CONSUMERS ARE LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ABOUT YOU ONLINE
Nearly half of consumers say they were willing to visit a company’s website, or look for information about a company online, consistent across all regions.
However, far fewer people are willing to apply for jobs, share positive information about a company on social media, or follow a corporate social media account. People in LATAM and the Middle East/Africa are much more willing to engage in these behaviors than people in Asia Pacific, Europe, or North America.
Does consumer engagement vary by industry?
Industries with higher overall engagement, like technology and pharmaceuticals, tend to have higher engagement across the board – even on the more difficult or active forms of engagement.
Information seekers are trust-agnostic; activities leveraging personal credibility require trust
People who distrust a company are just as likely as those who trust a company to visit a company’s website or look for more information about that company online. These are trust-neutral activities.
Trust plays a much greater role in people’s decision to share positive information about a company, follow that company on social media, or apply for a job
What information sources do stakeholders find credible?
TV news and newspapers are an important and credible source of information about companies. Social networking is nearly as important, but is much less credible.
Companies should not discount the power of personal conversations, which are perceived as much more credible than social media though the source of information would seem to be similar. This may reflect a growing divide in online relationships versus personal relationships.
Want people to get the right information about you? Company websites are the most frequently used and most credible form of company-controlled communication, so keep your website engaging and up-to-date so you can compete with news and information generated by social media.
Social media use explodes, but credibility lags
Although usage of social networking has increased tremendously, credibility hardly increased at all.
Compared to a similar study conducted in 2009, the use of social networking sites like Facebook to gain information about companies has increased (by 23 percentage points), with only a modest corresponding gain in credibility (up just 8 percentage points). In fact, the only forms of communication that have increased in usage are digital: social networking, YouTube or other video sharing sites, and blogs.
At the same time, usage and credibility of all mainstream media (TV, magazine, radio, and newspapers) has decreased.
Knowing this, companies would be wise to ensure that their digital communications reflect the changes in usability and preferences.
Methodology: The latest wave of the Ipsos Global Reputation Monitor, conducted in September 2017, measured attitudes of more than 23,000 consumers from 31 countries toward 66 companies across nine industries.