RIO DE JANEIRO: Over 70% of internet users in Brazil agree that ads on social networks increase their purchase intent, a survey by McKinsey has revealed.

According to the consultancy, some 80% of the country's digital population visited a social network in the six months before its poll was undertaken, and a 64% majority had more than one profile on these platforms.

Fully 73% of the panel "didn't mind" if brands advertised on the social media services they used, and the same number were "more likely" to consider products promoted in this way.

An additional 72% of McKinsey's sample would be prepared to "click through and buy a product" which has been recommended by a friend on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Orkut.

For 37% of those polled, social networks were their favourite method of making and receiving recommendations concerning subjects including brands, content and music.

"Brazilians put a lot of trust in social relationships. Social networks offer companies opportunities to tie targeted products with the recommendations of trusted people in consumers' lives," the study said. "Great potential exists for tech-savvy marketers to directly leverage this trust."

Companies were also expected to listen and respond to online chatter discussing their activities by 43% of contributors.

With regard to ecommerce, only 38% of connected consumers had made an onlineĀ purchase in the three months prior to the poll, and 10% did so through a mobile phone. This situation appears set to change, however.

The study said: "If purchase intention is factored into the outlook for the next six months, Brazil edges out more developed markets, which suggests that many consumers are just about to make their first online purchases."

Moreover, the web plays a key role during the product research stage, as 62% of users investigate potential acquisitions on the net.

Among the early adopters engaging in this pastime via mobile phone, wireless handsets were actually the most widely-researched category, on 67%, beating household appliances with 51% and travel products with 47%.

Overall, McKinsey found that social networks take 34% of all time spent online, ahead of news and information sites on 17%, portals on 15%, and then blogs and company websites on 8% apiece.

Data sourced from McKinsey; additional content by Warc staff