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90% of conversations about products and services take place offline

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By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

February 8, 2013 | 3 min read

New research from inTV, a cooperative group of independent TV channels, has found that only four per cent of conversations about products and services take place on social media, with 90 per cent taking place offline.

The channels, which comprise of BBC World News, France 24, ESPN Classic, euronews, EuroSport, National Geographic, Sky News, CNBC and TV5 Monde, carried out the survey to look at the role of word of mouth, identify what brands consumers are talking about, who they are talking to and to quantify what influence these conversations have on others in terms of influencing brand consideration and purchase.

Belinda Barker, chairperson at inTV, said: “Social media is undoubtedly an important channel for creating brand buzz, but our research shows that these conversations only equate to a small proportion of brand conversations, with nine out of ten happening face to face or on the phone. For us at inTV, this validates our view that advertising should be the start of a conversation – a positive conversation about brands and products that creates positive advocacy, drives purchase intention and increases lifetime value.

“What was particularly gratifying to see was that, in every category, inTV viewers were significantly more likely to be Champions than non-inTV viewers. This shows that advertising on inTV channels will improve Return on Investment by creating a much higher level of earned media than other TV channels.”

It was found that 90 per cent of consumer conversations about products or services feature at least one brand, with the financial sector being the most talked about, seeing 42 per cent of respondents have at least one discussion on this area a week.

The research found that Apple was the most talked about brand, with 70 per cent of respondents having discussed the brand in the past month.

While watches was the area which led to least conversations, with only 23 per cent discussing the subject a month, it was also the sector which saw the most positive conversations, with 69 per cent ranking it as ‘positive’ and only four per cent describing the conversation as ‘negative’.

Banking and finance ranked the worst here, with 30 per cent describing the conversation as ‘negative, while 24 per cent viewed their conversation as being positive.

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