A study by UK search company Tamar says travel products and services are most susceptible to negative comments on social networks, with 58% of respondents reporting that negative comments would cause them to abandon a purchase. 51% said negative comments would cause them to abandon a consumer electronics purchase (e.g. TVs and computers), followed by financial services at 44% and communications brands such as broadband and telephone providers at 40%.
BTW, if your company is thinking about posting fake reviews on a product review site---don't. A survey by PR agency Burson-Marsteller shows that 30% of Influentials, those consumers that can provide positive buzz for your brand, are increasingly skeptical of opinions on product review sites and community forums because they suspect many are posted by companies. Beware---57% of Influentials say they are less likely to purchase a product if they suspect the reviews are fake.
So how can companies influence the Influencers? Be upfront about who you are---some social network members delight in outing companies masquerading as consumers. And don't offer to bribe, er, pay, anyone for positive posts.