Canadian's Internet Business

Canadians Have a Huge Influence on Fellow Consumers (Statistics) ©

A new study conducted by American Express indicates Canadian consumer purchasing is heavily influenced by friends and family, both online and offline.   In fact, three quarters of Canadians participating in the survey consider themselves to be influential in a wide range of persuasion situations. Survey respondents defined the top three characteristics that make someone influential as confidence (81%), education (55%), and those who experience new things often (44%).

An interesting detail uncovered in this survey is that Canadians enjoy influencing others in their buying decisions. The appeal is in the desire to be viewed as informed, educated, and on top of the latest trend. Wanting to help the people they care about is also a driving factor.

“It’s clear that Canadians love being seen as taste-makers and influencing their networks, especially if they are rewarded in the process,” says Brett Mooney, Vice President of Consumer Acquisition and Engagement at American Express Canada.

Who are Canadian Consumers Most Influenced by?

  1. Family (77%)
  2. Friends (72%)
  3. Partner of spouse (71%)

The Influential Power of Family and Friends

The Social Network Impact on Influence

Word-of-mouth has always been powerful in business, but it has been super-charged by the ease of online social sharing. Social sharing occurs on blogs, online discussion groups and of course, social media networks.

“Nearly one in five Canadians say that social media has made them more influential, which means the power of word of mouth is turning to ‘world’ of mouth,” says Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business. “As a result, we’re seeing a number of great referral programs that put the consumer in the power seat.”

Social media and blogs offer businesses a virtually limitless opportunity to reach influencers in Canada.  The cost is low and the learning curve is manageable.  It does take more than marketing knowledge to utilize these channels effectively, however.  You’ll need someone who also has creativity, writing talent, adaptability, and the social skills to professionally interact online.

The best way to find these talented individuals is to watch for them online so you can see them in action before approaching them.  For example, all but one of my contracts for this type of position have come from people who have read blog posts and articles I’ve written, and then checked me out on social media.  Being able to evaluate my work served them much better than having to trust that talent was included with a marketing certification. As a bonus, people who are already established online bring their network with them for your benefit.

Need some guidance?

If you prefer “do it yourself” social media marketing, it’s important to learn from the real experts:

To gain further insight, American Express also conducted a social experiment, taking regular Canadians through a crash course on influence and then sending them to the streets of Toronto to test how body language, flattery and other personality characteristics play into influencing complete strangers. The video of the results is truly enlightening and more than a little entertaining.

Are you fully utilizing influential Canadians through bloggers, social media and reward programs? Please share your experience in the comments below.

Source:  American Express

You may also be interested in reading:
Reaching Canadian Consumers Through Niche Bloggers
Top Reasons Canadians Share Content on Social Media (2013 Statistics)
Canadian 2013 Holiday Outlook Statistics: Online Retail (Infographic)

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