Is Facebook the Path to Family & Friends Recommendations?
With its connections to family and friends and personal experiences, Facebook is the most trusted product review platform, according to a survey from Social Media Link, the marketing firm.
Sixty-eight percent of respondents indicated they trust Facebook for product and service recommendations, according to the survey of 10,337 active social media users. Less impressive is that Facebook’s trust level is close to the 63 percent who trust blogs and retail websites.
But Facebook is tops by a notable degree among other social networks. Pinterest was trusted for product reviews by only 56 percent of respondents, YouTube, 51 percent; Twitter, 41 percent; and Google+, 41 percent.
Exploring the trust factors around reviews offered some insight as to why Facebook ranked so high:
Eighty-six percent agreed that reviews/recommendations by close friends and family have an impact on purchase decisions. Forty-two percent were swayed by an acquaintance, 39 percent by blogger reviews and only 11 percent by a celebrity review;
- Some 40 percent indicated the most valuable reviews were those that contain personal stories, rather than a list of product benefits, which were most valuable to 34 percent. Only 15 percent agreed that ubiquitous star ratings were most valuable in influencing purchase.
- Nearly-three quarters (77 percent) agreed that fewer than 10 reviews compel them to make a purchase decision;
- Exploring freebies or paid endorsements, 86 percent said they trust friends and family who received a free product in exchange for a review, while a still high 68 percent said they trusted friends and family reviews that are pay for play. Free blogger reviews also ranked high (76 percent), although only 45 percent trusted paid blog reviews.
- Seventy-eight percent said a positive experience prompted them to share their opinions online versus 47 percent who were prompted by a negative experience.
"There is a fantastic opportunity for marketers to leverage brand advocates to share their own brand experience with their unique social circles to influence purchase and mobilize this effort to help scale it," Jordan Herrmann, marketing director at Social Media Link, told ClickZ.
- New Survey of 10,000+ from Social Media Link Uncovers Facebook Most Trusted Review Platform, 77 percent Say They Will Purchase After Seeing Fewer Than 10 Reviews – Social Media Link
- Social Recommendation Index Infographic – Social Media Link
- Facebook the Most Trusted Channel for Brand Recommendations – ClickZ
- Nielsen: Earned Advertising Remains Most Credible Among Consumers; Trust In Owned Advertising On The Rise – Nielsen
- Online Product Reviews and Testimonials Continue to Gain Importance in Beauty Recommendations – GCI Magazine
How effectively are marketers tapping into the trust factor associated with Facebook relationships to develop brand advocates and drive sales? What will they need to do differently to achieve an appreciable improvement?