Social media a powerful selling tool

May 20, 2011

Lots of businesses know they should be active in social media like Facebook and Twitter and research by a Victoria University PhD graduate has explained why.

An investigation by Dr. Nick Thompson has shown the power of in getting people talking to each other about brands and products that matter to them.

Dr. Thompson says the most successful brands attract a passionate and loyal consumer community and getting those people to act as unofficial ambassadors is an effective marketing strategy.

"We all know that word-of-mouth recommendations are really valuable and social media can make that happen. Having people talk about your product or recommend it to others builds consumer communities much faster than beating down someone’s door with direct approaches."

Dr. Thompson says it's still important for businesses to use traditional methods of advertising and promotion to build awareness but they should also be investing in strategies to build communities around their brand.

His research focused on attitudes to the national airline Air New Zealand which he says is seen as doing a good job on both counts.

"Their advertising positions them as likeable and patriotic and their supporters relate to that.

"Air New Zealand is also talked about a lot online with, for example, people getting in touch with friends and family to tell them about the daily Grabaseat deals or their experience flying with them to overseas destinations. That helps strengthen customer relationships."

He says, arguably, the most important thing a company can do to promote its brand is provide a positive customer experience.

"If you give people a good experience they will tell others about it."

Dr. Thompson says social media has enjoyed a phenomenal rise in importance as a sales and marketing tool. "When I started researching the role of the Internet in forming relationships with brands, was new on the scene and not well understood. In just five years it’s become a major force in the industry."

Explore further: Digital Life: Ad-sponsored social media updates may have limits

Related Stories

Asia budget carriers eye social media to cut costs

January 27, 2011

Asian budget carriers are increasingly using social networks like Facebook to boost their business and even channel customer criticism, without resort to print advertising, industry chiefs said Thursday.

Can ordinary people make money on Twitter?

March 9, 2011

Reports this week that celebrities are earning up to $10,000 per tweet on Micro-blogging site Twitter has caught the attention of ordinary social media users who are now asking how they can make money too.

Recommended for you

48-million-year-old horse-like fetus discovered in Germany

October 7, 2015

A 48 million year-old horse-like equoid fetus has been discovered at the Messel pit near Frankfurt, Germany according to a study published October 7, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jens Lorenz Franzen from Senckenberg ...

Chimpanzees shed light on origins of human walking

October 6, 2015

A research team led by Stony Brook University investigating human and chimpanzee locomotion have uncovered unexpected similarities in the way the two species use their upper body during two-legged walking. The results, reported ...

How much for that Nobel prize in the window?

October 3, 2015

No need to make peace in the Middle East, resolve one of science's great mysteries or pen a masterpiece: the easiest way to get yourself a Nobel prize may be to buy one.

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.

Who you gonna trust? How power affects our faith in others

October 6, 2015

One of the ongoing themes of the current presidential campaign is that Americans are becoming increasingly distrustful of those who walk the corridors of power – Exhibit A being the Republican presidential primary, in which ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.