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They like you, they really like you: Colmar Brunton survey shows social media is 'good for business'

Kiwis of all ages are prolific users of social media but, according to a recent Colmar Brunton survey, it’s not just to keep up to date with family and friends. Nearly 60 percent of Kiwis follow at least one brand and over one third (37 percent) say a social media presence makes a brand more appealing to them. 

The survey of more than 1,000 Kiwis across all ages showed that 63 percent of respondents actively used social media sites, with 59 percent following at least one brand, the most popular being online shopping sites such as Amazon and TradeMe (30 percent), airlines (26 percent) and retail stores (24 percent). And for the most part, having a social media presence is a positive: only three percent said it makes the brand less appealing, with 37 percent saying it makes it appeal more.


Colmar Brunton’s innovation and business development director Vanessa Clark says Kiwis under 40 are much more likely to be active followers of companies on social media sites, and more likely to give feedback, but over 40s should not be ignored.

"Over 40s do not tend to give much away compared with younger groups, who are more likely to use social media to share their thoughts, lives and opinions. However, older consumers can be powerful advocates once they’re won over. They just need a little more ‘wooing’ to actively engage and commit."

The survey also showed that smartphones are increasingly being used to access social media: 47 percent of online Kiwis now have smartphones, up from 27 percent last year, and 73 percent use them to access social media.

Other highlights from the study include:


  • Facebook is the most popular social media site, with 62 percent of respondents saying it is the site they visit most often, compared with two percent for Twitter.

  • Over half (51 percent) of respondents use Facebook daily.

  • Linked In is most popular amongst those aged 40-49, who are 3-4 times more likely to be sharing information and updating links than younger age groups.

  • MySpace is a ‘faded star’ with only 23 percent of those who were aware of MySpace (86 percent of all respondents) saying they’d ever visited it at all, and even then, only rarely.

  • 19 percent of respondents use a smart phone or other portable device to access social media sites.

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