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Mintel: Social Media Still Niche Tools

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Some consumers are much more likely to use blogs, Web discussion groups and social networking sites to shop for insurance than others.

Researchers in the Chicago office of Mintel Comperemedia, a unit of Mintel International Group Ltd., come to that conclusion in a commentary based on results from a February survey of 964 insured U.S. adults.

Mintel asked the survey participants where they had last researched insurance policies, and only 4% said they had used social media.

But the insurance social media usage rate was 10% among participants earning from $75,000 to $100,000 per year and 9% among participants ages 25 to 34.

Reported usage of the Internet as a whole was much higher than reported usage of social media.

Mintel found, for example, that 23% of all of the survey participants, 30% of the participants with annual incomes over $100,000, and 35% of the participants ages 25 to 34 said they would rather use the Internet than talk to an agent when shopping for insurance.