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How Social Media Comments Impact Sales: 14 Important Stats

  • by: Lino de la Cruz
  • On: 27, Aug 2019
6 min read

If you’ve worked with social media before, you probably already know that negative comments and unchecked trolling and spamming hurts brands and sales. But quantifying that impact can be a little harder to do. 

Need to convince your team of the importance of taking a proactive approach to managing engagement on social media? Are you having doubts about whether to invest more resources into it? Arm yourself with these powerful stats to understand the social media effects on sales.

The impact of negative comments on social media

“Negativity bias” is a concept discovered by psychologists Paul Rozin and Edward Royzman in 2001, showing that across almost all domains of life, people are drawn to the negative and have a higher tendency of remembering negative things. What does the negativity bias mean for brands on social media?

1. Negative information is 63% more likely to be clicked on than positive information, which means that social media algorithms designed to maximize such signals are bound to spread negative information. Source: AdWeek. (2014). Bad News: Negative Headlines Get Much More Attention.

2. Negative reviews stop 40% of buyers from wanting to use a business. Source: BrightLocal. (2018). Local Consumer Review Survey.

How Social Media Comments Impact Sales_ 13 Important Stats

3. It takes roughly 40 positive customer experiences to undo the damage of a single negative review. Source: (2010). The Secret Ratio That Proves Why Customer Reviews Are So Important.

4. 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews. Source: Vendasta. (2019). 50 Important Stats You Need to Know About Online Reviews.

5. 47% out of over 33,000 respondents to Edelman’s Trust Barometer 2018 report believe that points of view that appear near a brand’s advertising and marketing are an indication of that brand’s values. Source: Edelman. (2018). Trust Barometer Special Report: Brands and Social Media. 

6. 48% say it’s a brand’s own fault if its advertising appears next to hate speech, violent or sexually inappropriate comments. Source: Edelman. (2018). Trust Barometer Special Report: Brands and Social Media.


The impact of customer reviews on social media

Reviews used to be limited to dedicated sections of Facebook and Google. However, today’s consumers don’t hesitate to leave their impressions of a product or service in the comments directly below your social ads. Social media comment feeds are a treasure trove of information and opinions, both good and bad, about your brand.

The challenge is to sift through the volumes of comments across different ads and platforms to highlight the positive reviews amid all the noise and spam. 

7. Online reviews impact 67.7% of respondents' purchasing decisions.
Source: Moz. (2015). New Study: Data Reveals 67% of Consumers are Influenced by Online Reviews.

How Social Media Comments Impact Sales_ 13 Important Stats (1)

8. 73% of consumers form an opinion by reading 1–6 reviews, 40% reading just 1-3. 
Source: BrightLocal. (2015). Local Consumer Review Survey.

9. The purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270% greater than the purchase likelihood of a product with no reviews.
Source: Spiegel Research Center. (2017). How Online Reviews Influence Sales

10. Products with positive reviews sold 200% more than those with no ratings. 
Source: Werepublic. (2014). Everything You Need to Know About Online Reviews

11. 91% of 18-34 year old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Source: BrightLocal. (2018). Local Consumer Review Survey.


Why brands should engage on social media

With user engagement on the rise, and a bigger influence of comments and shares that came with the Facebook’s 2018 algorithm changes, creating content that triggers fleeting likes is not enough. Brands need to interact in a high-quality way with their fans and customers in order to drive more shares and comments, and ultimately, drive performance.

13. Internet and social media users in 2018 can be grouped into three types: 28% disengaged, 32% consumers, 40% amplifiers (who consume and share content). Edelman.

13. 89% of consumers read businesses' responses to reviews. Source: BrightLocal. (2018). Local Consumer Review Survey.

How Social Media Comments Impact Sales_ 13 Important Stats (1)

14. 44% of people think that brand conversations (what a brand says in direct communication over email, direct messaging, or in response to a comment posted) are more persuasive than what a brand says in its advertising materials.
Source: Edelman. (2018). Trust Barometer Special Report: Brands and Social Media.


As these stats show, user comments on social media can have a direct impact on sales. People trust what others are saying about your brand and product on social media. Not only that, they are making purchasing decisions based on these comments.

But not all reviews are fair or accurate. Your brand may be attacked unfairly or false information may be spread about your products, spokespersons, or company policies based on a rumor. 

As a brand investing significantly into your owned properties (organic Pages and Facebook ads), being able to manage and curate the conversation across your social media is essential to ensure consumers get reliable information about your brand.

Leaving comments on your social media accounts unchecked is like allowing graffiti to be sprayed all over your storefront and not doing anything about it.

By actively removing damaging comments, and liking and responding to relevant user comments on social media, your brand can drive the right kind of engagement that will result in better ROAS and higher sales.

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