Interesting findings: Sponsored contents do engage audiences - but will not necessarily create the intention the purchase from that sponsor. What drive people to consider buying: profiles with fans...
... which could potentially indicate that brands with a critical mass of supporters (perhaps, an indication of trust, respect, and 'approval' from others) have a higher likelihood of being bought.
It is also interesting to note that these brands with a critical mass of supporters are likely to be recommended by audiences to others in their social circle.
What do these tell us?
1. Audiences, when dealing with brands, look out for other people's approvals when sharing. Perhaps, in their minds is the notion "since others trust this brand, my risk of sharing and recommending this brand to others is minimized".
2. Audiences look out for brands - and content - that are recommended by others. Big brands (in terms of fanbase and social support) beget further bigness. Which means the more social your communications are, the more social they will become.
3. Sponsored content could deliver engagement in the form of interaction with the brand - BUT it is not necessarily going to lead to actual purchase, at least as indicated by purchase intent. The last mile - POSM, POP, instore - could potentially sway people in their decisions.
4. Corporate profiles (or brand profiles) could potentially be worth looking into in social networking sites - but it has got to be human enough to have "friends, fans, and supporters". Which lead us back to the product: no matter how good an ad is, if the product is below expectations and is not delivering enough to get fans and supporters and recommenders, the ad or communications won't succeed.