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Canadian GenY'ers turn to social media for product information and news Canadian GenY’ers turn to social media for product information and news

A study from the Canadian Council of Public Relations (CCPRF) examined popular sources that Canadians rely on when looking to purchase a product or service. The sources included social media, blogs, company websites, and traditional media (you might want to check out this blogpost in this context, too).  While the majority of Canadians still prefer traditional media sources when seeking product information, the results clearly indicate towards a “significant generational gap” in the use of social media for purchase research. Canadian GenY’ers turn to social media for product information and news.

The online survey – from September 2011 – looked at Canadians’ preferred sources of product information:

  • newspapers topped the list as a preferred source of product information for 86% of respondents
  • TV was a top source for 83%
  • company websites topped the list of digital sources for product info, listed by 68% of Canadians
  • blogs were a top source for 29%
  • Facebook for 21%
  • only 15% preferred to look to Twitter for product research

However, despite a clear overall preference for traditional media sources, Canadian’s younger consumers (Generation Y) were significantly more likely to turn to social media sources for product information:

  • Almost four in ten Canadians (38 per cent) aged 18-34 consider blogs to be one of their top research sources when purchasing a product or service, compared to less than half that (16 per cent) of Canadians aged 55 or older
  • YouTube mirrored the same pattern, with 27 per cent of Canadians under 34 years of age reporting it as one of their top research sources versus only 15 per cent of the boomer generation (adults over the age of 55)
  • Moreover, 18-34 year old Canadians were twice as likely as their older counterparts (aged 35-54) to list social media sources such as Facebook as credible news sources (22 per cent versus 12 per cent).  Interestingly, they were also more trusting of company websites as credible news sources than boomer Canadians (23 per cent versus 10 per cent)

Perhaps even more important, the younger generation was twice as likely to trust social media and company web sites as “credible news sources”:

  • 18-34 year old Canadians were nearly twice as likely as those 35-54 to list social media sources (such as Facebook) as credible news sources (22% vs. 12%)
  • 18-34 year-olds were also twice as likely to trust company websites as credible news sources vs. boomer Canadians (23% vs. 10%)

Carol Levine, chair of the CCPRF says:

“A significant portion of our younger generation sees blogs, YouTube, Facebook and company websites as credible sources of news. This suggests to us, that in their minds – and in contrast to older Canadians – the boundaries of credibility between news, “circle of trust” conversations and marketing are blurring.”

Well, there you have it. At the CCPRF, they’ve woken to the reality of todays consumers. We are delighted that yet another research has pointed out that breaking down oldschool marketing walls, make room for conversations and social media in your efforts to reach out to people as a brand, is not such a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all…

VIA.

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Posted in SocialMedia