In its recent study, Nielsen, a global information and media company, highlights that the number of social media users on mobile phones in India is expected to exceed those accessing similar sites on personal computers (PCs) in the coming year. The finding suggests that as more Indians log on to social media sites, they also engage with brands online. The report states that brand engagement is also influential in the buying process. Of the 39 percent of consumers who consider a recommendation for a product on a social networking site when making a purchase decision, three out of four will often purchase the products based on the review.
On a scale of one to 10, where a level of 10 is the most engaged, the Nielsen Engagement Index shows that all brands cluster around a score of seven regardless of whether a fan page has one or 4.5 million fans.
With more and more brands focusing on social media users, Nielsen examined their levels of brand engagement. The study reveals that one in six respondents want brands to share updates with them on new products and services. More than half (53 percent) want announcements on sales or discounts and half (50 percent) want to hear about the latest industry trends. Consumers also want brands to provide tips and tricks about how to maintain and use products/services (48 percent), conduct a greater number of contests (42 percent), resolve concerns (41 percent), create more utility applications/games (35 percent), and conduct more conversations (31 percent).
But the study further pointed that a larger social media community on brand pages does not equal a higher level of engagement. In the study, engagement is defined as how a consumer interacts on the brand’s page: visiting, downloading, and using an application on a page and/or sharing, commenting, and “liking” updates on a time line.
“If brands hope to achieve active engagement with consumers as a means to drive sales, they need to converse more with consumers and build interest,” said Farshad Family, Nielsen’s Managing Director of Media in India.
Nielsen finds that company interaction and being an aspirational brand are the two most important drivers of engagement with brands. Other key factors of engagement success include posting lively discussions and general updates, having a “hip” brand, and being “liked.”
The facts from the study were discussed at the session, “More Indian Consumers to Choose Mobile Over PC for Social Media BY 2012” that took place at the 2011 edition of Nielsen’s annual conference, “Consumer 360 India,” at The Grand, Delhi.