March 3, 2010, 12:00 AM

72% of social media users share product searches with friends, study says

Most social media users share information from online product searches in face-to-face communications with friends, and in-person communication also is the top reason they go online to search for products, says a study based on BigResearch data.

71.8% of social media users share information from online product searches in face-to-face communications with friends, and in-person communication also is the top reason social media users go online to search for products, says a study from the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association based on data from BigResearch.

”When it comes to what triggers an online search of a specific product or service, social media users are more influenced by blogs, e-mail, Internet advertising and instant messaging that average adults,” the study says. “What’s interesting, however, is that while social media users seem to pay more attention to e-mail (26.7%) and Internet advertising (28.3%) than the average adult (23.4% and 23.1%, respectively) face-to-face communication still prevails among both groups as the biggest influencer of online searches,” the study says.

The study defines social media users as consumers who regularly use Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo, YouTube, MySpace, Classmates.com or LinkedIn, or who regularly send text messages, post to blogs or maintain a blog. It also notes that most social media users are married, have completed at least some college, are employed in a professional or management position, have an average income of $65,563 and are between the ages of 25 and 34.

The study is based on data gathered from Oct. 15 to Dec. 28, 2009.

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