Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Study Shows Search More Credible Than Social Media

Of the 2.4 billion brand related conversations taking place around the world each day Google searches provides information for about 145 million of them. Intrigued by this information Google recently joined up with the KellerFay Group to conduct a study to learn the effect of internet and search on word of mouth conversations.

The study primarily focused on determining the influence of internet, search and media/marketing channels on word of mouth conversations between people and their subsequent purchase pattern. Of the 3,000 adults surveyed across 12 categories it was found that the majority of them were “most likely” to buy something after hearing positive feedbacks from a trusted source. Of these, more than half of consumers who discussed goods and services were most likely to make a purchase based on the conversation.

What I found most intersting was that word of mouth feedback from search results are more likely to lead to a purchase than word of mouth feedback from social sites like Facebook and Twitter, as indicated in the chart below.

The Key findings of the study are:

  1. Face to face, word of mouth conversations (WOM) are still the most preferred way of discussing a brand and 94% of word of mouth brand impressions, take place offline

  2. Internet is the main reason for initiation of WOM conversations and is the #1 platform used by people to take an action after their conversations

  3. Search over the internet leads to more than 15% of all WOM conversations in the first place

  4. Google is the leading search portal to which people turn, after their face-to-face conversations, to find more information and or purchase the brands discussed

  5. Google directly informs 146 million brand conversations happening per day

  6. Word of mouth impressions generated by search are 25% more reliable and 17% more likely to lead to purchase than those generated by online social media sites such as Facebook

As always, Google has put all the important information from the study into a short video which I have embedded below for you to check out.

Word of mouth is such a powerful indicator in a person buying decision, so marketers should take a good look at the results of this study when determining how to market their business.

Article by SearchNews at

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