A recent survey by Price Waterhouse Cooper has revealed that 70% of consumers don’t use social media when purchasing or accessing services. This is despite the fact that, of those who responded, almost 50% visit their social media sites daily.

Indeed, many businesses have questioned the value of social media and query the return on investment from social media marketing. So why should marketers keep investing in social media? Why bother with Twitter and Facebook if consumers aren’t spending their money there?

Whilst it is apparent that social media channels are not yet the first port of call when it comes to online retail shoppers, what it does do is act as a strong indicator of buyer’s purchase interests and trends. Consumers’ interact with brands via their social media usage and marketing executives need to be adept at looking for, and capitalising on, these interactions.

The PWC survey highlighted that nearly 40% of social media users are following brands and their favourite retail outlets. In addition about 60% of that group are buying from a traditional shop weekly and nearly half are buying online weekly. These shopaholics are researching, discussing and reading reviews on their social media channels before purchasing.

A savvy social media marketer knows this and will ensure there are plenty of reviews and recommendations in their social media pages. Corporate branding will be evident and product or service information easily accessible.

While consumers are visiting social media sites. smart marketers will have offers or contests to encourage visitors to click through to the main site. Twitter is a useful platform for giving consumer information about preferential deals or pre-sales information whereas Facebook is ideal for contests or freebies.