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BizReport : Social Marketing : May 02, 2011

Survey: Likes better than reviews, in-person best of all

Social media is garnering more attention from businesses as consumers continue to shift how they engage with content. That is as it should be, according to a new report from CityGrid Media and Harris Interactive. The study found that 'likes' from social nets such as Facebook are now more important than actual customer reviews.

by Kristina Knight

According to researchers consumers are now showing their loyalty and opinions for brands through 'liking' their Facebook pages rather than posting product reviews. But, more than social networks or reviews, face to face interactions - actually recommending a product or store to a friend - are the most likely ways to influence another customer.

The study found:

• 75% of consumers tell friends about brands/products they like
• 20% 'like' brands on Facebook to show support
• 13% write product reviews
• Millenials are more likely to socially support favorite brands than other demos
• Women are more likely than men to socially support brands/products

"The economic conditions of the past few years have led to people being increasingly conscious of how and where they spend their money," said Kara Nortman, Senior Vice President, Publishing with CityGrid Media.

Researchers further found:

• Half (52%) of adults (under age 35) visit 2 websites before frequenting a local business
• 63% of adults research businesses via Google
• 24% look for businesses on Facebook

"What this means for small businesses on the Web is that they should encourage Likes, but also round out marketing efforts to reach consumers across a variety of touchpoints. The truth is, there's no one silver bullet to influence people that are choosing local businesses on or offline," said Nortman.

The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive between March 16 and 20.

Tags: brand marketing, CityGrid Media, Facebooks, product reviews, social marketing, social networks

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