When you’re looking to find a new restaurant, a movie to go see, or how a new electronic device stands up in real life, where do you go for information, and what information do you trust? If you’re a millennial, new research says it may be Bob next door, Valerie at work, or even Jen from across the country. The Ipsos Millennial Social Influence Study shows millennials are looking more to peers than professionals for info. It’s dubbed “User Generated Content” (UGC) and you see it every day in tweets, status updates and blogs, among the many other ways of peer-to-peer contact. It’s easy to see why UGC has become so important: sharing your personal opinions is easier than ever, with new sites, apps, blogs and even personal websites popping up all the time. Take a picture, write a 140 character line, or link to a product and, voila!, you’ve just created content. What’s interesting is people who read UGC are 35% more likely to remember it than other sources, and 50% more likely to trust it! Is this new? No, peer-to-peer recommendations are as old as communication, whether it was over coffee, over the fence or over the phone……we always shared our thoughts and opinions with each other, and those personal recommendations were likely a great influence on whether to take a look at that new car or buy that new-fangled cellular phone (!). Baseline: you can see how social media is changing how people interact with one another, and is growing in importance for brands and causes to get people talking about them in a positive way. For brands and organizations to stay relevant and talked about, they’ll need to roll up their sleeves and get in the conversation. If they are already doing so, they’ll need to stay on top of the trends and make sure their presence
continues to be seen.