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ipsosreuters-facebook-impressions-purchase-influence-june2012.pngFacebook impressions don’t actually make much of an impression on users, according to a Reuters and Ipsos poll released in June 2012. Only 1 in 5 American Facebook users say they have ever bought a product or service due to advertising or comments they saw on Facebook. This research comes on the heels of AP-CNBC survey results released in May which found that 83% of users rarely if ever click on ads or sponsored content on the site. On a more encouraging note, though, 18-34-year-olds are 40% more likely than the average to have been influenced by a Facebook impression to make a purchase. Data from a new Inside Network Research report indicates that this demographic makes up 44% of Facebook’s US audience.

1 in 3 Recommend Brands Followed on SocNets

Facebook impressions may not yet be leading to purchases, but a significant proportion of brands’ fans indicate a willingness to recommend them to others. According to a separate Ipsos survey also released in June, 35% of US respondents have recommended a brand they either like or follow on a social network. While age is once again a factor – 48% of those under 35 have recommended a brand they are a fan of – a gender dynamic is also at play. In fact, women are 41.4% more likely than men in the US to have recommended a brand they are fan of (41% vs. 29%). Coincidentally, the Inside Network Research report finds that demand for the female consumer in the US has driven female ad rates 8% higher than for males on Facebook.

The importance of social recommendations was recently highlighted in a Sociable Labs survey, which found that 1 in 4 online shoppers, who shop at least quarterly online and login to their Facebook account at least monthly, have made a purchase based on a social recommendation.

Facebook Engagement Drops

Further data from the Ipsos and Reuters poll reveals that more than one-third of US Facebook users are spending less time on Facebook compared to 6 months ago. The primary reasons given for this drop in engagement are finding the site boring, not relevant or not useful (27%), a lack of time (25%), and concerns about privacy (24%).

Privacy concerns certainly appear to be prevalent among social network users. According to MiMedia survey results released in June, 71% of American consumers are concerned about the security and privacy of their personal information on Facebook. And these consumers are ready to act, too: 4 in 5 would stop using a social media site if they found out their privacy was violated.

Other Findings:

  • Data from the Ipsos and Reuters poll indicates that 60% of 18-34-year-old Americans use Facebook every day, and a further 16% use the social network at least weekly.
  • The 18-34 set has the most favorable opinions of Facebook. Two-thirds say they have either a very or somewhat favorable opinion of the social network, compared to 48% of 35-54-year-olds and just 31% of those over 55.
  • 44% of users said that what they have heard about the Facebook IPO has made them less favorable to Facebook.
  • Ipsos survey respondents in Turkey (64%) were the most likely to say they had recommended a brand they like or follow on a social network. Respondents in Japan (18%) were the least likely to have done so.

About the Data: The Ipsos/Reuters data is based on an online survey of 1,032 Americans conducted from May 31 – June 4, 2012. The Ipsos brand recommendation data is based on a poll of 12,000 consumers across 24 countries, including 500 in the US. The MiMedia data points are from an online survey of 315 American adults aged 18 and older, conducted in March 2012.

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