Bizrate Insights Social Media Series Part 3: Leveraging Digital Word of Mouth

by Hayley Silver •

This is the third installment of the 3-part Bizrate Insights survey series on Social Media and Shopping.

Discovering your social “brand champions” (those who evangelize your product via social media outlets) and cultivating social programs targeted towards them will enhance word-of-mouth ROI for your brand.  Making it easy for them to share experiences, products, or purchases is just as or more important than broad-based “like” driven promotions.  Over half of online buyers who participate in social media comment or post about products, brands and retailers and over one in six have purchased something based on a friend’s post.


Online buyers are receptive to shopping information shared by friends and family via social media

Three in five of online buyers use social media sites and nearly half of those users have participated in shopping-related activities via social media.  Facebook is used most for these type of activities, followed by Google+.  The top shopping related activities online buyers participate in are:

  1. Reading comments/post/reviews about products, brands or retailers (67%)
  2. “Liking” or “following” products/brands/retailers (52%)
  3. Commenting on/posting about/reviewing products, brands, or retailers (52%)
  4. Looking for or sharing sales or coupons from brands or retailers (47%)
  5. Clicking on posted items to read more information or to purchase (36%)

Most online buyers are open to shopping information that is shared by friends and family on social media sites.  48% agree it is a “great way to discover new products, trends, or retailers” and 40% find it helpful in “discovering sales and promotions.”  17% have “bought something based on a friend’s post.”

Topics Shared on Social Media

Product info tops shopping related content that is WOM-worthy

Online buyers who use social media not only consume shopping content from friends but they also generate content based on their good experiences.  When sharing, 3 in 4 share or suggest products they like to friends and nearly 3 in 5 share or suggest products they’ve already purchased.

“Like” driven retailer-sponsored promotions can attract already existing brand champions but less likely to convert new ones

The survey also finds that 77% of online buyers who use social media are aware of retailer promotions such as offering special deals, coupons, or sweepstakes in exchange for “liking” them on Facebook or “following” them on twitter.  Of those, 42% are fine with the practice as they would have liked/followed the retailer anyway.  However, these type of promotions also attract fair-weather fans as 11% would “like” or “follow” to get the offer but then “unlike” or “unfollow” afterward.  These type of promotions can also detract as 29% do not like the practice at all.  This compares to just 8% who do not like shopping-related posts from friends.

For more information, please download the free PDF data report here.

About the Survey

The Bizrate Insights Social Shopping Surveys are designed to continually pulse consumer sentiment as it relates to social media and shopping.  Surveys are conducted via the Bizrate Insights survey platform and offered to online buyers immediately after purchasing from the Bizrate Insights Network of over 5,000 ecommerce retailers in the US and Canada.  Data from this study was collected from 10,357 online buyers from August 24– September 5, 2011.

Bizrate Insights provides free, independent surveys for online retailers. For over 10 years, Bizrate Insights has helped retailers listen to their customers and achieve their end goal of growing sales and consumer loyalty. The Bizrate Insights customer feedback and ratings platform provides retailers a fast and measurable way t1o track customer experiences, resulting in insights, action, conversion, and customer loyalty. Visit to learn more about our free and paid buyer and abandonment survey and reporting products.

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