Report: ‘Even the smallest social media post drives ROI’

Even the smallest social media interactions between brands and consumers – such posting product shots – can drive sizeable uplifts in sentiment, engagement and brand loyalty, a new study claims.


Research from the IAB Social Media Council, conducted by Marketing Sciences, found nine out of 10 consumers would recommend a brand after interacting with it on social media. For one brand the study analysed, Kettle Chips, there was a 21 point different in likelihood to recommend the brand between those exposed to social media and those not.

Around four fifths of participants said they would be more inclined to buy a brand more often in the future after being exposed to a brand’s social media presence, while 83 per cent of consumers would go on to trial the brand’s product.

The IAB claims the study shows social media can turn consumers from one-off buyers into more loyal buyers through repeat social media exposure – meaning brands should not be afraid of posting frequently. It says every £1 spent on social media, a potential value of £3.34 can be generated in terms of repeat sales for the three FMCG brands analysed: Heinz, Kettle and Twinings.

Kristin Brewe, chair of the IAB’s Social Media Council, says: “When you think of the fact that FMCG is a category with low price points and tight margins, it’s kind of mind-blowing to speculate what the return on investment could be for social and luxury goods, as an example.”

While Brewe says there is “no hard and fast way” to get a specific fan to recommend because brands’ audiences vary, she offers this advice based on the research: “Stay out of the way of your fans. Fans of Kettle, Heinz and Twinings products are fans for a reason: the product in question. So, pictures of products – taken by the brands or those submitted by the fans – seem to work really well.”

Brewe admitted she was “surprised” by the power of pictures as often marketers think they have to do something “enigmatic” – such as giveaway a dream holiday or feature hilarious photos – to gain traction.

She adds: “Actually, it’s quite simple: showcase what people love about you. Provide a platform where they can also share what they love about you: quite often that’s a picture of crisps and dips, beans on toast or a steaming cuppa.”

The research measured the return of investment for the three FMCG brands’ social media campaigns over an eight week period. 

The researches administered an online survey to those who were exposed to the brands on social media and a control group, both of which totalled 4,500 participants. This analysis was supplemented with a further 800 research panel interviews.

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