evidence and ideas. applied

Social Media Users “More Active” As Ethical Consumers: Global Poll

20 July 2011 - Regular users of Facebook, Twitter and other online social media expect higher levels of corporate responsibility from companies, and are more likely to act on their values as ethical consumers, according to a new GlobeScan 28-nation poll released today.

The poll of 28,889 people reveals that when compared to non-users of social media, regular users hold companies to a higher ethical standard, particularly when it comes to their environmental responsibility, and are also more likely to act on their values as consumers and influencers of others.

In particular, the survey found that while 24 per cent of non-social media users said they had rewarded a socially responsible company, the figure was significantly higher – 31 per cent – among regular social media users. Similarly, while only 17 per cent of non-users said they had punished a socially irresponsible company by criticising them or boycotting their products, 23 per cent of social media users said they had done so. This group is also more likely to say they regularly choose to pay extra for environmentally friendly or ethical products and services, only buy from responsible companies, and that they think socially and environmentally friendly products are of higher quality.


Social media users also tend to view industries that have a higher environmental impact, such as oil companies, as less responsible than do non-regular users.

As well as being more active as ethical consumers, regular social media users feel more empowered to make ethical choices as a consumer. Social media users are also more likely than non-users to say they feel empowered to make a difference in how responsibly companies behave, and that they know a lot about what companies are doing in regards to CSR.

The results of the poll suggest that there are other reasons companies need to pay attention to the ever-growing segment of the population that uses social media. Users are also more likely to possess opinion-leader characteristics, such as being in leadership positions at their workplace or community, support and NGO, and frequently discuss business and politics. Regular social media users are also more likely than non-users to be highly educated with an above-average level of income.

In 2010, research from GlobeScan also confirmed that while the internet had emerged as a major source of information on CSR, a new generation of consumers is turning to less traditional, unofficial sources of information on CSR such as social networks like Facebook or Twitter, while company websites are being left behind by consumers looking for CSR information.

GlobeScan Senior Vice-President Chris Coulter said: “These results show why companies can no longer afford to ignore social media as a channel for communicating their messages around corporate responsibility. Users are more switched-on to ethical business, more empowered, and more influential – and as people look beyond traditional sources of information on corporate responsibility, their attitudes are shaping those of others.”

GlobeScan’s poll of 28,889 citizens in 28 countries was fielded between December 2, 2010 and February 4, 2011. Interviews were conducted face-to-face, or by telephone by GlobeScan and its research partners in each country. In eight of the 28 countries, the sample was limited to major urban areas. The margin of error per country ranges from +/- 2.0 to 4.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20.


Media Contacts

For media interviews with the participating pollsters, please contact:

Sam Mountford, Research Director
GlobeScan Incorporated, London
+44 20 7928 5368
(Mobile: +44 7854 132625)

 


About the GlobeScan Radar 

These findings are drawn from the GlobeScan Radar program, a syndicated service offering based on global public opinion research, covering a variety of issues around business in society. GlobeScan has been tracking issues and societal expectations for business across the world since 1999. GlobeScan Radar provides global decision-makers with critical insights and comparative country metrics needed to better understand the trends shaping their international business and policy environment. The research program is designed to help shape corporate strategies, policy positions, initiative development, and communications activities.

Fieldwork was conducted in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the USA. Interviews were conducted via face-to-face, by telephone, or online (Japan only) between December 2, 2010 and February 4, 2011. Polling was conducted by GlobeScan and its research partners in each country. Some urban-only surveying was conducted in certain developing countries, following generally accepted research standards in each country. The margin of error per country ranges from +/-3.0 to 4.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Full methodology below.

About GlobeScan

GlobeScan is an international opinion research consultancy. Companies, multilateral institutions, governments, and NGOs trust GlobeScan for its unique expertise in reputation research, sustainability, and issues management. GlobeScan provides global organizations with evidence-based insight and advice to help them build strong brands, manage relations with key stakeholders, and define their strategic positioning. GlobeScan conducts research in over 90 countries, is certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its quality management system, and is a signatory to the UN Global Compact. Established in 1987, GlobeScan is an independent, management-owned company with offices in London, Toronto, and San Francisco. www.GlobeScan.com

Methodology

In total 28,889 citizens in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the USA were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone between December 2, 2010 and February 4, 2011. Polling was conducted for Radar Wave 1 by GlobeScan and its research partners in each country.

In Brazil, China, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, Portugal, and Turkey urban samples were used. The margin of error per country ranges from +/- 2.0 to 4.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

 

CountrySample Size (unweighted)Field datesSample frameSurvey methodologyType of sample
Argentina 1015 December 10-16, 2010 18+ Face-to-face National
Australia 800 December 4, 2010 - January 14, 2011 18+ Telephone National
Brazil 802 December 2, 2010 - January 5, 2011 18-69 Face-to-face Urban1
Canada 902 December 20, 2010 - January 18, 2011 18+ Telephone National
Chile 1200 December 10-22, 2010 18+ Face-to-face National
China 1000 December 18-31, 2010 18+ Telephone Urban2
France 807 December 13-17, 2010 15+ Telephone National
Germany 1017 December 12, 2010 - January 3, 2011 16-70 Telephone National
Ghana 1000 December 14-29, 2010 18+ Face-to-face National
Greece 1000 January 3-20, 2011 15+ Telephone National
India 1168 December 22, 2010 - January 8, 2011 18+ Face-to-face National
Indonesia 1000 December 6, 2010 - January 11, 2011 18+ Face-to-face Urban3
Italy 1004 January 17-28, 2011 18+ Telephone National
Japan 1000 December 6-7, 2010 20–69 Online National
Kenya 1000 January 28, 2011 - February 4, 2011 18+ Face-to-face National
Mexico 1000 December 15, 2010 - January 14, 2011 18+ Telephone Urban4
Nigeria 1000 December 16-24, 2010 18+ Face-to-face National
Pakistan 2452 December 12-26, 2010 18+ Face-to-face National
Peru 1107 January 4, 2011 - January 11, 2011 18-69 Face-to-face National
Philippines 800 December 14, 2010 - January 9, 2011 18+ Face-to-face Urban
Portugal 1002 December 9, 2010 - January 17, 2011 18-75 Telephone Urban6
Russia 1010 December 23, 2010 - January 18, 2011 18+ Face-to-face National
South Africa 1000 December 3, 2010 - January 27, 2011 18+ Face-to-face National
South Korea 1000 January 6-7, 2011 19+ Telephone National
Spain 802 December 20, 2010 - January 11, 2011 18+ Telephone National
Turkey 1000 December 8-20, 2010 15+ Face-to-face Urban7
UK 1001 December 3-16, 2010 18+ Telephone National
USA 1000 December 4, 2010 - January 13, 2011 18+ Telephone National
  1. In Brazil the survey was conducted in Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Curitiba, Goiânia, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and São Paulo, representing 18 per cent of the national population.
  2. In China the survey was conducted in Beijing, Beiliu, Chengdu, Dujiangyan, Fenyang, Fuyang, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Manzhouli, Quanzhou, Qujing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shuangcheng, Wuhan, Xi'an, Xining, and Zhengzhou, representing 45 per cent of the national adult population.
  3. In Indonesia the survey was conducted in Bandung, Jakarta, Makassar, Medan, and Surabaya, representing 27 per cent of the national adult population.
  4. In Mexico the survey was conducted in Baja California, Chihuahua, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico City, Michoacán, Morelos, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and Yucatán, representing 40 per cent of the national adult population and 80 per cent of the residential telephone landlines.
  5. In the Philippines the survey was conducted in the National Capital Region, representing 27 per cent of the urban adult population.
  6. In Portugal the survey was conducted in Almada, Amadora, Beja, Braga, Castelo Branco, Évora, Faro, Guarda, Leiria, Lisbon, Loures, Porto, Santarém, Setúbal, Vila Nova de Famalicão, Vila Nova de Gaia, and Viseu, representing 25 per cent of the national adult population.
  7. In Turkey the survey was conducted in Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Bursa, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Istanbul, Izmir, Konya, Samsun, and Zonguldak, representing 56 per cent of the national adult population.

