Survey: Younger Users More Likely to Make Local Recs on Social Media

Local online marketing and SEO firm BrightLocal is out with some new data from its late 2010 poll of US and UK consumers. There were a total of just over 2,000 surveyed online in September last year.

The previous survey results can be viewed here (Part 1, Part 2). This third part of the survey examines “motivations that consumers have for personally recommending a business.”

Below are a selection of the charts and findings from the survey. Most of the data are segmented by gender and age (though I don’t reproduce all the charts). The full Part 3 survey result are available here.

In the last 12 months have you recommended a local business to people you know by any of the following methods?
Local Consumer Research - Local SEO - Chart 2  - Have you ever used the following method to recommend a local business
The survey says that “11% have written a review on an online directory, but only 6% of users have recommended via twitter.” However Facebook is a meaningful source of local business recommendations according to BrightLocal’s data.

But when the data are segmented by age (below), they show that younger users are much more likely than older users to recommend businesses on directories, Facebook and Twitter.

Local Consumer Research - Local SEO - Chart 3  - Have you ever used the following method to recommend a local business

Which of these factors would make you more likely to recommend a local business to people you know?

Local Consumer Research - Local SEO - Chart 5  - Local Business Traits that Encourage Customers to recommend a local business

The most interesting thing about the chart immediately above is the low response to a local business request for a recommendation. The business must be good or offer a deal to elicit a favorable recommendation.

Would you be more likely to recommend a local business to people you know if they had a good value offer or discount?

Local Consumer Research - Local SEO - Chart 7  - Personal Incentives for Recommending a Local Business

Would you be more likely to promote a local business to people you know if you could benefit personally from doing so?

Local Consumer Research - Local SEO - Chart 9  - Personal Incentives for Recommending a Local Business

The graph above is also interesting as more social media tools attempt to “incentivize” recommendations, reviews and referrals. The BrightLocal survey found that people in the 35-55 age group were the most likely to make a recommendation if rewarded. Men are also more likely than women to do so.

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4 Responses to “Survey: Younger Users More Likely to Make Local Recs on Social Media”

  1. Nyagoslav says at

    I think these findings somehow come to inset to our conversation from the other day: http://www.screenwerk.com/2011/05/02/survey-deals-more-impactful-than-reviews-in-new-customer-acquisition/#comments

  2. Greg says at

    Yes. Thanks for reminding me. One of the challenges is that these surveys are all self-reported attitudinal data. The way questions are asked matters and influence the outcome. But there’s also a potential difference between what I say and what I do in actuality. 

    I might say that I won’t recommend a business if I receive a reward but the particular incentive might turn out to be pretty compelling and I might actually do it. 

    I’m not saying I disbelieve these results. Just saying all survey data should be considered thoughtfully. 

  3. Nyagoslav says at

    Absolutely agree with that. But do you think there is a way to ask questions on such topics without influencing the answer? I mean they are so broad and vary so much from case to case, that this data could definitely not be used as a major reference, but better as a kind of “peg”. Not to mention that the survey covers (just partially) the behavioral patterns of only UK and US citizens.

  4. Greg says at

    Probably no way to ask completely “objective” questions in a survey or provide enough context to make what you’re asking absolutely clear. And yes, cultural differences are going to influence outcomes. 

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