TORONTO – Almost half of Canadians (43 per cent) give the same weight to the reviews they read about products and services on social media as they do to reviews given by friends, family, and the media, a new survey reveals.
The survey, conducted by American Express, showed that 64 per cent of Canadians agree that influence has changed with the rise of social media.
But the survey added that 75 per cent of Canadians consider themselves “influencers.”
“Nearly one in five Canadians say that social media has made them more influential, which means the power of word of mouth is turning to ‘world’ of mouth,” said Erik Qualman, author of the award winning book Socialnomics, which discusses the power of influence.
Qualman attributed the growing popularity of influence on social media to the speed of which consumers can gather information online.
“Word of mouth is now on digital steroids,” Qualman told Global News.
“As an individual I can blast something that goes out to over 200 million people – I never had that platform to be able to do that before.”
American Express’ survey noted that younger generations – people between the ages of 18 to 34 – were the most influenced by social media, but Qualman noted that older generations are also being influenced by friends and family online, noting that the largest growing demographic on Facebook is women ages 50 to 55.
The survey noted that people look for three traits when trusting someone’s opinion; confidence, education, and experience level.