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BizReport : Social Marketing : December 13, 2013

Product reviews on Facebook more trusted, influential than on other social media

New research reveals that, among active social media users, recommendations and product reviews on Facebook are more trusted and acted upon than any other online destination including other social media outlets and retail websites.

by Helen Leggatt

A survey of more than 10,000 active social media users reveals Facebook to be their most-trusted review platform, more so than Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube. Conducted by advocacy activation company Social Media Link, the survey found that 68% trust Facebook compared to Twitter (41%), Pinterest (56%) and YouTube (51%).

Furthermore, the survey found that it's quality over quantity when it comes to making a purchase decision. More than three-quarters of respondents said that fewer than 10 reviews might compel them to make a purchase.

However, the nature of a review on Facebook also figures into the equation. While 40% said the most valuable reviews are those based around real-life personal stories, reviews that simply contained lists of product benefits were less favorable (34%) and star-ratings weren't very popular (15%).

When it comes to reviews by people who had been provided with free products to review, those by family and friends were the most-trusted (86%) and even free blogger reviews ranked highly (76%). However, less than half (45%) trusted paid blog reviews, for obvious reasons.

Overall, social recommendations from people they knew were, by far and away, more trusted than those via other media and advertising channels.

"During the holidays when everyone is looking for trusted information on what to buy, recommendations from your social circles on Facebook will carry the most credibility," says Susan Frech, chief executive officer, Social Media Link. "Undoubtedly, the survey found that people don't need hundreds of recommendations and reviews to entice purchase, it's really about receiving a quality message from a trusted source."

For more stats relating to social media's influence, check out Social Media Link's infographic.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: consumer survey, product reviews, recommendations, research, social media, social network

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