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What’s All the Talk About? :

It’s great when customers talk about their experiences shopping for your products online, or about the products themselves. Through social bookmarking and sharing features, it’s easier than ever to spread the word about businesses, products or experiences. But what, specifically, are people talking about when they share and bookmark your products and services online?

A new study by ROI Research is now able to give us a glimpse into all the “cyber chatter,” and it may be surprising. Are you fearful that social sites are where people like to air “dirty laundry”, so to speak, about your services or products? Do not worry, that’s not what most people are doing online.

The number one thing people use social networks in the U.S. for (when it comes to products/services) is for comparing prices (59%). Customers want to know that they’re getting a good deal when they are considering giving you their business.

The next biggest discussion on social networks is about sales or specials (56%). Third is to provide feedback to a brand/retailer (53%). Airing complaints/disappointments doesn’t come into play until seventh place (47%).

The takeaway here is that 1) people are looking for good deals, so if you’re not pricing your products competitively, you’re likely losing business you didn’t even realize you could get. Call it a certain degree of “distrust” among shoppers, but with the power of social media, not much can be hidden. And 2) is that people rely on social media to provide feedback, so take it. Don’t expect every customer to sit down and write a nice hand-delivered letter about their shopping experience, glittered with some suggestions for improvement. No, they will hop on your Facebook or Twitter page and tell you there (in front of everyone else).

Consider this valuable (free!) insight into your customer base. Instead of relying on special focus groups to pick a new color for a product, just put it out into the social media world. People will respond.

So what have your social media “followers” been telling you about your business? Are you listening?