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New MediaCom research indicates declining trust in online sources of information

A new ‘Social Nation’ survey undertaken by media agency MediaCom Ireland has thrown new light on Ireland’s social habits. This is the second year of the Social Nation research, allowing for trend changes over time. The key outtake from the research is a drop in trust, which begs the question - are we now seeing the impact of the “Fake News” controversy?

Ian McGrath, Managing Director of MediaCom Ireland said of the research:

What we appear to be seeing is Irish people questioning the trade-off between the benefits of social media versus the control over how they share their personal information with these big companies. And as they do this, they are adjusting their behaviour in and across social platforms. As this behaviour evolves, marketers should continue to be entertaining, useful and relevant in these channels.

Vicky Shekleton, Insights Manager at MediaCom Ireland added:

Trust remains an issue for consumers. The drop in frequency of using social media sites, combined with increasing levels of people disagreeing with social media being one of their main news sources indicates that trust and transparency are key issues impacting how consumers use social media.


KEY POINTS

  1. 90% of Irish people use social media (vs 93% in 2016), but frequency has dropped since 2016.
  2. The frequency of using private communication apps WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger has grown with 46% using WhatsApp at least once a day (+10pp on 2016) and 38% using Facebook Messenger (+8pp on 2016)
  3. Less people agree that social media is a main source of news.
  4. Digital addiction is real! 25% of social media users have never managed to stay offline from all digital media, up from 10% in 2016.
  5. Three quarters of social media users agree they like to get advice before buying new things.
  6. Multiscreening is an embedded activity, with 62% of Irish social media users using mobiles/tablets while watching TV.
  7. Search is the primary way people find out about products and services.
  8. Are we reaching “peak influencer”? The influence of bloggers appears to be declining. While it is still highest for 16-24s, it’s not one of their top info sources.
  9. 52% of social media users notice the ads on social networks and 61% say they annoy them
  10. 80% of social media users who follow brands say they do so because they want to keep an eye on the latest brand news and offerings.
  11. There has been a decline in people following brands for quick wins like competitions or discounts.

Download the full report here.

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