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BizReport : Social Marketing : July 21, 2016

Social media impacts more people's shopping decisions than TV

A new report from Influence Central reveals the impact on purchase decisions of positive posts and product reviews on social media.

by Helen Leggatt

The big take-out from Influence Central's study is that seeing a positive post, or product review, on social media has an impact on more people than a television ad.

While 1.9% of consumers said that seeing a television ad impacts their decision to buy a product, and 2.2% said the same of articles or mentions in a newspaper or magazine, social media had a bigger impact.

According to Stacy DeBroff, founder and CEO of Influence Central, "respondents shared that seeing a positive post or product review on social media impacts the decision to buy for more than 3 times as many people" and that she found traditional media's low rates of conversion "surprising".

Overall, 81% of consumers involved in the study said they frequently purchase products after seeing them shared on social media. The reason behind the impact of social is that the shared content is perceived to be authentic. In fact, nearly three-quarters said they check social media recommendations as it takes the guesswork out of buying a new product.

"Moreover," says DeBroff, "respondents say social even transforms traditional retail approaches, as 55% find in-store promotional messaging more persuasive when they first learn about the product via social media."

Tags: consumer behavior, social media, traditional media, trends

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