An online study carried out by RightNow found that 46 per cent of consumers become Facebook ‘fans’ of retail businesses post-purchase, providing feedback or seeking advice and tips. However, only four per cent of consumers have ever received feedback to their interaction.
RightNow chief marketing officer Jason Mittelstaedt described this as a "lost opportunity" urging retailers to improve their Facebook presence by engaging with consumers post-purchase.
"Most Facebook pages aren’t set up to provide support, whether pre or post purchase, so loyal customers are slipping through the cracks, and retailers must take advantage of the Facebook potential to have direct engagement with their most enthusiastic customers."
Growers and retailers were urged to grasp the social networking phenomenon at last month’s Contact 2011 conference, by garden centre consultant Neville Stein (Horticulture Week 21 January).
As a result, many businesses have created Facebook and Twitter accounts including Seiont Nurseries and Fairweather's Nursery.
Seiont Nurseries’ nursery manager Neil Alcock said: "I got an order for some plants based on a picture I put up on Twitter, so if you are on the move with a smart phone it’s good to put up posts of your stock.
"It’s also good for networking and you could put a picture up of a new variety and your counterparts abroad can see what you are doing with those plants."