WASHINGTON — U.S. online consumers report that they follow an average of 9.3 retail companies on the Pinterest social media site, compared with 6.9 retailers on Facebook and 8.5 retailers via Twitter, according to a new study.
The 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study, a joint research project by Shop.org, comScore and The Partnering Group, also found that almost two out of five (38%) online consumers follow retailers through one or more social networking sites.
In addition, the survey showed that company blogs, YouTube and Facebook command the majority of consumers’ social activity. In particular, 70% of those who follow a retailer’s blog click through to its website, and though sometimes overlooked in the overall social media mix, more than two-thirds (68%) of consumers use YouTube to browse and research a retail company.
“Pinterest has given retailers another channel to ‘listen’ to and interact with both existing and new customers, telling an ongoing visual story through images of their products and their brand ‘spirit,' a story that customers can then tell again to their friends and family members,” said Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell, in a statement.
When it comes to what spurs consumers to follow retailers on social media platforms, the study found that finding good deals is still the leading reason, but that deals and promotions have lost a little bit of their luster. This year, 51% say they follow a retailer to get information on deals and coupons, down from 58% who said so last year. Four in 10 (43%) say they are looking for product information and 36% want to post/read comments about merchandise or services.
Additionally, three in 10 consumers who follow retailers via social media say they are actively looking for information about events (34%), current trends and ideas (31%), or photos and videos (30%), such as “how-to’s” and styling ideas, as well as expert opinions (27%).