Report: Social media drives sales—especially when combined with PR

Fast-food customers who are exposed to a brand’s social media presence spend more money in a week, a recent study has found. Add PR, and they spend even more.

Will consumers spend more money when they’re exposed to a brand’s message on social media? That’s the question Ogilvy PR’s social media practice, 360 Digital Influence, and analytics firm ChatThread sought to answer when they looked at the spending and consuming habits of 404 fast-food customers. The answer to this question: yes—fast-food consumers do spend more when they’re exposed to branded social media content. According to the researchers, they will spend anywhere from two to seven times more than consumers who didn’t encounter a brand’s message on social media. When customers were exposed to social media and another type of media, their spending and consumption increased even more, the study found. When social media was combined with PR, the increase was a whopping 17 percent. Despite social media’s impact on sales, fewer people in the study (24 percent) said they had interacted with branded content on social channels compared with that on television commercials (69 percent). You can take a look at a SlideShare presentation on the research from Ogilvy’s Irfan Kamal and ChatTread’s Dr. Walter Carl here. In the meantime, here’s an infographic summing up the results of the study:

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