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July 13, 2014
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June 28, 2013

Un-Social Trends? Despite Record Usage, Appeal of Top Social Media Sites Is Declining, According to New E-Score Study—Traditional Media Far More Trustworthy Than Social, Research Finds

What started out as an enjoyable and innovative way for people to connect and interact with each other is turning into a time-consuming chore, according to a recent survey to determine consumer attitude toward social media. Conducted by E-Score, a consumer research service that provides information to media and entertainment companies, the survey shows that while awareness and usage of social media sites is extremely high, the allure of using these sites is starting to wear thin with consumers. The survey also revealed consumers trust traditional media brands exponentially more than social media brands.

The survey identified the social media sites with the most consumer awareness, as well as the appeal of those sites. Following are the sites with the highest awareness, the percentage of people who found each appealing as well as the estimated number of users.

E-Score surveyed 1,100 persons with general representation across income, age, education and geographic demographics to represent a cross-section of the U.S. population. User numbers are from public sources.

When asked to rate the trustworthiness of media brands, on average consumers found traditional media brands (broadcast, cable and print) more than twice as trustworthy as social media brands.

“During the past five years, the role of social media has shifted from a leisure activity to an integral and, at times, mandatory, part of our lives,” said Gerry Philpott, president of E-Poll Market Research, in a news release. “Despite this, consumers continue to place the majority of their trust in traditional media brands and advertisers should consider the environment in which they choose to put their dollars.”

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • The two online dating sites were among the top five most recognizable social media brands yet were among the lowest when ranked by appeal, indicating consumers’ displeasure with the process of using social media to find a companion.
  • Both Facebook and Twitter, two of the most recognizable and used social media platforms with approximately 140 million and 92 million monthly visitors, respectively, have surprisingly low appeal ratings, suggesting that the sites are either habit-forming or viewed as a necessity, as opposed to a pastime.
  • Yelp’s low awareness, high appeal and number of users indicated a preference for social media sites providing on-demand information as opposed to primarily interaction with others.
  • Income level did not play a role in either awareness of social media brands or their appeal, with responses from participants with income levels below and above $50,000 relatively similar.

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