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Consumers Turn to Print, TV, Radio, Not Social Media, for New Brand Info

Social Media

January 2012 -- Facebook has more than 800 million active users, with more than 200 million added in 2011. Twitter now has 100 million active users every month with visitor growth up 60% this year. With the surge in popularity, marketers are increasingly using Facebook and Twitter to communicate with customers.  Yet, with this said, consumers are most likely to learn about new brands, products, or services from offline media and word-of-mouth, as opposed to social media and other digital channels. 

Offline Media Keeps Consumers Informed

AYTM Market Research finds consumers are typically not learning about new brands, products and services from social media. A survey of 2,000 Americans finds only 6.5% of Internet users said "most frequently" hear about new brands, products and services from social media, while 17.6% "often" do and 26.5% said they "sometimes" do. A quarter of respondents (26%) said they "never" hear about these new offerings via social media.

Offline channels, such as TV, print media and radio are the ways consumers most frequently discover new brands, products and services, while word-of-mouth and physical stores also play a role.  Consumers "most frequently" or "often" first learn about new brands, products or services from offline media (50.9%) or word-of-mouth (48.9%) rather than social media like Twitter and Facebook (24.1%).


Ways that US Internet Users First Learn About New Brands, Products and Services, Oct 2011 (% of total)

Source: eMarketer



U.S. consumers state they also learn about new offerings more often from online advertising or online shopping sites than from social media sites.

Majority of Consumers on Social Media Do Not Mention Brands

In addition, AYTM Market Research reports that 57.8% of U.S. Facebook users had not mentioned a brand in their status updates as of October 2011.  One in four (25.3%) commented on brands in a positive manner, 16.4% of status updates featured a mix of both positive and negative mentions, and just 0.5% of Facebook users posted only negative mentions about brands on Facebook.


US Facebook Users Who Have Mentioned a Brand in Their Facebook Status Updates, Oct 2011 (% of total)

Source: eMarketer


U.S. Twitter users nearly mirrored these results, with 61.3% of Twitter users saying they have not tweeted about a brand, 25.4% only mentioned brands in positive tweets, 12.9% wrote of brands in both positive and negative tweet, and 0.4% said they only mentioned brands in negative tweets.


About:  The AYTM data is based on responses from 2,000 U.S. Internet users from AYTM's online consumer panel.

Source:  eMarketer, Most Consumers Still Don’t Talk About Brands on Social Sites, January 10, 2012.