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Survey: These social networks most influence purchases


When it comes to buying products, consumers are particular about who and what they trust to get advice.

According to a survey of nearly 14,000 adults conducted in early March by social retail technology provider Collective Bias, Facebook and YouTube are the most persuasive social channels for consumer purchases. About 19% of consumers find Facebook to influence their purchasing decision most, with YouTube coming in second at nearly 18%. YouTube is especially popular with men (23%) compared to women (14%).

In comparison, only 2% of respondents checked Twitter first when researching products. Less than 2% said Twitter had the most influence on their decision to complete an in-store purchase.

The survey also cast some doubt on the effectiveness of online celebrity endorsements, especially with one highly targeted consumer demographic. Thirty percent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product endorsed by a non-celebrity blogger than a celebrity. Of that number, 70% of 18-to-34 year-olds had the highest preference for "peer" endorsement.

Furthermore, only 3% of consumers would consider buying a product in-store if it were endorsed by a celebrity. Other advertising channels that influence small numbers of in-store shoppers include TV (7%), print (5%) and digital (4.5%).

Other notable findings include:

·Consumers are consulting blogs and social media on their mobile devices prior to shopping. Nearly 60% of respondents have taken a blog review or social media post viewed on a smartphone or tablet into consideration while shopping in-store.

·Men are two times more influenced by blog reviews than women. One in five men (18%) have had blog reviews influence in-store purchases, compared to only one in 10 women (9%).

·Men and women differ in which product categories they research online. U.S. male consumers have purchased consumer electronics in-store more than twice as often (34%) as women (15%) as a result of reading a blog review or social media post.

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