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Consumers are more likely to visit a CPG website—rather than social networks—for brand information and promotional offers, but they prefer Facebook for connecting with other customers and sharing opinions about CPG brands, according to a survey from Ipsos Marketing, Consumer Goods.

Overall, consumers are more likely to visit a brand's website than become a Facebook fan or Twitter follower of a brand—regardless of the CPG category.

Across various CPG categories, roughly 23% to 26% of consumers surveyed say they are likely to visit a brand website in the next three months, compared with a Facebook brand page (10% to 15%) and a Twitter page (9% to 12%).

Consumers' reasons for visiting a CPG brand website are different from those for engaging with a CPG brand on Facebook or Twitter.

The main reasons cited for visiting a CPG brand's website are obtaining brand information (74%); coupons (73%); and recipes, cleaning tips, or health and beauty advice (70%).

The main reasons cited for visiting a brand profile on Facebook and Twitter, however, relate to sharing opinions and experiences—and connecting with other customers:

  • Facebook is the platform of choice for the voice of the consumer: 57% of consumers cite opinion sharing as the main reason for visiting Facebook (vs. 38% for Twitter). 
  • Some 54% of consumers cite connecting with other customers as the primary reason for visiting a Facebook page (vs. 35% for Twitter). 

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"Marketers are appropriately exploring the use of Facebook as a new way to 'listen' to their consumers," said Lauren Demar, CEO, Ipsos Marketing, Global Consumer Goods Sector. "Websites are ideal for sharing information about the brand offer with its consumer franchise."

"However, Facebook can be leveraged to really listen to what consumers are saying about the brand experience, by providing them with what they may perceive to be a less-threatening forum for self-expression."

"For Twitter, it is less clear," Demar added. "Marketers can enrich the value of social networking sites by elevating the consumer experience and ensuring it is consistently engaging, useful in terms of content, and a two-way conversation.... [W]ebsites and social networking forums like Facebook each have a role to play in establishing and building a bond with the consumer."

About the data:  Findings are from the Ipsos Marketing, Consumer Goods  23-country online survey, via the Ipsos Global @dvisor International Omnibus, among 21,623 consumers age 18+ from Nov. 4, 2009 to Jan. 13, 2010.

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