NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Word of mouth may one day be replaced by ‘likes’ on Facebook, as one new survey shows consumers are increasingly turning to the social networking site to express their loyalty to their favorite companies, and even to find out more about those companies.
One in five people say they choose to “like” a company on Facebook when they want to show support for it, compared to just 13% who take the time to write a positive review of the company online or offline, according to a survey of more than 1,000 adults put out by CityGrid Media, an online advertising company.
Indeed, the next generation of consumers is even more likely to rely on Facebook, with some 40% of those under the age of 35 saying they show support for companies by opting to ‘like’ them on the social network.
Facebook debuted the “like” feature early in 2010, replacing a previous option users had to “become a fan” of a company. Since then, the “like” button has been incorporated onto countless websites for restaurants, local businesses and media companies, among others.
Consumers are also taking advantage of other newer social networks like Twitter and Foursquare to show their appreciation for companies, though far fewer do so (about 2% for each).
Likewise, more customers are relying on the Internet to help decide whether to visit a given business. Just more than 40% of consumers used Google to learn more about businesses, whereas only 30% rely on traditional directories like the Yellow Pages. At the moment, 12% of consumers surveyed say they use Facebook for this purpose, but a third of those in the 18-24 demographic do so, hinting that Facebook will become a greater influence on the coming generation.
To find out the companies that do the best job of attracting consumers on Facebook, check out MainStreet’s list of the most “liked” retailers on the social networking site.
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