More and more Canadians are using social media to recommend brands to their friends, according to a new survey of 2,858 Canucks conducted by Colloquy, the research arm of LoyaltyOne, which specializes in loyalty and marketing programs, in June of this year; given our strong similarities, it seems safe to assume the existence of a similar trend in the U.S. population.
Colloquy found that the proportion of Canadian respondents who said they use social media to make brand recs rose from 28% in 2011 to 38% in 2013. Meanwhile 55% of the general population believes social networks are an appropriate way for brands to interact with customers -- rising to 74% among young adults ages 18-25.
However, Colloquy also found that the proportion of Canadians who could be described as “word of mouth champions” -- meaning people who are especially loyal to, engaged with, and willing to recommend brands -- actually declined from 31% to 24% over the same period. It’s not quite clear what’s behind this drop-off, but I would speculate that perhaps people are simply becoming less loyal to specific brands, and also more skeptical about the benefits of being a brand enthusiast (after all, if you’re not rewarded for touting a brand to your friends on social media, e.g. with free samples or special offers, then what’s the point?).
Interestingly Canadians don’t seem to be nearly as keen on social media as an e-commerce platform. Back in January of this year, PricewaterhouseCooper’s “2013 Global Multi-Channel Retail Survey” for Canada found that, while 42% of 1,333 Canadians surveyed said they use social media at least once a day, and another 17% use it at least once a week, only about 7% said they use social media to shop.