Whose Recommendation Has the Most Influence on Customers?

When it comes to buying, a new poll suggests that blogs and Pinterest are trusted sources of recommendation.
Business Writers
June 25, 2012

Of all the social networks, women trust Pinterest the most—but it’s bloggers who really hold the power when it comes to influencing purchases.

So says a survey from Jumpthru, a startup that helps women support female-owned companies.

In the poll, 81 percent of women said they trusted Pinterest—trust being a key driver of e-commerce. (“Trust drives action,” noted the study.) Nearly half of women (47 percent) said they’d bought an item recommended using the online pin board.

Twitter came in second, with 73 percent of women saying they trusted it—and 31 percent saying they had gone on to buy an item recommended to them through the micro-blogging network. Facebook came in last of the social networks, with 67 percent of women, erm, liking the network.

But although blogs tied with Pinterest in the “trust” category (81 percent of women said they did), blogs were by far the biggest drivers of purchases, with 61 percent of those surveyed saying they had bought an item after a blog gave it the thumbs up. Forty-one percent said they actively use blogs to find information about new products.

The study also tried to isolate which networks were best for what, asking respondents which they used for eight activities ranging from having fun to getting product information. Blogs won out when it came to any activity related to buying—“help making purchasing decisions,” “getting product information,” “seeking advice and information” and “finding out about new products.” Facebook ranked the highest for “having fun” and “entertainment.” Pinterest came in second to Facebook in the “having fun” and “entertainment" categories. It was second only to blogs in the “find out about new products” category, with 41 percent saying they used the former and 39 percent saying they used the online bulletin board.

For the record, women pretty much rule social networking. They dominate all the networks, according to Information is Beautiful. The numbers: 58 percent of Facebook users, 62 percent of Twitter, and 72 percent of Pinterest.

Where are all the men? They’re on social bookmarking sites, including Reddit (74 percent male) and Digg (66 percent guys). Men also make a strong showing on Spotify (66 percent), Google+ (64 percent) and Soundcloud (61 percent).

Numbers of male and female users are roughly equal on YouTube, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Flickr and Instagram.

Whose recommendations have brought you the most customers?

Photo credit: Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock