According to the second annual Digital Influence Index study, 75% of U.S. consumers are more likely to trust companies that microblog on popular sites like Twitter.com. The study also noted that 90% of consumers use the Internet to either buy, or compare prices on items.
Some 75 percent of people surveyed said they view companies that microblog -- sending short, frequent messages on sites like Twitter or status updates on social networks like Facebook -- as more deserving of their trust than those that do not, according to a survey by Fleishman-Hillard, conducted with market research firm Harris Interactive.
The second annual Digital Influence Index study, released at the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit in New York, researches the extent to which the Internet affects consumer behavior.
The findings on Twitter are particularly notable in a year where many leading corporations found themselves in crisis mode, from BP's role in the Gulf oil disaster to recalls from Toyota Motor Corp and Johnson & Johnson and a viral campaign against new diapers from Procter & Gamble on Facebook.
"What really matters here I think is that the rules of crisis engagement that we've known for years and years still apply, but they still apply in a much more accelerated way," Dave Senay, Chief Executive of Fleishman-Hillard, told Reuters in a telephone interview.