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Experian reveals only 8% of consumers are willing to share information through Facebook

Experian has released the figures from its report into the attitudes of people towards sharing information with brands for marketing purposes, which found that consumers are wary of sharing information on Facebook and Twitter.

Through YouGov, a pool of nearly 2000 consumers ranked their willingness to share information such as address, email and income details across six different channels – email, text, phone, post, Facebook and Twitter.

When looking at the number of channels consumers are happy to share their information across, Experian found that 18 per cent responded with none, 55 per cent were happy to share with one, 19 per cent with two and eight per cent with between three to five channels.

From this, 18-24 year olds led the trend with over 38 per cent willing to share across multiple channels. The 55-plus age category represented 40 per cent of the responded who were unwilling to share any information with brands across any channel.

Email is the preferred channel (69 per cent) whilst post (27 per cent) is the second most popular way for people to communicate with bands. Just eight and four per cent said Facebook and Twitter, respectively, were channels through which they would give brands information.

Yet age and willingness to share across multiple channels plays an important role in determining a preference for social channels. 24 per cent of 18-24 year olds would share their information with brands across Facebook and Twitter, compared to 13 per cent of 35-44 year olds, four per cent of 45-54 year olds and three per cent of those aged 55-plus.

Crucially for marketers, the research revealed that trust is the key factor in customers’ willingness to share their data with brands in the first place. Overall, trusting brands to use data in the way they have promised is the main reason cited by consumers for why they trust certain businesses over others (43 per cent of all respondents). 13 per cent of respondents will also share their information because they believe they will get a better level of customer service.

Jon Buss, managing director of digital at Experian Marketing Services, commented: “Being transparent, truthful and honest with customers is essential to gain trust and build stronger relationships. Brands need to demonstrate to consumers that they take the matter very seriously and respect their rights. Above all they must live this through tailored, relevant and timely messages delivered via the channels consumers prefer. Get this wrong and consumers will not hesitate to walk away from the brand; get it right and they will become advocates; 45 per cent of people said that they would tell people about their positive brand experiences.”

The research also explored how consumers with different attitudes to sharing data interacted with brands. The findings revealed that consumers willing to share data across a greater number of channels have a higher level of engagement, whether that is buying online or tweeting about the brand.

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