Tech shoppers refer to social media content for purchasing decisions.

Social butterflies and observant wallflowers might find networks like Facebook increasingly influential media outlets for their everyday lives. A new study from IDG Research Services entitled “The Echo Effect: Understanding the Value of Tech Buyers” surveyed visitors of sites like PCWorld and MacWorld to better understand their social behaviors. According to the data, as relayed by ClickZ, 44 percent of respondents credit exposure to tech products through social media as positively affecting their likelihood of purchasing advertised goods online.

More, 40 percent of respondents indicate they’ve developed brand loyalty to organizations they’ve engaged with through social media, as long as interactions were positive. Forty-two percent of surveyed consumers also said they’re more likely to promote brands that have reached out to establish positive relationships.

The IDG report suggests consumers are open to online engagement from brands and that, in some cases, social interactions have even improved brand loyalty and encouraged word-of-mouth marketing. A new study from Nielsen discovered that internet users spend more time on social media networks than they did a year ago, with users on sites like Facebook and Twitter for about 520.1 billion minutes in 2012 – up from 430.4 billion in the previous year. Together, these two reports suggest social media marketing should become an even greater component of inbound outreach, and marketers who dedicate additional resources toward these channels may find greater success down the line.

social media minutesPerhaps what is most interesting are the best social media content practices offered up by internet users to IDG. The data indicates that 53 percent of IDG respondents think the best way to reach them is by posting custom content to Facebook that answers frequently asked questions. Other responses in the IDG report suggest marketers post key social media tips, product reviews and social care articles. With a high percentage of consumers saying content compels them to engage with brands online, content marketing should become a top priority moving forward into the new year.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.