Research Partners

CountryResearch InstituteLocationContact
Argentina TNS Gallup Argentina Buenos Aires Ricardo Hermelo
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+54 11 4891 6400
Australia GlobeScan Toronto Oliver Martin
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+1 416 969 3073
Brazil Market Analysis Florianópolis Fabián Echegaray
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+55 48 3364 0000
Canada GlobeScan Toronto Oliver Martin
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+1 416 969 3073
Chile Mori Chile Santiago Marta Lagos
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+56 2334 4544
China GlobeScan Toronto Oliver Martin
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+1 416 969 3073
Egypt Attitude Market Research Cairo Mohamed Al Gendy
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+202 22711262
France Efficience 3 Paris and Rheims Christian de Thieulloy
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+33 1 4316 5442
Germany Ri*QUESTA GmbH Teningen Bernhard Rieder
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+49 7641 93 43 36
Ghana Business Interactive Consulting Limited Accra Razaaque Animashaun
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+233 302 783140 / +233 302 782892
Greece The Institute of Communication Athens Soto Mitroglou
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+210 3318065 / 7
India Team C Voter Noida Yashwant Deshmukh
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+91 120 4175200 (ext. 223)
Indonesia DEKA Marketing Research Jakarta Irma Malibari
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+62 21 723 6901
Italy GfK Eurisko s.r.l. Milan Paolo Anselmi
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+39 02 438091
Japan S M I S Tokyo Yoko Matsumoto
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Kenya Research Path Associates Ltd. Nairobi Jeremy Mwololo
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+254 020 2734770
Mexico The Mund Group Mexico City Cristina Montaño
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+52 55 5584 3020 / 2470
Nigeria Real Edge Research Options Lagos Michael Umogun
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+234 802 311 7969
Pakistan Gallup Pakistan Islamabad Ijaz Shafi Gilani
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+92 51 2655630
Peru Datum Lima Urpi Torrado
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+511 215 0600
Philippines M&S-Sigma Dos Philippines, Inc. Makati City Teodora Marasigan
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+63 2 8172780
Portugal Sperantia Queijas Sandrine Lage
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+351 214 177 418
Russia CESSI Institute for Comparative Social Research Moscow Vladimir Andreenkov
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+7 495 650 55 18
South Africa First Principles Cape Town Sandrine Lage
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+351 214 177 418
Spain Sigma Dos Int. Madrid Gines Garrido
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+34 91 360 0474
Turkey Yöntem Research Consultancy Ltd. Istanbul Bülent Gündoğmuş
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+90 212 278 1219
United Kingdom Populus Data Solutions London Patrick Diamond
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+44 207 553 4148
USA GlobeScan Toronto Oliver Martin
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+1 416 969 3073

Question Wording

Question Wording

OLT1. Now I would like to ask you about a few personal characteristics. Please tell me how much each of the following statements describes you. Please use a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is not at all like you and 5 is very much like you.

at) You frequently discuss business and political issues.
bt) You are in a leadership position at your workplace or in your community.
c) You regularly use online social media like Facebook or Twitter
d) You actively support non-governmental organizations such as groups who campaign for an environmental or social cause.


2t. I am going to read a list of things some people say should be part of the responsibilities of large companies. For each one, please tell me to what extent you think companies should be held responsible. In answering, please use a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is “not held responsible,” 3 is “held partially responsible” and 5 is “held completely responsible.” Remember, the higher the number, the more responsible. What about . . .? 

  1. Treating all employees and job applicants fairly, regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation
  2. Applying the same high standards everywhere it operates in the world
  3. Helping solve social problems like crime, poverty, and lack of education
  4. Ensuring its products and operations do not harm the environment
  5. Increasing economic stability in the world
  6. Reducing human rights abuses in the world 
  7. Providing good quality products and services at the lowest possible price
  8. Supporting progressive government policies and legislation
  9. Helping reduce the gap between rich and poor
  10. Ensuring that all materials it uses to make its products have been produced in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
  11. Supporting charities and community projects
  12. Ensuring that their products are safe and healthy
  13. Providing long-term financial security for its employees through a job for life and a good retirement pension


3. Please tell me if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with each of the following statements.

ASK TO 50% OF SAMPLE IN EACH COUNTRY

a) I only buy products and services from ethical and responsible companies.
b) I regularly choose to pay extra for environmentally friendly or ethical products and services.
ct) As a consumer, I can make a difference in how responsibly a company behaves.
dt) I know a lot about what certain companies are doing to improve their social and environmental performance and give back to society
j)  Socially and environmentally responsible products are higher quality than regular products.


5t. Over the past year, have you considered rewarding a socially responsible company by either buying their products or speaking positively about the company to others? Would you say you have . . .?

01 - Not considered doing this
02 - Considered this, but didn’t actually do it, or
03 - You have actually done this in the past year
99 - DK/NA


7t. In the past year, have you considered punishing a company you see as not socially responsible by either refusing to buy their products or speaking critically about the company to others? Would you say you have . . .?

01 - Not considered doing this
02 - Considered this, but didn’t actually do it, or
03 - You have actually done this in the past year
99 - DK/NA


12ta. Please rate each of the following types of companies on how well they fulfill their responsibilities to society. Compared to other types of companies, would you say [INSERT COMPANY TYPE] are . . . ?

01 - Among the very best
02 - Above average
03 - Average
04 - Below average
05 - Among the very worst
VOLUNTEERED (DO NOT READ)
06 – Depends on the company / Some good, some bad
07 - No opinion / Not familiar with this industry
99 - DK/NA

  1. Banks and finance companies
  2. Oil/Petroleum companies
  3. Auto companies
  4. Clothing and apparel companies
  5. Chemical companies
  6. High-tech/computer companies
  7. Beer companies
  8. Tobacco companies
  9. Food companies
  10. Pharmaceutical companies
  11. Mining companies
  12. Telecommunications companies (telephone)
  13. Alcohol Beverage companies (beer, wine, spirits)
  14. Electrical generating companies
  15. Media and entertainment companies

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