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The benefits of the approach were highlighted in a recent study by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), which revealed that as many as nine in ten consumers would recommend a brand to other people after they have communicated with the brand in question on Facebook, Twitter or another social platform.
In addition, the research suggests that repeated exposure to a brand on social media can dramatically increase sales. The IAB found that eight in ten consumers were more likely to purchase products from brands they have repeatedly seen on social networks. Social media interaction also turns one-off buyers into loyal customers, with more than four in five willing to trial a brand´s product.
The study focused on the effect of social media marketing activity on the sales of three FMCG brands – Heinz, Kettle and Twinings. It estimated that for every pound invested in social networking sites, brands generated an average of £3.34 in terms of repeat sales.
Commenting on the findings, Kristin Brewe, chair of the IAB´s Social Media Council, said that one of the best ways to engage consumers and to make them recommend a brand is to showcase what consumers like, such as pictures of products that could also be submitted by users, funny images or pictures of a dream holiday.