If you don’t believe that social media has the power to influence shopping decisions, it may surprise you to learn that consumers who involve social media in their shopping process are four times more likely to spend more on purchases. And according to Sprout Social, a whopping 74% of shoppers make buying decisions based on social media.
Sure, social media started out as a platform for people to share their thoughts and photos with their network of friends and family. However, it’s evolved to become so much more than that. We’ve listed 5 ways that social media influences consumer spending habits and you may be surprised to admit that some of these are true for you:
- Product reviews by friends and family
Consumers are 80% more likely to purchase an item based on a friend’s suggestion. Word-of-mouth marketing is that powerful.
Have you ever posted something you bought or saw a Facebook post by your friend raving about a product? One of your followers may have seen your post and clicked the tag that leads them to the store you bought it from. And admit it, your curiosity peaked over your friend’s new purchase.
- Social media ads
Marketers are able to place themselves right in front of the consumers they know will be most interested in their products with targeted ads. And as a person scrolls their feeds, ads that appeal to them appear either within the feed or on the side. Either way, it’s enough to call their attention and click through to ultimately make a purchase.
- Reviews from Influencers
We love seeing what our favorite social media celebrities are wearing, eating, and hanging out. And while we recognize that their posts are probably sponsored, that certainly doesn’t stop consumers from buying the same brand of lip gloss or buy designer desserts that they too can post on social media.
- Seeing what’s popular or trending first
Facebook and Instagram’s algorithm have changed over the years. You’ve probably noticed how posts you’re more likely to engage with appear first in your news feed. And beyond that, so do posts that have received the most engagement; these “trending” posts could be the latest line of makeup or newest gadget. Whether it is a product, service, or a social media celebrity posing in the lobby of a 5-star hotel, it gets consumers thinking. And maybe they’ll end up buying a tube of lipstick or book a night in a luxury suite for the weekend.
- A business’s social media presence
Some businesses know how to command social media to their favor. They post content that people love to consume and share. They have strong feeds that attract more engagement. They know how to play to the fantasies of their target market. They have a way of strategically placing their product in the hands of influencers and celebrities who also have strong followings on social media.
Whether we care to admit it, social media has an impact on our purchasing decisions. While we may not buy anything on the spot, the visuals and reviews certainly leave an impression that we may act on eventually.