinking Marketing



Want to learn more about how you can use inbound marketing to grow your business?

Download the free webinar to learn how to turn your website into an internet marketing machine.


Originally published Jul 13, 2009 4:52:00 PM, updated March 21 2013

Topics:

Social Media