Study finds only 20% of consumers are 'high sharers'

Although consumers' use of Facebook as a pre-purchase research tool has increased exponentially, only one in five online consumers can be considered "high sharers" of brand-related content, according to research from Next Fifteen firms M Booth and Beyond.

Although consumers' use of Facebook as a pre-purchase research tool has increased exponentially, only one in five online consumers can be considered “high sharers” of brand-related content, according to research from Next Fifteen firms M Booth and Beyond.

The other 80%, which is older, skews more male, and cares more about the quality of products than brand names, shares product info considerably less. Consumers who share a high volume of online content about brands are largely female and younger than their “low sharer” counterparts, according to the research. Not surprisingly, high sharers are more three-times more likely to recommend a product online.

And while marketers are devoting a growing amount of attention to Facebook, so are consumers. More than half of respondents (53%) said they use Facebook to interact with brands while 40% said they have “liked” a product on the platform. Twenty percent of consumers said they have used Facebook to research products at least once a week. More than four in 10 (42%) have written an online post about a product or brand, and 33% have written online product reviews.

The report also reinforced the importance of search marketing, which ranked ahead of other online channels, such as brand websites, rating and review sites, news articles, and online ads in terms of influence.

“We hear a lot about Facebook and Twitter, but it's worth taking a step back to see search's influence,” said David Hargreaves, CEO of Beyond, presenting the results Wednesday morning.

The agencies commissioned the survey of 1,583 US consumers over the past three months.

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