A new study by the marketing agency Mr Youth found that 80 percent of consumers that receive responses from brands made purchases as a result of those interactions.

Mr Youth collected data during the three weeks leading up to and including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The study found that many brands ignore nearly 50 percent of consumers’ posts on social networks like Facebook, and only 61 percent respond through Twitter.

Many brands tend to focus on pushing promotional, and sometimes spammy, messages to followers instead of putting more effort into creating personalized conversations. Changing your approach could lead to more sales. To support this, the study found that 28 percent of consumers made a purchase as a result of interactions with brands that reached out proactively.

Additionally the study found that 65 percent of consumers’ recommendations led to a purchase. In fact, recommendations of social media users are twice as likely to lead to a purchase. It’s fair to assume that the more you interact with your customers, the more likely they will recommend your brand to friends and family members.

There are a number of social media tools that can provide you with different ways to interact with your followers. We recently discovered that Facebook is testing private messages that will allow you to respond to consumers privately in addition to public replies on wall posts. Twitter has rolled out a redesigned website that makes it easier for you to track social media mentions by separating @ replies from mentions.

[Image credit: D. Sharon Pruitt]