Corporate Eye

2 in 5 Online Adults Recommend Brands They Like or Follow

socialogue ipsosAround the world, adults who spend time online are actively liking, following, talking about, and recommending brands. A study by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (Ipsos OTX) and Ipsos Global @dvisor puts some numbers to those activities.

According to the June 2012 Socialogue report from Ipsos, nearly two in five online adults worldwide (38%) have recommended a brand that they liked or followed on a social networking site like Facebook, Twitter, and so on. In the United States, 35% of online adults have recommended a brand that they liked or followed on a social networking site.

These online recommendations are important to brands. The Ipsos study reports that nearly one in four people (22%) said that they have purchased a brand because a friend recommended or followed that brand online. Of course, consumers in different parts of the world are more likely to follow, like, and recommend brands online than others. Online adults in Latin America are the most likely to recommend a brand they like or follow on a social network. The Ipsos survey found the following percentages of online adults that have already recommended a brand they like or follow on a social network:

  1. Latin America = 53%
  2. Middle East and Africa = 49%
  3. BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) = 46%
  4. Asia-Pacific = 37%
  5. Europe = 32%
  6. North America = 31% (United States = 35% and Canada = 27%)

As you’d expect, not only does geography play a part in how likely people are to like, follow, and recommend brands on social networks but age, gender, and income level have an effect as well. Of the American online adult popultion, Ipsos found the following:

  • Gender: Women are more likely to recommend a brand that they like or follow online than men (41% vs. 29%).
  • Age: The younger online adult audience (35 years old and under) are more likely to make brand recommendations via social networks than the older online audience (both 36-49 year olds and 50-64 year olds). (48% vs. 37% vs. 20%)
  • Income: Online adults with higher incomes are  more likely to recommend brands they like or follow on social networks than people in lower income brackets (high income = 36% vs. medium income = 38% vs. low income = 20%).
  • Marital Status: Married people are more likely than unmarried people to recommend a brand they like or follow on a social network (38% vs. 32%).
  • Occupation: Senior decision-makers are more likely to recommend brands they like or follow on social networks than lower-level employees (44% vs. 34%).

Regardless of the industry a brand operates in or its target audience, there are people online around the world who are willing to like, follow, talk about, and recommend that brand. The key is to create content and conversations that lead to brand relationships and emotional involvement with consumers, which lead to recommendations and word-of-mouth marketing. The proof that people are willing to follow and recommend brands online is in the numbers above.

Image: Ipsos

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

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