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Survey: Social media driving shopping decisions


Thirsty for meaningful brand interactions, consumers are turning to social media more regularly.

While it’s still largely used for socializing and product discovery, social media is increasingly influencing consumer purchasing decisions, according to “Shopping’s Social Influence,” a new report from digital advertising and analytics firm Adlucent.

Consumers still largely kick-off their shopping journeys on search engines or Amazon, but social media is having a growing influence as 39% of respondents said social media posts/ads at least somewhat influence their purchase decisions.

Another 45% said they at least somewhat base decisions on product recommendations from influencers/celebrities they follow on social media, the report said.

While consumers seek out social interactions, they aren’t actively engaging with brands. Across six major social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Periscope), 75% of respondents follow no specific brands, according to the report. However, they could be persuaded.

Across seven major social media sites, 46% of respondents said they would prefer tailored social media ads. Specifically, 68% want tailored Facebook ads, 63% want tailored ads on YouTube, and 67% want tailored Twitter ads, the report said. Consumers stated that personalized ads are less disruptive and give them more control — factors that encourage more frequent and genuine engagement. This could be a huge opportunity for brands that are focusing on social engagement, but may not be investing in social ads, the report suggested.

Consumers are also thirsty for social commerce. While today’s consumers still purchase primarily through marketplace sites like Amazon (56%) or physical retail stores (34%), 43% said they would be at least somewhat willing to purchase a product directly through Facebook if given the option, followed by Twitter (27%) then Pinterest and Instagram (26%). If brands can find a way to take advantage of this demand in an organic and personal manner, it will open up a new revenue stream that has yet to reach its potential, the report suggested.

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