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Blogs Vs. Social Media: Which Drives Purchases More

Blogs Vs. Social Media: Which Drives Purchases More

According to Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report, blogs are more influential than social networks in shaping consumers’ opinions and influencing purchase decisions. However, if you look at the big companies with well-known brands, they are investing more money in social channels like Facebook, than on blogging. The obvious question is what are the pros and cons of blogs versus other channels?

What is the motivation for using Facebook? According to the study, the underling reason is the reported role of social networks in influencing purchases: 31% of consumers surveyed cite Facebook as an influential source, 27% cite YouTube, 27% cite LinkedIn, and 20% cite Google+.

  • Facebook users tend to “like” brands to learn about products and services (56%), keep up with brand-related activities (52%), and for promos (48%); some 32% interact with brands to provide feedback.
  • Twitter users follow brands mostly to keep up with brand activities (57%) and learn about products and services (47%); some 27% do so to provide feedback.
  • YouTube users engage with brands mostly to learn about products and services (61%), keep up with brand-related activities (41%), and provide feedback (23%).
  • Pinterest users follow brands primarily to learn about products and services (56%), keep up with brand activities (35%), and for sweepstakes/promos (28%).
  • Instagram users follow brands to keep up with brand-related activities (41%), learn more about products and services (39%), and make purchases (27%).

In summary, of all of these sites Facebook is the most influential. But what about blogs?

According to the respondents, 86% publish a blog and almost all (88%) do it themselves. Over half (59%) use blogs as the primary means of content distribution. Influencers rank page views of blogs or websites as the best measure of their own success (52%).

But the most important stat is that when consumers are making purchasing decisions about what to buy, they rank blogs as the third most influential digital resource (31%), behind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%).

I think the reason why social channels such as Facebook and Twitter are being used more than blogs is simply because it’s easier. While both influence brands and purchasing, Facebook and Twitter updates are much easier than writing a blog.

What do you do to shape your customer’s opinions and influence prospect’s purchasing decisions? Do you use Facebook and Twitter or do you blog?

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About Howie Fenton

As an NAPL Senior Consultant, Howie works with commercial and in-plant print shops and industry manufacturers. Consulting directly with printing companies, Howie specializes in the areas of operations and digital production, with a focus on workflow, customer service, estimating and prepress performance and benchmarking, as well as budgeted hourly rates. Howie’s experience and expertise positions him to coach companies on their investment priorities such as web to print, pdf workflows, variable data printing and digital equipment. As a follow-up to that, Howie works with companies to streamline their operations and train their staff to sell the value of the digital technologies. As one of the leading in-plant printing experts, Howie performs in-plant audits and customized surveys that benchmark financial performance, analyze workflow issues, and measure productivity, customer satisfaction, and in-plant competitiveness. His evaluations help clients increase efficiency and reduce costs, and his services are used to benchmark financial and operational performance and to demonstrate or improve that performance. A frequent speaker at industry events, he has written five books and two books on digital printing and variable-data printing and is a regular contributor to several industry publications.

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