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A little birdy tweeted me about my car insurance

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A recent survey has discovered that more and more people are using social media networks as the go-to source for information on their car insurance.

The survey from a leading research firm suggests that more car insurance consumers trust online commentary and reviews from other users.

"The majority of consumers rely to some extent on social networks to guide them in their purchase decisions," said the research firm.

The research also revealed that only 14% of consumers make their purchases based on traditional advertisements, compared to an overwhelming 78% making their decisions based on user-generated commentary and product reviews.

In the UK more than three quarters of the population that are online use social networks, equating to roughly 28.28million users, with thousands joining Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and other networks daily. Traditionally word-of-mouth has always been the most popular form of marketing, but the trend has now shifted to social media.

Examples of how consumers can use social media sites such as Facebook for their car insurance needs are becoming more and more apparent. Comments are appearing on sites such as Facebook and Twitter from consumers that are making companies take notice, and take action.

For example, recently a lady involved in a crash filed for a claim and was unhappy with the repair work. She posted her displeasure online to get help from friends and family, and the company that she was with sorted the work for her instantly so that they did not receive negative comments.

Other examples of how Facebook is changing the way consumers think can been seen outside the insurance industry. The most famous instance of Facebook changing marketing trends was the campaign to get ‘Rage against the Machine’ to Christmas number 1 instead of the X-factor winner for that year. The campaign succeeded in beating Simon Cowell’s X-factor, something that many have tried and failed to do before.

In the era of social media, a scathing review of a company can have dire consequences. The average Facebook user has 130 friends.

Insurance companies are beginning to understand the power of social media in today's market, which is why sites such as Facebook have become promotional battlegrounds for local and national insurers.

The survey showed however that people are not only researching car insurance online, they're buying online, too, with the internet being the preferred choice for more and more people buying car insurance.

By Ben Malkin

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