Consumers more likely to look for social media content than contribute

A global study of 17,000 regular internet users in 29 countries has found that people are more likely to seek information from online communities about ‘holidays and destinations’ than are prepared to share their own experiences.

Advertising giant Universal McCann has this week released a report, “When did we start trusting strangers?” The weighted sample consists of a global panel of people aged 16-54 who use the internet at least once every two days – the so-called Active Internet Universe.

“Holidays and destinations” is the top category out of 22 products and services where the panel is most likely to have used social media to research before buying, with 62% having done so. However, when it comes to contributing, only 50% do so.

Travel flights and trains is a separate category – 56.9% have researched and 50.5% have contributed.

The global nature of the sample might account for some of the perceived wisdom about the social web being questioned.

When looking in terms of trust, there is little difference between genders and age, but “the more educated [you are] the more you trust the opinions of strangers,  particularly on blogs”.

Hoteliers might be relieved to know that more people are motivated  to share a good experience than a bad one.

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