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Mintel has today (17 April 2012) announced a new series of reports examining consumer behaviour with brands both online and offline.

Mintel’s Social Media Series is the first of its kind to look at social media from a consumer angle – providing in-depth analysis into online behaviour. Using exclusive consumer research, Mintel will reveal how people are engaging with brands within the consumer goods and services markets. In addition, they will look at the ways in which people use social media and the internet to influence and inform purchases decisions.

Alexandra Richmond, Senior Analyst, at Mintel said:

“Social networks have established themselves as integral to the consumer’s digital experience. They not only enrich the brand experience, but also help to integrate real-world brands into users’ digital lifestyles. People are turning to online discussions for product recommendations, listening to the opinions of others and increasingly forming networks based on shared interests and tastes. For brands willing to engage with participants within these networks, social networks present an opportunity to communicate with an audience and establish a position via the medium of the digital environment.”

“Online consumer reviews, discussions and tweets are just a few of the areas within social media factored into purchasing decisions and therefore need to be understood by organisations wanting to influence the overall decision making process. It is the motives and behaviours behind online conversations and brand mentions which provide the greatest insights. These reports will help our clients understand not just what their clients are doing on social media, but why they are doing it – helping to guide effective social media and digital strategies.”

The series will encompass one report a month, each focussing on a different sector – with the initial report examining the beauty and personal care industry.