500,000 People Asked for Online Recommendations Since January 2016

There are various factors influencing our purchasing decisions. Sometimes we make our minds on the basis of an advertising campaign, we check review sites and check a brand’s rating on Facebook, for instance, or it’s brand loyalty that leads to choosing one product over another. Since celebrity endorsements have been on the decline for the last couple of years, these are peer to peer recommendations that we trust the most. It turns out that in today’s digital world, hundreds of thousands of people turn to social media to find those recommendations.

Hard data

I had decided to dig a bit deeper and analyzed how many people look out for help on social media by asking questions such as “Can anyone recommend?” or “Where can I buy?” in the past 9 months. Check out the comparison of how often both phrases have been mentioned so far this year:

Hard data

While “Where can I buy” can clearly be encountered online more often, it’s the second question we’re going to have a detailed look into for starters.

Hard Data

Hard data

Hard dataAs you can see on the second screenshot, the “Can anyone recommend?” phrase has been mentioned on the Internet over a hundred thousand times within the past 9 months. A vast majority of those mentions appeared on Twitter where the users of the platform asked the question 67682 times which constitutes 65.6% of the whole. Facebook comes second with 29601 results and 28.7%. These two social networks add up to 94.3% of all the mentions.

The problem is, majority of the tweets or Facebook status updates remain unanswered, neither by friends nor…brands!

Hard data

Yes, you got that right. Even though people usually expect their followers to reply, monitoring and chiming in where relevant is a perfect opportunity for a company to raise brand awareness and end up with new clients.

Now, with the images below, we come to an even more purchase intent-driven question which is “Where can I buy?”. With over three hundred thousand mentions online, it has been posted three times more often than “Can anyone recommend” so far this year. Twitter is used even more frequently here as 73.3% of people chose this platform to reach out for advice. Surprisingly, blogs come in the second place, ahead of Facebook with 7.8% and 6.4% respectively.

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One of the latest features we launched back in June enables us to see the engagement the collected mentions get. Apart from the spike that lasted less than a month, you can see that similarly to “Can anyone recommend?”, there is little to no engagement from users. If there are so many people asking for recommendations online, it really intrigues me why there are very few brands tapping into those conversations. After all, is there a better way to sell on social media than reaching out to those who ask such direct questions themselves? It’s not just the money that can be earned. Being seen as a company that cares about customers and potential customers on social media can also boost brand reputation.

Hard Data

Considering the fact that social media is becoming a more and more popular channel of attributing new customers, images above only prove that even Twitter itself is a goldmine of potential sales opportunities.



  • Denise Bahs

    Awesome post! Thank you for the info. I guess that makes listening tools one of the most critical in the digital marketing mix.

    • Kuba Rogalski

      Hi Denise, thanks for chiming in! Social listening tools are indeed super important these days, not just for brand monitoring but many other marketing purposes.

  • I’m a big proponent of social listening and social care. I’ve had several startups jump into my conversations with new products to try especially if I’m being sarcastic about another product. These savvy ones delete tweet after as well so no evidence as I’ve tried looking back for them as proof. Nowadays everytime I see someone posting a $$ tweet I feel like sending it to the CEO/CMO of the company saying that’s another $1K of CLV you’ve just missed out on. Maybe one day I will. ? So not many companies are responding? Can you share which industries / sectors / products are people asking for recommendations of?

    • Kuba Rogalski

      From what I’ve noticed so far, there’s really a wide variety of industries included in such tweets like restaurants, hotels, barbershops, or driving instructors, for instance. There is another post about social selling coming out soon that includes plenty more interesting insights!