Facebook Like Button Versus Reviews

Facebook like buttonA little over a year ago, the Facebook Like button was launched in order to give its members a quick and easy way to show approval for content or a product or service online. According to a study released Monday by the West Hollywood, California based CityGrid Media, consumers would rather click on the Facebook Like button rather than having to write a positive review for a local business.  The study, which was conducted by Harris Interactive, polled 1,006 adults in the U.S. over the phone between March 16 and 20.

Facebook Like Button Survey Results

According to this survey, the most popular way of giving a positive review is still the good old fashioned word of mouth, which is how 75% of the people responded.  But, interestingly enough, second place at 20 percent was the method of clicking the Facebook Like button to show your support for that business versus 13 percent who would take the time and effort to write a review.

It’s not much of a surprise that people would rather verbally convey their approval or click on a button to show support versus writing a review, but the speed in which the Facebook Like button has gained popularity is rather amazing.   What the survey did not answer, however, is what affect each of these types of positive feedbacks influence friends the most.  Specifically, what impact does a Facebook Like button have in influencing a buying decision over a verbal referral or positive written review?

According to an article written by WGN.com:  The poll also found that despite the proliferation of online deals, the availability of discounts ranks low in swaying consumers’ decisions to patronize a business. Of adults under 35, 52% of them reported visiting more than two websites before visiting a local business, with Google and Facebook being some of the most popular destinations. CityGrid said only 8 percent of respondents “said a deal is the number one thing that influences them to try a local business.”  http://www.wgnradio.com/business/breaking/chibrkbus-study-consumers-favor-like-button-over-reviews-20110502,0,140462.story?track=rss

What do you think?  Are you more likely to go to a place of business or purchase a product based on a verbal referral, a positive written review, or a Facebook Like button?